Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009 July 7, 2009

Yousuf and the true path to greatness

Pakistan's best batsman doesn't have the quality that his predecessors possessed - the ability to weigh anchor and force less stable fellows to cling on to him
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My faith in Pakistan chasing any second innings total didn't last long. In 1982, I ventured to Edgbaston expecting Imran Khan's team would score around 300 to beat England. I was filled with the optimism of youth. Looking back, almost any target would have troubled Pakistan. The day turned out to be a rapid and mostly cavalier failure.

I'm not sure I've ever recovered. Whenever Pakistan bat in the final innings of a Test match, whether to win or save the match, I expect the worst and desperately look for signs that any success is a turning point.

Younis Khan's team can't have found it easy to switch from the glamour of the Twenty20 World Cup to a gruelling Test series in Sri Lanka. But against all expectations they found themselves in a match-winning position. It was a position that they should have turned comfortably to victory.

Younis bemoaned a lack of steel and application among his senior players, echoes of his early complaints in the Twenty20 World Cup. He has a point. Pakistan's senior batsmen have historically struggled to summon sufficient mental fortitude to finish off a golden opportunity like the one presented to them at Galle.

This is why Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul Haq - and to some degree Imran Khan - were such special batsmen for Pakistan. They were able to weigh anchor and force their less stable fellows to cling on to them. It is an attribute that Younis aspires to but hasn't consistently mastered. Shoaib Malik is even less familiar with such heroics.

But Pakistan's biggest worry is that this skill has almost entirely escaped their heaviest run scorer. Mohammad Yousuf has continued almost exactly where he left off, with a fairytale first-innings hundred and a disappointment when it really mattered.

Don't get me wrong, Yousuf's return is a welcome triumph but Pakistan need him to play the decisive innings. These innings are hard to quantify but they are the ones that make the difference between success and failure. They mean more than averages and run-scoring records. These innings are the true path to greatness, a path that Mohammad Yousuf must tread.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Erutouttuncet on January 20, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    The most effective content articles I've ever checked out with this subject matter. Many thanks!

  • Desenhareri on January 19, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    My partner and i see this data quite valuable. Thanks a lot for the treasured details as well as information you've thus furnished on this website. Keep writing!

  • Kim K on December 8, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.

  • Mian Muhammad Shah on September 9, 2009, 7:30 GMT

    Kamran, I totally agree with your point of veiw but would add something, I may be wrong in veiw of some Pak cricket followers, I think most of these senior player must have the courage to evaluate them selves whether they are up to the standards of international cricket and the expectation of great Pakistani nation; which are crazy about the game and particularly winning. I think yousaf should only concentrate on tests rather than the one days and twenty twenty as these games demands high level of fitness. I like misbah to part of every format of the game but with a positvie attitude. Regarding shoaid malik I would say to take things seriously or leave some place for more serious and young players; prime example Umar Akmal, I know my country is full of such talented and committed laids. Shahid Afridi is the most God gifted player the only thing missing is application of talents. Younus should be more courageous to think beyond inclusion of non performing senior plays. Allah bless Pak.

  • ali on September 6, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    Yusuf's really is in the process of compiling his credentials as a great batsman and is still far from his destiny. He has played over 20 test matches against Australia, RSA & Sri Lanka but averages below 30 against them. Bulk of his score has come against weaker bowling attacks, Yousaf scores at over 100/innings against Bangladesh and Windies and has scored quite a lot of cricketing numbers against Zimbabwe but unfavorable circumstance is that all these teams are not known for their bowling attacks, WI was a force in good old days but that sizzling cart has lost its wheels and times have changed quite a lot. Of the remaining test playing nations Yousaf has been prolific against England and New Zealand and has been more than decent against India but this does not look enough for greatness. All these facts corroborate my notion that something needs to be done by potentially one of the greatest batsman of our times. Time and tide does not seem to be favoring his advanced age!!

  • Asad Waqas on August 31, 2009, 6:32 GMT

    Muhammad Yousuf is just great as great V V Richardson former west indies captan

  • Tahir khan on August 30, 2009, 16:39 GMT

    Yousuf is a batsman of easy conditions. Whenever there is pressure or the batting conditions are difficult, he will be the first to leave.

  • ISMAEEL on August 24, 2009, 20:47 GMT

    I THINK HE IS BEST SIMPLY OUTSTANDING CLASSIC PLAYER OF CRICKET EVER IN THE CRICKETING HITORY.

  • Faizan Ul Haq Fareedi on August 15, 2009, 4:04 GMT

    Paksitan is only a Team that is Unpredicable in this modren Era. We have only a problem is the Lack of Practice and our Cricket Acedmy is not so much Modren as compare to others' Country Acadmy. We need to improve our acadmic section and should use different petch adn practice. It will help our player to play Well in different country Like South Africa, Srilanka 7 Australia. Thanks

  • Ash khan on August 11, 2009, 20:36 GMT

    There are many ways to describe Pakistan's Cricket team - Mercurial, Talented.....Controversial. Yet personally i feel that despite the prodigious talent recognizable in the team through players such as Younis Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammed Aamer, Mohammed Yousuf to name a few, their efforts are being severely undermined by degenerate cricketers such as Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif. They have continously let down the team and country through their shambolic disobedience, behaviour and attitude towards the game. It's sad that many people still talk of Shoaib Akhtar as a legend when quite frankly he has the worst fitness record in cricket.

  • Erutouttuncet on January 20, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    The most effective content articles I've ever checked out with this subject matter. Many thanks!

  • Desenhareri on January 19, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    My partner and i see this data quite valuable. Thanks a lot for the treasured details as well as information you've thus furnished on this website. Keep writing!

  • Kim K on December 8, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.

  • Mian Muhammad Shah on September 9, 2009, 7:30 GMT

    Kamran, I totally agree with your point of veiw but would add something, I may be wrong in veiw of some Pak cricket followers, I think most of these senior player must have the courage to evaluate them selves whether they are up to the standards of international cricket and the expectation of great Pakistani nation; which are crazy about the game and particularly winning. I think yousaf should only concentrate on tests rather than the one days and twenty twenty as these games demands high level of fitness. I like misbah to part of every format of the game but with a positvie attitude. Regarding shoaid malik I would say to take things seriously or leave some place for more serious and young players; prime example Umar Akmal, I know my country is full of such talented and committed laids. Shahid Afridi is the most God gifted player the only thing missing is application of talents. Younus should be more courageous to think beyond inclusion of non performing senior plays. Allah bless Pak.

  • ali on September 6, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    Yusuf's really is in the process of compiling his credentials as a great batsman and is still far from his destiny. He has played over 20 test matches against Australia, RSA & Sri Lanka but averages below 30 against them. Bulk of his score has come against weaker bowling attacks, Yousaf scores at over 100/innings against Bangladesh and Windies and has scored quite a lot of cricketing numbers against Zimbabwe but unfavorable circumstance is that all these teams are not known for their bowling attacks, WI was a force in good old days but that sizzling cart has lost its wheels and times have changed quite a lot. Of the remaining test playing nations Yousaf has been prolific against England and New Zealand and has been more than decent against India but this does not look enough for greatness. All these facts corroborate my notion that something needs to be done by potentially one of the greatest batsman of our times. Time and tide does not seem to be favoring his advanced age!!

  • Asad Waqas on August 31, 2009, 6:32 GMT

    Muhammad Yousuf is just great as great V V Richardson former west indies captan

  • Tahir khan on August 30, 2009, 16:39 GMT

    Yousuf is a batsman of easy conditions. Whenever there is pressure or the batting conditions are difficult, he will be the first to leave.

  • ISMAEEL on August 24, 2009, 20:47 GMT

    I THINK HE IS BEST SIMPLY OUTSTANDING CLASSIC PLAYER OF CRICKET EVER IN THE CRICKETING HITORY.

  • Faizan Ul Haq Fareedi on August 15, 2009, 4:04 GMT

    Paksitan is only a Team that is Unpredicable in this modren Era. We have only a problem is the Lack of Practice and our Cricket Acedmy is not so much Modren as compare to others' Country Acadmy. We need to improve our acadmic section and should use different petch adn practice. It will help our player to play Well in different country Like South Africa, Srilanka 7 Australia. Thanks

  • Ash khan on August 11, 2009, 20:36 GMT

    There are many ways to describe Pakistan's Cricket team - Mercurial, Talented.....Controversial. Yet personally i feel that despite the prodigious talent recognizable in the team through players such as Younis Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammed Aamer, Mohammed Yousuf to name a few, their efforts are being severely undermined by degenerate cricketers such as Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif. They have continously let down the team and country through their shambolic disobedience, behaviour and attitude towards the game. It's sad that many people still talk of Shoaib Akhtar as a legend when quite frankly he has the worst fitness record in cricket.

  • Brave on August 11, 2009, 8:42 GMT

    Pakistan's Problem is the dressing room environment.... Highly skilled but highly unproffesional

  • Shahid on August 6, 2009, 23:19 GMT

    goes on from first mail: Dear Kamran, by looking at the way our best batsmen who stay jamed on there feet while fishing a moving ball half a meter outside off, who the hell will tell us, what these so called academies and coaches are doing. Do not mind the loss we suffered, but do tell us who will change the face of our wickets and how are these acadamies and coaches justified with spendings of millions.

    Said that, I really think Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam and Mohammad Aamer should be given a prolonged chance to perform. They should be awarded fixed places in bating order too. It looks so that Misbahs time is over and Shoaib should be given a long break. I am very much worried about Umar Guls bellow worth shoing in tests, but Umar Gul, Asif and Aamer are our futur and should learn some more tricks from Wasim Waqar and Aqib. I would let Intekhab rest for the days left in his life and have wasim to take over the ship. Send promising young players to australian academies.

  • Shahid on August 6, 2009, 23:01 GMT

    I dont think there happend something unexpectable on this tour. Even in History of Pakistan cricket, it is hard to find batsmen who would do wonders og turning and swinging pitches. Since I grew up to know something about cricket and to this day while I am 48, I have heard same cry, make some sporting wickets in Pakistan. Let som grass grow and stay on them. We never managed that or never wanted to do that. Any team coming to Pakistan scores big innings and loose anyway but no stupid tried to change it even when we have been lucky to have better fasties then spiners. So Mr. Kamran what type of products would you expect... same as you have been seeing all the way. I never understood what the hell all these board administers do for money, because system is just going on itself as it has been for last 62 years. We will go on producing players with all the technical faults and a fishing footwork against moving balls but they will go on coming in by scoring heavilly on desert tracks.

  • majid on July 23, 2009, 2:13 GMT

    hi there, dont make wrong idea, i am not gay, i am a straight man living with wife, i tell u the truth in cricket history i did not find good looking smart and fast balling like shoiab does, please get him if you,he is great man.

  • Javaid Abbasi on July 15, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    I am writing this after Pakistan's embarrasing collapse in the 2nd innings; I woke up all excited on the morning of the 3rd day looking forward to a great fightback - which was already underway - from the rest of the Pakistan team. And how they let us down. It is time to get rid of the following players and start looking for replacements: Salman Butt, Misbah, Malik and possibly Yousuf as well.

  • Atif on July 9, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    Fair post! However i wouldn't put a blame on Yousuf as he was the leading run scorer for Pakistan in this test. OPENERS!!! I cant stress enough the importance of finding good, reliable openers. Razzaq should have played this match.

  • Zahid ashrafi on July 9, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Ok has done fairly well when you look at what has been going on in ok criket. What team needs is grafters and accumulators like asim kanal or bevan. Ditch malik bring in asim at 6.

  • Naeem Mohamed on July 9, 2009, 15:55 GMT

    I really think you should give the pakistan players a break. Common u know it is for Srilanka to loose the Word 20/20 when pakistan delivered against undefeated South Africa and Srilanka. It just was a bad day and we are a bit rusty. I must say it is not nice when there is 1 minor failure the supposed past heroes choke on the entire committee.Man I hate heroes like that. Since the old heroes time to now Pakistan Team is Pakistan Team. Full of suprises and dissapointment.that wouldnt change

  • Javed Zarif Canada on July 9, 2009, 14:11 GMT

    Sorry Kamran, I cannot agree with you. Yousuf did his job by scoring a hundred in the first innigs when pak was 15/2 courtesy Salaman But. You cannot score in every innings. what went missing to my mind was a wishful decision by Younas, that is to play the fourth innigs in the Sub-continent and win. Younas showed his bowling abilities but we need him to score runs for the team and anchor the innings. Salaman But is not beter than a club cricketer he should be let go. Trying too many openers in 20/20 50/50 and tests,what a madness. Pak need to screen out 3 openers and stick with them for al forms of cricket. Shoaib need to realize that there is no place for him in the Pak 11 and true middle order batsman should be drafted in the squad. Younas need to realise that he cannot expreiment too much, sometimes you need to follow the conventional wisdom and go by the book. He need to understand that there is a thin line between being aggrissive and being foolish.

  • Islam Khan on July 9, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    Guys ! Top Batsman in the team are supposed to score runs. Pakistan has Younis and Yusuf as their top batsmen hence one of them should have made it sure to stay at the crease till end. Shoib Malik, Salman Bhat,Misbah & Kamran are utility players....Cannt rely on them in Test cricket...They may be better 20/20 players or ODI players...India has been doing well in test cricket especially overseas because most of the times Tendulkars/ Dravids/laxmans/Gangulys/Sehwags have taken responsibility and made their teams win. Indias success rate has been 69% when any one of these guys has scored a century....From 1994 to 2000 (That is the time when Tendulkar was at his best) tendulakars 100s could not get converted into Victories because India had weak bowling attack...In short our Pakistani batsmen lack application and concentration except Yusuf and Yonis to some extent...Balance Batsmen are not fit for this form of cricket.Need to try more youngsters....!

  • Irfan on July 9, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    There were three debutantes in this game. Those of you who are arguing that there isn't enough young blood in the team should check your facts. Openerzz are not the problem it's just Salman. It would be a sad day if he were in the team because of his English-speaking prowess. In Khurram's defense unless a new player gets a clear run of so many matches how could we be able to tell if he is worth keeping? Besides it’s our middle batsmen who lost the match. One of them should have dropped anchor and talk to others to stick around. Long spells can cause bowlers to loose their rhythm, their concentration wanes, all they had to do was to knuckle down and be patient. Still, you gotta give credit where its due, over all Pak team performed well. Although their progress is a typical Pakistani progress but I am sure that they will come back strong in the next match.

  • Ashford Abbacy on July 9, 2009, 13:17 GMT

    Dr. Abbasi; I couldn't agree more with you. Mohammad Yousuf looks similar to Zaheer Abbasi who consistently failed in the 3rd and 4th innings. Yousuf can still repair his tarnish his image and end his career on a high note.

  • Akmal on July 9, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    You should not forget that Yousuf was unluckily given out. Yousuf is not the problem but Misbah, Malik, Butt and the other opener are the problemS, we should also consider Razzak for the next match in place of one of these poor performers.

  • Omar on July 9, 2009, 8:31 GMT

    I totally don’t agree to blame Yousuf if we take out 112 runs of Yousuf from the first inning we found Pakistan team did not pass 250 runs, to come after more than 12 months in the international cricket and make 100 in pitch where Srlankan faced a problem. Only one person can do it Mohamed Yousuf

  • rashid on July 9, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    What was the condition of Pakistan's first innings when Yousuf made his century,there are some disease that causes memory loss.

  • Garuda on July 9, 2009, 6:14 GMT

    wonder why everyone is being so positive?! You lost 8 wickets in one session whilst being called an international team!

  • TK on July 9, 2009, 6:00 GMT

    Serious contenders can steal a victory from the jaws of defeat, but it takes a special team like Pakistan to steal defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • khalil on July 9, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    cricket may be an unpredictable game but we have made this game even more unpredictable because of our lack of application.To loose a match from such a position is criminal & really heart breaking.There are so many cotributing factors to this fiasco.First Pak didn,t try to go for the kill on day 3.They just hanged on,when we had 2 settled batsmen at the crease & the wicket had eased out.Secondly Malik,you can,t expect much of him,who has only one test hundred in his test carrier.It speaks of his ability in this version of the game.He is not a test player at all.No doubt in YK leadership but he was not supported by the rest.

  • Kaiser Mukhtar from Hong Kong on July 9, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    I'm dismayed at the lack of character of the blog owner who did not take courage to post my comments. Brave Kamran Abbasi. Thanks for pathetic column.

  • steve .m on July 9, 2009, 4:58 GMT

    Pakistan lost the match when Sri Lanka went over 200 in the second innings. There was loose fielding and lack of application. And then of course the never ending story of the failure of our inept openers. No arguments there. We don't have openers, just a bunch of jokers. I agree that to be truly great Yousaf needs to have some steel. It's no good making a hundred if Pakistan ends up losing the match. Only those innings actually count that amount to something even if its just 30 odd runs.

  • Rashid Hamidani on July 9, 2009, 4:55 GMT

    We always shoot ourselves in the foot. Yousuf, for all his run scoring ability is no Miandad or Inzamam. His batting is sadly self centred. Team selection also was not good. With the inclusion of Ajmal, there was no place for Shoib Malik. Fawwad Alam or Razzak would have been better bets.Not much hope for the future tests in Sri Lanka.

  • hashim on July 9, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    i dont understand the reason of exclusion of shahid sfridi from pakistans tests team. being the most impressive player in t20 and odi he has enormous ability to handle test cricket ...........

  • ASIF on July 9, 2009, 4:47 GMT

    I have been writing for the last two years that pak needs afridi in tests also.The whole world knows that afridi is better than malik,salman & faisal.His average of 38 & 5 centuries & are ample proof of that but even then the selectors do not bother to call AFRIDI for tests.Actually afridi knew that they are going to axe him for the tests & that is why he requested for two weeks rest.If the team management & selectors were that serious of including afridi in the team they would have asked afridi to take 10 days rest & join the team a bit late.But the fact of the matter is they do not want afridi to be part of test team. I hope at least in future pak would include afridi in tests also as he is a match winner in all forms of cricket.Also it has become very obvious that whenever afridi clicks pak wins & looses if he fails.Actually he has played a crucial role in many pak test victories against india,west indies & england with his brilliant batting,bowling & fielding.

  • Bilal on July 9, 2009, 4:43 GMT

    are u really Chishty Mujahid... if so we need you back in the commentators box. Like Jamshaid Marker and Omer Qureshi you are our Richie Benaud

  • faz on July 9, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    pak lost because of their stupidity. salman butt and misbah gave their wickets away. salman butt should be out of the team. fawad alam should've been included because he made a 83 not out in the warm up match. leave politics out of cricket PCB. idiots

  • M.Saad Khan Durrani on July 9, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    I Thnik Its the most poor show by Bat by pak dispite need to chase for a small total like 168 well there are 3 main reason of this defeat i belive First wrong team selection why F.alam A.Razzak and D.Kaneria not picked up for this match speacially wht the ommision of D.Kaneria if captain think hez not also fit for Test the nwhat the use of him as no body belive hez a good player for ODIs an T20 then what sort of crickt he can play Second Dispite having poor show S.Butt is still in the team i dnt undestand who the real powers behind his back hez still ion the team i thnik hez the only player i saw in the history of pak cricket got plenty of chances .. Third i thnik M.Yousuf & S.Butt should carry on in the Fianl session of the play when umpires offred them light u see when u are in a good position you should carry on till you can but this def approach of run from the field i think here it can be only justified when you are going ot draw the match or night w.man is there

  • Amir Masood (Sydney, Australia) on July 9, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    Come on Guys check the records of last 5 to 6 years,Yousuf has won a lot of matches for Pak.I would question all,after Inzi who is the one who has retained Pakistan at compettitive level it's Yousuf if not at a winning level.You cannot win test matches because of 1 individual no matter how great you are.Others have to support the key players which is never the case in Pak side from atleast 5 years espacially in batting.Yousuf played a match winning 100 under pressure after 2 years of exile and none of the 6 other batsman including Younis capitalize on it.Don't expect magic from Yousuf.Get rid of the proven failures in test cricket like Butt and Malik, bring in Fawad and shehzad.Bring Razzak in place of Rauf.Misbah has yet to prove apart from 2007 T20.Asif has to come back to lead pak pace attack with Amir & Gul as support in Test.If shoaib can play why not asif but on strict disciplinary warning,after all he is 1 of the best in the world we can't ignore.Stop blaming YF,focus on others.

  • Aquil Ahmed Siddiqui on July 9, 2009, 4:18 GMT

    Pakistan team has historically weaknesses in batting and fielding techniques. Although we produced some world class Batsmen, but that does not mean, they will perform all the time to give us victory. Our Bowling side was always good. We are consistantly poor fielding side. The way we play our domestic cricket on our pathetic grounds and pitches, will never improve our batting and fielding techniques. It may be blessings in disguise, if we consistantly play our home series on neutral grounds and pitches. This may improve our standards and may produce better players. Selection of team players will always remain criticised no matter what you select. We have to learn the basics of batting, bowling and fielding techniques of Test, ODI and T20 matches and how quickly you can adjust as a player from one game to the other game. We should never be the victome of one glorious victory. Every game is a different game.

  • jogesh99 on July 9, 2009, 3:40 GMT

    This Paki outfit doesn't look like a test team at all. Stick to T20 - its more your style. If Murali returns, dont expect a revival. And if it wasnt for Yousuf, you wouldnt have been in the game at all.

  • Kaushik Lakshman on July 9, 2009, 3:29 GMT

    Its unfair to blame Yusuf, especially after scoring tht magnificent 100 in the 1st innings...Its a team game. The shot selection was pathetic to say the least. Misbah's run out was mind boggling. && what the helll is Shoib Malik doing in the test team anyway. Razzaq should be taken in his place. Also the PCB seriously has to do away with the continuos election & then sacking of the team selectors. This is leading to a lot of stupid team selections. Players who need to be given the sack are still playing, whereas many other have not been selected.. They need to have selectors with a fixed tenure. As a team Pakistan is so brilliant but irritatingly unpredicatable. They lose matches which they should have won, like the one in Galle, && at the same time end up winning tournaments with their backs against the wall, like the WC. But then this is the charm of the Indian && Pakistani teams.

  • redneck on July 9, 2009, 2:40 GMT

    its never good to loose from a winning position but batting 4th in galle is always hard, the ground is known for 4th innings failures! i think there were alot of positives for pakistan to look at, they took 20 wickets with a relativly inexperenced attack (even bowler like gul havent played tests that much and the ones that he has played in are few and far between) and the return of yousuf youhana making pakistan have the top 2 test batsmen in the world at present. not all doom and gloom thats for sure, i would think affridi and razaq would both be in the best 11 though so there is definatly room for improvemnet with 2 more matches against sri lanka then looking ahead to new zealand and australia.

  • Saif on July 9, 2009, 2:01 GMT

    Its about time someone shows the doors to Kamran Akmal in test cricket & to Shoaib Malik permenantely. Thats all.. what do you guys think?

  • Khawaja Ikram Ul haq on July 9, 2009, 1:53 GMT

    Pakistan might have paid back for the 20/20 win...pakistans opening pair even in 20/20 were not too great and they had to play a stand in pair to get thru...also one must realize that pakistan does not have a left arm spinner...they have also not developed anybody to stop teh rot in the middle order...misbah and shoaib malik hav'nt been playing well off late and sri lankans realized that they needed new bowlers to beat pakistan ...maybe khalid aziz might have been a better choice as opener in tests and khurram manzoor probably more of a one day player...the wicketkeeper also has not great a record in tests barring his early centuries...even in 20/20 several players had to perform to win and teh pakistani players need to realize that...Younis khan should slip down teh order and maybe play khurram at number two and bring the wicketkeeper in as an opener or play misbah at 3 or the alternate alam at 3 and six...if they take fawad alam on tour than tryout him and the alternate bowlers if ..

  • Imran on July 9, 2009, 1:08 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran Abbasi, Yousaf has the class but he must fill for Inzamam. He played really well in first innings but he should work the primary focus of taking team through. I criticized the best first and want him to be greatest ever. Yonus Khan should also take the lead. Misbah is also matured enough and have broad shoulders. Malik is good in taking responsibility but needs to work a lot to become a test batsman.

  • Adeel on July 9, 2009, 1:07 GMT

    part 2:

    Force Akhtar to retire. Young Aamir has shown he is more than capable. Finaly pak needs another keeper batsman. Amkal has impressed in the T20 with his improved batting & keeping. At test level maybe its worth having him open while have a specialist keeper. We've seen Mcclum of N.Z do it. Good to see Younis lose his rediculous smiles when going gets tough!

    Pak played well in this test throughout until the last day. So they've shown they have the ability to play and compete. Now the only question is will they have the temprament to level and maybe win the series is only the shrink they've hired can answer!

  • Adeel on July 9, 2009, 1:05 GMT

    Another collapse. nothing new or unusual. But one thing that is really wrong in the current selection is the long term vision for the team. selection is all wrong. first of all Butt needs to be kicked so hard that he can never return. he is useless player. we started to win matches in T20 w/c when Butt was shown the door. he has just 1 or 2 shots thats it. Fawad needs to take place of Malik. Malik promised so much potential when he first came on scene. Now he has the usual attitude "i'm senior". his bowling is gone, fielding is lazy & batting declining. Fawad would be a great replacement for Malik. Then Misbah is now 35. he had his days but he is not a dependable player. A young player should be brought in. Younig should bat at No 4 after Yousuf. Also Afridi should be brought in. Has anyone seen his test record? He avgs 37 with the bat and his bowling now has never been better. Please please do not bring back Akhtar. He will ruin the current good atmosphere in pak team.

  • Malik Saeed on July 8, 2009, 23:24 GMT

    You are right kamran pakistan has more than once contrived to turn a winning position into a losing one in the 4th inning of a Test match. Yousaf looked amateurish against Herath. Pakistanis have a habit of making run of the mill bowlers look great by their lack of applicatioin in batting. They say Misbah has excellent temprament. I disagree; he cost Pakistan the 1st edition of Twenty20 World cup by playing a stupid shot and in this Test match he found a way to run himself out and contribute to Pak's loss where some carefull batting would have won Pak the game. He desperately needs, together with other Pak batsmen, sports psychologists. Would PCB take note please. Malik Saeed Toronto canada

  • Malik Saeed on July 8, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    You are right kamran pakistan has more than once contrived to turn a winning position into a losing one in the 4th inning of a Test match. Yousaf looked amateurish against Herath. Pakistanis have a habit of making run of the mill bowlers look great by their lack of applicatioin in batting. They say Misbah has excellent temprament. I disagree; he cost Pakistan the 1st edition of Twenty20 World cup by playing a stupid shot and in this Test match he found a way to run himself out and contribute to Pak's loss where some carefull batting would have won Pak the game. He desperately needs, together with other Pak batsmen, sports psychologists. Would PCB take note please. Malik Saeed Toronto canada

  • Wajahat Khan on July 8, 2009, 22:45 GMT

    Why you are not giving chance to Fawad? Even he scored unbeaten 83*, why you do not think about Mr. Salman Butt? what he is doing? why he is in team? He scored lots of runs in ODI's and Test but against weak teams as you can see his records. Please out Salman and put Fawad, he is a good batsman, do not waste him to let him chance as allrounder, he would be a genuine opening batsman. Khurram also not look like a good batsman, Pakistan have lots of good openers than Khurram, you have Toufiq, Hameed, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Imran Farhat & even Asim Kamal can play as an opener then why you are going with these foolish openers? Once you got out to Butt from T20 WC you got started to won. He is unlucky. Please try it and solve the opening matter, your everything is right except Opening Matter.

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on July 8, 2009, 22:43 GMT

    Salaam to you all my Muslim brothers and also to dearest Kamran Abassi vhai. Well, agree or disagree-- I don't want talk about that. But, please Kamran vhai send my messages straight to Pakistani cricket board that Khurram Manzoor, Abdur Rouf were they relative to any officials, how much ability they have earned to play cricket. And especially, is Younus Khan fully supported, co-operative attitude and honestly no jealousy by Shoaib M, Misbha-ul H, others. How did Salman butt take a well immatured shot before he had lost his senior Muhammad Yousuf judged by Lbw not too much closely. Please rectify the team before 2nd test starts, change the first eleven Razzak & Kaneria must be included to be replaced over Khurram & Abdur Rouf. Younus,Yousuf, Misbah & Malik should consult each other where the Pakistani cricket is going to fall down at damn hell to path of upcoming future. Now, They should love the country, be unified & disciplined, become a honest patriot to lead their cricket team.

  • Waqas on July 8, 2009, 22:24 GMT

    well well well..... what can you say about the outcome of this match. I think pakistan responded poorly, after their great first 3 days. I really thought they had this game in the bag, well why not? Sri lanka had no Murlidaran, no Malinga, no Vaas, if there full bowling attack wasnt available, then what was the problem. Im not saying Thushara and Herath are rubbish bowlers, obviously not, they bowled out pakistans team, but they arent sri lankas 1st choice bowlers. Well pakistan have always struggled, they just dont seem to overcome their problems, playing left arm bowling (Herath), has lost the game i would say. Mathews Played really well considering he was on debut, he contributed with the bat and the bowl. Mohammed Aamir and Saeed Ajmal also played a crucial part. Pakistan need to bring in Fawad Alam and possibly abdul razzaq. Finally.........MORE NET SESSIONSS

    WORK ON YOUR BATTINGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! x 1000 Your Bowling is Good, Dont lOSE THAT.

    WIN THE NEXT 2 GAMES :D me 4giv

  • Junaid on July 8, 2009, 15:46 GMT

    Come on there were a lot of postives in this match. I think Pakistan looked really good for 3 days and it was one bad session on day 4 (infact a few overs from Herath and Thushara) that changed the match. Mohammad Yousaf and Misbah were great in first innings and they were responsible to get a lead. Amer and Ajmal bowled really well in their first test to give Pakistan a chance to win. Our problem is that Salman, Younis and Malik are looking out of form. New guy Manzoor looks confused(he is not ready for international cricket) and in form Akmal needs to spend more time on crease. Best of luck for the remaining 2 tests and I am sure this team has the ability to win atleast one of the remaining 2 tests.

  • Philip Gnana on July 8, 2009, 15:31 GMT

    You need to give credit where it is due. There was total lack of application by the Pakistani batsmen. It even seemed as though they had taken the win for granted and did not truly give due recognition to the Sri Lankan bowlers. May be the fact that they did not have their regular and familiar bowlers which caused this under estimation. The Sri Lankans have proved again that they are a bunch of fighters when they are faced with their backs to the wall. In 2006 in England they fought bravely from a no hope situation to bat two days to draw a game and take the honours. These experienced cricketers are still in the team. Philip_Gnana New Malden, Surrey

  • Farrukh Usman on July 8, 2009, 15:02 GMT

    Its too much to ask from a person comming back after two years. He made the 100, what others are doing? We don't we play 10 bowlers and one bats man(Yousaf). This is what Bradman team should have done, too!

  • Ghufran Ahmad on July 8, 2009, 14:59 GMT

    Thats Pakistan we all know. Even chasing 100 runs can be a mountainous task for them. No one to blame. We love it that way, because we know they are tigers and fighters. They become more dangerous after defeat and give us spectacular bounce back, which no other team is capable of. Razzak and Afridi should have been in on those pitches. So relax and wait for next show.

  • Ray on July 8, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    Its a team failure, yes. But the run-out of Yusuf in the 1st innings was decisive; why did they even run for it, its not a T-20 game. At this level Malik should be experienced enough not to call, and Yusuf should've been running in line of the stumps. Very basic mistake that allowed SL to come back. As far as Fawad Alam's inclusion goes, he's an ordinary player. He might suit T-20, because of the nature of the game, but all his weaknesses will be exploited in test cricket. He can hardly bowl, and lack a decent range of shots to qualify. Although Saeed and Rauf were very good, but maybe Kaneria in place of either would've been a better bet - we needed an attacking bowler. Razzak, well, maybe in some capacity - but remember Razzak was a very average test performer. Misbah and Shoaib should take on more responsibility or show pave the way for Asim Kamal - 8 50's in 12 tests- what more can you ask?? Salman it seems has lost his touch, he did have it in him but seems very nervous.

  • R Sivasubramaniam on July 8, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    Dear Kamran Firstly, players must be made to fight for their places. Once they get complacent the rot sets in. Don't blame the batting on the 4th day as the only factor. Look back on Day 1 and the spilled catches. That's where the match was lost. What is the point in having a wicket-keeper who drops catches? Why drop Abdur Razzaq? Younis bowling before the regular bowlers have had a chance, does he have no faith in those whom he picked? The Pakistan think tank has some problems to solve before the second test. As one born in Sri Lanka, it was great to see SL win, but it was Pakistan that lost the match that they were leading for 9 sessions only to lose it all in the 10th. Siva from Singapore

  • Irfan on July 8, 2009, 14:44 GMT

    Yousuf is Yousuf and he is a run-scoring machine. Traditionally this machine doesn’t work well in a situation like the second innings. But basically he did his job, so get off the man. I have always said about Butt’s ability to handle seem or movement and he has proved me right time and time again. Unfortunately we don’t have a third opener in the team so we are stuck with him. Malik should make way for Fawad, period! Danish is past his prime his striking and wicket-taking ability has dwindled in past couple of years so not playing him was the right choice. It looks to me like Rauf may have to make way for Razzaq. Although the poor guy didn’t perform all that badly but it looks as though he will be replaced. All those who thought that after winning T20 we have become world-beaters in all forms of cricket live in a fool’s paradise. We still are a familiar Pak side with batting problems all too well known. Good luck for next game!

  • Amer Husain on July 8, 2009, 14:41 GMT

    I agree that the team selection was poor and some new blood is needed in the team. I really would like to see Fawad Alam replacing Malik. I have seen him play a few times and he seems to have an air of confidence when he bats and some steel in him that would strengthen the middle order. Also, Razzak has this ability too and has shown it a number of times in the past. We need a class spinner but Kaneria is lacking that wicket taking quality that Mushy possessed.

  • amjad on July 8, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    guys please give them a break. it was just a collapse and dont ever think that any team in the world is above such collapse. it has happened to world champions Australlia, even S.A and india. so what if it happned to pakistan yesterday. it was just ONE BAD SESSION guys. and 90% of the game was controlled by the pak team. so dont take credit away from them and we can forgive them once atleast after the T20 trimph

  • Rehan on July 8, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    Just drop Misbah..I didnt watch the match but i just saw his dismissal..What was he doing?Did Pak require 1 from 1 ball?

  • V J Robinson on July 8, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    Pathetic.Mohammad Yousuf is overrated.He is a good batsman,not a matchwinner.Heshould be rested.Every century which he scores,is with a slice of luck,no chanceless centuries to date.Because of the lack of quality players Pakistan is dragging all those old hands,just to form a team rather to make a team to play positive cricket.

  • Haris Abbasi on July 8, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    this test match shows that all of our batsmen are just flat track bullies with no technique watsoever in facing seam and swin bowling. Shoaib Malik showed as much capability as a lower order sri lankan in batting. If u actually want to play another all-rounder in test matches then why not Afridi....? Otherwise surely asim kamal or fawad alam. and as for as an opener i would prefer nazir over butt. butt knows only one shot. That is the square cut. He has no other shot in the book and no mental strength at all to bat in pressure situations.

  • Mohammad on July 8, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    Sri Lanka has pulled a slightly fortunate vitcory wihout runs from Sangakkara or Jayawardene....

    I saw wom one saying so.. Is that fortune not the talent of great bowling.... someone can say Pak batsmen are played lazy cricket, but why not he can give the credit to the bowlers, because he is looking at it without neutral eyes.. May be batting was weak but isn't it a great performance taking 8 wickets(not just 2 or 3) in spare of 46 runs.. being seen the loss on their door steps....

  • Shawhal on July 8, 2009, 13:57 GMT

    I agree with people saying that Yousuf should score when it counts. But please, he contributed a ton to the cause. The rest of the senior batsmen are the most to blame. But even the inexperienced guys should get some stick. They are big boys and each one of them must want to do the job. Look a young guy like JP Duminy. He frustrated the Aussies down under. Everybody in the team knows what needs to be done. They should stop the excuses of inexperienced team. Because this happens too often when it comes to Pakistan. And yes, they need a batting coach and a fielding coach from either SA or AUS. Possibly a psychologist to work on the mental side of things too.

  • Shahiq Ahmed on July 8, 2009, 13:52 GMT

    Well ... this was Yousuf's comeback test and he performed fairly well in it with a century in the first innings , and I think that too was a terrific effort ..... every other batsmen was struggling and he just hung in there ... scored precious runs ... and then again , he was asked again to do the job .... I mean what on earth are the Malik's & Misbah's doing in the team ???? Just one series , in Misbah's case , dont make you a great player and ... ah , Malik , what to say of him .. the last time I remember a good knock from him was against Lanka when he opened and saved the match .... I seriously dont remember anything after that .... they should bring in players who are dependable and consistent , Yousuf cant score a century in every innings , nobody can ... BTW , Yousuf have played some terrific knocks throughout his career (Lords , Headingly , Lahore , Karachi .. many ) and with the highest centuries / matches ratio except DON , he still aint considered a great !!!!

  • ALI ABID on July 8, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    i see that it was the over confidence which broke into the team. team was on top in 3 days and just in 1 hour they slipped. it was just matter of 2 small partnerships. they need to understand the worth of partnership and spending time on wicket.positive messages were there as well. like team was looking like a test unit although batting is always trouble.Amir was remarkable.

  • roomi on July 8, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    Give the guys a break. yes the collapse was immature to say the least. But Pak's first test after a long time and it good in a way that they lost cos 20-20 win glossed over lots of deficiencies in the side. Malick doesnt make the test side, barely makes the one day side. Like in 20-20 they need to find the combination. Afridi's impact was huge and his test average is a decent 37 and his bowling merits him being in the side only if he himself agrees. Butt and Khuram Manzoor's places look vulnerable too with Imran Nazir back in the reckoning though he is limited over specialist. and what happened to the consistent yasir hameed? Pakistan have been saved time and again by their bowling. They need to get their batting combination right. Alam also merits serious consideration instead of Malick.

  • sabby on July 8, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    pakisan have to mentally prepare there batsmen, they have to get a batting coach

  • Muhammad Haseeb on July 8, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    Well, Batting never been Pakistan strong point. In the past, Pakistan won matches due to its strong bowling, Fazal Mehmood, Khan Muhammad, Imran, Sarfraz, 2 W's, Shoaib, Asif etc). I can't remember any test match won by Pakistani Batsmen. It was just unbeleivable to lose eight wickets for just 47 runs. Only Pakistanis can do that. They are in the habit of doing impossible tings. They can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and they can also fetch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • sanjeev on July 8, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    well pakistan played well..but why depend on yousuf only his hundred was crucial in the first innings...in the second innings he got a good ball that can happen to any batsman...yousuf played well he laid the platform..but salman played a rash shot and misbah got himself run out..the entire team should take responsibility rather than depending on only yousuf..he played mendis well..pakistan lost to a team widout murali, vaas and malinga still they lost..yousuf should teach how to play mendis he played for the first time and he played him well..footwork needs to improve esp on swinging conditions and lastly why is shahid afridi not playing he can turn a match if the pitch is docile he can bat at a higher position and wen pitch is iffy for the batters he can play lower down and dont forget he is a good bowler too..i am amazed that no one mentioned his name!!!!

  • rathore on July 8, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    i think we r being unfair to Yousuf.

  • Syed on July 8, 2009, 12:21 GMT

    What are these former players talking about that razzaq, kaniera & alam should have played.. The pakistan bowling was not the problem, it was the batting & the panic that sets in when they lose a wicket or 2. People should also remember that Pakistan have not played a Test for a long time so it will take time to adjust.

  • Rauf on July 8, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    Why is it that a team under pressure of T20 world cup final could chase down 139 in less then 20 overs but is unable to chase down 170 with two days of cricket and that too against the same team. They could have made run an over and still able to chase down 170.

    It's lack of discipline to play test cricket. Test cricket is a man's game compared to hit-and-miss T20 show. It's not one player's fault but a series of blunders by all the batsmen. Bowlers did their job but the batting failed. If Afridi could pull out a gem of an innings in T20 final to chase 139 then why can't our top six batsmen chase 170 in two days?

    Did I mention lack of discipline and understanding of test cricket? Three run outs in two test innings... what's the hurry guys? They have talent but can someone please teach these players some discipline and teach them how to play test cricket? Thank you!

  • Prakash on July 8, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    1-0 Srilanka. Bring Back Imran Khan..

  • ijqureshi on July 8, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    We need three different types of players for three different versions of cricket it will be better for us if learn this lesson quickly.

    3 teams 3 different types of players for 3 different kind games!

  • Shahid on July 8, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    I think differently, Yousuf's first inning was an inning when Pakistan needed it. He came when Pakistan was in early troubles and he left Pakistan leading. Other batsmen are not kids, they must also do their job.

  • Zaffry on July 8, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    Mohamed Yousuf A Class Act batsmen but he did not get the century playing fairly. As A true sportsman he should have walked when he was caught on 50 odd runs.Everyone says that cricket is a gentlemens Game but what Mohamed Yousuf did Was not what a gentleman does.waiting till the umpire to raise the finger even when he knows that he is out.

  • Fasiha on July 8, 2009, 11:33 GMT

    Miss you Inzi :(

  • asif sarfraz on July 8, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    I couldn't believe it turned on the television in the morning! Saw the breaking news someone has won by 80 runs! Then I thought to myself we could of only won by wickets! So I looked at the screen again and saw that sri lanka had beaten us! I couldn't believe it! Enough said about that! Haven't we yet realised that the batting is our week point and that we should employ a batting coach! Come on guys do this as quick as possible, because this our weak point and that's just an understatement!

  • ahmed khan on July 8, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    i want to share wid u guys dat fawad alam should b there and abdul razaq instead of adur rauf and khuram manzoor and salman butt should b out of game bcuz dey are out of form and kamran and shoaib malik should do the opening and rest team is gud the squad should b like this kamram akmal,shoaib malik,youniskhan,M.yousuf,misbah,fawad alam,abdul razzaq,umar gull,M.aamer,kaneria,abdur rauf

  • Naz Mayadeen on July 8, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    Sad to see the comments on trying to find a scapegoat to blame the loss by Pakistan. Unfortunately no one seems to have dared to comments on the brilliant captaincy and team performance by Sri Lanka. Well done SL, Long may the Lions continue to roar!

  • salim on July 8, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    Salman Butt is the main culprit. I dont know why he's picked in all forms of the game. Teams know how to strangle him and salman dosent know to overcome those moments

  • Arshad M. Anjum on July 8, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    Dear Mr. Kamran, You did not bother to touch basic problems of Pakistan batting lineup i.e. consistant failure of openers and incosistant performance from other top order Younus, Shoib, Misbah and Akmal. Instead of appreciating and encourging Yousaf's brilliant comeback inning, you have choosen an irrelevant subject for criticisim. Yousaf don't need endorsement of greatness from anyone. He will continue contributing his best efforts for Pakistan, as he did in past in spectacular manners. Most of our top order has played along with Inzmam, but what have they learnt? Nothing substantial. No signle top order player showed enough maturity to stay on the crease to play a sensible test inning. Team coach must have a hectic session with players and teach them difference in T20 and test cricket approach. Instead of blaming Yousaf, teach every batsman to follow his approach for delivering consistant performances. This is purely a team game and not an individual's game.

  • mislam on July 8, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    I do not understand why a player who scored a century and gave a lead to the team has to take blame when half dozen players can not score 50 runs total. They should be blamed, they are the culprits. I was disappointed as Razzaq and Fuad were not in the team. The main problem of Pakistan cricket is the management has failed to find a good opening pair and a group of consistent performers. I have rarely seen such a hopeless performance by a group of players who won the T20 just few days back. I think the main point is what Younus said,' we thought we have won the game' forgetting the fact that Pakistani batsmen have the worst record of wining test chasing a 4th inning total of 150 plus. Mr. Yunus Khan (pathan) needs to play with the bat leaving the bowling to the bowlers. Good Luck in the next test with Razzaq and Fuad. A win is a must and they can do it.

  • shahid on July 8, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    well some of the umpiring was pathetic taking nothing away from sri lanka's win which was more of a pakistani loss than their win. and you cant blame yousaf,its 7 batsmen in team and each one has to contribute,if yousaf is good with first innings 100's than thats fine some body must be able to score a fifty in second innings and become back bone for second innnings. after all his first innings 100 gave pakistan the fifty run lead other wise pakistan would have lost by 150.and would have never been even in search of a victory here. sense should prevail, Shoib mailk has to do alot in domestic 4 day cricket to prove his place in test team ( 20-20 is ttally different and one day as well,he will be in my teams for thse formats but not Test),where is shahid afridi,can some body comapre test record of shoib and shahid and give me stats.i am sure shahid would be far better as batsman and even as bowler.who is this khurram manzoor as a test match opener??????

  • Chishty Mujahid on July 8, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    Pakistani fans are now used to be let down by their cricket team in the hour of crisis. What is required is the concentration of Hanif, the technique of Miandad, the style and grace of Zaheer and the guile of Mushtaq Mohammed; in Galle we also needed the all round ability of Abdur Razzaq, the youtful exuberance of Fawad Alam and the the experienced wrist spin of Danish Kaneria.Afridi should not have decided to pull out of the Test squad citing tiredness (a thorough professional, 29 years of age , full of zest and enthusiasm burnt out at 20??). It was the razzle dazzle of the ICC World 20/20 that seems to have affected the Pakistani cricketers at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium. Lack of cooperation, team spitit was noticed in the second innings. The committment, responsibility were missing and the shot selection was absent; result: abject surrender and ultimate defeat nay disgrace. Pakistan must pull their socks up; regroup, restarategise and go back to thedrawing board.Goodnight&goodluck

  • Jawad Khalid on July 8, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    The match was there for the taking but unfortunately Pakistani Cricket team could not cash in the oppourtunity. The problem lies with the batting and specially with the Salman Butt, Khurrum Manzoor, Shoaib Malik and to some extent even Younas Khan. As far as Muhammad Yousaf is concerned, he just played his first match after more than 1.5 years in wilderness and his century in the 1st innings was the reason Pakistan took the lead, otherwise the team was tottering around 80/4. The bowling was some thing exceptional from the Pakistan Cricket Team during the 1st match. Plus Kamran Akmal need to spend more time on the crease during batting. He looks in a very good touch but isn't staying enough on the batting crease...

  • Atif on July 8, 2009, 10:12 GMT

    I think we should sit back and consider the positives and negatives which came out of this match.

    Its easier to point your finger at someone. Either Yousuf, Younus or whoever. I personally feel that Pakistan played well during first 3 days and on the fourth day we lost the concentration. But it could happen to any team and to start aiming your sentiments and comments to the players I think is not a way to appraoch this.

    If it would have been the other way around, I am sure we would have been cheering for our team right now. Sri Lanka is also a good team and they were there to play as well. Give them credit for playing better cricket.

    And last but not the least, give your team and players some freedom and let them play. Trust me, no one likes loosing and specially when you play with the name of your nation.

    We enjoyed the T20 vistory with crziness, now atleast accept the test defeat with grace.

  • Dr.khurram shehzad on July 8, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    well, i thing its normal with pakistan to win a match when nobody think of it and to lose when nobody expect them to do so.

  • mohammed naiem on July 8, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    khurram manzoor should be immediatelely fired out from the team.his feet movement is not upto the level of school cricket. shoib malik should open the innings & razzaq should be included in the next test.

  • Razoon on July 8, 2009, 10:05 GMT

    I am from Sri Lanka. We all know Yousuf was lucky to get a hundred in the 1st inns. On a spinning track I never expected Yousuf to be the danger man, The best wicket SL captured was on 3rd day evening. Younis was the only proper batsman against spin and he needed to stay, he should have batted down. On team selection, I think Abdul Razzaq should have been selected. He got a hat trick on the same venue in 2000. His seamers would have caused more trouble.

  • pachako on July 8, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    i sugest to bring malik to open, drop butt and bring alam in the midle order

  • khawaja Ahsan on July 8, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    Yup couldnt have agreed more. Both Javed and Miandad were exceptional in finishing the games off. Also, i could remember many games which we couldnt win most recent being the third one dayer against Australia in UAE. Somethiong needs to be done about this habit of "choking" under pressure of winning.

  • Ajaz Quddusi on July 8, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    Question? Why we accepted the bad light and stopped the run chase. Sri Lanka were down and out on that day. Another 20 to 30 runs on day 3 would have made the life easier on day 4. While batsmen opted for convenience, they did not realise the potential new threats in the stores , waiting next day. Where is the high risk? Bat in a bad light against a weak opposition or give opposition a chance to re-group and come back with more favorable consitions. Point to ponder!!!

  • arfatmirza on July 8, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    of all the players in all the teams in all the world, you blame Yousaf.. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  • Athar Sherwani on July 8, 2009, 9:39 GMT

    I was amused to read Younis Khan's comment that Pakistan lost the match due to inexperience of young players. What nonsence! Apart from Khurram Manzoor, rest of our Batsmen are regular and well established players. Problem really lies with our batting technique or lack of. Most of our Batsmen are struck in the crease and tend to either stab at the ball or play across the line in desperation. Hence they are totally vulnerable to accurate and moving balling. We need to hire a influencial batting coach who can compel our batsmen to develop sound batting technique. Until such time it's futile to expect much from this team. Nevertheless,Fawad Alam must be brought in the playing eleven by dropping Shoaib Malik.

  • kamran saeed on July 8, 2009, 9:31 GMT

    I think rite now misbah is a very big liability on the team...age seems to have caught up with him...he is 35 now and much more sluggish then he was 2 years back...his hand eye coordination seems to have gone..he does not ball and is a real liability in the field...i think he shd be dropped and young fawad alam should be tried

  • Zubair Pakistan on July 8, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    Aamer, Ajmal and Abdulk Rauf bowled brilliantly to get key batsmen Singakara, Jaywardane out cheaply in both innings. Pakistan played well for the first three days but batsman played badly on fourth day and paid the price.

    Only one fielder Paranavitana was positioned outside the 15 yard circle. Salman Butt played what was least expected at this stage of game. Commentator said:

    "Herath to Salman Butt, OUT, Butt has holed out! Pakistan are in a spot of bother now, the pressure was on and Butt, who had played so well yesterday, heaved it straight down deep square leg's throat, unnecessary shot, he probably aimed to relieve some of the pressure but has ended up creating more

    Salman Butt c Paranavitana b Herath 28 (99m 53b 4x4 0x6) SR: 52.83

    Pakistan have been rocked early today. Shoaib Malik walks in to weather the storm, this is more interesting than we thought it would be. Irresponsible cricket there by Salman Butt "

    And Misbah ran himself out

  • tarek on July 8, 2009, 9:01 GMT

    Why pick on Yousuf alone? He cannot drop anchor by himself. All senior batsman can share some of the blame. Time to drop Malik for Alam, drop one openner for Akmal's openning the innings and bring in Razzak. Pak had three of their batsman running themselves out, that is a shame compared to none in the SL innings. Pak was on top for three days and crumbled in one session to lose the game. They need a batting coach as well.

  • H.Malik on July 8, 2009, 8:51 GMT

    Dear Kmaran , I guess my previous solgans wrttien here in your blog several times before might be just the word to describe this setback. THE bunch of swining YOYOS , are what they showed us time and time again . From the height of T20 mountain to the sands of Gale , only a Team full of These YOYOs could do it and this is not the last time either ,,,,,,,,

  • Imran Chandio - London on July 8, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    Assalamu Alikum to all.First of all a truely great return for Mohammed Yousuf, it's a blessing to have our best batsman back int he team, to have treated him the way the PCB did was shameful in the least. Pakistan have always lacked in batting power and have never really been a clinical batting team, batting as I am always told week in week out by my county coach is all about focus, concentration and mental toughness, which I do have but I seem to loose it very quickly at present I play or minor county Berkshire and have made a few big scores this season, 80 here and 72 last month but I seem to not have the staying power at the crease and get out very quickly, I can make a ok pitch look decent and can get out in my own mind, Pakistan batsmen like Javed Miandad were legends of Pakistan who made it hard for bowlers to get them, now Pakistan batsman look like they will get out sooner rather than later.Those words,focus,concentration,determination come back,value your wicket like your life

  • Naz on July 8, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    The issue Pak faces immediately is the lack of quality openers for a number of years, when chasing such low totals (or even high ones). To even reach a target of 30-40 without loss consistently feels like a "miracle". Butt has played 23 Tests yet never looks settled and also has a low average of 28. In the recent 20/20 most felt ODIs/Test suited his natural game - but i fear he's forgotten the basics and needs to go back and practice - preferably not when playing for Pak!

    The criticism of Yusuf is a little strong, as he has been consistently scoring the last few years even allowing Pak to win or draw matches thru 1 big inns. Should Younis be bowling so much in humid conditions when it could affect his batting?

    With the openers so hopeless, i'd open with Akmal and play Fawad. With the pitches gripping, i'd play Razzaq for Gul/Rauf - his wkt to wkt line could be handy....

  • Owais on July 8, 2009, 8:26 GMT

    The problem is that batsmen like Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik are not performing at all. They have been mediocre at best in last 2 years in batting at least. if Shoaib has made some contributions in batting and can also bowl, there is no justification in continue investing in Salman Butt. Similarly Kamran Akmal is good in 20-20 cricket, maybe to some extent in 1-day cricket as well, only if he opens the innings. Otherwise, in tests he should be immediately removed as his catching (or lack of it) has been costing dear to Pakistan eversing 2006 series in England. All the other players have justified there positions in the test team one way or the other. Also consider bringing in Kaneria and/or Fawad but with a condition of having a decent wicket keeper behind the stumps. Its just plain stupidity that due to Akmal, we cant have attacking spinners on the team.

  • Pak Cricket Fan on July 8, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    Yousaf is a great player without any doubt and to some extent he was not responsible for Pak's down fall. He had won number of matches for Pak and we should give him sometime to come back into the grove. He came in the morning and took a fresh start and a good ball had him. The collapse started from Salman butt's silly short. The downfall was a combination of silly shorts, runouts and some good bowling by Lankans. Salman Butt, Misbah and Kamran Akmal are to be blamed. All of them either played silly short or ran for a run unnecessarily. Younis himself hasn't clicked in the match. Though he took couple of wickets in both innings but he should have shown more maturity while batting. In the next game, i think Salman Butt should be replaced by Fawad Alam and Shoaib Malik should be asked to open the batting. Danish Kanaria should replace Saeed Ajmal, as he was ineffective throughout the match.

  • Maaran on July 8, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    Well, Pakistan would not have found itself in a winning position if not for Yousuf's inspirational first innings hundred. You would be delusional to suggest that he is not as good as Inzy, Miandad or Imran (!?). It is the other 10 batsman who need to pull their weight. you can't win cricket matches with 5 bowlers and 1 batsman.

  • Javaid Abbasi on July 8, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    This defeat is almost identical to the one we suffered at Sydney in 1972-73 rubber against Australia. Needing only 159 to win, Pakistan collapsed from a fairly comfortable 83 for 3 to 106 allout, last 7 wickets crashing for only 23 runs - and those wickets included names such as Majid, Zaheer, Asif and Mushtaq. On the penultimate day, they were in a pretty hopeful situation at 48 for 2 with Majid and Zaheer at the crease, similar to our 71 for 2 on this occasion. But the final day then, as indeed this time, was a disappointment of the worst kind! It left me depressed for days. But, then you tell yourself its only a game of cricket and may be we should be happy for the other team - how about saying well done SriLanka for pulling off an improbable victory! And, well done Australia in 1972-73! Ian Chappell called Pakistan "Panickstan" after that defeat in Sydney! Pakistan does have a history of panicking or getting too excited right before the finishing line - 1975 world cup defeat to WI!

  • Shani on July 8, 2009, 8:19 GMT

    i agree Yousuf should take more responsibility like Javed Miandad or Inzi he got out just in the 2nd over of the day and other guys became under pressure.... Shoaib malik should be dropped from the Test side.

  • Khurram Dawood on July 8, 2009, 8:18 GMT

    Hey. Yes we lost but give team time and they will learn. I would like to see Malik out and Asam Kamal inn. Alaway dispointed not se him playing. Eveery selection komitee is unfarir with him.

    Need som changes in team.

    Malik should not play test match. Give Asam Kamal his place.

    Khalid Latif should play instead of Khurram Manzoor. Khalid Latif is GREAT player.

    We are missing Fawad Alam in side too also why we always have but in team ?

  • Muhammad Faisal on July 8, 2009, 8:15 GMT

    I dont believe on in Kamran that Yousuf has not played decisive innings for Pakistan. Has he not scored a century Pakistan would have been in deficit in the first innings. I Suppose Yousuf along with Saeed Anwar are the two most classic batsman Pakistan has ever produced. Javed was a great player a real fighter. Inzamam was a good batsman but more of a hype. His records against Australia and South Africa was appauling, managing only 1 century. For me Pakistan has produced 6 Great batsman, Hanif, Zaheer, Javed, Saeed, Yousuf and Younis

  • Venkat on July 8, 2009, 8:09 GMT

    First innings hundred's win test matches. Younis set it up with a brilliant hundred in the first innings. And I was expecting an easy victory. True, Younis didnt deliver in the second innings. But you cannot be that harsh on a guy who batted brilliantly against Mendis(Indian Batsmen, are you watching?) and co. It is just one of those very Pakistani things to goof up from a position of such strength. But a really good test match. As an aside, if this is the qualoty of test cricket we are going to have in every series, test cricket will live on.

  • Suhail Akhtar on July 8, 2009, 8:08 GMT

    My understanding is that Pakistan Team batting is a total failure. We won the 20/20 WC purely becuz of our luck otherwise our batsmen had left no stone unturned in the defeat of the team. There were sooo many blunders in the batting we can just can't count them. Whenever Shoaib Malik is playing it looks like is playing for the Opposition.

    I was betting with my brother that Shoaib Malik will be Out of Zero as i was 100% sure what he is going to do.

    During the Chase in the test match the biggest blunder was Younis himself coming to play; instead he would have sent Abdul Rauf or Kamran Akmal. Abdul Rauf Proved during the first inning that he is a capable of keeping one end.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2009, 7:59 GMT

    True path to greatness can be treaded only when Yousuf scores heavily and consistently against the likes of Australia and South Africa - the potent bowling forces. Beating blue the Indians and the English bowling attacks whilst falling cheaply against Aussies and Saffies won't be giving him an entry to the elite batsmen's club.

  • AM on July 8, 2009, 7:54 GMT

    Mr Abbasi,my pain with Pakistan cricket started with the 3rd Test at Leeds in 1971, when chasing a mere 231 runs, Pakistan could only manage 205, with Zaheer Abbas after his Ist Test 274, out for 0. Then in 1972-73, against Australia at Melbourne after a generous declaration by Ian Chapell in the 1st innings, Pakistan had to score 293 on the final day. Surely they could have at least drawn the test after scoring 574 in the 1st innings. No, they lost by 92 runs. Worst was yet to come. At Sydney Pakistan only had to score 160 runs to win. They lost by 48 runs. It was only under the Captaincy of Imran Khan that Pakistan finally began to win some matches when defeat was staring Pakistan in the face. But since his departure, Pakistan has basically gone back to square one. Until our domestic cricket starts producing mentally tough players like Miandad and Imran Khan many more unpleasant debacles are in store for us. Competition must be learnt at the domestic level not at the Test level.

  • Shahzad on July 8, 2009, 7:53 GMT

    Well Kamran I agree with you that Pakistan has never been good at chasing targets but we I think we should oust Salman Butt & Misbah Ul Haq they are failing to much.

  • illi on July 8, 2009, 7:53 GMT

    Yes, Kamran u r dead right... & Yousaf hasn't got much time on his side to prove that he is not a very good player but a Great player... Younis should also be thinking about his own batting form specially in Tests. After that triple century he seems to be not getting on with it. Also Salman Butt's lofted shot was really disappointing as he couldn't mange an aerial shot in the whole T20 WC but here he did it just to throw away his wicket and start the slide.

  • Sorcerer on July 8, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    It was all too predictable. Misbah, though is the main player to fill the breach here. He is the one with the unflappable temperament as he has shown on a number of crunch situations to summon the steely nerve required to stay at the crease and perform. What was most annoying in Yousuf's first innings dismissal was his tendency to avoid getting hit by the ball resulting in him moving sideways thereby losing the precious milli-seconds that would have saved him from being run-out as a big lead for Pak beckoned.

  • Samiuddin Khaja on July 8, 2009, 7:50 GMT

    I agree on the point that the best batsman in the team should be playing that match winning second innigs consistently. thats y Sachin Tendulkar rated his 100 against england last year amongst his best

  • Ahmad on July 8, 2009, 7:49 GMT

    Its the same as what I said when there was an article about Yousuf's greatness as a batsman, he has to play the unselfish innings like you've mentioned where he anchors down and just takes Pakistan team through. His approach though is still to score runs for his milestones and then just ease off. No one can say he had a bad comeback game, he scored a century and the stats are on his side but he let the team down with that run out in the first innings, he was unconvincing in the second when he knew the team was under pressure and the captain was already out. For a guy who has been rushed into the side, and for a guy who is rated so highly this is a huge flaw and one that takes us back to thinking would it be better to have a team man in the middle or do we need a great who only hungers for his records?

  • Asim on July 8, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    Comeon guys ... about time that Fawad Alam gets a place in the team ... if there is no place in the middle order then ask him to open the innings and he will be much better then the two that we currently have in our team.

  • sheikh danish mazhar on July 8, 2009, 7:22 GMT

    A very good article.However i believe its too late for mohammad yousuf to change the way he bats or add more responsibility when it matters. I think its not about an individual its about pakistan team playing as a whole unit in test matches.Almost everytime pakistan fails to get big 1st innings lead despite of tackling opposition bowling for longer period of times. And in 2nd innings they fail to chase any total no matter how meager it is. Younis khan did very well to bowl himself,i am really impressed by his attitude. But the question remains the same can we play as a team for longer periods? The answer is no. We cannot be successful consistently until and unless we have players who have this burning desire to perform and who have this fear to be replaced by somebody else in case they dont perform.

  • EAMiran on July 8, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Yusuf is a run scoring machine; however his ability to score in pressure situations, to either salvage or win a game has always been question. That said, he is by far the best batsmen Pakistan have and to put the onus on him for the debacle is unfair. If it wasn't for his 1st innings knock we would have been long gone. The real tragedy is that we continue to play nothing players like Butt and Malik. Both are flat track bullies and have little stomach for anything else. The other notable fact is that for some reason our public and selection committee continue to believe that players that are good at performing a certain role in 1 format of the game can perform the same role in another. This is not true. Case in point - Umar Gul. He may be a potent weapon in shorter versions of the game but is not a strike bowler in test cricket. At best he is first change.In effect we had 1 strike bowler - Aamer and two 1st/2nd change bowlers going into the test match. That is not the way to win.

  • Khurram Shahzad on July 8, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    We played the match with 7 batsmen (if Malik can be counted as one) and only one man went on to make a century, that too despite exile of almost two years. It's not fair to criticize his commitment and contribution at least in this game. He saw through the third day, brought the target less than 100 and also its important to note that he was the one to go before this crisis came, 7 wks were still there and on that surface any mediocre team could make it, no heroics were needed at all (as you are referring in your post).

    Instead of criticizing him, we should salute the greatness of the man and the class that he brings and concentrate more on the 5th and 6th slots, are Misbah & Malik justifying their positions, especially Malik.

    I would like to see Fawad given a chance instead of him, he is a genuine batsman with higher average in first class than both Malik & Misbah anyway, I don't know why we are not using his potential properly.

  • Kool Kat on July 8, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    My commiserrations with the Pakistani team. However, this was Test cricket at its best. No T20 can ever match up to this. We look forward to two more terrific test matches and of course, the Ashes too.

  • Ahmer Salahuddin on July 8, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    Exactly this is all true I am 100% agree with you Mr. Kamran Abbasi. Mohammad Yousuf is a prolific batsman but he lacks in giving a knock that his team need in the penultimate time of a test match that you have mentioned is that when Pakistan is in second inning chasing or saving a test match. Yousuf must learn this attribute which is really more than making heavy averages & runs scoring records.

  • ahmed on July 8, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    I agree on that we need someone who can finish off a game, i feel that pakistani batsmen didnt plan on how to approach the total, i feel that u should not overthink a situation, but i also believe that no pakistani batsmen thought out how to approach the target, which is very unfortunate, its a mental thing more the anything, u learn through club level at a young age to keep mentally strong throughout the game, whatever the scenario, it just makes u think did the pakistani batsmen even for a momnet plan or even think on how to approach the mere total??????

  • Bilal Shah on July 8, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    Regardless of how astonishing Pakistani surrender seems, it can not be denied that Pakistani batsmen lack mental toughness. Ofcourse Sri Lankan bowling was good, but what should have been a walk in the park chase, turned out to be a complete surrender. As Younis Khan himself mantioned that Pakistan side should concentrate on small proportions of the game, winning sessions will result in winning the game. You simply cannot afford to let 1 session - in this case - 1 hour of play, decide the game. I hope that Pakistan team gathers themselves now as the task has grown even harder now. Good Luck to them

  • Shahzad on July 8, 2009, 6:30 GMT

    Another good article Kamran. I totally agree with you, the problem with Pak batsmen is their mindset more than their technique. We all know how good a batsman Yousuf is and he's my favourite player but I must say he's not good at all when he has to play a good knock under pressure. I hope he could learn this from Inzi. We were all hoping Misbah would turn out to be a great finisher for Pakistan but that hasn't happened. Maybe its time to give a chance to Fawad to see if he could do this for Pak?

  • Vishnu on July 8, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    Dear Kamran, As a ture Indian supporter, I did not mind Sri lanks's victory as I liked the way it was achieved. Coming to Mohammad Yousuf, I do not agree with your observation that in the second innings when it really mattered, he failed. When you take the first innings score, it was in a pressure situation that he excelled. On this occasion due to his centure only Pakistan managed to be able to force a victory, but in the ended failed. Therefore even the first innings was quite decisive. You also clarify this by saying that its 'a welcome triumph' to have him back. On the whole he may lack certain attributes to make it to hall of fame, but nevertheless, still a pak great.

  • Zaki Haider on July 8, 2009, 6:20 GMT

    I am very much agreed to the blogger. Yes, Yousuf must now realize that he is the senior most batsmen and he has to take responsibility to WIN matches for Pakistan. This is the case with Sachin also; there have been alot of discussion Sachin being a century maker but not a match winner like Steve Waugh, Brian Lara, Javed Miandad and Inzi.

    The class and charisma of Yousuf's batting is undoubtedly amongst the best in the business but he needs to become the back bone of Pakistan batting and should hold all the batting line-up around him. He has played many matches with Inzi, I think he should learn this trait from his veteran peer (Inzi).

  • hur rizvi on July 8, 2009, 6:15 GMT

    Well what got wrong was not actually yousuf he got almost an un playable delivery which turned into him it was nearly a left armers dosra what went wrong was that salman butt played a real irresponsible shot to get out in the same over and to me Malik is not a test player Fawad alam deserves a chance now and i wont like to see Faisal iqbal yet again we have seen a lot of him he is not a player of international calibre WELL DONE MOHAMMAD AAMER

  • Theena on July 8, 2009, 6:14 GMT

    I agree wholeheartedly with your assesment on Yousuf. He makes batting look ridiculously easy - am I the only one who see shades of Mark Waugh in his batting? - but, like the younger Waugh, seems content with looking pretty playing those silken cover drives as opposed to actually winning matches for his side. A pity because Yousuf has the makings of an amazing batsmen.

  • intikhab kazi on July 8, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    the thing with this pakistani side is they think a lot about themselves. Specially after being crowned the "T20" world champions. I did write earlier also that they should change the team. salmat butt- that piece of s***, i dnt know why he is still in the team. hello, he has not and will never perform in his life. he sucks. get abdul razzak instad of that abdul rauf guy. only pakistanis are the ones who can loose like this easy games. pathetic display of cricket. amazingly, they never surprise us. all i say is dnt take salman butt out of the team, kick him out of the team.

  • Gohar Ayub on July 8, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    Kamran, i don't disagree with you as far as your comments regarding yousaf are concerned; what more can you expect from a guy having not played international cricket for so long? Other senior batsmen i.e. shoaib malik and misbah ul haq should also take more responsibility; they are visibly not committed to the team cause; how misbah and particularly shoaib malik can justify their places in the team; what they have done in T20 world cup and assignments under younis?Why we are relaying on these tested and failed players when we have talented & technically sound batsmen like Fawad Alam; Younis needs to change his strategy of playing non committed players(by just considering their mere seniority) instead he should believe in the youth; he should learn from his experience of playing younger players like Aamer in the bowling department. Pakistan team is representing the nation. Come-on!Younis; you are our last hope; be more bold and don't get blackmailed by these so called senior players.

  • Faisal Amin on July 8, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    Excellent point. To be considered a great batsman you have to play match saving/winning innings in test cricket. I am confident though that Yousuf has the capacity to deliver and hopefully he would.

  • Abbas on July 8, 2009, 5:51 GMT

    It was totally rediculous batting. Pakistani team had two days to bat, they required less than 100 with eight wickets in hand, the most reliable batsman was in crease, and what happened then!!!! They lost. They were not able to chase even 168. If we find the reason of such foolish batting, the collapse began after salman butt played rediculous shot. What in hell he was doing? when yousuf got out, he had to play key role. But No, he was playing T20. HUH

    For me, fawad alam should get place in the final eleven, because he can play good cricket and he has a cool character.

    Lets hope atleast Pakistan dont come back loosing the series

  • Milan on July 8, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    I couldn't believe how the Pakistani batsmen approach the target. We all believed the game would be over by lunch. It happened but the result was opposite. Pakistani batsmen looked mentally weak batting in the fourth innings of the test match. Every batsmen made mistake and i couldnot believe how Salman Butt and Misbah threw away their wickets. "Unbelievable" is the word. Come on batsmen - Show some guts. Please don't embarrash your fans.

  • Dr Arshad Hasan on July 8, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    Well said Kamran Bhai, but as a pakistani supporter it really hurts to see the team go down like this. This is to take nothing away from the excellent seam and spin bowling display by the lankans. But then you should expect this standard of bowling at this level of game. Hopefully Yousuf bhai will rise to expectations in future, and with Shahid bhai soon to join, will add a new dimension

  • Niazi on July 8, 2009, 5:19 GMT

    Classy and fighting Innings by Yousuf and Misbah in the first Innings. Disgraceful and pathetic performance by rest in the 2nd innings, though the pitch was tricky but 91 needed with 8 wickets in hand wasn't hard. Pakistan needs proper opening batsman and good #3. Nasir Jamshed, Imran Nazir and Yasir Hameed are good options. Butt is not in form and I think he should sit out for a while or play more domestic cricket. Malik, Rauf shouldn't be in Test side. Give Fawad and Razzaq chance. I have been playing competitive cricket in Australia for the past 4 years, it didn't took long for me to figure out that most of our players have batting technique flaws that need some serious attention. You don't have to be a brain surgeon (Attn Intikhab and other coaches) to be able to pick those flaws and recitify them. Our team needs a good batting coach and a good kick up their....

  • Aero on July 8, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    T20 champs.. This is a test match. you played well in 1st inning. But 2nd? Middle order totaly waste. We are wainting for second test match.

  • Samir, India on July 8, 2009, 5:10 GMT

    Before the lynch mob gets in remember that this is still early days. Even though this team has won the world cup, they've had very little test match practice. In spite of that, to be the only team that could win in the first three days is indeed commendable.

    Welcome back Pak....

  • Alex Farooque on July 8, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    So true. We fell like a house of cards. I am a serious fan of Test cricket because in this game teams have to have strategies not "a strategy". Things keep on changing in this game so quietly that it's almost like a war between Montgomery and Rommel. Out smarting each other. We lost fair and square against the Lankans and all hats off to them, specially to Hearth. Good bowling mate while Mendis; not much of a mystery anymore or is he still?

  • Valerio on July 8, 2009, 5:07 GMT

    Kamran, Interesting article. I have to say from a neutral perspective (Australian fan) it was a great Test Match to follow. Fantastic to see the bowlers taking wickets and great to see an old-fashioned last day batting collapse. Mohammad Yousuf has got an amazing Test record, but I take your point that some runs are worth more than others. The Pakistan team looks really inexperienced a Test level. Hopefully they can really develop from here and play plenty of Test cricket. I look forward to them putting forth a strong showing in Australia in 6 months or so.

  • Usman Moorad on July 8, 2009, 5:01 GMT

    Astonishing collapse really, but you just cannot even partially blame yousuf here. A 100 on his first test innings in 13 months, and then he was beaten by a fantastic ball in his second innings. I think more has to be expected of players such as Butt and Malik. Butt's dismissal was just atrocious, he has been around for a while now and is running out of excuses. Misbah seems to be having a dry spell as well. Manzoor is just not going to succeed in this series, why not bring someone who has proven himself in every scarce opportunity that he has been given, Fawad Alam? Akmal could open, it's not like he is very strong at number 7 anyway.

  • WASEEM on July 8, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    I dont think so that we will use to blame consistently Two Ys(Yousnas and Yousaf). Its true that they are the most senior batsmen in the side. But is their whole reprehensibility on both of them to guide Pakistan out from trouble. Than whats the Role of Malik, Misbah, Butt (as they are also senior and have to sense the responsibility) and some young players. Do we always play with Two Ys. It is understood that a single or two man cant guide team to victory as if a team wana win than one or two good performances and some average performances needs to win a match specially a test match cant won by a single man. The most disappointing moments was when Butt was out playing a lose shot a the other was Misbah's runout. He was running for a no run and get him not only out but outclassed. On the whole if we wana win than we should come out from the whole of Yousaf Bahi aur Younis Bahi hain na (Yousaf and Younis is their). My faith and trust are still on Pakistan team. Wish them best of luck.

  • Armaan on July 8, 2009, 4:59 GMT

    I think pakistan team need to move forward and take few good dicision. At this movement player like S.Mail and Misbah is not playing good cricket or they are not in a good form so Younus Khan should relize this. Fawad Alam who play good knock of 80+ in pratice match he should play instead of S.Mailk or Mishab.

  • Umair Khalid on July 8, 2009, 4:59 GMT

    It's a shame that Pakistan always lose when they are in a winning position. The way the Pakistani batsmen played in the last innings in just pathetic. It was like they have never played international cricket before.

    Anyways praise goes out to the Srilankan team for keeping faith in themselves and bamboozling the Pakistani batsmen. Srilanka would definitely have won comfortably if they were chasing a total of 165 in the last innings against the Pakistanis.

  • Farooq Tahir on July 8, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    It's so sad to see our team losing from such a winning position. I m really disappointed by our middle order batsmen. What the hell Misbah was doing there? from same position Inzamam would have won the match for Pakistan as he had done in the past. it's not easy to fill the shoes of some one like Inzamam who was a true match winner. Pakistan has to think about Shoaib Malik and his role in the team as a test player. Players like younis and Misbah should now take the responsibility and perform more often.

  • Luke on July 8, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    Absolutely agree Kamran. I've thought that the 20/20 success would amount to little if Pakistan didn't translate that commitment into the test arena. Their batting looks shaky under pressure whereas Sri Lanka has pulled a slightly fortunate vitcory wihout runs from Sangakkara or Jayawardene. It should be a great series and it's wonderful to see the two teams squaring off following Lahore. Good on you lads.

  • cric_fanatic on July 8, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    I hadnt even bothered to watch the forth days play expecting an easy victory for Pakistan. It was only when a collegue at work said Pakistan lost that i watched the replays. the only question that comes to mind is "HOW" ?? it was an easy winning situation. a golden oportunity. I dont want to think Pakistan is back to their old ways especially after the way we won the T20 WC. Do some things actually not change ? Its a harsh reaslity again for Pakistan fans. we were ready to expect magic in every match but have been brought back to earth by our team. Come on guys, some of us are still celebreting the WC victory here.

  • Abdur Razzak on July 8, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    i agree, yusuf shoudl have been more watchful. these are totals which can trouble any team especially on a tricky pitch. missed out on a golden opportunity to lad 1-0. it seems very unlikely of a series win or even a draw.

  • Faridoon on July 8, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    You know all is well with the world when Pakistani politics is in turmoil, there is excessive load shedding in major cities and Pakistan cricket batting sides are rolling over like tumbleweed in a Texas ghost town.

    One T20 world cup victory and we thought we had turned into some world-beating giant-killing team of cricketing heroes. Mind you we did come within 50 runs of sustaining those thoughts. But, we are still the same team that can beat the best on any day and lose to the worst on any day.

    The switch from T20 to Test cricket has not been easy for either side. Neither team stayed at the crease throughout any given single day. Maybe the schedule should have been the other way around, first the T20, then the ODIs and then the Tests. We could have gradully eased into the longer versions.

    But, in any case, Paksitan needs to dig deep now and find some batting resolve. The bowling has been great, so no changes required in that department. Good luck Team Pakistan.

  • Zia Matloob on July 8, 2009, 4:05 GMT

    I don't think Yousuf it the problem here. I think its time Pakistan recognize the under performers such as Salman, Shoaib, Kamran, and give other opportunity to prove themselves such as Surfaraz, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam. We need to create an environment that promotes higher degree of competition for a place in the team for any spot. I think at this time only Yousuf and Younus should be consider a default choice. Yousuf had done his job in the first inning and Pakistan had an edge not only that but he was the first one to fall on last day when Pakistan was in a comfortable position...... the real problem was started with Salman Butt's irresponsible shot... with two days in hand there was no need to play that shot. Then Malik as usual did the same thing, and then came our choker Misbah who still can't perform under pressure.

  • Faisal Bilal on July 8, 2009, 4:01 GMT

    Yes Kamran. I fully agree. Even 30-40 runs in a pressure cooker situation are more worthy than a 100 if it helps a team to win. Many of Tendulkar's 100 have been wasted when India lost and many of Inzy's 40s-50s have made Pakistan won. Yousuf need to be like that!

  • hameed on July 8, 2009, 4:00 GMT

    The game was their for taking but missed the oppurtunity to go one up in series. Still it is game can happen to any team. On Several occasion pakistan did this to other team when Waqar and Wasim were in peak. There are plenty of positive to take from this game Specialy the emergence of Amir. Won't complain too much as Pakistan is playing almost after three years

  • Prabhu on July 8, 2009, 3:56 GMT

    Please give Yousuf a break. He is just playing regular cricket after a long time. Similarly, Pakistan should get the benefit of doubt. Test cricket is a difficult business, and it is difficult to get the rust off so easily.

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  • Prabhu on July 8, 2009, 3:56 GMT

    Please give Yousuf a break. He is just playing regular cricket after a long time. Similarly, Pakistan should get the benefit of doubt. Test cricket is a difficult business, and it is difficult to get the rust off so easily.

  • hameed on July 8, 2009, 4:00 GMT

    The game was their for taking but missed the oppurtunity to go one up in series. Still it is game can happen to any team. On Several occasion pakistan did this to other team when Waqar and Wasim were in peak. There are plenty of positive to take from this game Specialy the emergence of Amir. Won't complain too much as Pakistan is playing almost after three years

  • Faisal Bilal on July 8, 2009, 4:01 GMT

    Yes Kamran. I fully agree. Even 30-40 runs in a pressure cooker situation are more worthy than a 100 if it helps a team to win. Many of Tendulkar's 100 have been wasted when India lost and many of Inzy's 40s-50s have made Pakistan won. Yousuf need to be like that!

  • Zia Matloob on July 8, 2009, 4:05 GMT

    I don't think Yousuf it the problem here. I think its time Pakistan recognize the under performers such as Salman, Shoaib, Kamran, and give other opportunity to prove themselves such as Surfaraz, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam. We need to create an environment that promotes higher degree of competition for a place in the team for any spot. I think at this time only Yousuf and Younus should be consider a default choice. Yousuf had done his job in the first inning and Pakistan had an edge not only that but he was the first one to fall on last day when Pakistan was in a comfortable position...... the real problem was started with Salman Butt's irresponsible shot... with two days in hand there was no need to play that shot. Then Malik as usual did the same thing, and then came our choker Misbah who still can't perform under pressure.

  • Faridoon on July 8, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    You know all is well with the world when Pakistani politics is in turmoil, there is excessive load shedding in major cities and Pakistan cricket batting sides are rolling over like tumbleweed in a Texas ghost town.

    One T20 world cup victory and we thought we had turned into some world-beating giant-killing team of cricketing heroes. Mind you we did come within 50 runs of sustaining those thoughts. But, we are still the same team that can beat the best on any day and lose to the worst on any day.

    The switch from T20 to Test cricket has not been easy for either side. Neither team stayed at the crease throughout any given single day. Maybe the schedule should have been the other way around, first the T20, then the ODIs and then the Tests. We could have gradully eased into the longer versions.

    But, in any case, Paksitan needs to dig deep now and find some batting resolve. The bowling has been great, so no changes required in that department. Good luck Team Pakistan.

  • Abdur Razzak on July 8, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    i agree, yusuf shoudl have been more watchful. these are totals which can trouble any team especially on a tricky pitch. missed out on a golden opportunity to lad 1-0. it seems very unlikely of a series win or even a draw.

  • cric_fanatic on July 8, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    I hadnt even bothered to watch the forth days play expecting an easy victory for Pakistan. It was only when a collegue at work said Pakistan lost that i watched the replays. the only question that comes to mind is "HOW" ?? it was an easy winning situation. a golden oportunity. I dont want to think Pakistan is back to their old ways especially after the way we won the T20 WC. Do some things actually not change ? Its a harsh reaslity again for Pakistan fans. we were ready to expect magic in every match but have been brought back to earth by our team. Come on guys, some of us are still celebreting the WC victory here.

  • Luke on July 8, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    Absolutely agree Kamran. I've thought that the 20/20 success would amount to little if Pakistan didn't translate that commitment into the test arena. Their batting looks shaky under pressure whereas Sri Lanka has pulled a slightly fortunate vitcory wihout runs from Sangakkara or Jayawardene. It should be a great series and it's wonderful to see the two teams squaring off following Lahore. Good on you lads.

  • Farooq Tahir on July 8, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    It's so sad to see our team losing from such a winning position. I m really disappointed by our middle order batsmen. What the hell Misbah was doing there? from same position Inzamam would have won the match for Pakistan as he had done in the past. it's not easy to fill the shoes of some one like Inzamam who was a true match winner. Pakistan has to think about Shoaib Malik and his role in the team as a test player. Players like younis and Misbah should now take the responsibility and perform more often.

  • Umair Khalid on July 8, 2009, 4:59 GMT

    It's a shame that Pakistan always lose when they are in a winning position. The way the Pakistani batsmen played in the last innings in just pathetic. It was like they have never played international cricket before.

    Anyways praise goes out to the Srilankan team for keeping faith in themselves and bamboozling the Pakistani batsmen. Srilanka would definitely have won comfortably if they were chasing a total of 165 in the last innings against the Pakistanis.