Age of Khan May 4, 2009

A defeat but a respectable one

Pakistan fans should not be too despondent at their team's defeat to Australia
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Pakistan fans should not be too despondent at their team's defeat to Australia. Playing any international sport occasionally puts you at a disadvantage and that's before we consider the issue of neutral venues.

Most importantly, Pakistan managed to play out a scheduled series without disruption, and a blueprint has been established for the survival of Pakistan cricket until the domestic environment improves.

Had it not been for their traditional batting frailty, Pakistan would have easily won this series against a weakened Australian team. But batting skills probably suffer most from any absence from the international circuit.

As Pakistan showed in two of the matches, it is possible to gloss over frailties and lack of match practice in the shorter forms of cricket. When Pakistan return to Test cricket we will then know the true extent of their plight.

Nonetheless, it is important to take positives from this series. In particular, the spin combination of Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal helped Pakistan remain competitive throughout.

Afridi, now certainly a senior statesman, extracted more turn than he usually has. We will need more evidence before we can decide if it was the environment or Abdul Qadir's influence. Ajmal impressed too, and if he can avoid a damning verdict from ICC's technical committee he will be an important addition to Pakistan's squad.

On the batting front, there was little of genuine cheer other than the final match-winning partnership between Kamran Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq, which helped Pakistan succeed from a position that usually sees them fail.

For many fans, Akmal's presence in the team defies the logic of his performances but he occasionally produces an innings of this nature that makes you wonder how valuable he could be if he could master both his trades at once.

Misbah, too, has flattered to deceive in his own way, often taking Pakistan to the brink of victory but succumbing to stupidity on the threshold of an individual triumph. Here both men held their nerve to finish the series with a respectable result for Pakistan.

The future, provided that it includes regular international cricket and the return of Pakistan's ICL cricketers, can be viewed with a degree of confidence by Pakistan. Indeed, Younis Khan's team should be able to develop into a potent force in limited overs cricket. It is in the Test arena that their lack of opportunities will hurt them.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MOHAMMED ASLAM on June 12, 2009, 9:18 GMT

    In today's match if Razzaq Is available he should open with Kamran Akmal Salman Butt has to be dropped because he as not shown well in preious fixtures.In case Razzaq is unable to play today than Shoib malik should be given chance to open the inning.n bowling Umer Ul should open the bowling with Sohail Tanvir both of them should share 8 over other 12 over can be divided between Razzak jmal Afridi and malik. I hope it will prove better for Pakistan.

  • Ali Ahmed Khan on June 9, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    I think Younis Khan is not eligible 4 Captenancy.. He has'nt leader Ship Qualities..he only knows how to smile whenever we loss..(we never win,,so leave this win case)..Dispute between Shoaib Akhtar And Sohail Tanveer is going wd Captain and also wd Board..England Pitch is suitable 4 Shoaib Akhtar's. Board should played Abdul Razzak and Imran Nazir...they r in good performance..Younis Khan should be eliminated from 20-20..selection committe is committe of selecting only lazy(kaam-chor),,and approacable(sifaarshi) cricketerss.. Thanx......

  • aqeel bhat (kashmir) on May 6, 2009, 12:16 GMT

    I want ensure pakistan team that there is no better place for shahid afridi accept open the innings with yasir hamid or kamran akmal pakistan should must have to do this

  • Mehdi Singapore on May 5, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    Not a bad series, taking into consideration no practice or international matches.I would still say Mr Younis is the right guy.Give him a bit of time and he will develop to become a good captain.Dont think we have anyone in the team who has this temperament.The most important thing is that they should gel as a team and respect and understand each other and respect Mr Younis as a captain,wait and see success will come.20/20 is coming and WE WANT THE CUP this time BOYS!!

  • Irfan Mayani on May 5, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    I think Younis Khan needs to define his role ni the batting order . I dont think he should be batting at 3. Shouuld Swap with Malik. And probably move to no.5. Pakistan should also look at the possibility of having Akmal as a regular opener, it will give them an option to play an extra middle order batman / allrounder or bowler depending on the conditions. I was just waiting to at least this. They could have used akmal at the top, and could have included fawad alam by dropping eigher ehshzad or butt. This would have given them another spinning option. Althought afridi has performed well , but i stil think his role is not defined properly. If he still considers himself as a bowling allrounder, then may be pakistan can not afford to have only 5 batsman in the team , as playing a bowling alrounder at no.6 in a lineup where the top five have two new/ out of form openers, and another allrounder ( Malik) , does not make sense. So they should move akmal to the top and play someone else at 6.

  • Irfan-Dubai on May 5, 2009, 13:15 GMT

    Pakistan players have got history of losing games from winning positions, worrying point is, it has started to happen very often, captains like younus khan and malik can never inspire the team if they dodn't perform and lead from front. Younus has lost confidence in captaining the side as firstly he cann't use his brain while batting according to the situation demand and secondly, he cann't motivate the side with his negetive attitude and approach, as what i noticed in most of his comments, that they were playing to learn from aussies, some one from PCB should question his ability that what he has learnt from his years long experience playing different top inter. teams and what they just learnt from srilanka in the last ODI where all team got out at just 75. it seemed that younus was too impressed with the aussies abilities and style of play, which is a bad example to chellenge any of the opposition.

    Younus says, they are learning but sorry they will never.

  • Md. Mohibul Hasan on May 5, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    Congratulations on winning the last ODI which will bring some confidence in T20 world cup.But Pakistan team should improve in opening position & fielding side.If Razzak,Nazir and Yousuf are included in PAK team then their confidence level will be incresed more.And PAK team will be a roll model for another country.

  • Shuvro (Dhaka) on May 5, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    Sorry that I can’t agree. Had this 2nd string Aus team not been playing after coming from SA without acclimatized, they would have won 5-0 (The condition took so much that, they lost the sting once the series was over). Nothing to do with wilderness from cricket for this stupid batting/running. My common bet with friends is that, anything over 200, Pak batters will win slogging within 40 over or loose. Be a 20-20 dash or 4th innings, if you are to chase, you have to use your head. Calculative sides as AUS or SA can defend against PAK at any time. Starting from WC96 QF, I can point several cases where brainless batting ended up loosing from a comfortable position. See, chasing 198, Aussies won from 3/2, Pakis lost from 95/0. It’s attitude, the Aussies have self-respect, commitment & discipline (We term it as professionalism, don’t this Pak batsmen are paid to do their job). Being bamboozled by spin, Watson looked inept, but hanged there until end to dominate. Pak batsmen throws it away.

  • DaddyMac on May 5, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    Afridi does not merit a place in the team as a batsman. Kaneria on the other hand is a specialist spinner and if you look at the next 5 games Afridis scores would read like this...2, 5, 20, 40, 0. or 80, 1, 3, 5 17. To be frank and honest. I would rather have a specialist spinner in the team and leave the scoring to specialist batsmen. There is no room in the team for Afridi...u just heard it from his mouth...i hit 4's and 6's because of the crowd. Which serious team player in world cricket and for that matter world sport has that attitude. The same goes for Shoaib Aktar...shorten ur runup u n00b and use ur paycheck from last years IPL to sign up for jenny craig wait loss.

    Cheers guys From the DANISH KANERIA ODI SUPPORT GROUP. Our motto is YES WE CAN DANISH YES WE CAN. We all know Danish is not in the team because of something he believes in... :P

  • Imr on May 5, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    I wonder why nobody likes to give Shoaib Akhtar a little bit time. He is entering the international cricket after a long time. I think it will little bit time for him to settle down. But still he bowled some really good spells on these dead pitches specially the last two overs of the last match.

  • MOHAMMED ASLAM on June 12, 2009, 9:18 GMT

    In today's match if Razzaq Is available he should open with Kamran Akmal Salman Butt has to be dropped because he as not shown well in preious fixtures.In case Razzaq is unable to play today than Shoib malik should be given chance to open the inning.n bowling Umer Ul should open the bowling with Sohail Tanvir both of them should share 8 over other 12 over can be divided between Razzak jmal Afridi and malik. I hope it will prove better for Pakistan.

  • Ali Ahmed Khan on June 9, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    I think Younis Khan is not eligible 4 Captenancy.. He has'nt leader Ship Qualities..he only knows how to smile whenever we loss..(we never win,,so leave this win case)..Dispute between Shoaib Akhtar And Sohail Tanveer is going wd Captain and also wd Board..England Pitch is suitable 4 Shoaib Akhtar's. Board should played Abdul Razzak and Imran Nazir...they r in good performance..Younis Khan should be eliminated from 20-20..selection committe is committe of selecting only lazy(kaam-chor),,and approacable(sifaarshi) cricketerss.. Thanx......

  • aqeel bhat (kashmir) on May 6, 2009, 12:16 GMT

    I want ensure pakistan team that there is no better place for shahid afridi accept open the innings with yasir hamid or kamran akmal pakistan should must have to do this

  • Mehdi Singapore on May 5, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    Not a bad series, taking into consideration no practice or international matches.I would still say Mr Younis is the right guy.Give him a bit of time and he will develop to become a good captain.Dont think we have anyone in the team who has this temperament.The most important thing is that they should gel as a team and respect and understand each other and respect Mr Younis as a captain,wait and see success will come.20/20 is coming and WE WANT THE CUP this time BOYS!!

  • Irfan Mayani on May 5, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    I think Younis Khan needs to define his role ni the batting order . I dont think he should be batting at 3. Shouuld Swap with Malik. And probably move to no.5. Pakistan should also look at the possibility of having Akmal as a regular opener, it will give them an option to play an extra middle order batman / allrounder or bowler depending on the conditions. I was just waiting to at least this. They could have used akmal at the top, and could have included fawad alam by dropping eigher ehshzad or butt. This would have given them another spinning option. Althought afridi has performed well , but i stil think his role is not defined properly. If he still considers himself as a bowling allrounder, then may be pakistan can not afford to have only 5 batsman in the team , as playing a bowling alrounder at no.6 in a lineup where the top five have two new/ out of form openers, and another allrounder ( Malik) , does not make sense. So they should move akmal to the top and play someone else at 6.

  • Irfan-Dubai on May 5, 2009, 13:15 GMT

    Pakistan players have got history of losing games from winning positions, worrying point is, it has started to happen very often, captains like younus khan and malik can never inspire the team if they dodn't perform and lead from front. Younus has lost confidence in captaining the side as firstly he cann't use his brain while batting according to the situation demand and secondly, he cann't motivate the side with his negetive attitude and approach, as what i noticed in most of his comments, that they were playing to learn from aussies, some one from PCB should question his ability that what he has learnt from his years long experience playing different top inter. teams and what they just learnt from srilanka in the last ODI where all team got out at just 75. it seemed that younus was too impressed with the aussies abilities and style of play, which is a bad example to chellenge any of the opposition.

    Younus says, they are learning but sorry they will never.

  • Md. Mohibul Hasan on May 5, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    Congratulations on winning the last ODI which will bring some confidence in T20 world cup.But Pakistan team should improve in opening position & fielding side.If Razzak,Nazir and Yousuf are included in PAK team then their confidence level will be incresed more.And PAK team will be a roll model for another country.

  • Shuvro (Dhaka) on May 5, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    Sorry that I can’t agree. Had this 2nd string Aus team not been playing after coming from SA without acclimatized, they would have won 5-0 (The condition took so much that, they lost the sting once the series was over). Nothing to do with wilderness from cricket for this stupid batting/running. My common bet with friends is that, anything over 200, Pak batters will win slogging within 40 over or loose. Be a 20-20 dash or 4th innings, if you are to chase, you have to use your head. Calculative sides as AUS or SA can defend against PAK at any time. Starting from WC96 QF, I can point several cases where brainless batting ended up loosing from a comfortable position. See, chasing 198, Aussies won from 3/2, Pakis lost from 95/0. It’s attitude, the Aussies have self-respect, commitment & discipline (We term it as professionalism, don’t this Pak batsmen are paid to do their job). Being bamboozled by spin, Watson looked inept, but hanged there until end to dominate. Pak batsmen throws it away.

  • DaddyMac on May 5, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    Afridi does not merit a place in the team as a batsman. Kaneria on the other hand is a specialist spinner and if you look at the next 5 games Afridis scores would read like this...2, 5, 20, 40, 0. or 80, 1, 3, 5 17. To be frank and honest. I would rather have a specialist spinner in the team and leave the scoring to specialist batsmen. There is no room in the team for Afridi...u just heard it from his mouth...i hit 4's and 6's because of the crowd. Which serious team player in world cricket and for that matter world sport has that attitude. The same goes for Shoaib Aktar...shorten ur runup u n00b and use ur paycheck from last years IPL to sign up for jenny craig wait loss.

    Cheers guys From the DANISH KANERIA ODI SUPPORT GROUP. Our motto is YES WE CAN DANISH YES WE CAN. We all know Danish is not in the team because of something he believes in... :P

  • Imr on May 5, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    I wonder why nobody likes to give Shoaib Akhtar a little bit time. He is entering the international cricket after a long time. I think it will little bit time for him to settle down. But still he bowled some really good spells on these dead pitches specially the last two overs of the last match.

  • omair on May 5, 2009, 8:34 GMT

    i think pakistan's attitude in the last match sets up a good game. the only thing that worried me was the aggressive captain.yonus khan doesnt expect much every time he speaks.but thats not motivation for anyone,playing or following.younus khan's fields were more or less defensive when compared to australia.where there was a chance to improve he let it lose.if he had understood to not give room to bowlers for mistakes he would have had a better results from the fast bowlers.the positive thing from the last match is that the attitude towards bating after losing early wickets left me high by hopes for 20-20.aussies teach you a lot about attitude,commitment to win,younus; please learn to restrict your bowlers for errors than setting a field that waits for their error.shehzad turned out to be a good batsman,but he still needs to work on his front foot.pak remains a week side w/o a potential pace attack,aggressive field,strong middle order and a win-win attitude.hope PCB includes ICL PLYRS

  • Amer Malik on May 5, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    I didn't see any of the games here in the UK, but from hearsay and some of the comments, it just implies were that they were their usual unpredicatable selves, I did see Ajmals action, I'm no expert but I didn't see anything innocious , expect the aussies to always bring something up when they have no rational explanation of the unknown.

    Also bringing back the ICL players will not be that helpful for Pakistan cricket apart fom from Mohammed Yousaf the others named Imran Nazir and Razzaq ( with his bowling) in the latter years were quite ordinary and not really worthy of a place in the setup, but with the lack of Pakistan's cricket structure and stupidy of the PCB,we have to then repeatedly keep on going back to these names. Afridi is an enigma and always will be, bats and bowls well only when his place is in jeopardy. There is too much one can say about the state of Pakistan cricket unfortunately not enough space and time>

  • RameshS on May 5, 2009, 8:08 GMT

    Winning the dead rubber was small consolation for the Pakistanis. From whatever glimpses I caught of this series, one thing was very evident. The flair one tends to associate with a Pakistani team was missing. We had the openers and the middle order plodding along at the pace of a cart being pulled by an old horse. Afridi was very good with the ball. But has he forgotten that he could bat also?? There were several 'Boom Boom' banners in the stadiums...but where is Boom Boom Afridi?? Ajmal is quite ordinary. It is evident that he chucks his doosra. Think of Shoib Akhtar and memories of him tearing down the run-up to deliver his thunderbolts come to mind. For this Shoib, running in is quite an effort, forget about delivering his thunderbolts. Pakistan have lost lot of ground in the last year. A lot of hard work needs to be put in for them to be a world force again. Good luck.

  • Saad on May 5, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    This was the worst Aussie team i have seen in years. Pakistan could have done much better had they showed determination and used their brains against the spin instead of hitting rash shots. Spin and fast bowling require different techniques for run scoring and a good batsman changes his strategy for each of the kind of bowling especially when spin was getting increasingly tough to play in the series. Pakistanis should have won the series 5-0. They have not done justice to their abilities and Pakistan. Having said that its good that they showed some determination in winning the two matches they won. Pakistani team needs to be more focused on the goal and should be mentally and physically strong. Should take gatorade or something that keeps players going in tough conditions as well. All these things matter. All the best for the Pakistani team!

  • Muzammil on May 5, 2009, 6:34 GMT

    I don't understand why were they so in awe of this very weak Aussie team. Pakistan was a force to reckon with in the past not just because of the greats that were in the team but also because of the reason that they were naturally aggressive at their game. Aggressive game is what is natural to Pakistan and they would do well to follow their natural instincts. They were irritatingly and frustratingly negative in their batting. Specially the openers who I felt as if had forgotten that they were playing a one day game and not test match. They never gave good start and even when they stayed on the wicket consumed so many deliveries to score their runs. I don't feel Shehzad is good at the moment. Salman Butt always need a good batsman at the other end to help him make impact. Not the kind of guy who can win u matches. For the sake of betterment of our cricket, we need guyz like Imran Nazir, Yousuf, Razzaq and Rana back. DEAN JONES said that Pakistan need them back badly. PCB do some good!

  • Amir Naqvi (Sydney Australia) on May 5, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    3-2 defeat looks respectable on paper but the nature of cricket played in the 5 ODIs against a weaker but in form aussie side was pathetic.With true fairness to Pakistan, lack of compettitive cricket in last two years, stress of the situation in the country barring them to host other countries,the ICL trauma and on top the weak administration of PCB,I would say,still not a poor performance.Younus need time to prove and I guess it's imperative for him to show maturity instead of talking to media where he is hopeless. He needs to focus on cricket only to survive as captain.No fairness to him to compare with Imran since he himself is no way near him and the side he has,have got no W's, Maliks/Inzi and Javed.The definite requirement is to fill in the gap in the middle order in the shape of Yousuf.It is a pre-requisite to bring Pak back on top.Foreign cricket legends and the world questions PCB about him as the only world class batsman,waisted? Imran Nazir, Razzaq and Yosuf must play T20.

  • farhan on May 5, 2009, 4:05 GMT

    1st of all i m also a huge fan of imran nazir but lets be realistic.he hs had more thn his fair share of chances nd 2ndly his runs hve been scored in icl against has beens or never will be bowlers.hell evn rana scored so freely nd dont tell me tht he is an all rounder cause he had inzi as captain whn he plyed for pak nd inzi is no fool whtevr the general opinion be. as far as pak winnin is concerened. well we only won last match cause those 2 plyers agressivly.i hate to say it but we should learn frm india nd dhoni.u need to be agressive nd all the bullshit abt fixed battin places in odi r t.20 is just b shit.if u r a good plyer thn u should perform at evry position thts wht dhoni hs done for india

  • PCB on May 5, 2009, 3:24 GMT

    The come back was very strong by Pakistan and would have sent a strong message all over, which says "dont push us to the wall, because only then will we react strongly".

    As usual Akmal has been unpredictable and is in the team due to his spontaneous match winning knocks every now and then(only few could forget the last over against the WI) and now he to be promoted back up top(3) as he is capable of playing the new ball and can score briskly after the sleep inducing(yet respectable)opening by Butt.

    Misbah played superbly and is very important for the future of pakistan cricket, just needs to realize how strong of a player he is and use it to play down the ground and not invent any new "Misbah's Exclusive Shots"

    Lastly, very happy to see Ajmal and Afridi middle overs partenship with the ball and a positive change in Afridi's batting attitude.

    Yes we lost but have gathered a few positives for the long run, now if Pakistan can win the 2020 that would help them assert themselves better

  • Hussain Khan on May 5, 2009, 3:22 GMT

    How can any defeat be respectable...especially this one. It was a pathetic display of cricket by Pakistan. Poor captaincy, poor batting, bowling, and generally no certainty as to where some players are supposed to play. Pakistan cricket is a spent force in cricket and unless there is dramatic improvement in the management of the game and its players is problem will bug you forever.

  • Dr Dona on May 5, 2009, 2:32 GMT

    "Posted by: Martin Hook at May 4, 2009 2:10 PM

    As such Pakistanis should worry about Taliban and not Australians; but in keeping in mind they lost the series to a very weak Australian side and only won a game when the rubber was lost they should be very very worried."

    Martin Hook: what you mean by weaker Aussie team? do you think a team with used heaters like Ponting and most overrated Hussey will be better than a team with a inform Watson and match winner Symond? I am sure you are an old guy living in dreams of the past, who didn’t watch Ponting and Hussey playing from last two years. I think you should watch current cricket too. BTW Pak team performance was so poor same like Aussies’ current best team. The third match AUS won just by luck... performance wise they didn’t deserve to win the series. I am sure if Ponting and Hussey were in the team Pakistan could have won the series very easily. Only India and SA are current best teams, other all teams are just avg teams.

  • REDNECK on May 5, 2009, 2:24 GMT

    well done to a pakistan side just re finding its feet! aus were undermaned to some extent but they have plenty of depth in the fast bowling and bating where they needed to fill the void. loosing 3-2 is certainly not all positive but pakistan needed to win one or 2 games which they did to keep the spirits up with in the nomadic team! look forward to seeing them play in aus this comming summer and to see if afridi can replicate his form in australian conditions

  • Imran on May 5, 2009, 1:44 GMT

    Every One here, who posted the comments, is Cricker here. Why these guys are not in pakistan team? Every One Knows about Younis Khan that he is not good captain. Every One knows that shoaib is finished. Every one knows that who has to play at what position. But no one know how to back own team. We are really good in critisizm we are awesome in this thinge. I am really feeling sorry for those guys who are playing for pakistan that our people think about them. If You guys Knows A-Z of cricket than why you guys are not in cricket team? if not in pakistan cricket team go ahead make one for yourself. Learn some respect for Team Please

  • Moody on May 4, 2009, 23:02 GMT

    Pakistani team is mentally weaker than any other team. Look at their body language when match enters the challenging phase...Other teams make good use of that weakness

  • BN on May 4, 2009, 22:25 GMT

    No defeat in this mortal world is respectful...

  • Hp on May 4, 2009, 22:11 GMT

    First of all, kudos to pakistan for playing in these series confidently even though they lost. it's not easy to play with such a morale when someone's nation is war-torn. i think younus will make great caption. he just needs time to believe in himself and his resurgent team-mates. i think overall pak has performed exceptionally under younus. great to see afridi contributing in all areas.

  • Imran on May 4, 2009, 21:55 GMT

    I agree. It is a respectable defeat thinking that it could easily be 4-1. I also agree with I.Alam that Aussies never out played us in full. C'mon ppl give pak cricket some time to get use to international cricket. I believe it is very easy to criticise anything but international cricket is a total different thing than 'Gali Mohalla' cricket. I think all pak players did well but seriously miss M.Yusuf and Abdul Razzaq. If we had AR for yasir arafat and M.yousuf for.....Malik? May be or the open with S.Butt and K.Akmal and play both Malik and Yousuf. MY dream team would be..Salman Butt,Kamran Akmal,Shoaib Malik,Yousuf,Misbah,Younis,Afridi,Abdul Razzaq, Akhtar,gul and Saeed Ajmal...or malik could open too.....

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on May 4, 2009, 21:32 GMT

    Assalamulaikum Kamran Vhai, I am from Bangladesh and true fan of very much crazy about cricket especially have been loving my Muslim brothers Pakistani cricketers for many years. However, the present situation of Pakistan cricket is extremely miserable, horrible and anxious. I still don't understand are there any special elements exist on Paki-Cricketers like--True Patriotism, Strict Disciplined appearance, Strong deep patience approach ,honesty in reality, respect with loving honor to each other except conspiracy, jealousy and underestimation pride showing the against team which has been recently performed by this One day international against Professional Aussie, Yes the Australians are always professionalism characterized person. But, Pakistan still could not achieve the professionalism attitude in international cricket arena which must be very essentially required to the Pakistan cricket management board and all the players.May the Almighty Allah help the Pakistan cricket Team.

  • Sak on May 4, 2009, 21:04 GMT

    Our unpredictable batting once again let us down. How many years has it been now since we have had successfull opening pair. If memory serves me right not since Anwar and Sohail. There is not much talent coming through the domestic ranks. Lets be honest and if we look deep down i think we will realise that the future of pakistan cricket is bleak to say the least :(

  • Mesh on May 4, 2009, 20:17 GMT

    I must say am amazed at Kamran Akmal's luck, just when the time is about to drop him he out of nowhere performs so good that the selectors forgive rather forget his past sins.

    I fail to fathom why on earth our selectors don't give a chance to new wicketkeepers nor keep a back-up wicketkeeper in the squad at least?

    Sadly, what I envision is Akmal our wicketkeeper for the next 5 years, at least!

  • amjad Ali on May 4, 2009, 19:44 GMT

    i strongly agree to the fact that the only reason pakistan lost this series was becuase of LACK OF INTERNATIONAL cricket this year otherwise,as a cricketer, i felt it in every match that pakistanies were never ever dominated by the australian in the whole series. and i can tell you all those asking for younas khan to leave no.3 spot to kamran that you cannot get better batsman than younas khan.its just one series that he failed. rest, we were rising back. atleast u can feel their presence in matches now which we lacked during malik captancy. we were mare spectators then.now every one can witness our authority in matches and its coming to this team i can tell you..boys are gelling well.matter of one more series and a few more international matches and we will b bak

    P.S please get rid of shoaib akhtar once and for all please..sombody tell pcb now that its time for him to sit at home. he is not wanted any more

  • Mustafa Kamal on May 4, 2009, 19:31 GMT

    Don't worry! this same Team Pakistan will win T20 world cup in England this June Insha-Allah!and a PAK victory in T20 match against Aussies this thursday will be the first sign of that Insha-Allah! So.......Cheers!

  • Indian on May 4, 2009, 19:17 GMT

    1. Keep Younis captain for many years and identify and coach his weaknesses 2. Keep Salman and Ahamed Shehzad (or Afridi) for ODI and Test for many matches and let them perform, increase their consistency, say for another 20-40 matches and reserve Afridi in case needed 3. Bring Shoaib Malik or Akmal at No. 3 NOT Younis, he should bat after No. 3 4. Bring Yosuf and Abdul Razzack immediately (leave your ego/commercial fights) 5. Persist with Shoaib Akthar, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanveer, Yasir Arafat and make them a strong attach (sometimes in test/odi you may need 4 fast bowlers) 6. Persist with Saeed Ajmal, Kaneria, Afridi and Shoaib Malik as list of spinners 7. MOST IMPORTANTLY PCB please follow CONSISTENCY, then expect CONSISTENCY from players 8. Pakistan team is not a 80% winning team now, so don’t confuse everyone 9. Certainly if Consistency maintained, players well treated, Pakistan will occupy No.1 spot, easy to beat SA or AUS now 10. Please target 2011 World Cup

  • Muneeb Iqbal Karim on May 4, 2009, 19:17 GMT

    Well written Kamran. I think all you so-called fans here fail to forget the sick feeling you got in your stomach right after the Lahore attacks. Did you even IMAGINE we would be playing again just under two months later? I THINK NOT! Be thankful for godssake.

  • jekuter on May 4, 2009, 19:11 GMT

    The positives i see from this series are that pakistan managed to avoid a 4-1 loss. Australia are not better than South Africa or India at the moment. Presently, i would rate Australia 3rd in Odi's. So its not a bad result at all. Plus the bowling of Afridi was a treat to watch. Shoaib,as expected was a failure and the batting line lived up to its fragile reputation. Infact, the team lived up to its reputation of being unpredictable. The only sad side, Kamran Akmal struck a century and now will play 50 more Odi's which he really doesnt deserve at all....

  • sumaiya on May 4, 2009, 18:59 GMT

    v shud b proud of our gr8 team.ppl plz keep in mind v not only won last odi but also won 1st odi too.win or loss is a part of a game.v shud look at the positive sides and look forward.inshallah with more match practice v will do our best.main concern 4 me rite now is tanvir bowling and younis batting form.

  • Amir on May 4, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    For all those comments about shoaib akhtar being a flop in this series. Look which other pacer dominated a single match let alone the series. These were dry slow turning wickets where the top two bowlers of the series(afridi and hauritz)were both spinners. Its unfair to make him the scapegoat everytime. The batting was rusty and thats why we lost the series, I dont blame my dear pakistan team because they haven't played much whereas, aussies been playing almost non-stop. We have become chronic veiners for a change we should just appreciate the team thru these testing times, Well done pakistan!!

  • Noman on May 4, 2009, 17:58 GMT

    I am gutted that pakistan didnt win this series with the Australian C team. Pakistan desperately need Asif back in and Akhtar out (only one addict at a time) and also Yousuf needs to come back. Paksitan needs to start believeing in itself. if tehy went in with a possitive frame of mind then the outcoem might have been different.

  • ayaat on May 4, 2009, 17:49 GMT

    congrtas to ALL PAKIS on the news thiugh breaking that BRIAN LARA has accepted ISLAM today by the auspices of saeed anwar and junaid jamshed...

  • k on May 4, 2009, 17:38 GMT

    Make Afridi captain and get younis out of team. He is good for only tests. Make akmal vice captain. Get Shoaib akthar back in team and make him bowling in charge and selctor...he has knack for picking up good bowlers.

  • Uzair on May 4, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    Are you kidding ??? We failed miserably. 3-2 loss against an Australian squad that is not utilizing all of its horse power is NOT an accomplishment. Bottom line: Openers - Sucked Fast Bowlers - Sucked Fielding - Mediocre at best Strategy - Sucked. Captaincy - Sucked (Younis was more of a spare tire at best) Selection - Sucked.

    Turning point !! WTF is going on in PCB. seems like its a free fund for pathetic fellas that can't earn a decent living otherwise. !!

  • chella on May 4, 2009, 17:35 GMT

    Neutral venues work both ways you know: neither team could claim a home ground advantage. I actually enjoyed that aspect of this series, even though the tracks on offer were much more subcontinental.

  • Shujaat Ali Khan on May 4, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    Pakistan Needs Razzaq and Imran Nazir for T20 World Cup, Include them and Pakistan will be one of the strongest Fav to win the T20 World Cup

  • Ali Rathore on May 4, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    Kamram you must've truly lost a nut or two this time round. I normally love reading your blogs but this time I don't know whether you were leaning towards misguided hope or just plain psychosis borne out of years of frustration watching our God-forsaken team. I'd love to give you a point-by-point appraisal but I'm afraid that would need at least a thesis worth's of writing and honestly it isn't even worth it...

    Get a hold of yourself man!

    Pakistan is here to stink!

  • Irfan on May 4, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    Kamran,

    Your piece has some semblance of logic to it! There are parts I don't agree with because you have been overly cautious to say anything which represents the sentiment of the your audience. I however, realize that cautious approach is the way to go. When it comes to mental toughness we might be ranked at par with Zimbabwe. We lake it! Part of the coaching is drilling in the heads of these young cricketers what their abilities are and what can be expected of them. Look at Ahmed Shahzad he came through. Although despite good start he couldn't build the innings and that's inexperience. Mental toughness is all about keeping the focus and knowing what needs to be done and charting a course to achieve it on the go. Pakistani's lack that. Is it due to lack to international cricket? May be, but I think this crack runs much deeper than just that. It's our cricket structure, lack of competitive cricket and excedra. Buttt, keep playing Pakistan and better luck next time

  • Naveed on May 4, 2009, 16:41 GMT

    My suggestion is to replace Pak team with Pak A team. I believe they will be in a better position to play against Australia. I was really disappointed with Younis comments that they are learning from Aussies - Somebody please tell him that except for symonds, Clark and Braken everybody was new in their team. What a shame..

  • Karim Zabbar on May 4, 2009, 16:40 GMT

    I think Younis Khan and his team did a pretty decent team. Weakened or not, we all know how difficult Aussies can be. And I think a 2-3 is not one of the worst possible results. Its great to see the pakistanis back in cricket, and i respect the way they played, batting was an issue, but I am sure they will bounce back. Good luck Pakistan,

  • eon whiz on May 4, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    @Malik: "No one can beat Pak if ICL players..." are you serious or was it a joke?

  • Mr Cricket blogs on Legslip on May 4, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    Mr Abbasi: I am sorry to disagree, but there is no respect or honour in this defeat. For most of the series Aussies looked like they could not be bothered. They were tired and their confidence was dented due to recent defeats and a drop in ICC rankings. Plus the way the team management has tried to destroyed the career of Fawad Alam, is a very ugly and questionable act which must be investigated. Pakistani players are unprofessional and unfit. They have potential; a player like Akmal can smash the Australian attack on his day.

    Younis Khan is happy to learn and happy to be second fiddle to other captains and teams. His over reliance on tried and tested "nothing" players (Omer Admani's term) and questionable team selection will hurt Pakistan cricket.

    I appeal to all Pakspin readers to do whatever they can to change the PCB's unprofessional outlook on the game. They need a new captain, new players and a new strategy.

  • Osman Parvaiz on May 4, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    This whole thing smells of a fix. The way Malik got run out and wickets fell one after another during pivotal moments during the 3rd One Day. The way Akhtar, Gul et all collapsed at the end leaving us at stranded ~197. And then we zoom in for the last One Day and crush Austrailia. Seriously??? There's inconsistent and then there's just out right fishy.

  • CRICKETEXPERT on May 4, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    Do the Pakistan openers (Ahmed Shehzad and Salman Butt) speak different language. THEY KEEP GETTING EACH OTHER RUN OUT. PCB SHOULD CHANGE ONE OF THE OPENERS ASAP.

    Also, where was Fawad Alam??????????????? Lastly, I just want to point out that those people who want ABDUL RAZZAQ back should stop dreaming because you need good sharp fielders in one day cricket. He looks half dead walking around the pitch like a zombie. However, PCB should stop being cowardly and lift the ban off ICL in order to let players like Yusuf and Imran Nazir back in who can at least field properly.

  • Mazahir Abbas on May 4, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    its been very long now tht we makin jus the lame excuses, now i guess we stop sayin if he or he is included in the team thn we can be winner, look we have -- Afridi Misbah K Akmal Younun Sohail Tanveer and Shoaib Malik, all can hit the ball very well and on marit, the only thing is to make it happen at regular times, now its job of coach as well as players them selves, cant they make 170+ in T20, i guess they can nearly in every game, and we do have a good bowling attack, so then what are we waiting for, Eid..........

    now its not the time to make these excuses. now to only come up with results, and best results, if now any players cant produce results they can not deserve to be in the team. for players Aggression means aggression, otherwise sit back in home and just watch TV. we lose to Australians it was just not good coaching and thats all. now on wards, Good luck but put 100% Regards to every players and every reader

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on May 4, 2009, 16:11 GMT

    Nice article. Agreed and on some points we need a hard thinking. We are using the talent of Akmal and Afridi a lot. It is a funny mistake of Pakistan Cricket Management. We beleive that tactical misatkes are being repeated by Pakistan Team all the times. Only Great Imran was a true cricketer having a cricketing brain with so much of authority. He was a warrior playing cricket with enthusiasm. Younis a timid captain, time will tell you that whether my assessment is correct or not. A good player can not be a good captain and vis versa.....Pakistan Cricket is heading towards recession and they need to think beyond politicising this. However, now a days cricket is no more a gentleman's game it has become industry and we need professional people to assess the performance of the individual cricket. Shehzad has cricket apptitude and can go a long as he has played well against AUS. This is what if you need to assess the talent give them a chance against big team so that you test his temperamen

  • Sheraz on May 4, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    I think we wouldve won the series 4-1 if we had even an "average" captain. Younis's attitude, batting and strategies were an absolute downer for the entire team.

  • Mohan on May 4, 2009, 15:51 GMT

    Malik Iftikhar Ahmad who says that if ICL players are included he is 200% sure no one can beat Pakistan. Yup I am also 1001% sure because obviously team having included ICL players will not be playing any other ICC (BCCI) affilated team and hence no one would play Pakistan and so logically no one can beat Pakistan :;)ever.

  • Malik Iftikhar Ahmad on May 4, 2009, 15:20 GMT

    I fail to understand why PCB fears the BCCI so much and wont allow ICL players like Imran Nazir, Farhat, Rana and Razzaq to play the T20 world cup, I am 200% sure no one can beat Pakistan if these players are included, there is no place for Salman bhat and Shehzad in the team.

  • Salim on May 4, 2009, 15:14 GMT

    Not really, Kamran. I Disagree with you entirely. Batting is affected by not playing cricket, but our biggest downfall was mental stability and poor shot selection. Throughout this series, Pakistan showed that they are (and always have been) mentally unstable. When your 95-0 and then 171 all out, it says only one thing, either your bad at batting or too overly confident(the same thing happened when pakistan where in the thick of cricket against South Africa). Im betting the second reason. Youre telling me that a lack of match practice can compel a batsman to try and hit a six when he can just as easily defend? Pakistanis= Poor cricketers who wont try hard unless they face total humiliation (like a 4-1 defeat) The bottom line: A 3-2 victory, or even a 4-1 one was laid out to us on a platter when Australia dropped there two best batsman and current best bowler.

  • Sathya on May 4, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    Excellent Review although i won't agree putting down Misbah as a failure at treshold.He is one good player with a never let go attitude and excellent fortitude.Infact he is the one who took Pakistan close to victories in the recent times.He is my favourite in Pakistan team.

    Cheers Satya

  • Gokul on May 4, 2009, 14:11 GMT

    Decent result really. Also remember that this was theoretically played on neutral ground, so Pak did not have the full home-advantage even though they were still the preferred team for the crowd.

  • Martin Hook on May 4, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    As such Pakistanis should worry about Taliban and not Australians; but in keeping in mind they lost the series to a very weak Australian side and only won a game when the rubber was lost they should be very very worried.

  • Waqar Ahmad on May 4, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    Well I definitely agree with Kamran Abbasi. One should also take out the positives from the series like Afridi's return to some kind of a batting form especially the innings in the fourth ODI which was superbly executed.Similarly Saeed Ajmal had an excellent series inspite of the bowling action controversy.But serious consideration should also be given to the lean performance shown by the Pakistan captain as it's very important for the captain of the team to lead from the front. If he is not performing well, then he is not in the strongest of the position to influence others. He should definitely improve both on his captaincy and batting.

  • Abbas on May 4, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    Shahid Afridi's batting should also be praised. He should be a permanent member of the test side now. He is 100 times more potent and more likely to get wickets than Kaneria because he has more variations and tricks in the bag. He is also likely to play a few innings which might end up winning you matches.

    Yousuf's absence was felt dearly. He has brought a few laurels for Pakistan Cricket so whatever he has done (if wrong) should be ignored and should get another chance because he is now willing to come back.

    In fact in recent history Yousuf is the only one who has brought some good recognition and name for the Pakistanis internationally.

  • mvent00 on May 4, 2009, 13:42 GMT

    Why ICC did not change the World Cup 2011 matches to be held in Pakistan to the same neutral venue (current series between Australia and Paksitan)?

  • Ishrat Junaid on May 4, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    Congratulations on winning the last ODI which will bring some confidence in the team and players. My suggestion is that the team should always play with confidence and some aggressive batting. I am sure Pakistani team is a wonderful team and can upset any team of the world. It is also important to get united and put in spirited efforts by all. Good luck to Pakistani team and the management.

  • Sid on May 4, 2009, 13:03 GMT

    Most of Pakistan batsmen are basically aggressive and stroke playing individuals and that is the way they should play always. They did in the last game and bear the fruit.

    As for lack of international games at home which I believe gonna be the case in the immediate future, they may want to consult the people in charge of South Africa cricket regarding how they managed to keep cricket and cricketer Well trained and thriving domestically during the time period when they were banned from playing international cricket. Pakistan really need a strong and competitive domestic cricket infrastructure to keep the interest alive of their supporters and players alike.

  • indian on May 4, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    they always had the talent but not the tenacity to go longer and acheive greater, because they are pakistan. more sound less effect

  • nad on May 4, 2009, 12:22 GMT

    Firstly the pak board needs to think over of younis khans role as captain. Crap captaincy through the series, wat was he thinking resting umar gul in a game they had to win? Why has the cursed pak cricket board not allowed mohmd yousuf, worlds no1 batsmen not to play in this series? where is Imran Nazir? the worlds best 20/20 batsmans,where is Abdul Razzaq? these stupaid cunts need to stop being so narrow minded and do whats best for Pakistan cricket, PCB swallow your pride and bring the great players back.

  • zahid on May 4, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    i think you are right pakistan team have suffer gib time with lack of match pratice pakistan should seslove the problem of icl cricketer for the sack of pakistan cricketing future the pcb has to do some on it and make the decition in next two week because world 2020 cup is coming

  • eon whiz on May 4, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    Hi Kamran.. thanks for writting interesting articles time to time. Unfortunately this series had hardly succeeded me to inspire for Pak cricket having said this I must admit that a win is a win. But is it Pak who played good cricket or was it Aus who played bad? Imagine if they had played against the likes of Ind or Sri. I am sure results would have been 5-0(no need to say cipher goes to whom). Frankly I do not see much talent coming out from Pak anymore. If we are talking about Afridi/Akmal, how much time do they need to prove their talent. These guys(though rarely) shows glimpse of talents they got but 90% of the time they fail to deliver. True, Akmal has played some match winning knocks but whats the % of such innings. Forget about match winning tell me about good knocks. Trend set by Gilchrist is being carried by Dhoni. Akmal no where stands near the likes of Dhoni. If Pak cricket has to do something better they should now start looking beyond Akmal, Afridi.

  • Feroz on May 4, 2009, 11:52 GMT

    You forget to mention Ahmed Shehzad's contribution. He can be termed as the find of the series wherein two matches he gave a solid start to Pak. This should end their hunt for opening slot.

  • Ehsan Bhutta,Singapore on May 4, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    Yes i agree with Abassi's comments.However if Pakistan had won the third oneday from an position of 95 without loss chasing 198,the series could have been won.The positive thing is the performances of Afridi,akmal,Saeed and fitness of Shoaib and energy of shazad.However lacking is the batting of Yusuf.If he joins the team then it will be an assest for Pakistan.

  • Vikram Maingi on May 4, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    Please note that Australians were missing the services of Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Johnson.

  • kashif on May 4, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    What has really changed?

    Pakistan had a few good moments, a few positives and alot of bad moments, which resulted in losing the series.

    so, Im asking what has changed? isn't this the state of Pak cricket for the past 10 yrs. There is nothing new or different about that. I have seen no improvement.

  • Owais on May 4, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    Agreed Kamran 100%. Good decent analysis from your side. All is not lost. And the good thing is that we are still somewhat competitive inspite of what Taliban and USA are doing to our country. I will be happy that we could retain even this status for next two years and then start improving as cricket comes back to Pakistan.

  • H.Malik on May 4, 2009, 11:34 GMT

    A true bunch of Ego driven ( what they call it in Punjabi , Barrakain mardey ! ) YOYOS. Where is that joker of the Jokers who said we will with Wash them 5:0 !! . A weak aussies furhter weaked their own resolve after they had secure the series , so YoYos and Inti included , can boast as much as he can , it could have been 4:1 for which team ( Pakistani what a joke and what a joker he has turned out to be too ! ) in reality it could have been a real 5:0 had the kangroos applied themselves better from the first ball ! What happened to the much trumpted "SPIN ? "

  • TheKing on May 4, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    I don't know why Pakistani's look up Australia - They are not good. It's all the Pakistani's players thinks Australia are are better than them. They shouldn't even bother playing them if they think that.

  • Amanzeb Khan on May 4, 2009, 11:29 GMT

    It is good that the series ended on a positive note. The Misbah/Akmal partnership not only epitomised the attitude and aggression that was missing in the batting over the rest of the series but also showed the way forward. They batted with intelligence and controlled aggression exactly how we need to bat against good opposition. Afridi probably bowled better than ever before. The in drift he got made life difficult for the Aussies who were repeatedly forced to play around their pads. I feel he should be given more confidence and drafted into the test side in place of the hapless Kaneria. That may drive Kaneria to improve his game as well. Over all it was a satisfactory series where the batsmen were not able to flourish attributable in part to rustiness. Lets hope for the best in the future.

  • Tahir on May 4, 2009, 11:28 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran, had Pakistan batted a bit better they would ve won with same margin as Australia did, particularly when they were chasing 198, but dont expect miracles from this match, they are seriously short of match practice and missing services of players like Yousuf and Razak, Yousuf always keept the score board moving in the middle which helped Younis do wel and Razak and co always helped Pakistan score nearly 100 runs in the last ten overs along with Afridi, and Akmal etc, this team lacks that depth we are so much used to see, Arfat hopefully will come good with bat and ball with some experience and hopefully Shahzad and Butt and Jimshed will be good in the near future, if you look at the bowling it never let the Aussies score freely and I think Kami's keeping was not bad this time hopefully he does nt get too faltered with his batting and and still concentrate on his keeping also, Afridi showed some responsibility with bat few times which should help him and the team.

  • HR on May 4, 2009, 11:23 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. Under the circumstances any win is a great news. Okay we lost the series but not the face, lets hope we can rebuild the beleaguered Pakistan cricket, however slowly, but surely. The main stumbling block to the progress of Pakistan Cricket would be PCB and its officials. A batting coach is a must yet they are sticking with Intikhab Alam, logic defies it.

  • Gauher on May 4, 2009, 11:12 GMT

    Amazing, this is probably the first post by Mr. Abbasi that I agree with wholeheartedly. However, what are your thoughts on Ahmad Shahzad? He seemed to have a great deal of poise and temperament for a 17 year old playing against Australia, especially with wickets continuously falling at the other end. With a bit of grooming and a solid run in the team he could prove to be just the right person to partner Butt at the top of the order. That is if they ever learn how to run together. One major flaw in our team strategy was the absense of almost any close in fielders. All teams who go in with a plan to utilize an opposition's perceived weakness against spin have to include the right attacking field, but it seems we've forgotten what a short in fielder can do to the mind of the batsman. I think our team management would be well served by watching some of our old videos on what kind of fields we used to set to saqlain and mushtaq and, more recently, Kaneria (who I hope makes it into ODIs).

  • Muhammad Shahid on May 4, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    This series has proved that you can’t keep Pakistan away from the action. Yes, the batsmen and fast bowling department were a failure, but that is understandable given that we have had no cricket in a while. Saeed Ajmal was impressive and Afridi has shown more maturity, especially in his bowling, though, I still wonder what will be the future of Shoaib Akhtar. My thinking is that if Pakistan had not lost their nerves during the later half of their run chase in the third one day, the series could have ended in our favor.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on May 4, 2009, 11:03 GMT

    It was a travesty that Fawad Alam did not get a game. This reeks of the age old habit of Pakistan cricket, when a player threatens an established senior he does not get a look in, even if that senior is out of form and the series is lost. The reason Shezad got a game was that there no senior player who was an incumbent in that position. Clearly the intelligent thing to have done all along was open with Akmal once Jamshed was injured and bring Alam into the frail middle order. This guy is the most consistent run scorer in the domestic game and its a shame that he cannot get a decent run. The other disappointment was that Pakistan seem to be slipping back into the bad old days of very poor basics. Bad running btwn wickets, bad fielding etc. So I dont share your optimism that even with the return on the ICL players, of whom really only Yousuf was missed,.

  • Fahad Jalils on May 4, 2009, 10:59 GMT

    The series was played in good spirit. Although I feel Pakistan has gifted the series to Australia and this was maybe their best shot in so many years to capitalize on this advantage. However, Younis being captain, the future seems secure for now atleast. Clarke, on the other hand, has also shown to be a leader Steve Waugh always expected.

  • Ahsan on May 4, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    yeah nice to see pakistani players back playing cricket. but there were repeats scenes of pakistani batting flopping and falling like dominos at times needed. I Guess some never learn.

  • morfi on May 4, 2009, 10:49 GMT

    Completely agree! Had they shown a bit more resolve in the 3rd one dayer, the sereis would have been won. the key is to stick together, bring the ICL guys back - and start gelling together - this series was good to oil the rusty bearings and start afresh. I still maintain Pak need to play more Test cricket - 5 match seriesn whether home, away or neutral - get into the habit of stayin at the crease, and bowling consistent lines - and most of all - stand under pressure! Younis is a good captain and will shinie with time.

  • Arslan Hassan on May 4, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    We should always support our team even if they loose so they keep their sports spirit, but one thing i noticed in past matches mostly with the middle order batsmen, in 3rd and 4th odi, they were playing with a little nervousess and a bit scared also but in last odi, they played like a true sportstar, no fear, as the captain said "chor na nhin" .... remarkable victory :)

  • Bonzo on May 4, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    Your speaking like a Pakistani chairman! The headline for this result will be: some progress, Some more pain. You cannot say that we would have won the series if we did not balls it up in the 3rd ODI run chase - Australia may be 'weaker' than in the past but do not be decieved, they are still able to match the might of India and South Africa, and frankly Pakistan can only wish to be in their league. The progress will be that we won the first match of the series, and continued to get off to good starts in series, but our batting collapses and underperformances in the middle/late order have not been addressed. Still relying on spin, poorness in the pace dept. Fielding will never be fixed. Younis will be worried as he had nothing to offer with the bat, and no idea what difference he made as a captain. Simply winning a dead rubber is little consolation, the best thing they can do is win the 20:20 game and head into the World tournament warm ups in positive spirits

  • Ghulam Farid on May 4, 2009, 10:36 GMT

    Same old Pakistan cricket team with or without superstars. One day performs exceptionally and on other seems why they are playing. cant really able to perform consistently. Any how its good atleast have some cricket.

  • Aamir Akhund on May 4, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    Very True Indeed. The Boys were able to bring some sort of respectablity back to the final scoreline. I wonder if Yonus Khan would realise that being captain and then coming at the all important position of number 3 is not an easy task and perhaps he would want to move down untill we get the ICL players back into the national fold. This is the time when only positives should be highlighted from this series and Saeed Ajmal's performance was a big Positive for the Pakistani Cricket Team. No doubt that Afridi's performances require alot of praise but i would say that he owed this sort of performance to the entire nation. He has Sucked the blood of our nation( he is in the top category of the Contracts issued to national players and makes alot of money) and has very litle to show for. Afridi Should now start to put in these performaces regularly.

  • indianFan on May 4, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    I think cricket fans want to see a strong Pakistan team, like they want to see a strong WI team. The world of cricket needs it. Indian fans in the past used to follow Pak cricket and players like Waqar,Wasim,Inzy. Its a sign of the times that there is hardly any interest in the Pak players today. And PCB officials like Miandad trying to blame Indian cricket for all kinds of imagined grievances has put Indian fans off Pakistan cricket. It would be nice to see a strong Pakistan cricket team with mercurial players like the old days. Frankly they should have beaten Australia. Aussies are not the force they were in ODIs. 3-4 of their main players were rested. This series came at the end of a very long season. Pakistan with its lack of cricket in recent months should have been really motivated to beat them

  • omar hussain on May 4, 2009, 10:21 GMT

    Thanks Kamran!Pakistan realy had only themselves to blame for losing to a virtualy 'B' Australian side.In the past even greater sides have wilted under pressure with victory there for the taking.I can never forget how Pakistan brought a very powerfull Aussie team,the Chappells,Lille and all,down to its knees but somehow contrived to lose 8 wickets( or thereabout) to Max Walker for a handfull runs.At 95-0 in the third ODI the match was in the bag but temperament again got the better of our batsmen.Personally i am no fan of the Aussies but i have to hand in that their inherent fighting spirit and total commitment to each other turns even a medicore side into a competitive unit.We should goad Kamran Akmal more for when on song he is a very destructive and match winning player.I hope some of the down to earth attitude of the Australians rub off on our players.I take my hat off for the men from down under.

  • indianFan on May 4, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    I think cricket fans want to see a strong Pakistan team, like they want to see a strong WI team. The world of cricket needs it. Indian fans in the past used to follow Pak cricket and players like Waqar,Wasim,Inzy. Its a sign of the times that there is hardly any interest in the Pak players today. And PCB officials like Miandad trying to blame Indian cricket for all kinds of imagined grievances has put Indian fans off Pakistan cricket. It would be nice to see a strong Pakistan cricket team with mercurial players like the old days. Frankly they should have beaten Australia. Aussies are not the force they were in ODIs. 3-4 of their main players were rested. This series came at the end of a very long season. Pakistan with its lack of cricket in recent months should have been really motivated to beat them

  • srivathsan on May 4, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    definitely a good performance by pakistan. But It could have been 3-2 or 4-1 in favour of pakistan , if only younis khan had adopted an attacking strategy.May be fear of losing & lack of confidence led to it .If dhoni were to be captain , with the same team , the results would have been different. When afridi was turning the ball like warne, I would have kept an attacking field , not withstanding few runs but wickets would have fallen like nine pins. Now for afridi,bowling is main & batting is bonus.Younis khan should improve but the critics should give him enough space .Not withstanding the above , i repeat that it is an excellent performance considering their limited match practice with intl. teams.It is respectable indeed.

  • Khair ul Alam on May 4, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    It is tempting to say "If only they didn't crumble in the third match after being in a winning position ..." or "If only they could get a few more runs from Younis ..." But we should remember that Pakistan are playing after a long time and expected to be a bit rusty. I say well done Pakistan! Their supporters shouldn't be too harsh on their team.

  • Azam Zia on May 4, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    We should take positives from this series and the fans will but what baffles me is the non-inclusion of Fawad Alam! Wasn't he the leading run scorer in the recent domestic season? Isn't he a left-arm 'spinner'? Even a naive tv viewer would not have included Yasir Arafat or Iftikhar Anjum on these wickets. So why did Younis?

  • Aafaq on May 4, 2009, 10:04 GMT

    Pakistan is back to international arena. Pakistan need some maturity in the middle and we have seen Akmal innings in some crucial stages that he is very mature just need to show some consistency. With Yusuf and Razzaq not in squad, thanks to ICL younis not firing up the order. No complains to Shahzad but salman slowing down the innings at the start. There should be some stars in the middle like inzamam who can score and take the pressure. I think kamran should step up and say to himself i can do it every time i am out eith Misbah batting well and malik stability, Afridi's Hard Hitting just lack one more batter so Akmal can be the one. If ICL players come back Akmal can go to its old position of hard hitting with razzaq and Afridi.

  • Ghulam Farid on May 4, 2009, 9:49 GMT

    Same old Pakistan cricket team with or without superstars. One day performs exceptionally and on other seems why they are playing. cant really able to perform consistently. Any how its good atleast have some cricket.

  • zahid on May 4, 2009, 9:42 GMT

    It was commented upon during the cricinfo commentary but I and many other Pakistan supporters were aghast at the decision to not even give Fawad Alam a single match during the series. Given that Fawad was the best batsman in the practice game and provides a decent left arm spin option the decision by the Pakistan think tank was unbelievable. More so considering how another youngster Shahzad was a breath of fresh air and outbatted several of his seniors.

  • usman khan on May 4, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    well i am not satisfied as the third odi was absolutely pathetic. Losing 10 wickets in such a short period is really discouraging and we could have easily won the series too. And i don't know what was with that super slow batting and from australians too. Those were spinning tracs and knowing that the power plays should have been utilized more for faster scoring. Only reason i could think of would be lack of confidence from both sides. This modern cricket is a show of stroke making,atleast in the shorter versions. And seeing the test run rates in odis was very disappointing in a condition where there is no seam movement at all.

    Lets see what they do in the twenty twenty match. I am sure there will be plenty of misshits from both the sides.

  • S R Mohsin on May 4, 2009, 9:36 GMT

    Your article shows the view of just the last ODI. In mu opinion, the pick of the series was Ahmed Shezad. He played shots in all direction with a decent strike rate and a cool head. Showed vulnerability against spin, but who did'nt on these pitches.

    However the cause of concern for me was the bowling form of Sohail Tanvir. Younis probably had one bad series but he will be back. I think Younis is our best bat and he should be batting at #3. Salman Butt's performance outside India and Pakistan leaves much to be desired.

    He has to show more spine as a senior batsman, specially in the longer version. But the headlines for the series for me remained that Akhtar played 4 matches without breaking down. His bowling showed discipline, though with a lack fo speed. But i think he is learning to ball express for 2 overs and then bowl to his limits for the rest of the spell.

    Afridi was a Jackpot. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Imran Lakhani on May 4, 2009, 9:34 GMT

    You are right. I think after inclusion of ICL players like Abdul Razzaq, Muhammad Yousuf and Imran Nazir, Pakistan team would be more competitive.

  • DaddyMac on May 4, 2009, 9:34 GMT

    First of all i congratulate Pakistan on their victory in the 5th ODI. But lets be realistic here. And it seems that only Imran Khan has the brains to realise that Australias success is due to its strong domestic setup. The value of a place in the australian team is based on performance and merit and there is respect for each position. I have never seen Matthew Hayden bat at number 7 in one game then Number 4, Then opening etc...can you see where im coming from. Kamran Akmal's talent is not utilizied properly by being floated all over the place due to the stupidity of the PCB he is constantly criticized and then sent out to open. Give the players a fair run in a desired role and let them develop. Why was Nasir Jamshed batting in the middle order when he is an opening bat? If Afridi is spinning well then why isnt Danish playing. Id rather have Danish's spin in the team than Afridis occasional good spin and constant batting brain explosion.

  • Rev on May 4, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    I agree Kamran! As an Aussie supporter I thought the Pakistani side acquitted themselves well when you consider the lack of match practice they have had - regardless of who was in the Australian lineup.

    I know very little of Akmal but would Pakistan be better served treating him as a specialist batsman and leaving the keeping duties to another? Perhaps it will be all unnecessary with the hopeful return of the ICL players to the international arena.

  • vivek on May 4, 2009, 9:29 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    Do not take this win very highly. The wickets were tailor made for spinners and so slow. The real test would come in future when pakistan has to play on fast and swinging tracks. Pakistan's batsmen has underperformed. Regarding Kamran Akmal century i always wonder that he delivers only when he was supposed to be out from the team. see in england and hope for best.

  • Salman on May 4, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    Rightly pointed out. Many positives to take from the series. The biggest positive point was watching Afridi actually taking up the responsibility and playing sensibly. That's a rare sight, i tell you!

  • praka on May 4, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    LOLLLLLLL. Kamran I was 100% sure you would write something like this.Infact even I told my friends.... 3-2 to a Spineless Australia... Way to go....

  • Khurram on May 4, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    I wonder why the PCB cannot arrange for the centrally contracted players to play in some of the competitive leagues around the world until our return from international wilderness. Some out of the box thinking is required to stay competitive and relevant as a team.

  • Faisal Wahab on May 4, 2009, 9:17 GMT

    Pakistan Team is a hot & cold team as described by Mark Taylor. Oneday they will beat you with a big margin, and on another day they will lose with the same margin. Depth in batting & bowling is the main cause for concern. Shoaib Akhtar looks to be 50% fit. The agility in our players were missing. They were not 100% invloved in those 3 defeats. thanks to SKA for winning the 1st match with figures of 6-38. for that win also we lost 6 wkts to achieve the target. Overall 2-3 looks good but the manner they lost the game after restricting aussies to 197-8 needs soul searching.

  • solo on May 4, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    it is not a respectable defeat my friend, at time where every one thinks that our team have won the match pak loses. "cricket by chance" pak makes this theory wrong. Pak play well in the match which is useless to win. It is not because we are playing well it is because the other team doesn't care of the match, like the one yesterday happened in 5th odi

  • khalil on May 4, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    AUS is a difficult opponent because of their approach towards the game.They exihibit sheer mental toughness that is why even mediocres in their team look perfect against other teams.This quality is not even matched by SA & this is the reason they choke under pressure. Any how it is a good beginning. Younas & Co should concentrate on the weakness & try to rectify it. Well done Pak Team.I think our players were inhibited in playing their normal game because of the big name AUS is carring.

  • Waqar on May 4, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    All agreed, but we also saw that Younis Khan has still lots to learn. And he should NOT bat at number three but that spot should be given to Kamran Akmal, who as a parttime opener knows how to play the opening swinging bowlers. It makes things easier for Younis later on and the battingline would get more depth.

  • Kamran Hashmi on May 4, 2009, 9:04 GMT

    Its good that finally Pakistan won the final ODI. But no offense, Younis Khan doesnt look an inspiring captain and in no way we can compare him to the great Imran Khan as he claims. One thing he is expert in is the nature of his funny and nonsense comments in press as we had witnessed again. He should focus on his cricket than talking rubbish. The result should have been much different had we not become complacent after the first ODI and focused on the mistakes rather than posing with actresses...... I hope the board keeps patience and perhaps we can see the team rising above.

  • Shahzad Qayyum Khan on May 4, 2009, 8:55 GMT

    Why Muhammad yousaf sits out when he declared he is not leaving for IPL? Do we always have to waste our talent by keeping them out of team for a couple of years and then all of a sudden ask the person to show his guts with no exposure to international cricket? And that too against teams like India, South Africa pr even Sri Lanka. Food for thought for our cricket board and selectors.

  • Sarmad Munir on May 4, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    We certainly need some middle order stability in the form of Yousaf. Its not a good feeling when u know u had everything to win, but still u lost.

  • Ahmed Bajwa on May 4, 2009, 8:48 GMT

    I think the lack of match practice showed more than just in the batting, but our fast bowlers were unable to generate many wicket taking deliveries either. It was a great sight to see shoaib steaming in to bowl in the 4th odi, but there was no consistence from the rest of the attack. Tanvir and Arafat seemed very ordinary, with rao providing little if any respite. The batting can easily be scapegoated, but that has never been a strength of pakistan, unlike fast bowling. Completely agree that this will not be a good season for test cricket for pakistan.

  • Faras on May 4, 2009, 8:48 GMT

    How is this a respectable defeat?? Our 'batsmen' never really got going (bar the all-rounder Afridi and Akmal), the return of Shoaib Akhtar was a flop (Umar Gul seems to have lost his magic as well), our powerplay technique is nowhere to be seen and we are still struggling with the openers. Pathetic display by Pakistan and a consolation win, as always, has taken the spotlight away from the struggle that our team is facing.

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  • Faras on May 4, 2009, 8:48 GMT

    How is this a respectable defeat?? Our 'batsmen' never really got going (bar the all-rounder Afridi and Akmal), the return of Shoaib Akhtar was a flop (Umar Gul seems to have lost his magic as well), our powerplay technique is nowhere to be seen and we are still struggling with the openers. Pathetic display by Pakistan and a consolation win, as always, has taken the spotlight away from the struggle that our team is facing.

  • Ahmed Bajwa on May 4, 2009, 8:48 GMT

    I think the lack of match practice showed more than just in the batting, but our fast bowlers were unable to generate many wicket taking deliveries either. It was a great sight to see shoaib steaming in to bowl in the 4th odi, but there was no consistence from the rest of the attack. Tanvir and Arafat seemed very ordinary, with rao providing little if any respite. The batting can easily be scapegoated, but that has never been a strength of pakistan, unlike fast bowling. Completely agree that this will not be a good season for test cricket for pakistan.

  • Sarmad Munir on May 4, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    We certainly need some middle order stability in the form of Yousaf. Its not a good feeling when u know u had everything to win, but still u lost.

  • Shahzad Qayyum Khan on May 4, 2009, 8:55 GMT

    Why Muhammad yousaf sits out when he declared he is not leaving for IPL? Do we always have to waste our talent by keeping them out of team for a couple of years and then all of a sudden ask the person to show his guts with no exposure to international cricket? And that too against teams like India, South Africa pr even Sri Lanka. Food for thought for our cricket board and selectors.

  • Kamran Hashmi on May 4, 2009, 9:04 GMT

    Its good that finally Pakistan won the final ODI. But no offense, Younis Khan doesnt look an inspiring captain and in no way we can compare him to the great Imran Khan as he claims. One thing he is expert in is the nature of his funny and nonsense comments in press as we had witnessed again. He should focus on his cricket than talking rubbish. The result should have been much different had we not become complacent after the first ODI and focused on the mistakes rather than posing with actresses...... I hope the board keeps patience and perhaps we can see the team rising above.

  • Waqar on May 4, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    All agreed, but we also saw that Younis Khan has still lots to learn. And he should NOT bat at number three but that spot should be given to Kamran Akmal, who as a parttime opener knows how to play the opening swinging bowlers. It makes things easier for Younis later on and the battingline would get more depth.

  • khalil on May 4, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    AUS is a difficult opponent because of their approach towards the game.They exihibit sheer mental toughness that is why even mediocres in their team look perfect against other teams.This quality is not even matched by SA & this is the reason they choke under pressure. Any how it is a good beginning. Younas & Co should concentrate on the weakness & try to rectify it. Well done Pak Team.I think our players were inhibited in playing their normal game because of the big name AUS is carring.

  • solo on May 4, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    it is not a respectable defeat my friend, at time where every one thinks that our team have won the match pak loses. "cricket by chance" pak makes this theory wrong. Pak play well in the match which is useless to win. It is not because we are playing well it is because the other team doesn't care of the match, like the one yesterday happened in 5th odi

  • Faisal Wahab on May 4, 2009, 9:17 GMT

    Pakistan Team is a hot & cold team as described by Mark Taylor. Oneday they will beat you with a big margin, and on another day they will lose with the same margin. Depth in batting & bowling is the main cause for concern. Shoaib Akhtar looks to be 50% fit. The agility in our players were missing. They were not 100% invloved in those 3 defeats. thanks to SKA for winning the 1st match with figures of 6-38. for that win also we lost 6 wkts to achieve the target. Overall 2-3 looks good but the manner they lost the game after restricting aussies to 197-8 needs soul searching.

  • Khurram on May 4, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    I wonder why the PCB cannot arrange for the centrally contracted players to play in some of the competitive leagues around the world until our return from international wilderness. Some out of the box thinking is required to stay competitive and relevant as a team.