New age January 18, 2008

This might become a regular event

Last year's World Cup plunged India and Pakistan into the world of minnows
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Last year's World Cup plunged India and Pakistan into the world of minnows. By the end of the Twenty20 equivalent, redemption was within grasp but the neighbours have followed opposite paths since. India stand on the brink of a phenomenal victory against the world's number one team while Pakistan can't be entirely confident of a convincing victory over Zimbabwe.

In many ways the difference in fortunes is reflected by the difference in leadership. Mahendra Dhoni and Anil Kumble have assumed their roles in reassuring fashion, inspiring more senior and more celebrated colleagues respectively to outstanding performances. India's batting remains strong but the bowling remains raw, hence progress was not a given.

Across the border, Shoaib Malik has flattered to deceive. Pakistan, with out of form unsettled batsmen and injured bowlers, might have more rebuilding to do yet their achievements since the Twenty20 World Cup have still been a disappointment. The best batting order remains something of a mystery and the production line of bowlers might not have dried up but it cannot decide which is this year's model.

Above all, Malik has looked too much of a passenger in his own team. The change that Malik has to make, and he has to make it quickly, is that whatever his form, he must stamp his authority on the team and discard any inhibitions he might have over his leadership role. The biggest regret any failed leader can have is that they might not have done things their way.

The Zimbabwe series offers Malik an opportunity to learn how to command but as some bloggers have pointed out, the captaincy is not a learning role. The fans, if not the Pakistan Cricket Board, will quickly run out of patience. Anything but a crushing defeat of Zimbabwe will be unsatisfactory despite Pakistan's correct decision to blood new players.

Young players might provide hope and sporadic brilliance but the burden of Pakistan's resurgence in international cricket rests on the shoulders of its established players. Malik, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, and Misbah ul-Haq must take responsibility for guiding Pakistan to a better future. Misbah apart, responsibility has been an inconsistent trait among these players.

As such, the series should be a victory for Pakistan but its nature is uncertain. Indeed, we will not learn how good Pakistan are during this series although Zimbabwe might expose how bad the hosts can be.

Either way, Pakistan and Zimbabwe better get used to the look of each other. The political upheavals in both countries could mean that these meetings will become a regular occurrence. In that event, Malik might become the most successful captain in Pakistan's history.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on February 5, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    As an ardent fan of Pakistan, (not when they are playing against India :-)), I feel bad when they are going through a tough phase. The solution is in front of them, like the Indian team handover the captaincy of the Test team to one of your best senior player, i.e. Younis Khan or Mohammed Yousuf and for the one day team you need a very aggressive player and not the passive player that Shoaib Malik is. I have always felt that there is not a more dangerous player in ODI than Shahid Afridi. Yes he is inconsistent but you if given more responsibility he may change to be one of the greatest ODI players. He is bowling as well as ever and his batting is now more restrained. Pak selectors have almost everyone a chance to be Captain, why not put the mantle on Afridi for a couple for series as see how he performs?

  • Mr.India on January 24, 2008, 20:52 GMT

    Dear Players from Karachi,

    Please come and play for us. We will provide justice and merit for you.

    Mr.India

  • abdul on January 24, 2008, 20:10 GMT

    Aslamalaikum Mr Abassi

    Firstly I would like to say why haven't you benn posting any aticles in the last month ?

    I think that this series coming up is an oppurtunity to experiment both in strategies for shoaib Malik and youth.

    I disagree with the team selection and in particular the bowling . I would like to see Sohail Khan, Mansoor Amjad , Danish Kaneria and Anwar ali.

    Never the less whatever pakistani tem is palying I strongly support.

    Come on pakistan lets win it 5-0 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SAM on January 24, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    Although Pakistan is winning against Zimbabwe but i seriously want to question to role of Shoaib Malik in the team, why the hell is he coming at number 5, then Misbah at 6 and Afridi at 7. what a stupid batting order is this. First of all, Malik looks the weakest character right now in the team, i am afraid how is he leading and commanding the other 10 players. Neither he is a slogger or quick scorer nor a perfect batsman. If we have to fit him in playing XI (just because he is captain) then he should come after Misbah & Afridi. By the way Malik must be praying Australia doesn't visit Pakistan because i can sense the humiliation (on field) coming towards Malik & Pakistan team, or he will spend Australia series sitting out with the excuse of injury. Its a shame, what kind of character is representing Pakistan Cricket team and the whole nation. Bring in a brave strong person who can lead the team with honor.

  • ubaid on January 24, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    After watching Malik captain during the earlier matches it was dissapointing to watch his defensive mentality. I thought that this would change and he would become more proactive in the field throwing the gauntlet at the opposing teams. Setting fields that say " you can't just punch the ball down the ground take a single and get off strike. If you want to score, you will have to take some risks, invent shots be innovative, think and play better than you have ever done before, and if you can do that than good luck to you. You deserve to win. I will have at least six fielders inside the ring who will not let the ball go by. I will tell me bowlers to bowl to the stumps or just outside. There is not way you can score. but if you do you would have earned it." Needless to say that I was expecting to much from the thickheaded gentleman who is doing considerable damage to the legacy of pakistan cricket by setting the kind of fields that he is. Diagnosis: Borderline intellectual functioning.

  • Saima khan on January 24, 2008, 16:11 GMT

    Good point Rizwan above:

    Its high time they get rid of Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt. Khalid Latif should replace Salman Butt, Fawad Alam should replace Shoaib Malik and Srafraz should replace Akmal. Also bring in Sohail Khan and Anwar Ali.

    But unfortuately Karachi born players should not hope to start international career from Pakistan cum PUNJABI cricket team.

    Saima Khan

  • Farhan on January 24, 2008, 15:23 GMT

    who ever thinks that karachi players are being ignored because they speak urdu are right. I strongly suggest all talented players like Fawad, Sarfraz, Asim, Khram, Naved altif etc should move to lahore like saeed anwar did. Saeed did the smart thing. these all players should move to pujab and start speaking punjabi.

  • Oss on January 24, 2008, 13:35 GMT

    Man Shoaib Malik is such an insult for Pakistan. This guy is trying to become another dictator. He didnt want this new kid Nasir Jamshed in the team and I am glad we finally have GOOD selectors. Malik wants his close folks in the team including KAMRAN AKMAL. I hope we can drop butt and bring in Khalid Latif. Also what's up with Fawad Alam? That kid was the best among the domestic players and Malik refuses to include him. We need to do something about Malik before its too late.

  • Omer Admani on January 24, 2008, 5:57 GMT

    It is hilarious watching Pak/Zim second match Paki bowling about 20th over now. What a fine embarassment Malik is too this nation, he has got the whole field at the boundary against Zimbabwe as well. Apart from Waqar's comedy, both our commentators-- Waqar and Zaheer ABBAS-- missed the missed stumping by Akmal. LoL.

  • pakistani on January 24, 2008, 1:16 GMT

    One more thing i forget to mention here that after winning the first one day against zimbawve Malik said on this score they can beat australia a really childish answer , my question will australia let them pass 300 ? i dont thnk so and even they pass australia can easily pass bye. He really needs to take care what he is saying. Right now every thing is money everyone in board in team getting money and that also too much and what the performance is all in front. So pray for pakistan cricket.

  • Rahul on February 5, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    As an ardent fan of Pakistan, (not when they are playing against India :-)), I feel bad when they are going through a tough phase. The solution is in front of them, like the Indian team handover the captaincy of the Test team to one of your best senior player, i.e. Younis Khan or Mohammed Yousuf and for the one day team you need a very aggressive player and not the passive player that Shoaib Malik is. I have always felt that there is not a more dangerous player in ODI than Shahid Afridi. Yes he is inconsistent but you if given more responsibility he may change to be one of the greatest ODI players. He is bowling as well as ever and his batting is now more restrained. Pak selectors have almost everyone a chance to be Captain, why not put the mantle on Afridi for a couple for series as see how he performs?

  • Mr.India on January 24, 2008, 20:52 GMT

    Dear Players from Karachi,

    Please come and play for us. We will provide justice and merit for you.

    Mr.India

  • abdul on January 24, 2008, 20:10 GMT

    Aslamalaikum Mr Abassi

    Firstly I would like to say why haven't you benn posting any aticles in the last month ?

    I think that this series coming up is an oppurtunity to experiment both in strategies for shoaib Malik and youth.

    I disagree with the team selection and in particular the bowling . I would like to see Sohail Khan, Mansoor Amjad , Danish Kaneria and Anwar ali.

    Never the less whatever pakistani tem is palying I strongly support.

    Come on pakistan lets win it 5-0 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SAM on January 24, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    Although Pakistan is winning against Zimbabwe but i seriously want to question to role of Shoaib Malik in the team, why the hell is he coming at number 5, then Misbah at 6 and Afridi at 7. what a stupid batting order is this. First of all, Malik looks the weakest character right now in the team, i am afraid how is he leading and commanding the other 10 players. Neither he is a slogger or quick scorer nor a perfect batsman. If we have to fit him in playing XI (just because he is captain) then he should come after Misbah & Afridi. By the way Malik must be praying Australia doesn't visit Pakistan because i can sense the humiliation (on field) coming towards Malik & Pakistan team, or he will spend Australia series sitting out with the excuse of injury. Its a shame, what kind of character is representing Pakistan Cricket team and the whole nation. Bring in a brave strong person who can lead the team with honor.

  • ubaid on January 24, 2008, 18:51 GMT

    After watching Malik captain during the earlier matches it was dissapointing to watch his defensive mentality. I thought that this would change and he would become more proactive in the field throwing the gauntlet at the opposing teams. Setting fields that say " you can't just punch the ball down the ground take a single and get off strike. If you want to score, you will have to take some risks, invent shots be innovative, think and play better than you have ever done before, and if you can do that than good luck to you. You deserve to win. I will have at least six fielders inside the ring who will not let the ball go by. I will tell me bowlers to bowl to the stumps or just outside. There is not way you can score. but if you do you would have earned it." Needless to say that I was expecting to much from the thickheaded gentleman who is doing considerable damage to the legacy of pakistan cricket by setting the kind of fields that he is. Diagnosis: Borderline intellectual functioning.

  • Saima khan on January 24, 2008, 16:11 GMT

    Good point Rizwan above:

    Its high time they get rid of Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt. Khalid Latif should replace Salman Butt, Fawad Alam should replace Shoaib Malik and Srafraz should replace Akmal. Also bring in Sohail Khan and Anwar Ali.

    But unfortuately Karachi born players should not hope to start international career from Pakistan cum PUNJABI cricket team.

    Saima Khan

  • Farhan on January 24, 2008, 15:23 GMT

    who ever thinks that karachi players are being ignored because they speak urdu are right. I strongly suggest all talented players like Fawad, Sarfraz, Asim, Khram, Naved altif etc should move to lahore like saeed anwar did. Saeed did the smart thing. these all players should move to pujab and start speaking punjabi.

  • Oss on January 24, 2008, 13:35 GMT

    Man Shoaib Malik is such an insult for Pakistan. This guy is trying to become another dictator. He didnt want this new kid Nasir Jamshed in the team and I am glad we finally have GOOD selectors. Malik wants his close folks in the team including KAMRAN AKMAL. I hope we can drop butt and bring in Khalid Latif. Also what's up with Fawad Alam? That kid was the best among the domestic players and Malik refuses to include him. We need to do something about Malik before its too late.

  • Omer Admani on January 24, 2008, 5:57 GMT

    It is hilarious watching Pak/Zim second match Paki bowling about 20th over now. What a fine embarassment Malik is too this nation, he has got the whole field at the boundary against Zimbabwe as well. Apart from Waqar's comedy, both our commentators-- Waqar and Zaheer ABBAS-- missed the missed stumping by Akmal. LoL.

  • pakistani on January 24, 2008, 1:16 GMT

    One more thing i forget to mention here that after winning the first one day against zimbawve Malik said on this score they can beat australia a really childish answer , my question will australia let them pass 300 ? i dont thnk so and even they pass australia can easily pass bye. He really needs to take care what he is saying. Right now every thing is money everyone in board in team getting money and that also too much and what the performance is all in front. So pray for pakistan cricket.

  • Pakistani on January 24, 2008, 1:10 GMT

    Rauf Lala- i am being pakistani but some how i am agree if the same politcs going in pakistan cricket one day that will happened we can win only against bangladesh and zimbawve and might one day they will also beating us. till jansher we have a winner in squash see what politics playing part there and same thing in hockey that we are loosing to team like china. So sachin fan somehow analyzing what he is seeing even though i didnt like but its true sour tablet cant be swallow easily. I hope that will not happend but when i read the statement that board is not worry that if pakistan not win game for 2 years do you think any of board president anywhere regardless of zimbawve and bangladesh say that and that too of pakistan cricket who is one time world cup champion. So we people have to analyze things. take care and GOD bless paksitan. Allah Hafiz.

  • Pakistani on January 24, 2008, 1:04 GMT

    DR.Hafeez,Wasim Akram revolt not based on performance and at that all are great players in saeed anwar,waqar,inzamam,mustaq ahmed few to mention.The question regarding Shoib he not even know how to bat in test cricket and every one know he in team just because one reason.I am also from same but sometime its hurt when i see this injustice to some player regardless of anywhere.What is the performance of shoib malik since coming in international crciket no one even know him much before he makes captain. Greame smith he was performing before SA board make him captain and he has specialist in batting. Even now if you go referendum from past and present national and international cricketers just like voting i can bet anything there will be 99% vote in favor what i am saying. Lawson now also recognize that shoib malik not deserve to be captain.Sooner or later board will recognize like they did for razzak,malik are the same category.Shahid yousuf,Asim Kamal,Bazid Khan are better thn him.tc bye

  • Rizwan on January 23, 2008, 23:45 GMT

    Pakistan team has become very weak.

    I dont see any world class bowler other than Asif and Akhtar and both are injured. All other pakistani fast bowlers in team are bits and pieces who will not qualify for the Australia, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England team. This is very sad indeed. The selectors, I have heard, want to give chance to good new fast bowlers like Anwar Ali, Sohail Khan, Abdul Rauf etc. but Shoaib Malik is hindering their efforts. He only want his puppets.

    Regarding batting Pakistan has only 2 world class players in Yusuf and Younis. Misbah has still to prove but he is good too. All other are kuchras who will not qualify for other teams.

    Its high time they get rid of Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt. Khalid Latif should replace Salman Butt, Fawad Alam should replace Shoaib Malik and Srafraz should replace Akmal. Also bring in Sohail Khan and Anwar Ali.

  • So, hail Tanvir on January 23, 2008, 22:49 GMT

    Like India have dropped ganguly, dravid, laxman,and that too against australia, Pakistan must also get rid of seniors like Afridi and Malik. Malik dosen't even deserve to be captain. Captain should be Misbah. U-19 world cup winners should also be included.

  • Aditya on January 23, 2008, 22:18 GMT

    India are doing well right now in Test cricket because they have a crop of senior players who are inspired to do well at the end of their careers. And they have a young attack that is positive and wants to get wickets. Pakistan desperately needs some young blood in the bowling, and they should back youngsters and throw them into the international scene. For that you need strong leadership, and also need to put faith in your senior batsmen.

  • Saima khan on January 23, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    Nadeem is correct above. Stop racisms against Karachi born players. No Karachi born players is the part of Pakistan cricket team on permanent basis. If some one injured or need rest they call Urdu Speaking players and regardless of their good performance they pull them out. Regardless of bad performance Kamran Akaml, Malik, Butt is the part of Pakistan cricket team on permanent basis. All of them are Lahories. Regardless of good performance by Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Kahlid latif, Khurrum Manzoor, Nomanullah they are not the part of the team. They may call one player for one or two match, if they do not play well, they will do not consider them for at least one year. If they perform well, they ignored. They just did again with Fawad Alam in India, he played well in his first appearance and they send him back to Pakistan. They always did with Asim Kamal (best left handed batsman Pakistan ever produced).

    Saima Khan Islamabad

  • Johnny Dangerously on January 23, 2008, 16:03 GMT

    Trends are very indicative of the state of affairs. It is extremely sad but Pakistan needs to reevaluate more than just its cricket, the administration, psyche and feel good factor of the nation is at a nadir right now. Changing a captain will not change the spirit of the administration, they will continue to be pigheaded in their approach. India and Pakistan in this regard cannot be compared as witnessed when notice was given to Laxman, Ganguly and Dravid in the ODI arena. Too much emotion goes into Pakistani planning, and this bodes badly. You can remove Malik and bring in Yusuf, without solid backing and good performances from key players Pakistan will be back to the drawing board.Certain factors like money should be taken away from the equation such that the same is guaranteed and they will cease to play selfishly to maintain their place in the side and their share of match fees/earnings.

  • Robert on January 23, 2008, 10:25 GMT

    The old saying "same sh*t different day" comes to mind when thinking of Pakistan cricket. Nothing has changed since they were beaten in the world cup final (that's the 50 over game against Australia). They under perform, blame a handful of players, administration... the list goes on.

    Lets face it, you can't learn anything positive from playing Zimbabwe. Unless you consider that if a bowler goes for a few that he's rubbish. Sadly the divide is still that big no matter what Zimbabwe cricket may think.

    With so much turmoil in the camp I don't see Pakistan ever really worrying the likes of Australia, India, Sri Lanka or South Africa.

    Regular event... yep... as said before "same sh*t different day".

  • Shakeel on January 22, 2008, 19:23 GMT

    Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal should be out from the team, right now.

    Shakil

  • Raja Pakistani on January 22, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    I am agreeing with sabbir mahmood above. Malik does not deserve place in the team. I afraid he will score good against weak Zimbabwe and board will put him captain till next world cup. Same like Inzi great against weak, weak aginst GREATS.

    Raja Pakistani

  • Gulab Khan on January 22, 2008, 19:18 GMT

    Current pakistan can win only against weakest team like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Canada, Holand, Kenya. In last years we got this kind of trend. Originated by Inzimam ul Haq, he was the king player at the home (slow) wickets against weak bowling attack but fox against strog team like Austrlia and SA. See his records highest average against Bangladesh above 80, lowest against Austrlia 19, no century in Austrlia. Malik and some other players are following his steps. Replace all of them by winning under 19 team squad. Atleast we will start winning in future. Malik & Akmal should be OUT, OUT, OUT.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • Faisal Karachi on January 22, 2008, 15:50 GMT

    I tend to agree with Pakistani. Only yesterday I was reading an interview of Faisal Iqbal and the poor guy was stating correctly that he always got a chance as a filler for players falling sick. He never got a proper chance on a consistent basis, compared to some of the other players, like Shoaib Malik. There are many other PROPER batsmen, much better then Malik, yet we have persisted with him for so long. After so many years of patronage, look at his average and decide if he deserves a place in the team; nevermind captaincy. Test cricket is serious business and there should be no place for mediocres. Either a proper batsman or a proper bowler. Shoaib Malik is niether. By the way nor is Shahid Afridi. Both of them can find a place only in ODI team. Its time to get specialists in. I am sure the resource at hand are enough!

  • Nadeem on January 22, 2008, 15:20 GMT

    Dawar is correct above. Too much unjuctice with Fawad Alam, Khalid Latif,Nomanaullah (highest scorer in Quaid-e-Azam trophy), Srafraz AHmed (best wicket keeper in the Quiad-e-Azam and in country), Sohail Khan (best bowler in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy), Khurrum Manzoor (performing well from few years), Shadab Kabir etc. If someone perform well from Punjab they have been called right away in the team. ANd given non stop chances. Misba, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshead, Butt, Kamran Akmal etc. But Karachi base players has lot of levels to proof. We lost our best left handed batsman Asim Kamal. Why? Just because he performed well. Stop unjutice with Karachi players. Where is Anwar Ali, hero of under 19, never got chance on his good performances but Yasir Arfat, Niazi, Rao etc are getting chances and none of them impress.

    Nadeem

  • Samir Yeshwant Hajarnis, India on January 22, 2008, 12:24 GMT

    I would like to ask Sachin Fan to shut up and get a life. Its very easy to start abusing when you are hidden behind a monitor nd cannot be seen / Touched. I would like to ask everybody to ignore that idiot, He does not represent Sachin, much less India.

  • Rauf lala on January 22, 2008, 12:19 GMT

    To Sachin fan, Please learn basic Etiquettes of how to write in a public forum like this. You need to understand your idiotic assessment of the Pakistan cricket might hurt lots of people out here.

  • Faridoon on January 22, 2008, 9:35 GMT

    Your last remark in this peice sent shivers down my spine. Politically, Pakistan has never been stable. But sometimes as a Paksitani you refuse to believe that things are currently in such unruly turmoil that recovering from it might be a lot more difficult than the average Pakistani thinks. For me your article drove that point home. Thanks for depressing me!

    Meanwhile, lets form a new cricket calendar for 2008 where we tour Bangladesh & Zimbabwe and also tell ICC that in order to help accomplish one of their missions for furthering cricket in all parts of the world, we will also tour UAE, Namibia, Bermuda, Kenya, Scotland and China (notice I left out Ireland!).

  • Dawar on January 22, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    From last fours years Malik always become injured or unfit against Strong opponents.But against weak opponents like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, he is superb fit.He was unfit against Australia,he was unfit against South Africa twice once in the series before world cup. He was unfit in the champions’ trophy. He was unfit after first test against India. Instead of him deserving Fawad Alam should be given chance. Unfortunately PCB and team management treating Fawad Alam like Asim Kamal. Fawad Alam played wonderful inning in his last one day. Since then he is out from the team. Again he scored 82 not out against Zimbabwe but he was not given chance in the one day but Lahore born Nasir made his place in the team after he scored 182. Amazingly Afridi declared the inning when Fawad was not out on 82 in the four day match. We also noticed Afrid did not give Fawad proper chance to bowl.I think Malik & Afridi looking Fawad Alam as a thread because they all are all rounder.

    Dawar LA USA

  • Sachin Fan on January 22, 2008, 3:59 GMT

    PAKISTAN TEAM IS ONLY GOOD AGAINST ZIMBABWE. Pakistan will soon become like Zimbabwe a 3rd world cricket nation. Rest of the world should just stop playing against pakistan, bangladesh, and zimbabwe . They are all in same league now. BCCI need to stop funding ICC and start its own . Rest of the world can join if they can contribute equally. Indians shouldn't take burden of 3rd world nations. Go Sachin Go !!!Peace Out !!

  • MJ on January 21, 2008, 21:46 GMT

    It's just a matter of time before Shoaib Malik realizes his role in Pakistan cricket. His bona-fides as a cricketer are well established. You guys have a team of which you should be proud. Even Akmal, who's going through an admittedly sapping rough patch, will regain his lost skills, provided that he targets their re-acquisition effectively. He's a doughty player (who remembers the match against India that he helped his team win, even after Irfan's opening salvo resulted in a hat-trick?), who's in desperate need of support from his country and his team. There's a tremendous amount of skill in your team, and it would be a crying shame if you are unable to harness it. With the fanatical following that Pakistani--and Indian, for that matter--cricket enjoys, how can the captain of the national team be blamed for being timid and tentative? Burn more incense, and fewer effigees. Ride out the roughs with your team. Allow Shoaib Akthar to emigrate to India:-) (Sorry, I just love that guy).

  • Amyn Habib on January 21, 2008, 17:53 GMT

    There needs to be a critical analysis of the policies that have resulted in the poor quality of the current Pakistan team. Otherwise, nothing will change. Or worse, as we have seen, there seems to be a progressive deterioration with each PCB administration doing worse than its predecessor and determined to take the team to an alarming new low. Unfortunately, so much damage has been done particularly with bad selection practices over the last decade that it would take many years to build a quality team. We need new quality players. The emergence of Misbah is something to appreciate in an otherwise bleak outlook.

    It is really not appropriate to compare the Pakistani and Indian teams. The Indians have a much better team, as they have proven with a fabulous win over Australia in Australia and their convincing wins over Pakistan recently.

  • Dr. hafeez on January 21, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    With due respect to pakistani, was planning the job of shoab malik in 1999 or 2003???? Well you know it was not.... And we had a world class team in 2003, with a great bowler leading the team.. What happened then, we all know... Atleast under shoab malik, we reached the finals of twenty twenty. And dont talk about gaining respect from players. Even wasim akram was thrown out of the captaincy by players in 1993. He was a great player then. Why he couldn't earn respect from players. I think the players shud be thrown out of the team who dont respect their captain. As simple as this. Take care all

  • SAM on January 21, 2008, 17:20 GMT

    All the Pakistani batsmen will now beat Zimbabwe so badly and improve their averages, strike-rates and increase their chances to stay in the team for even longer, just like it happened today. Both Malik & Misbah were clearly playing for their avergaes and more concerned to go Not-Out instead of hitting big and taking the score beyond 400 which was possible as we got good start by Nasir and then good platform by Younus & Yousuf. Misbah only played one shot and that was a Free Hit, otherwise he never took risk as he was too afraid to loose his wicket. This type of strategy pays off against an opposition like Zimbabwe but watch for better teams they wont let this succeed. We need match winners not match savers.

  • ahrash on January 21, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    I am always amused by the fickle nature of Kamran's blogs and the damning responses towards one bad performance ~ A series loss against Australia will not signal the death knell of Pakistani Cricket and it wont be the end of the world if we lose one against Zimbabwe. We are still producing prodigious talents i.e. Asif,Tanvir,Safraz,Anwar Ali,Jamshed,Sohail Khan,Imad Wasim,Shezhad,Mohammed Rameez ~ the futures brighter than you think, but lets not kid ourselves Pakistan will never possess the mechanical consistency that Australia have, its not in our nature and thats the beauty of being a Pakistani supporter -

  • Rohit on January 21, 2008, 9:56 GMT

    As an Indian supporter I can't help but think Pakistan will get its act together and improve as a cricket team and beat major sides.They have good batsmen with newly discovered talents like Misbah,good pace attack with Gul,Asif and co.I think they should handle Afridi better,I was surprised to read he was dropped on cricinfo.For a few years India won nothing at all except against the minnows, but now is a decent team.Pakistan can similarly bounce back,remember that you defeated Australia in the T20 championship, and it wasnt flukish,it was due to good accurate fast bowling and handy spin from Afridi.India , Pakistan and Sri Lanka should all be jostling with Australia and look to uproot them.Pakistan have only lost a couple of series in the last few months so no need to be disheartened.Use this Zimbabwe tour as practice and then beat Australia at home,you have the firepower to do it.

  • Karan on January 21, 2008, 7:39 GMT

    Can all you Pakistan cricket supports keep your differences aside and support your cricket team. Even the Pak players should not think about anything else but focus on the game. What ever team they are given by the selectors, they must think that it is the best team and if each play to their best of their ability then they can beat the Aussies at their own home. Being an Indian, all I can say is that we have softened those arrogant Aussies in Sydney, now rubbed their nose in Perth and will do so in Adelaide (where we beat them in our last tour). So common now Pak Cricket team, beat those arrogant aussies in your own country and send those cry babies back. I dont believe this ! I am an Indian and for the first time I am backing a Pakistan team in cricket but this shows that the times have changed. Make the worlds most spinning tracks or swinging tracks and believe me that they will be beaten. They are NOT INVINCIBLE.

  • Abbas on January 21, 2008, 4:52 GMT

    Shoaib malik..again in headlines. as far as his captaicny is concerned...i m not satisfied..n all over Pakistan he has been criticised bcoz of its captaincy.. he lacks the spirti..he gets frustrated very early and this can be viewed during the match..he places his hands to cover his face..remove his hat..or whtevea

    as a leader i think yunis is much better..coz a leader should not show wht is going on insider her mind to other teams.. u win match n u loose one.. bt u have to learn frm ur mistakes...which infact shoaib is lacking

    however..as a batsman and bowler i think he is fine.. he takes the burden of captaincy during batting and therefore gets out.. in past we have seen his contributions in pakistan;'s victory over srilanka and his match saving century against the same team.

    but the PCB has entrusted him the role of captaincy.. so now is the time tht he shows something during the coming series..

    lets hope for the best

  • Ramnaresh on January 21, 2008, 4:33 GMT

    Being an indian cricket fan, there are couple of series which are really look forward to,with Pakistan and Australia. But last india-pak series was nothing more than one sided affair. I really hope for sake of good cricket that Pak team again reach the same height of 90s team.

  • Rohit on January 20, 2008, 23:46 GMT

    As an Indian supporter I can't help but think Pakistan will get its act together and improve as a cricket team and beat major sides.They have good batsmen with newly discovered talents like Misbah,good pace attack with Gul,Asif and co.I think they should handle Afridi better,I was surprised to read he was dropped on cricinfo.For a few years India won nothing at all except against the minnows, but now is a decent team.Pakistan can similarly bounce back,remember that you defeated Australia in the T20 championship, and it wasnt flukish,it was due to good accurate fast bowling and handy spin from Afridi.India , Pakistan and Sri Lanka should all be jostling with Australia and look to uproot them.Pakistan have only lost a couple of series in the last few months so no need to be disheartened.Use this Zimbabwe tour as practice and then beat Australia at home,you have the firepower to do it.

  • pakistani on January 20, 2008, 23:07 GMT

    With respect umair Qazi.I agree evryone have opnion but saying a person who dont critize or have patient are only one who got good head wrong.I already present my opinion in my last two comments. Shoib Malik-debut in 1999 no one in the world knows him like shahid afridi,wasim akram,imran khan, Mudasser Nazar in all rounders. Right now the ICC test allrounders ranking-Afridi-15,Malik-51.test batsman-afridi 51,Malik-51 test bowling- afridi 49,Malik-80.this the comparision with afridi is all in test.Now comes to that his last one day innings when pakistan already lost series and india field third grade side and if he cant even score against them i think he should quit play cricket and that match is one day also not test matches here we discussing his inclusion in test team.take my words i can bet you if he remains captain pakistan will loose the world cup 2011.I dont have personal grudge against him but his ability is not up the mark to be captain even now imran khan change his opinion.tc

  • faisal on January 20, 2008, 20:01 GMT

    If Malik wants to get respected by seniors and beter control over team then he mast have to lift his performance otherwise he will be over and one more thing our players mentality is still not in a position where they accept younger captin over the senior playrs. Selector shouldhave made a senior guy as captin Then we have another problem everybody says that our teams performance is not good. Why becoz pakistani selectors and nation don't have patient they want a lot of changes and young blood all the time if you do a lot of changes abruptly then how can you expect good performance from those inexperience guys, look at Australia they never make changes like we do. they get new players one by one when senior players retire from the game. Our selectors couldn't provide a solid opening pair before the last WC although they tested 22 opening pairs why coz they don't have patients man stick with two guys and give them ample time to fit in international arena but we see changs young blood bl

  • ZARDARI on January 20, 2008, 18:48 GMT

    it's very easy to comment on the players. if someone has a job and upper management don't care how u perform then who care's. we need a change in upper management. "CAN ANYONE AMONG US CHANGE THEM, NO" SO UNTIL MUSHI IS THERE FORGET ABOUT ALL THIS.... CRICKET IN PAKISTAN. LONG LIVE PAKISTAN, PANKISTAN ZINDABAD.

  • TTU on January 20, 2008, 18:36 GMT

    the cricket board should stop behaving like meatheads and maybe follow the australia way, did u know that aussie board gives ultimatums to there players, bascially a form of sporting blackmail,"score this many runs if you get in over the whole course of the series or in a match or your place in the team come under jeopardy", this is a brilliant way to assure everyone give there 100 percent. The Pakistanis must start doing this and threaten there players with no fees or careers, unless your harsh the results will NOT come.

  • pakistani on January 20, 2008, 15:37 GMT

    now the shoib malik - Is Misbah is below average player than shoib malik so why in inzamam arena we overlooked him i dont think shoib is better than him at that time and now also,So we pakistani should say wrong to wrong not just he has back so he can be in team. there are too many better batsman than him who can find there place in team ahead of him, few to mention are Shahid yousuf from his town, Asim Kamal, Nauman Ullah, naved Latif, bazid khan & if you go for allrounder i think Afridi is far better than him for a test team.he only in team due to shafqat rana who is full time supporter to him and also the manager of Sialkot team.So thatz not the case to be patient its time to identify correct player for correct position.he in team for last 6-7 years and if one play regularly like him he can make history for himslf & country.I am not talking about only our country past cricket even othr country cricketer dont believe the same. Rameez ones full time supporter to him now change. tc AH.

  • Pakistani on January 20, 2008, 15:10 GMT

    With due respect to Dr Hafeez, we pakistani will be patient if there is some planning, In 1999 they lost world they said they want to prepare team for 2003 world cup so they put too many youngster keep changing captain and what happened in 2003 all know, than again in 2003 we see same thing country still patient at that time also we keep saying play with them who perform but still supporting i am the one who support the team all those years but also critical but all see what happened in 2007 and now again Dr Nasim Ashraf said we are not looking for win games for 2-3 years we are building team wow, so country will be patient and see another world cup 2011 like the previous 2. 1979 , 1983 , 1987 pakisan reaches semis, 1992 they won 1996 reaches quarter final, 1999 final- what happened after that all know. we are moving in the same directions where are all sports like squash, hockey went. If you are saying pakistan people are not patient they are for last 9 years now. to be continued

  • Umair Qazi on January 20, 2008, 12:21 GMT

    Thank you Dr. Hafeez.

    Finally a man with a good head on his shoulders makes a comment. I was getting tired of all the criticism Mr. Abbasi's blog generated regarding Pakistan cricket.

    Don't get me wrong. Mr. Abassi, you are an inspiration for all us young writers. I also respect the true picture you paint of the current cricket situation in Pakistan. However, the readers seem to misinterpret what you say. While here you have clearly pointed out why Pakistan hasn't done well (out of form batsmen, injured bowlers, lack of confidence of the skipper etc), the readers just seem to pick up the point on Shoaib Malik and berate him like there's no tomorrow.

    Calm down boys. Pakistan's time will come. This is an ODI series and in the last ODI Pakistan played, Malik scored 80 odd and picked up 3 wickets. When was that you ask? I am not surprised you don't remember. That is the problem of Pakistani fans - short term memory loss. Cure that first and then the team.

  • Kunal on January 20, 2008, 12:17 GMT

    Pak cricket has been on the decline after the year 2000. Pak crashed out of both the World Cups 2003 and 2007 in the first round, and barring a few Test wins against England, SA, and India in this decade, they haven't done much, particularly overseas. India in the same period have been consistently winning Test matches outside India. It was all very different a decade ago, but the retirements of Wasim, Waqar, Anwar and now Inzy and all the controversies and injuries of Akhtar, Asif, Gul etc.have affected their morale. And Pak honestly don't look like they can be competitive against Australia. Without Inzy, they look directionless. The captaincy should be given to Misbah or Mohd.Yousuf.

  • Dr. Hafeez on January 20, 2008, 8:38 GMT

    Shoaib Malik along with Younis khan is one of the team player. And You are talking of leaving him. Sounds rudiculous. If he is dropped, then who is left. A bunch of below average players, who have got central contract, and know that they will earn alot thru that. And those who are talking of new openers shud know that you people shouted of including these openers when they were new. What happened now??? All the openers will have the same averages, dont worry, its our domestic cricket which is producing the same level of talent in the country. And Kamran Akmal has won more matches/save matches in his short career than any of your previous keepers in their whole career. How can people forget this????? Yes, his keeping needs to be improved, and it will. People, just be patient. Remember that when greame smith was made captain, he had a poor run initially, but they were patient in keeping him as captain. We pakistanis need to be patient too.

  • Syed Ali on January 20, 2008, 1:36 GMT

    Sadly funny hockey, squash, politics, morals, conscience, and now cricket....everything has gone to the dogs in our country. i think we will soon have a retired army officer as the national team captain since they have done such a great job of managing every other institution of the country.

  • pakistani on January 20, 2008, 0:18 GMT

    Kamran, i just want to say why you not write a post that is shoib malik capable of beeing pakistan captain. I dont think he deserve his place in test team and again and again they make him captain just to make him in test team i think Shahid afridi deserve more than him to be in test team. And i think younis khan feels that also thatz why he offers to captain , but board still putting faith in him. Lots of Ex- cricketer also said this even the imran khan, javed miandad, ramiz raja, wasim akram, sarfraz nawaz if PCB not take this serious definitely we will see another revolt in pakistan team soon. I DONT KNOW HOW MANY BLOGGER AGREE WITH THIS BUT THIS IS REAL AN ISSUE, EVEN THOUGH HE PERFORM AGAINST ZIMBAWE HE DONT DESERVE TO BE IN TEST TEAM.

    TAKE CARE ALL

    BE A TRUE PAKISTANI

    ALLAH HAFIZ.

  • Aky on January 19, 2008, 23:00 GMT

    I am not an Indian team supporter, but i must give credit where it's due, they played superb against the most formidable side in today's cricket. Look at Ishant Sharma (approx 19 yrs old) he had Ricky Ponting under pressure and eventualy got his wicket. By next world cup i could see him as one of the world's top 3 bowlers. my point is Paksitan needs young bowlers like Anwar Ali (from Pakistan Under 19 team).

  • Omer Admani on January 19, 2008, 22:28 GMT

    Prakash, Your second question bemuses me as well. Part of the reason I can think of is that Test Cricket was never an emphasis during the latter part of 90s at least and the team never took it seriously enough. That changed a bit under Inzamam though, but Inzamam's persistence with players like Rana/Akmal/Malik meant that he could not build a solid team with 11 players who could win a match or contribute towards it (something which I feel is necessary for test cricket).

  • senior player on January 19, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    pakistan's cricket has decayed at many levels including the almighty cricket board. You have to question their competence when you see their round robin selection policies and their favoritism to certain players. I see the Pakistani team falling to new lows in the future. The team needs aggressive attitude, which seems to have been neutralized by the likes of Inzamam and Malik as captains. Unfortunately, most players are in the team because of their reputation and not commitment or even talent. Misbah is a living proof that when you take bold decisions, there are people who can rise above the pack of overestimated seniors of our team. Have somebody like Javed Miandad run the board and things will change everywhere.

  • Awas on January 19, 2008, 17:29 GMT

    Historically, Pakistan, a much smaller country, has had edge over India when it comes to overall record and flair, until now. For once Pakistan will remain behind India for a considerable time as they are in a re-building process.

  • Rizwan on January 19, 2008, 16:57 GMT

    Pakistan team selection is the problem. Kamran Akmal should have been shown the door long time ago. Same with all the openers we have tried like Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Taufeeq Umar, Imran Farhat and Salman Butt. Pakistan needs to try new opening batsmen. I think it should be Khalid Latif and Nasir Jamshed. Lets make their pair and play for atleast 3 series continuosly. This will instill confidence in them just like what Imran Khan did with Inzimama when he was performing poorly in early stages of 1992 world cup.

  • Prakash on January 19, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    A very honest appraisal of the state of affairs of Pak cricket. The last paragraph basically says it all, illustrating quite poignantly the depths to which the Pak cricket has fallen. Indeed, if things don't improve, Pakistan will be lucky if even Bangladesh agree to play them! But there are two questions in my mind about Pak cricket for which I would like to get some answers:

    a) The reasons behind this complete decay of Pakistani team. Why did it happen? Is it because of a lack of talent/interest at the grass-roots level?

    b) In the mid 1990s Pak had two best fast bowlers in Waqar and Wasim. And also some good batsmen like Saeed Anwar. The question is how come Pak didn't become a world winning team then?

  • ahrash on January 19, 2008, 13:42 GMT

    I think we are seriously weak in the bowling department with just Tanvir and Rao Iftikar providing experience! Tanvir was unheard of 6 months ago and Rao has only played a handful of games. Afridi has a big part to play in this series, not with bat but with ball - whether his guile outfoxes the Zimbabweans will determine whether we whitewash Zimbabwe.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on January 19, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    Players like Yasir Arafat, and Rao Iftikhar Anjum, are real talents, specially Iftikhar Anjum. He has a lithe, beautiful bowling action. Bowlers like Iftikhar Anjum bowl well, because of their unfettered bowling action, which comes to them naturally. I hear the new talented young wicket keeper is also a good find. Pakistan has a lot to look forward to from her cricketers. Kaneria, is also a star, by dint of his hard work. What Pakistan needs is a good pace bowling allrounder. Malik is a good stable captain, but I suspect, he is contemplating the enormity of the expectations on his shoulders, and his is not an easy job.

  • Ahmad on January 19, 2008, 12:39 GMT

    Nice and Pessimistic, but that’s how Pakistan feels just now. I don’t personally like Malik's captaincy but I don’t think a series defeat or even two should mean we start saying they are worth nothing. I think Malik has to do the job, aggressively, Pakistan team is nothing sans its aggression, you leave that out and we start looking ordinary. I also the Pakistan camp starts evaluating performances on their 'value' and not just numbers. In the past year, we've seen M. Yousuf spoil games for Pakistan regularly just so he could get to his personal landmarks, Yasir Hameed does the same at the team's cost and I just hate it when the commentators fail to point that out while talking about the big scores they get, its not about individual scores, a 25 that makes you win is better than a 75 that means your team cant recover from the loss of too many balls being used up, those two need to play for the country instead of playing for numbers and personal gains.

  • Ashar Ahmad on January 19, 2008, 12:27 GMT

    i think the reason that in contrast to shoaib malik his indian counterparts have done well in developing their command over a team of super stars is due to the fact that in spite of enjoying more or less the same cultural background as Pakistanis (where elders are given "extra" respect even when they are at fault and are considered almost "untouchables" ,be it your drawing room or a professional environment for that matter)unlike most of the Pakistanis both the indian captains are well educated as well as less religious and are hence well prepared to draw lines between respect that their experienced mate deserve in the dressing room and reminders that they need to be given just as "players" when they are not performing well! Unfortunately for Pakistan Shoaib malik is just like that obedient (a bit religious/a bit shy)guy coming from a rural background,asking whom to give up his values in order to learn the trades and tricks of today's "real & professional world" would be too much!

  • DR SAFDAR HUSSAIN on January 19, 2008, 11:35 GMT

    If you look back and see the decisive role of selectors in two countries,you will understand where Pakistan is lacking and Indians are leading.Indians are brave enough to drop even Sehwag and Irfan when they were not performing on the other hand Pakistan is persisting with tried and always failing players like Sami and Yasir Hamid.They have the worst wicket keeper in the game but they keep on selecting him.Sami has the worst bowling average and most dubious record in bowling yet he is selected again and again.I am sure the day is not very far when he will have a unique record of one wicket at the cost of 100 runs.Please bring him back we deserve this dubious record and he he will oblige us soon.Well done selectors,keep it up.

  • sabbir mahmood on January 19, 2008, 11:34 GMT

    You cannot compare between India and Pakistan.Pakistan have been performing poorly since 2003 world cup because of Injamam Ul Huq and now after the 2007 world cup they are doing same mistake under the captainship of Shoaib Malik.First of all Shoaib Malik is out of form and he cannot make his position in test squad.Secondly he does not have enough respect in dressing room because of his form.But the most important thing is that he does not what his strenth and weakness.Pakistan should play on sporting wicket while playing on flat wicket Pakistani batsmen could not perform against Ireland even.They must take it seriously and produce sporting wicket.If last time Pakistan played agaist South Africa on bouncy tracts they would have lost but diffrent way.Their bawlers would have taken more wickets continiously of RSA's batsmen this might have given Pakistani batsmen more chances to win matches.Finally I would like to say If Shoaib Malik remains Captain Pakistan cannot win agaist Australia.

  • shamoni8 on January 19, 2008, 11:32 GMT

    it's a tragedy what has become of pakistan's bowling attack. altho former glory days are well past them, even if they are able to sink their teeth into the zimbabwe side, they should consider it a step in the right direction...

    shoaib malik looks out of sorts at almost all times & if that doesnt stop before long, he might b out of captaincy & the team.

  • Owais on January 19, 2008, 9:19 GMT

    Shoaib Malik has proven over and over again that he is a pathetic leader and can't even play like he did before he was elevated to this role. But our board comprises of strange people who think and decide with some fuzzy logic. They (along with the captain himself) would not drop Kamran Akmal them no matter how bad his performance. They would have people like Sarfraz Ahmad, Fawad Alam and couple of others in the squad but not given more than one one-day in series of 3 test and 5 ODI's when others are terribly failing. What is the use of having a squad of 15 when you are too afraid to replace your buddies with some promissing young talent. They are only doing it now (i hope they ARE doing it this time around), but I believe its too late. Only this series and then taking on Aussies ???? PCB comprises of incompetent people, selection committee has been making strange selectoins, Captain is perhaps not worth having on the team and player fitness is one of the worst in the world.

  • Tahir Khan on January 19, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    Certainly Indian team seems to be moving in the right drirection after the 20 20 and it is just because of the captins, they are leading by example by performing wel, where as Malik is not a certain starter as a player and as a result he is not going to enjoy the respect of his fellow players and as a result he is not going to make the right calls,I must admit Malik played some great innings under Inzi, particularly 150 plus against Sri Lanka which saved the match for Pakistan and won the series, but has been ages he performed like that, if u remember his second innings at Delhi test, u never see a leader play like that, he was trying to aggressive but with out any confidence, I ve never seen a captain play like that at the international level. I think board should make sure he deserves his place as players first and proves every one that he is good performer then appointment him as a skipper, I dont hink he will get the results without that. Prove yourself before u get the job.

  • poor old bowler on January 19, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    if i were pakistan i would pick alot of 17,18 and 19 year olds you might uncover another wasim akram,abdul qadir or javed miandad. i would use the tour to uncover new talent.

    thiers another 4 years to the next world cup nows the time to experiment with youth.

    australia have a older team than most and i would start experimenting with youth if i were a selector getting ready for the next world cup.australia used to have a australia-a team in the one day series this kept constant youth and next best players ready to play at international standard.australia should bring australia-a back.

    i think pakistan would be better off cancelling the tour vs zimbabwe and having pakistan vs pakistan-a thier would be better competetion for pakistani players and might uncover some talent for the next world cup.

  • Omer Admani on January 18, 2008, 23:52 GMT

    Malik might become the most successful captain in Pakistan's history? I think he should be replaced immedieately, he seems like anything but a captain. Unless a magician says Abra Cadabra (or whatever that is) there isn't much chance that Malik can change so remarkably. We might yet again witness a poor captain having a team which produces sporadic brilliance untill the world cup and thereafter he is axed. He is also promoting rift in the team. Osman Samiuddin posted an article after the India-Pakistan series in which he mentioned the possibility that Umar Gul was sent packing because of his closeness to Younis Khan. Meanwhile, the fact remains that Malik doesn't deserve to be in the teat team by a long shot. His only strength is batting against spin and thus we might see the same strategy of producing slow and low tracks in Pakistan. That is not just his limitation, but the only way he can survive in the team and mantain his average in the 30s.

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  • Omer Admani on January 18, 2008, 23:52 GMT

    Malik might become the most successful captain in Pakistan's history? I think he should be replaced immedieately, he seems like anything but a captain. Unless a magician says Abra Cadabra (or whatever that is) there isn't much chance that Malik can change so remarkably. We might yet again witness a poor captain having a team which produces sporadic brilliance untill the world cup and thereafter he is axed. He is also promoting rift in the team. Osman Samiuddin posted an article after the India-Pakistan series in which he mentioned the possibility that Umar Gul was sent packing because of his closeness to Younis Khan. Meanwhile, the fact remains that Malik doesn't deserve to be in the teat team by a long shot. His only strength is batting against spin and thus we might see the same strategy of producing slow and low tracks in Pakistan. That is not just his limitation, but the only way he can survive in the team and mantain his average in the 30s.

  • poor old bowler on January 19, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    if i were pakistan i would pick alot of 17,18 and 19 year olds you might uncover another wasim akram,abdul qadir or javed miandad. i would use the tour to uncover new talent.

    thiers another 4 years to the next world cup nows the time to experiment with youth.

    australia have a older team than most and i would start experimenting with youth if i were a selector getting ready for the next world cup.australia used to have a australia-a team in the one day series this kept constant youth and next best players ready to play at international standard.australia should bring australia-a back.

    i think pakistan would be better off cancelling the tour vs zimbabwe and having pakistan vs pakistan-a thier would be better competetion for pakistani players and might uncover some talent for the next world cup.

  • Tahir Khan on January 19, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    Certainly Indian team seems to be moving in the right drirection after the 20 20 and it is just because of the captins, they are leading by example by performing wel, where as Malik is not a certain starter as a player and as a result he is not going to enjoy the respect of his fellow players and as a result he is not going to make the right calls,I must admit Malik played some great innings under Inzi, particularly 150 plus against Sri Lanka which saved the match for Pakistan and won the series, but has been ages he performed like that, if u remember his second innings at Delhi test, u never see a leader play like that, he was trying to aggressive but with out any confidence, I ve never seen a captain play like that at the international level. I think board should make sure he deserves his place as players first and proves every one that he is good performer then appointment him as a skipper, I dont hink he will get the results without that. Prove yourself before u get the job.

  • Owais on January 19, 2008, 9:19 GMT

    Shoaib Malik has proven over and over again that he is a pathetic leader and can't even play like he did before he was elevated to this role. But our board comprises of strange people who think and decide with some fuzzy logic. They (along with the captain himself) would not drop Kamran Akmal them no matter how bad his performance. They would have people like Sarfraz Ahmad, Fawad Alam and couple of others in the squad but not given more than one one-day in series of 3 test and 5 ODI's when others are terribly failing. What is the use of having a squad of 15 when you are too afraid to replace your buddies with some promissing young talent. They are only doing it now (i hope they ARE doing it this time around), but I believe its too late. Only this series and then taking on Aussies ???? PCB comprises of incompetent people, selection committee has been making strange selectoins, Captain is perhaps not worth having on the team and player fitness is one of the worst in the world.

  • shamoni8 on January 19, 2008, 11:32 GMT

    it's a tragedy what has become of pakistan's bowling attack. altho former glory days are well past them, even if they are able to sink their teeth into the zimbabwe side, they should consider it a step in the right direction...

    shoaib malik looks out of sorts at almost all times & if that doesnt stop before long, he might b out of captaincy & the team.

  • sabbir mahmood on January 19, 2008, 11:34 GMT

    You cannot compare between India and Pakistan.Pakistan have been performing poorly since 2003 world cup because of Injamam Ul Huq and now after the 2007 world cup they are doing same mistake under the captainship of Shoaib Malik.First of all Shoaib Malik is out of form and he cannot make his position in test squad.Secondly he does not have enough respect in dressing room because of his form.But the most important thing is that he does not what his strenth and weakness.Pakistan should play on sporting wicket while playing on flat wicket Pakistani batsmen could not perform against Ireland even.They must take it seriously and produce sporting wicket.If last time Pakistan played agaist South Africa on bouncy tracts they would have lost but diffrent way.Their bawlers would have taken more wickets continiously of RSA's batsmen this might have given Pakistani batsmen more chances to win matches.Finally I would like to say If Shoaib Malik remains Captain Pakistan cannot win agaist Australia.

  • DR SAFDAR HUSSAIN on January 19, 2008, 11:35 GMT

    If you look back and see the decisive role of selectors in two countries,you will understand where Pakistan is lacking and Indians are leading.Indians are brave enough to drop even Sehwag and Irfan when they were not performing on the other hand Pakistan is persisting with tried and always failing players like Sami and Yasir Hamid.They have the worst wicket keeper in the game but they keep on selecting him.Sami has the worst bowling average and most dubious record in bowling yet he is selected again and again.I am sure the day is not very far when he will have a unique record of one wicket at the cost of 100 runs.Please bring him back we deserve this dubious record and he he will oblige us soon.Well done selectors,keep it up.

  • Ashar Ahmad on January 19, 2008, 12:27 GMT

    i think the reason that in contrast to shoaib malik his indian counterparts have done well in developing their command over a team of super stars is due to the fact that in spite of enjoying more or less the same cultural background as Pakistanis (where elders are given "extra" respect even when they are at fault and are considered almost "untouchables" ,be it your drawing room or a professional environment for that matter)unlike most of the Pakistanis both the indian captains are well educated as well as less religious and are hence well prepared to draw lines between respect that their experienced mate deserve in the dressing room and reminders that they need to be given just as "players" when they are not performing well! Unfortunately for Pakistan Shoaib malik is just like that obedient (a bit religious/a bit shy)guy coming from a rural background,asking whom to give up his values in order to learn the trades and tricks of today's "real & professional world" would be too much!

  • Ahmad on January 19, 2008, 12:39 GMT

    Nice and Pessimistic, but that’s how Pakistan feels just now. I don’t personally like Malik's captaincy but I don’t think a series defeat or even two should mean we start saying they are worth nothing. I think Malik has to do the job, aggressively, Pakistan team is nothing sans its aggression, you leave that out and we start looking ordinary. I also the Pakistan camp starts evaluating performances on their 'value' and not just numbers. In the past year, we've seen M. Yousuf spoil games for Pakistan regularly just so he could get to his personal landmarks, Yasir Hameed does the same at the team's cost and I just hate it when the commentators fail to point that out while talking about the big scores they get, its not about individual scores, a 25 that makes you win is better than a 75 that means your team cant recover from the loss of too many balls being used up, those two need to play for the country instead of playing for numbers and personal gains.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on January 19, 2008, 13:04 GMT

    Players like Yasir Arafat, and Rao Iftikhar Anjum, are real talents, specially Iftikhar Anjum. He has a lithe, beautiful bowling action. Bowlers like Iftikhar Anjum bowl well, because of their unfettered bowling action, which comes to them naturally. I hear the new talented young wicket keeper is also a good find. Pakistan has a lot to look forward to from her cricketers. Kaneria, is also a star, by dint of his hard work. What Pakistan needs is a good pace bowling allrounder. Malik is a good stable captain, but I suspect, he is contemplating the enormity of the expectations on his shoulders, and his is not an easy job.