Champions Trophy September 25, 2009

Pakistan seek a batting hero

Earlier this year, India and Pakistan played out a 'warm up' at the Twenty20 World Cup
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Mohammad Yousuf has the ability to prove any critic wrong © AFP
 

Earlier this year, India and Pakistan played out a 'warm up' at the Twenty20 World Cup. It had the atmosphere of a final. These old rivals have also tussled in South Africa in major tournaments, the close encounters of the 2007 World T20 being the most exciting. Yet perhaps the match of greatest importance was the 2003 World Cup clash at Centurion Park, a defeat that marked the end of an era.

For well over a decade, Pakistan had held the upper hand and approached a must-win match with a team full of the modern legends of Pakistan cricket. Unfortunately, that tournament was the twilight of the idols. India, meanwhile, were beginning to flex their muscles as a formidable international force. When the braggard Shoaib Akhtar steamed in expecting to demolish Sachin Tendulkar's defences, the little master smote him to the boundary and beyond. In that moment, Pakistan were vanquished and South Asia's baton of supremacy passed eastwards.

In the intervening years, India's cricketers have outplayed Pakistan's, while their adminstrators have given their Pakistani counterparts a sound thrashing. Clearly, the turmoil around and within Pakistan's borders has made the PCB's task difficult, although the PCB's inadequacies have also been a major contributor to the fragile state of Pakistan cricket.

Now Younis Khan's team approaches this Champions Trophy contest with a hint of momentum, and the confidence of World T20 Champions. Despite India being weakened, Pakistan will start as underdogs, which will help them. Importantly, they have avoided a potential banana skin on a difficult track against West Indies, however unconvincingly.

India have also indulged in some pre-tournament nonsense with Gary Kirsten's sex dossier urging the Indian players to indulge often, and even single-handedly, to build testosterone levels. A quick search of Google Scholar provides no reliable evidence that sex can boost testosterone levels sufficiently to enhance performance. The evidence on going "solo" is non existent. It's a study that might be difficult to conduct as most top sportsmen probably want to keep their nocturnal shenanigans to themselves. Either way, India's opponents will take great pleasure in the sledging opportunites that been showered upon them.

As ever, Pakistan supporters have no expectation that their team has a secret dossier of any kind. More importantly, they have no idea what to expect from their team but the focus of debate is around selection. The easiest one to deal with is Mohammad Asif. It would be nonsensical to introduce him at this stage, which means it's hard to see why he would be selected at all in this tournament. A couple of years ago, this young man carried the hopes of Pakistan's bowling fortunes. A privileged position that he threw away through his own stupidity.

Asif is immensely fortunate to be back in international cricket. He is also immensely short of match practice, something the Pakistan team management chose not to correct in the build up to this tournament. What's more, the Pakistan attack has a settled look to it and a balance that should suit most surfaces, especially Centurion Park.

The trickier decision is who should Younis Khan replace, assuming he remains fit? First, Younis has to play, He is captain and leader. That leaves Imran Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, and Misbah-ul-Haq. Nazir must play too. He is the only opener in Pakistan's squad and has a destructive ability that can swing any match. I'd play Malik for his ability to lay a firm foundation but also mount an assault. He is also a sixth bowling option and a reliable fielder.

I'd also play Misbah. He is a more natural one-day player than Yousuf and despite his recent form I'd back him to marshall the lower order better than his more illustrious colleague. In truth, I'm not sure what Yousuf's role is in the one-day team? He is the weakest fielder amongst the batsmen, and his real value is in Test cricket rather than in the limited-overs variety. It's touching that Pakistan are patiently welcoming him back into the bosom of the one-day team but wouldn't it be better to back a younger, hungrier man, a player for the future? Is Yousuf a realistic candidate for the next World Cup?

Of course, Yousuf has the ability to prove any critic wrong but the signals from Younis are that he wants to leave a legacy, a formidable group to take Pakistan cricket onwards after his retirement. In that case, he needs to identify some new batting heroes, other than Umar Akmal, and he must find them quickly.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • taimur ali on October 2, 2009, 0:13 GMT

    kamran abasi i am gona be rude with you now cause,you are going against yousaf,in comparison of misbah and malik.For GOD sake open your eyes. It was just the writers like you in early 2000 that were against wasim,waqar.inzi but now they are missing them so much and i do believe that once yousaf retired you will express in your words how good he was.If he has not played a winning role in pakistan bating line so who has played i pakistan's histroy of bating.maindad,inzi just vey few of them and who is the best batesman now in country tecnicaly he he the best for now.you must be ashamed of your self.what is misbah and malik infront of yousaf not even a club level cricketers.Shame on you

  • GUJAR on September 28, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    I REALLY MISS WASIM AKHRAM AND WAQAR YOUNIS, NO MATTER WHAT BATSMEN COME OR HOW MANY CENTURIES ARE MADE, PAKISTAN WILL ONLY SUCCEED WHENS THIERS AN UNPLAYABLE BOWLING ATTACK, I HOPE MHD AAMIR AND SOHAIL TANVIR FORM THAT KIND OF PARTNERSHIP. INSHALLAH.

  • Iftikhar Qureshi on September 27, 2009, 9:44 GMT

    Did you say..."I'm not sure what Yousuf's role is in the one-day team"....guess now you know.

  • sonia naz on September 27, 2009, 9:36 GMT

    all the best yusuf aap buht accha khylty ho super good hum india se jeety aap ki or malik ki waja se all the best team PAKISTAN

  • Zeeshan on September 27, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Kamran, you were 100% correct in saying 'Mohammad Yousuf has the ability to prove any critic wrong'. He did, none better than you!

  • addas khan on September 27, 2009, 7:01 GMT

    I find it really hard to believe that anyone would consider dropping Mohd Yousuf for the less than average Misbah-Ul-Haq. Why is it that while the rest of the cricketing world would be more than happy to have someone like Mohd Yousuf in their side our 'intelligent' cricket columnists who do not have a clue about how the game is played are always calling for his head! I think it was Nick Knight who yesterday expressed great shock on air when he was told his place was in doubt! I mean he oozed class yesterday coaching Malik along the way to his, what i believe his best ODI innings of his career. I was in Pakistan recently and having talked to family, friends and and other it seems like players like Younis Khan and Mohd Yousuf are the most maligned and people like Nazir and Afridi are rated. I guess our public in Pak only like gun-ho batting and dont appreciate world class batting that only the two Y's often display. Kamran get off Mohd Yousufs back and please dont compare Misbah to him!

  • BattosaiXX on September 27, 2009, 6:26 GMT

    Retarded comments by this author. I am talking after watching the match. I want all the people to talk now about dropping M. Yusuf. This author is confusing 50 over match for 20/20. Sloggers dont win 50 over match we learned it from years of Afridi's batting ( no disrespect as he is amazing all rounder). As for Younis Khan, he should not even play ny version of cricket beside test as he destroys Pakistan game comming 1 down. Afridi should be made captain for 50 over matches cause Younis decision are game costing. As today he giving over to umer gul again and again after geting bashed every over almost cost us the game. with 32 avg and his mentality of wasting overs in power play is wrong for the game. His settling in the power plays affects the whole team tempo n increases pressure as our openers never click and he is always in early. I should retire and only play test match which he is amazing at. As his only arsenal is one day cricket is a sweep shot. Stay out of 5050 team.

  • Sidra on September 27, 2009, 6:20 GMT

    It was great To see Mohammad yousuf making contribution for Pakistan ..to see him back in form .Along with shoaib malik ,he put up a brilliant partnership and the credit goes to these 2 for the victory of Pakistan.

  • uscricketlover on September 27, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    Mr phillips, where are you, Pak won and Eat your words, buddy.....

  • waterbuffalo on September 27, 2009, 3:21 GMT

    As usual, Kamran Abbasi is wrong. Without Yousuf's run a ball innings and calm demeanour , Pakistan would not have won last night. And you suggested that Yousuf be dropped for Misbah. How can anyone take you seriously? I would rather post in the English blogs because I know you don't know the first thing about cricket when you cannot see the value of Mohd. Yousuf.

  • taimur ali on October 2, 2009, 0:13 GMT

    kamran abasi i am gona be rude with you now cause,you are going against yousaf,in comparison of misbah and malik.For GOD sake open your eyes. It was just the writers like you in early 2000 that were against wasim,waqar.inzi but now they are missing them so much and i do believe that once yousaf retired you will express in your words how good he was.If he has not played a winning role in pakistan bating line so who has played i pakistan's histroy of bating.maindad,inzi just vey few of them and who is the best batesman now in country tecnicaly he he the best for now.you must be ashamed of your self.what is misbah and malik infront of yousaf not even a club level cricketers.Shame on you

  • GUJAR on September 28, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    I REALLY MISS WASIM AKHRAM AND WAQAR YOUNIS, NO MATTER WHAT BATSMEN COME OR HOW MANY CENTURIES ARE MADE, PAKISTAN WILL ONLY SUCCEED WHENS THIERS AN UNPLAYABLE BOWLING ATTACK, I HOPE MHD AAMIR AND SOHAIL TANVIR FORM THAT KIND OF PARTNERSHIP. INSHALLAH.

  • Iftikhar Qureshi on September 27, 2009, 9:44 GMT

    Did you say..."I'm not sure what Yousuf's role is in the one-day team"....guess now you know.

  • sonia naz on September 27, 2009, 9:36 GMT

    all the best yusuf aap buht accha khylty ho super good hum india se jeety aap ki or malik ki waja se all the best team PAKISTAN

  • Zeeshan on September 27, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    Kamran, you were 100% correct in saying 'Mohammad Yousuf has the ability to prove any critic wrong'. He did, none better than you!

  • addas khan on September 27, 2009, 7:01 GMT

    I find it really hard to believe that anyone would consider dropping Mohd Yousuf for the less than average Misbah-Ul-Haq. Why is it that while the rest of the cricketing world would be more than happy to have someone like Mohd Yousuf in their side our 'intelligent' cricket columnists who do not have a clue about how the game is played are always calling for his head! I think it was Nick Knight who yesterday expressed great shock on air when he was told his place was in doubt! I mean he oozed class yesterday coaching Malik along the way to his, what i believe his best ODI innings of his career. I was in Pakistan recently and having talked to family, friends and and other it seems like players like Younis Khan and Mohd Yousuf are the most maligned and people like Nazir and Afridi are rated. I guess our public in Pak only like gun-ho batting and dont appreciate world class batting that only the two Y's often display. Kamran get off Mohd Yousufs back and please dont compare Misbah to him!

  • BattosaiXX on September 27, 2009, 6:26 GMT

    Retarded comments by this author. I am talking after watching the match. I want all the people to talk now about dropping M. Yusuf. This author is confusing 50 over match for 20/20. Sloggers dont win 50 over match we learned it from years of Afridi's batting ( no disrespect as he is amazing all rounder). As for Younis Khan, he should not even play ny version of cricket beside test as he destroys Pakistan game comming 1 down. Afridi should be made captain for 50 over matches cause Younis decision are game costing. As today he giving over to umer gul again and again after geting bashed every over almost cost us the game. with 32 avg and his mentality of wasting overs in power play is wrong for the game. His settling in the power plays affects the whole team tempo n increases pressure as our openers never click and he is always in early. I should retire and only play test match which he is amazing at. As his only arsenal is one day cricket is a sweep shot. Stay out of 5050 team.

  • Sidra on September 27, 2009, 6:20 GMT

    It was great To see Mohammad yousuf making contribution for Pakistan ..to see him back in form .Along with shoaib malik ,he put up a brilliant partnership and the credit goes to these 2 for the victory of Pakistan.

  • uscricketlover on September 27, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    Mr phillips, where are you, Pak won and Eat your words, buddy.....

  • waterbuffalo on September 27, 2009, 3:21 GMT

    As usual, Kamran Abbasi is wrong. Without Yousuf's run a ball innings and calm demeanour , Pakistan would not have won last night. And you suggested that Yousuf be dropped for Misbah. How can anyone take you seriously? I would rather post in the English blogs because I know you don't know the first thing about cricket when you cannot see the value of Mohd. Yousuf.

  • Imran Khalid on September 27, 2009, 2:53 GMT

    You asked for a batting hero and voila, a hero was found. Now here is a shocker, the hero was someone you thought should not have been a part of the team to start with. Mo Yo the great!!. You knew it too when you said that he can prove any critic wrong. Sure, Malik made a century but without M.Y to guide him along, it would have not happened. He truly showed his class. Surely the best batsman Pakistan has at the moment barnone. You can thank your lucky stars that you are a professional MD rather than a cricketing brain:) All jokes aside, would love to hear what you have to say and maybe even credit Yousuf with being the linchpin of Pakistani batting line up.

  • Sami Syed on September 27, 2009, 2:43 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbasi... seniors were onsong this game. Yousuf, Dravid... too good. How could you even call for Yousuf's ouster... Misbah was always the right decision. Best of luck to Pakistan... Yousuf is such classical batsman!

    Sami

  • Joji on September 27, 2009, 1:16 GMT

    So what were you saying about Mauhammad Yousuf ???

    I'd also play Misbah. He is a more natural one-day player than Yousuf and despite his recent form I'd back him to marshall the lower order better than his more illustrious colleague. In truth, I'm not sure what Yousuf's role is in the one-day team? He is the weakest fielder amongst the batsmen, and his real value is in Test cricket rather than in the limited-overs variety. It's touching that Pakistan are patiently welcoming him back into the bosom of the one-day team but wouldn't it be better to back a younger, hungrier man, a player for the future? Is Yousuf a realistic candidate for the next World Cup?

    ohhh !! ohh !! ohh !! He is most senior player in the team right now and he is almost as big a legend as inzi. Show the man some respect which actually he deserves.

  • Sheraz on September 26, 2009, 23:33 GMT

    Hmm, i guess Kamran now must have a different point of view now.

  • Danish Khan on September 26, 2009, 23:22 GMT

    "Mohammad Yousuf has the ability to prove any critic wrong"...You do concede then? After today's performance?

    And oh yeah...@Phillips...what were you saying?

    What a wonderful win!

  • drmjalamgir on September 26, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    Mr Abassi Mohammad Yuosaf, has slapped you again with his fantastic 89 runs.It seems you have been assigned aspecial task to negatively criticise mohd yousaf and Pakistan. I think it's the cheapist way please your masters and like other crazy pakistanees ,thriving on defamation of pakistan and pakistanees.Take some moral from the blogs of Indian & Srilankan blogers.

  • Asad on September 26, 2009, 21:10 GMT

    now look whos win

  • Shafiq on September 26, 2009, 20:24 GMT

    So, lok what has happened to paper No 1 in the world....pakistan thrashed them by 54 rns.... All those hoping 5 wickets from harbhajan, plz appreciate his best performanc against pak today, 10 overs costing 71 runs, and a last ball friendship gift fron malik.

    now i just want malik critics to appreciate the talented decent guy....yha match winner malik.

  • Saad on September 26, 2009, 20:23 GMT

    Its about time Abbasi sahab you should take a break and go back to your day job. With no cricketing background and with a fallacious observation as well as amateurish understanding of the game, you are not fit to comment on any matters related to cricket...Yousuf should have been played as he proved and no his beard is not a disqualifier...

  • S. Sheikh on September 26, 2009, 18:47 GMT

    What a sizziling slap that will leave marks for long time to come on the peoples faces who wants Mohammad Yousuf out of ODI. Great innings from Shoib too. It is so true "old is gold".

  • Pakistan Zindabad on September 26, 2009, 15:48 GMT

    Educated people should write educated comments Kamran. When was the last time you looked at the Pakistani averages? Yousuf is your best batsman so how could you justify any other batsman to replace him? Yes, Yousuf "has the ability to prove any critic wrong" and he has just proven his latest critic [you] wrong.

  • Nadeem Mirza on September 26, 2009, 15:12 GMT

    So Mr. Kamran who has steadied the Pakistan innings now with the score of 50 with the strike rate of 90? YOUSUF! And the last time he played India in this tournament he scored 81 not out and won Man of the Match award. [2004}. YOUSUF! Again if you know little about cricket, please don't ever make statements like this. I don't know who let you write or I should say who write for you?

  • Muhammad Noman on September 26, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    I am sorry to say i am a bit disappointed with Kamran's comments. This is the problem with most Pakistani cricketing fans. A young player scores in two-four matches is given more respect than a class act. Imran Nazir no doubt has the potential to destroy any bowling attack. But potential needs to be proven. Omar Akmal is only young. Let teams see his replays and then he will have to prove. Another problem is that everyone eyes next world cup. World cup is not the only event that who will be available for next world cup. Right now its the champions trophy that matters. Its a wrong thought that you lose all events to prepare for next world cup.

  • Musa Khan on September 26, 2009, 11:50 GMT

    Assalam o Alikum! In fact it is very hard to decided that Younis Khan should either replace Yousuf Or Misbah but if u pay a little attention to the current form of of Misbah than it is very easy to drop him compared to drop Yousuf. The main thing is that our batting line is not clicking now a days specially the top order. There is no consistency and temprament. Our opener should play responsibily and must stay there at least for 10 overs. If the opener clicks than every one had shown there best below. Umer Akaml can play a key role but the match will be all about up to the opening pair partnership. Our bowling is the best but duw to the lack of consistency i would say out batting is not bad even i cannot say it good. Long Live Pakistan and May ALLAH give victory to Pakistan Team. Thanks

  • Zain on September 26, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    guys! pray 4 our team to be a winner in this critical champions trophy match

  • ali on September 26, 2009, 11:22 GMT

    i want to see yousuf's beautiful cover and square drives,only sangakkara has better looking drives than him.

  • Kamran Qureshi on September 26, 2009, 11:17 GMT

    No matter what side you play,Pakistan will remain unpredictable.This is the beauty of Pakistan style of playing and the thrill they provide.Cannot drop Yusuf.Yunus comes in for Nazir and Asif for Naveed.We cannot afford to wait for Asifs match practice,if we want him to perform play him sooner otherwise how will he get match practice.Again for Pakistn its all in the batting.Batsmen clicks;Pak wins.

  • surendra on September 26, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    i think once gain pakistani are going to play indscreetly as they play usually against india in big tournament this good sign for indian perspective

  • Salman on September 26, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    I think the question right now is not whether Yusuf will be able to play WC 2011 or not. Entire focus of the team and the team management should remain on Champions Trophy right now and i think Yusuf, Misbah and Nazir should always be part of the team playing this tournament. As for WC 2011, Pakistan can try new lads in forthcoming series against Kiwis in Nov but this is not the right time for experiments.

  • emad nayyer on September 26, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    hi;ya you were right about removing yousuf bcz of his slow playing he doesnt hit boundrys too often or even run fast between the wickets bcz in this match if pak bats first they have to score 250 + nazir and akmal shoud open then afridi than u.akmal and so on i think pak team should give asif a chance as he has a grat record bowling against india GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN

  • fawwad on September 26, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    come on yousuf bhia you cancan do it.

  • Nadeem Aziz on September 26, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    Pakistan should field 11 batsmen/all rounders as India is going to pound any Pakistan bowler as usual. It's better to take chances on batting rather than trying luck with bowling

  • Farrukh Touheed on September 26, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    There is no class of Yousuf compare to other batsman in the slot... i dont think Y Mr. Kamran changes his view after every match... once he scored century in his very first match after his baned period.. he was hero n now its seems he is the worst among all batsman.. huh wat a criteria u have dont know

  • MOHAMMAD ZUBAIR BLOUCH on September 26, 2009, 9:58 GMT

    INSHAALLAH we will win against india. Misbah should play like a player. for couple of matches he is not playing well. i think he should be dropped and Younus should play.

  • Rob Anderson on September 26, 2009, 9:51 GMT

    You are absolutely correct Kamaran. India have a hold over Pakistan now. They beat pakistan in Pakistan by 4-1 margin. This was unthinkeble in Imran-Javed era. If my memory serves me right, India have beaten pakistan comfortably in last 3 odi series. If pakistan manages to do better today, it would only be because of absence of sehwag, yovraj,Zaheer and Rohit sharma. Rohit Sharma single handedly destroyed them in T20 warm up. With regards to Younis khan, There is not much to chose between YK, Yousuf and misbah. You should check their odi record in last few years. They are pathetic to say the least. All 3 should be dropped and youngsters should be given a chance.

  • maza786 on September 26, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    A meaningful much anticipated neighbourhood rivalry! National pride and patriotism at stake. Aren’t those ever so wonderful things! Fasten your seatbelts, may the contest commence .........

  • shahzeb javed on September 26, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    i think nazir should play at no 6 or 7 because his technique as an opener is not so good He is a kind of player who can increase the run rate at any plae and time. 1 kamran akmal 2 shoaib malik 3 younis khan 4 Mohammad yousaf 5 umer akmal 6 imran nazir 7 shahid afridi 8 rana naveed/asif 9 umer gul 10 saeed ajmal 11 ameer

  • Kamran on September 26, 2009, 8:38 GMT

    Hi!!!!!!!! I belive there are two things to go with in todays match .If pakistan wants to be aggressive in this match they must go with Imran Nazir you never know what can he deliver in 10 or 15 overs but in case of playing safe they may dropp Imran and open with Younis or Shaoib but here they might not be that aggressive touch. So selection of betsmen would let us know mind set of team and management.

  • zia on September 26, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    I wonder why we are continously selecting Misbah and Yousaf inspite of being in disasterous form since long........ I dont remember any match wining innings from either yousaf or Misbah since very long and still they are aotomatic choice. I mean its so unfair with the youngsters or even players like asim kamal and muhammad Haffez who are finding their way into national team since very long. Now the PCB must realize that they have to build a stong bench strength rather than trying old flop stratigies again and again. In my view Misbah and Yousaf dont deserve to be in 15 men squad. In last match had Umar Akmal didn`t scored we might have seen him last time in this tournament atleast.

  • ALI DOST on September 26, 2009, 8:34 GMT

    I aggree with Mr.Kamran & do like Imran Nazir as an opener coz of his destructive ability & is for sure a match winner if he gets going, however saying that also aware of that if openers collapses PAK will need strong middle order batsmans to bail us out so can't leave YOUNUS,YOUSUF,SHOIB,MISBHA,U.AKMAL, AFRIDI & RANA are both good for late order batting line as both have ability to be destructive in the last 5-7 overs left, for bowlers i would go with M.AAMIR,GUL,AJMAL. Even though that i love M.ASIF has he is awesome but don't want to put him in this pressure cooker game against IND. So now the delima is that my list above has 12 names & i have to pick 11 so here is my final 11 list after thoughtfull consideration.

    MY FINAL 11 ARE : AKMAL SHOIB ( DROPING NAZIR FOR SHOIB ) YOUNIS YOUSUF U.AKMAL MISBAH AFRIDI RANA NAVEED ( PREF HIM OVR ASIF COZ HE CAN BAT) GUL M.AAMIR S.AJMAL

    LETS GO PAKISTAN, MAKE US PROUD AGAIN AS OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU. JEET KE GOE..GEO TO AIS

  • hasan on September 26, 2009, 8:29 GMT

    well i think misbah is the one who should be dropped his contribution to pak cricket after the 2007 t20 has been next to nothing age wise too i guess he is older then yusuf his only contribution has been his good felding.

  • Dr.Mubashir Hanif on September 26, 2009, 8:07 GMT

    Assalmaoalikum!Kmai bhaii!sorry dont agree on what you wrote about Yousuf.I think Misbah is a free rider and has been riding on the basis of T20 performances, He shall be replaced. Yousuf is a class in any format. In his class you dont tag him with a Test player or ODI or a T20. As a cricketer when you are bypassed (it happened to him in T20), a lot is happening in your head and its not easy to get back in the team and start scoring centuries, Yousuf still has to give much to Pakistan cricket in all formats, write it down. Its the dirty politics and the dictatorship at all levels due to which Pakistan and Paksitanis are suffering. About Pak/india, when the coin is tossed, all statistics is rubbish, who has been doing what. There will be intensity like ever, there will be heat, sensation,thrill and all that we love. There is history and pride of nations involved. Inshallah I will be watching the match on my laptop in helsinki wearing THE COLOUR, GREEN.PAKISTAN ZINDAABAAD. PEACE

  • ameel on September 26, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    Well everybody is entitled to his/her opinion which I don't beg to differ.Well I think sanity should prevail and must outweigh sentiments often bordering on personal whims.Mohammad Yousuf is a tried and tested performer and some more years left in him I reckon.See the way he was dropped by Younis in Srilanka ODI's did only to rattle his confidence.Younis in fact seemed oblivious that Yousuf was returning after some gap and expecting miracles from him in the very first ODI was shooting in the air.I reckon currently he is having tough times due to the slinging remarks made by former players and the pressure of performing well is getting the better of him.Just give him a full series and I am sure the confidence would be back inshaALLAH and he would be the contributor once again.He is still better than Malik and Fawad for talent only outshines the same.I hope Younis sticks with the senior pro and I have never seen a method with Imran's batting.Let's pray for Yousuf's form collectively.

  • Bilal on September 26, 2009, 7:37 GMT

    I love everybody's opinion and off course everyone is entitle to their opinion. But guys one thing we have to keep in mind is that Pakistan has an excellent panel of players to choose the best eleven. Everyone has talked about batting and who to drop and who not to drop. If I was the captain I will play four bowlers like the west indes in 1970's imagine If all four bowlers played and the destruction they will cause will be mind boggling. Pakistan batting has always been inconsistent since the 1990s and the two Ws were there to win themmatches.

  • Mehbub on September 26, 2009, 7:25 GMT

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Yunush Khan Mo. Yusuf Umar Akmal Misbabul HAq Sahid Afridi Rana Naved Umar Gul Aamir Mo. Asif

    Please Select Your Team In India Game........

  • Javed on September 26, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    I think pakistan have to play aggresively if they want to beat india. Aggressive attitude but not mad batting. I would drop Imran Nazir, and put Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal as openers I know many will not agree to change his position where he is doing so well, but this guy seems to have perfect technique for opener and with good temperament. I think he can be a good opener and solve the long standing problem of pakistan.

  • saf on September 26, 2009, 7:08 GMT

    i am amazed after readingg your comments about M.YOUSUF a player whos ave is about 43 in onedays is capable or not for odi interesting more then 60 fiftes and more then 12 hundreds more then 9000 runs and strike rate of 74 he is currently the best player in our team.

  • Mahmood on September 26, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    salam, misbah should be dropped rather than Mohammad Yousuf because yousuf is a legend.. hes been playing for pak for many years nd he has proved how quality player he is...he has jus com bak after 2 years so he needs some time whereas misbah, he takes time to settle in nd he wastes too many balls getting into his groove, also he is out of form so drop misbah nfor younis

  • yasser on September 26, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    i have seen most morronic comments in the blog that india would win on any other day than friday, if our team selection is like author of this blog suggested to drop muhammad yousaf instead of old misbah than offcourse we will loose . we are running our country with ad-hoc attitude and same is ture for cricket

  • A. Sattar from Karachi on September 26, 2009, 6:47 GMT

    abbasi's Nice article with some chat about Yousaf without record. Philips you are living in the world of dreams. Let's see honourable Younis XI will wake you up by defeating Dhoni XI in today's match Inshalla

  • alok on September 26, 2009, 6:46 GMT

    whats the need of replacing anyone?..why younis is playing when he is still injured..what will happen if he doesnt click?..his bravery will suddenly start looking foolishness..

  • Jawad Ali on September 26, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    And by the way if the fielding matters so much... Then what is "Kamran Akmal" doing behind the stumps.

  • Jawad Ali on September 26, 2009, 6:11 GMT

    Mohammad Yousuf is the most prolific ODI player of Pakistan. Lets see some Statistics:- => Yousuf's ODI Average is 42.74 & Test Avg is 54.87 (Both averages are higher than any other player around him & even better than the greats like Saeed Anwar and Inzmam)

    => He has scored in ODI 50s= 62 100s= 15 =>He has scored in Test Matches 50s= 29 100s= 24 200s= 04

    All this with healthy S.R. and overall consistency.

    There is no question that Yousuf has been the strength of Pakistani side. If one has to axe some players then Younus (Avg 33), Shoaib Malik (Avg 34) or Misbah (Avg 39) deserve to be considered first.

  • Minedreams on September 26, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    Well, a cricket fan I shall like both Misbah and yousuf to play in final X1. This shall very well be the match of the tournament. My predictions: Man of the match : Rahul Dravid [ 100+] India if batting first will win the match by atleast 40 runs and if batting second shall win with atleast 4 wickets in hands.

  • majid khan on September 26, 2009, 5:59 GMT

    i would like to answer mr sidhu come on baby dont panic panic we are pakis when we r on roll nobody dare to stop us even your 4 feet tendulkar is just a peanat so dont challenge us have a chill pill and prepare ur self to lose

  • Ali Yasir on September 26, 2009, 5:52 GMT

    Correct me if I'm wrong but Asif could not have been included prior to the Ind-Pak game as his one year ban ended the day after the Windies match. I agree that with the current form and solidity of the bowling line-up, Asif doesn't warrant a place but I'd like to add these considerations to the debate that this man would have been rearing to go for a year, would be pissed at not being paid by his IPL franchise and would want to make an impact straight away to make it easier for everyone to wink at his earlier indiscretions. So I'm really divided on this is he should or should not be included as there is enough to support both motions. As for the inclusion of Younis, on current form, has to be in place of Misbah. But I agree 100 percent that we need batting heroes from here on in if we aspire to win this trophy. Like I wrote in your last blog, bowlers alone can't win this one (though they just might :P).

  • anupam on September 26, 2009, 5:40 GMT

    even pakistan have problems ,indians have too, even if fawad, nazir or muh plays or not ,indians seems to be more favourites because it depands upon them how they fare(schin performance is decider). plus they have thier captain who dose not put pressure to his team mates like his counterpart

  • Imran on September 26, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    Aslam-o-Alikum friends

    Every body has its own opinion but i think pakistan should drop Misbah instead of imran nazir because indian pace attack is not as strong to worry about and today's pitch is also favorable for batsmen. We have two strong middle order players younus and yousaf and the youth of akmal may also help. They can handle the pressure. Shoaib should be dropped to no 6 spot because he has the ability to change gears according to situations.

    In balling department we have a formidable lineup and they are working together nicely it should not be disturbed.

    Win or loss is part of the game and the team which today handle pressure and play possitvely will get the glory.

    I give 60:40 chance to Team Pakistan.

    Have a nice and ALLAH HAFIZ

  • aftab afridi on September 26, 2009, 5:34 GMT

    Lets face it. The is not pakistan playing but the team from punjab if playing. Sad to see the state of affairs where everything is run from Lahore.

  • salman.khan on September 26, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Agreed ! since then the record has been in favour of India, if we talk about proper ODi & Test series between the two countries. snapshot as below :- ODI Series in pakistan (2004) - won by India

    Test series in pakistan (2004) - won by India

    ODI series in India (2005) - won by Pakistan

    ODI Series in pakistan (2006) - won by India

    Test series in Pakistan (2006) - won by Pakistan

    ODI series in Abu-Dhabi (2006) - Drawn

    ODI Series in India (2007) - won by India

    Test series in india (2007) won by India

  • Sheraz Alam on September 26, 2009, 5:12 GMT

    Good article, as usual but only disagreement is on Nazir. Unofortunately or rather fortunately( only the time will tell), younis yesterday on GEO sports mentioned his liking of Nazir because of his destructable batting skills (though most of the time it is self-destructing). Malik has a v good record against India as well as Misbah. Yousaf on the other hand is a big match player. The only time we defeated india in ICC event was because of his calm batting. So, PAK vs IND is more about pressure, passion and heart rather than comparing skills and techniques.Whatever will be the result, Lets hope for a match that make us proud

  • Imran Arif on September 26, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi i am rgular reader of you, Have you ever planned to write about PCB Selection committee????? If we remove yousuf from our this team and matach especially INDIA who will take care of middle order..... MISBAH who forgot to keep his bat and get even a signle run.... so get read yousuf record and his ability first then decide my team needs yousuf all da time.......... BEST of LUCK LONG LIVE PAKISTAN INSHALLAH WE WILL WIN.............

  • marif on September 26, 2009, 4:21 GMT

    f i have to select the Pakistan's team XI for tomorrows clash with India, It will be 1 Kamran akmal 2 Shoaib Malik 3 Younis khan 4 M Yousaf 5 Misbah ul Haq 6 U Akaml 7 Shahid Afridi 8 Mohammad Asif \ 9 Umar Gul 10 Mohammad Amir 11 Saeed Ajmal

  • Mazahir Abbas on September 26, 2009, 3:44 GMT

    I really appreciate everyone here who wanted to drop Imran Nazir, Look boys Indian balling attack is not the best one, even they fall number 4 or 5 in this champions trophy if we talk about balling attacks, so not to worry about. I still stick to the same team that i mentioned above. Misbah or Yousaf should be the one not to play this game. You might have a question that why i am stick to Imran to play this game, as they will play a role like Shahid Afridi because Afridi is now a dependable player. Now gone are the days when he was a trump card, now i guess Imran should play that role. If he gets going he can be very destructive. My team will be as follow..

    1.Imran Nazir 2.Kamran Akmal 3.Shoaib Malik 4.Younus Khan 5.Misbah Or Yousuf 6.Umer Akmal 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Rana 9.Umer Gul 10.Amir 11.Saeed Ajmal

    If you go with this team, and if it clicks well thn is well capable of scoring beyond 350 and is able to strict opposition around 200.

    BEST LUCK PAKISTAN!!!

  • Bilal Siddiqi on September 26, 2009, 2:28 GMT

    Are you insane?

    I know this is a tense rivalry but let's not lose our senses here. Dropping Yousuf, who was our best one day bat before the ICL would make no sense, and will not happen.

    There is this typical 'on his day' attitude which has allowed inconsistent players to be selected in the past. Imran Nazir will fire once in ten games and Pak don't have the strength in their batting to compensate for the nine times he fails. I'm not a fan of Malik opening the innings but with this squad, that is our best option.

  • Shahbaz on September 26, 2009, 2:20 GMT

    i think Imran Nazir should be dropped and let Akmal brothers open the inning for Pakistan. Umar Akmal is a new batting gem for Pakistan and he has potential to prove himself at any batting position.

    @ Phillips.. you will find out tomorrow, india will be beaten by Pakistan in big margin. wait and watch!!

  • Nadeem Mirza on September 26, 2009, 2:10 GMT

    Mr. Kamran please get your facts straight on Mohammad Yousuf. ODI since Jan 2005, he has better ODI average than Tundulkar, Ponting, Clark, Kallis, Yuvraj, Inzamam, Younis, Shoaib Malik list goes on and on. Last I check none of the above mentioned players are dropped from their respective teams. If you are calling for the Yousuf's head because of the fielding only, he still is better fielder than half of the Pakistan team. Mohammd Yousuf is the best batsmen that Pakistan currently have. You people put him under the gun to put unecessary pressure on him.

    Please don't make rediculus comments like that again. If you have to please back them up with the stats.

    BTW- Time is running out for Imran Nazir also. I am his fan, but he is not producing as he was in ICL. In contrast Abdul Razzaq deserved the place in the team. Wonder why you forgot him in your article?

  • Praveer on September 26, 2009, 1:51 GMT

    i'm an indian living in america. hav'nt seen the best part of cricket this decade. even though against india i used to not want to see bowlers like wasim, waqar and saqlain bowl because they could change the game at the drop of a dime. and on the batting end your batsmen such as anwar, ijaz, sohail, inzi, and afridi when he was considered as a dangerous "batsman" rather than now as he is considered "a dangerous batsman once in a quarter century, maybe". ind vs pak contests are filled with everything you'd expect from a competetive contest at the highest level. since then india has gone from strength to strength and it's disheartening now that despite the '09 20-20 WC the pak team still does not instill confidence that they "will" put up a stiff challenge because now the story is that they do have the "making" of a challenging team. i hope pak cricket too starts to go from strength to strength consistently because in ind vs pak match, because pak can offer more than it is now.

  • qasim on September 26, 2009, 1:24 GMT

    Its sad a Pakistani writer would write such notes for a Pakistan team. Whenever i read a column written by an indian, i see nothing but praises but when its a pakistani writer, he brings his county's team down with a thrash, while writing highly about india. I could not read beyoudn the 2nd paragraph. Its a shame!

  • mohammed atta on September 26, 2009, 1:20 GMT

    Sorry but how could you even compare Misbah & Yousuf? Misbah does not even have a century to his name in ODIs. I know he did well in T20 W/C but that is a completely different format of the game. Misbah is too defensive, i have been watching him for a while now in ODIs and he just doesnt click. M.Yousuf is on a level of his own compared to the rest of the pakistani team never mind Misbah. Yes he is out of touch at this precise moment but the guy is too class to sit on the bench. He is just one inning away from being back in form. M.Yousuf should be one of the 1st names on the list for Pakistani selection not trying to fight for a place in the squad what are you thinking Kamran? My 11 would be straight forward and simply...

    1. K.Akmal(wk) 2. I.Nazir 3. Y.Khan (c) 4. M.Yousuf 5. S.Malik 6. U.Akmal 7. S.Afridi 8. R.Naved 9. U.Gul 10. M.Aamer 11. S.Ajmal

    As for M.Asif he should have been playing against West Indies, but its too late to talk about that now. Gud luk Pakistan

  • Qasim Rasheed on September 26, 2009, 1:15 GMT

    I am always surprised why Nazir and Yousuf, were selected in the first place. Yousuf should take retirement

  • Dr. Shahid on September 26, 2009, 0:52 GMT

    I would not agree with you on playing Imran Nazir and dropping Yousuf. Imran Nazir has never contributed for Pakistan victory as to my my memory. Playing in ICL and playing in Champions trophy are uncomparable. I'm surprised at his selection even. He never has a game plan and not dependable. Yousuf is a world class batsman and can't be dropped on fielding basis. A batsman is there to score runs and if he can't do that he has no place in the team, just like Imran Nazir. My team for the match against India is: 1. Kamran Akmal 2. Shoaib Malik 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Misbah-ul-Haq 6. Umar Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Muhammad Asif 9. Umar Gul 10. Saeed Ajmal 11. Mohammed Amir Rana is a good bowler but his medium pace will not be effective against India, where we need wickets. Asif will be a better choice but only thing going againt Asif is lack of match practice. We will win INSHALLAH. Our prayers are for our team.

  • ARSHAD HUSSAIN -BRISBANE AUSTRALIA on September 26, 2009, 0:18 GMT

    I believe that Yousuf should be on the bench for this game , the way he has btted in the past few games show a lack of commitment for his team ,it looks as if he is playing for his spot in the team rather than the team. Also why do we preempt things so much -all you were up and arms against selectors for picking misbah ahead of yousuf -he almost won the 20/20 for you -now people are skeptical of asif -what if he gets a five for -once he is selected for the team he should be given a chance otherwise why was he selected in the first place .

    my team would be

    malik kamran yunis misbah umar afridi naveed gul asif amir saeed

    good luck pakistan -you need to beat India mentally physically you are almost there .

  • Syed Noman on September 25, 2009, 23:48 GMT

    In no way Yousuf could be looked as a weak link. This is what we do, when our batting collapses then we sigh with sadness and wishing for classic players like Yousuf. But when we are settling then we start wishing for rare fantasies like Nazir provided twice, thrice. People! He's already been studied and now the opposition must be stupid enough to bowl him as per his strength. My probable are Malik replacing Nazir and Younis replacing Malik at one down. Rest of the team is fine but must be consistent. I am just hoping to see Afridi continuing in the same fashion. He is my new hero in the team.

  • boi qad on September 25, 2009, 23:43 GMT

    hey imran nazir is a class act and a explosive opener, he needs a consistence run in the team, he young, got good timing and relishes the PP situation as he is different. guys rem afridi useless until he became a legend at the age of 29(imran yunger). we need variety as for younis, yousef, misbah, malik, they r similar players (ok younis and yousef are better tech) any 3 will do. akmal brothers are useful, aamer is a shining star gonna get brighter.

    as for the bowlers, asif is a risked as havent played, but younis must know by now how fit and accurate he is.

    the match can be lost in the extra column pakistan desperately will need to keep that low, i.e. wides, no ball and plz no mis fielding and drop catches, if we get that rite i believe we are equip to beat the indian.

    as for india yuvraj a plus point, gambir will try and play the whole innings need him early to unsettle them, yousef patan and doni look like the danger men

    dnt fear any of their bowlers...

  • Sharma Parsad on September 25, 2009, 23:34 GMT

    pLz Allah Make my team Strong for 2marows math PAKISTAN! Watch out INDIES PAKISTAN IS COMING

  • zuhaib on September 25, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    dude like seriously the entire pak team is a bit over excited abt indo pak match.. there is no point of crying over whats done.. the squad is already selected, just gotta shuffle it in an appropriate way. playing nazir on top is risky but at the same time he is the only player who can break free. a quick 30 40 is more than enough to put pressure on. yousef is not working at the moment rather get in misbah or fawad. energy in field is a lil too imp at the moment. bowlers fine enough still too early for mohammad asif give him some more rest before in. my only issue is the batting order. y the fuck do pakis have to get the in form batsmen late. right after the openers get in younis and than think or getting u.akmal and than yousef/misbah. utilise the players when they are in form rather than getting them when restrictions off. doesnt make sense .. younis gotta pe rely decisive abt captaincy.. imp decisions required. just keep fingers crossed and hope the Pathan does nt mess up..

  • Ray on September 25, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    Kamran, I generally like your articles, good analysis and well balanced. But saying that Yusuf should be dropped and Imran Nazir should be kept as a specialist opener - either I wasn't reading the earlier ones carefully, or you have changed sides are are now with our lovely neighbors....lol To my Pakistani and Indian bros, let's show we are good followers of the game and enjoy this one. May the best side win. P.S. @Syed, good work to pull the stats out. Inside I knew we weren't that far behind. I guess its just been some of the more advertised games that we have lost. But as they say, perception is reality!

  • AZ on September 25, 2009, 23:11 GMT

    Why to play Umar Akmal so late? he should be at the most 4th batsman - if we play him late, he stays, but the other end capitulates - not much he be able to do. I would push him up at least couple slots...

    And the best of all that MCD Yuraj is no longer there, I think the divine has already signalled what he wants this time...

  • Shahid Naz on September 25, 2009, 23:00 GMT

    I wonder nobody talking about Imran Nazir's fielding. he is much better fielder than Misbah and Yousuf given out against poorly WI.

  • Aamir Raza on September 25, 2009, 22:58 GMT

    I dont agree with Mr.Abbasi at all guys i think Yousuf is the backbone of pakistani cricket team in the batting as waqas said check the records and compare with misbah and Younis's batting all of them have played over 200 matches but Yousuf has most hundreds and fifties and his average score is 42 so open your eyes and then write something guys Yousuf has to be in Tomorrow's match i guarantee you he will play a good innings

  • majid khan on September 25, 2009, 22:52 GMT

    hi every one after seeing all the discussion which is quiet intresting i have got a very nice option drop imran nazir put afridi in opening with kamran and then we have five solid batsmen in shape of younis yousaf shoaib misbah and umer and if any two of them can score a 100 and a fifty we we will b at the top of match

  • Dil Dil Pakistan on September 25, 2009, 22:40 GMT

    I would like to see fawad alam given a try in the middle and malik promoted as opener in place of nazir. Nazir has struggled to perform thus far and misbah shuld be dropped for younis because even though misbah is a senior player, he is not experienced enough at the international level and is out of form and inconcsistent.

  • INAAM ULLAH on September 25, 2009, 22:23 GMT

    bhi g aap ka dimagh to theek hai? lagta hai aap ny bhi misbah sy paisy le rakhy hain. jaye pehly apna moohn wash kijye phir cricket k bary mn baat kijye. mujhy to aap bhi safarshi lag rhy hain hazrat? mana aap ko english aati hai lakin is ka matlab ye nhn k aap cricket mn apni dhauns jamany lagen. yousuf is the greatest batsman pakistan have ever produced. he must play all forms of cricket. lagi samajh?????????????

  • not a pakistani on September 25, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    In your blogs, you always seems to be against any pakistani player that is religious. Should we drop Yousuf just because he is too old, even though he keeps on giving excellent performance? You seems to be pulling stuff out of your ass, instead of relay on statistics and records. Typical Pakistani, I guess. All emotions, no substance.

  • Talal Khawaja on September 25, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    A Question for Mr. Abbasi.

    Sir were you by any chance high when u wrote this beautiful article? Mohammad Yousaf ???i cannot believe u have such words to say about Yousaf..Seems like ur experience of all these years on cricket just went down the drain. i would not sit here and waste my precious time in explaining who will win and who will not. With India and pakistan u never know so sit n relax and may the best PLAYING team win.

    (im serious Mr. Abbasi how can u?)

  • Malik Frankfurt Germany on September 25, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    Jungs dont worry INSHA-ALLAH Pakistan win this match, I am very hopfull 4 that,

    my favourite team is 4 this match is as under,

    1. I Nazir 2. K Akmal(w) 3. Y Khan(c) 4. M Yousaf 5. S Malik 6. U Akmal 7. S Afridi 8. R Naveed/M Asif 9. U Gul 10. M Aamir 11. S Ajmal

    let get rid off from old Misbah, in future we need yound blood who build the team,

    just attack on indian's same as Imran Khan had done.

    make a hard victory decision and remember ALLAH is with us,

    ALLAH-H-UKBAR

    See u after win

    INSHA-ALLAH

  • Mohsin Ali on September 25, 2009, 21:43 GMT

    Hello Sir, an awsome article. I truely argue with you on "what's yousuf's position in the team"? He is a great test player, but One Dayers are too fast for him. I love the guy, but it's time for a young gun to step in. Where is that fast bowler Anwer who burried the Indian under 19 side in 2006. We need to quit playing favorites. I don't know much about Younis either, he needs to step down aswell, Afridi can handle the team. We need young guns to play now so they can perform well in the world cup coming ahead. Rana is also shaky, instead of Rana we need Anwer, who is the young and future of the Pakistani side. Shoaib is a little doubtful aswell, his batting performance had dropped emensly, what happened to the under 19 team. Come on they worked extremly hard to get kicked out of internationals. Give me a break, we have dosens of players who needs to be polish, and can make Pakistan the best side. Who is selecting the selectors is my question to the Pakistanis. Pakistan Zindabaad. Ameen

  • oren on September 25, 2009, 21:24 GMT

    asif has to play in place of rana naved. rana naved is a mediocre player at best, asif is a true talent despite his shortcomings in the last couple of years and should play. its a gamble, but if asif plays well it will also give pakistan a psychological boost.

    nazir should be given a run of matches to really show once and for all whether he is up to internationals.

    aamer, gul and ajmal are invaluable and cannot be dropped.

    my team for tomorrow:

    1)nazir 2)k akmal 3)shoaib malik 4)younis khan 5)mohammed youssef 6)umar akmal 7)shahid afridi 8)umar gul 9)mohammed asif 10) mohammed aamer 11) saeed ajmal

    strong in all departments, covered in all areas, strong fielding side and if the batting clicks an incredibly destructive side.

  • adeeb on September 25, 2009, 20:58 GMT

    how to give asif a chance in ths crucial game? will be a tough decision for mnagement, imran should go,malik to open and younis one down

  • EAMiran on September 25, 2009, 20:37 GMT

    A word of advice to the Pak Team: At the end of the India/Pak game, win or lose, avoid shaking hands with the opposition. Kirsten, Kirsten (shake of the head) - you screwed your own charges.

    On second thought Gary Kirsten may actually have a point - look at pimp-daddy Dilshan. He is in great form. Pretty soon he'll be cruising through Jo'burg in a white cadillac convertible with bling hub-caps.

    I seriously think Pakistan will have a field day with the Indians at bat. Watch out for short jerky movements of the hands. May we request the stump mikes be allowed in our homes. It might be better listening to the comments passed on the field, rather than listening to some of the banal commentary on offer.

  • Danish Khan on September 25, 2009, 20:34 GMT

    Selection of the playing XI is really a challenge for Younis, given so many options. I think this is a good sign too to Pakistan cricket. I just pray the PCB dont flip it up this time round, because I really see a momentum building here.

    As for India, I think they've already lost in the psychological warfare department. I say this referring to the build up statements in the press, the all too funny "solo" destressing and/or "whoever you can find" boosting scenario (that's really a laughing stock).

    Coming to the actual play tomorrow, I am not pushed at all about how "strong" Indian batting is, truth is, our bowling attack is stronger: as has been the traditional case and the deciding factor of victory historically. Even if Yuvraj is injure, it doesn't matter.

    Younis holds two well-concealed pocket rockets, Aamer and Akmal Jr. If these bullets hold up and fire, India's in a bit of a bother.

    Growl! Bring it on, this game is ours!

    @Phillips: Really?

  • dani maz on September 25, 2009, 20:30 GMT

    I just don't understand PCB at all. If the public can see no use of Mohammad Yousuf, if a journalist doesn't see anything in Yousuf then what the hell is the selection committee seeing in him besides his name? And where is Razzaq? On tomorrow's match: I think if Pakistan's batting clicks they then have a great chance at beating the mighty indians, but as Mr Abbasi said they need to find a batting hero and find him fast!

  • Salman Ahmed Alim on September 25, 2009, 20:19 GMT

    Imran Nazir has been given ample chances and look at his average. He is only good at destroying ICL's third rate bowling attacks. Why Salman Butt is not in this team is a question that should be put to Younis and Intikhab Alam? Just a few bad games and Butt was out? Everyone forgot his performance last season? I fail to see how Butt can be dropped for Nazir. Butt is a proper opener, with more 100s and more match winning knocks than Nazir. Is Younis scared of Butt's ability to speak English without sounding like a moron? Or is he scared that Butt may be the next long term Captain? Either way, the choice of Nazir as an opener is beyond any logical chain of thought. Compare the record of Nazir to Butt..Butt should be opening all the time for Pakistan in ODIS, whereas Nazir should be back at the ICL playing with bowlers who are closer to his league...ie third rate bowlers.

  • Rafi on September 25, 2009, 20:12 GMT

    If i have to select the Pakistan's team XI for tomorrows clash with India, It will be 1 Kamran akmal 2 Shoaib Malik 3 Younis khan 4 M Yousaf 5 Misbah ul Haq 6 U Akaml 7 Shahid Afridi 8 Mohammad Asif \ 9 Umar Gul 10 Mohammad Amir 11 Saeed Ajmal

    The reason to select Mohammad asif is that he have a gud record against india nd plus he have a gud bowling record as well in south africa, so it will have sm sort ov impact on india.And putting shoab malik in opening cozz he hve done tht b4 as well nd also he hve scored also in dis position. So Best ov Luck Pak Team

  • Yasir Shah on September 25, 2009, 20:09 GMT

    Imran Nazir,Kamran Akmal,Shoaib Malik,Younis Khan,Mohammad Yousef,Umar Akmal,Shahid Afridi,Umar Gul,Mohammad Amir,Mohammad Asif,Saeed Ajmal should be the team. Firstly Kamran, I would not have Yousef in my ODI team either given his age and fielding, but he is still a more classy and big match player than Misbah Ul Haq. If we were to choose who would get a ODI 100 in a match against India between Yousef and Misbah the answer would be Yousef and since he is in the 15 he should play ahead of Misbah. As for Rana, he is a good bowler and a team man but has the tendency to go for a lot of runs, Asif is rusty but he is a proven match winner and his ability to get wickets with the new ball is superior to everyone else including Gul. Having Asif and Amir opening the bowling with Gul as 1st change is the best option. Sure Asif made mistakes, but he paid for them and he deserves another chance. Anyway, that would be my 11..if that 11 gets selected, you owe me a drink Kamran, non alcoholic!

  • Shahzad on September 25, 2009, 19:58 GMT

    Mr Abbassi, have you ever try to look at the career records of Yousuf and Younis and try to compare the average, strike rate, number of hundreds, number of times declared man of the match ect. The intensity of negative campaign has been launched against Yousaf if last one and half years (especially during Malik's captaincy) that intensity would not leave even Brian Lara with out destruction. Please, first look the past then make comments about future.

  • Nusrat Hussain on September 25, 2009, 19:45 GMT

    Unfit Younis's decision to play against India might sound brave, but it is not wise. Afridi can lead better in the absence of Younis. We need to play against India with reason rather than with emotions. Asif should have been brought against Windies and it would not be wise to put him straight against India. I would say Fawad Alam should be preferred over Yousaf who is a great Test player, but not that great for One day clash. Omission of Razzak is surprising, but let us not talk about it on the eve of a game with India. My prayers with Team Pakistan and I hope every one of them will deliver 100%. Good luck guys in green.

  • Muhammad Kamran on September 25, 2009, 19:43 GMT

    I am really disappointed about yousuf comments. He is the only reliable batsman in Pak squad. Comparasion wth Misbah is surprising. Misbah is never a match winner - he can make the game but unable to finish it. Aisf - no place for him. Our bowling attack is gud. Aisf must have played in domestic cricket before being included in 15. This is really unjustice with other players who are performing well in domestic cricket. Anyways - wish u gud luck for Paki team. InshAllah we will rocks with Yousuf, Afridi and Amir.

  • amjad khan on September 25, 2009, 19:29 GMT

    Where is Fawad Alam? Are we playing Punjab even again :)

  • janak on September 25, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    After what we saw at Sri Lanka, Misbah should not have been in the squad at all. Yousuf at least takes singles and looks more likely to build up a partnership with Younis whereas Misbah doesn't know how to get singles when the situation is not conducive to his sit-and-slog style. His face tells he is very uncomfortable. Please, let us thank him for the entertainment and hope he gave in T20 last time and say him goodbye.

    We should never think about opening with U. Akmal because that may be a way of unsettling him at a time when we need him the most.

    Nazir? why is he in the team? Because he hits 12 runs in 4 balls and then plays a shot that embarrasses the whole team and even the viewers? He shouldn't be in the squad. If Misbah and Nazir can be in the team with woeful displays for such a long time, can't Jamshed be given more time for trial? He looks far better than Nazir.

    Paks, you don't have to hit sixes to win agst India, just don't give away your wickets so cheaply.

  • Krishna on September 25, 2009, 19:11 GMT

    Pakistan team always had good bowlers. I do not understand though, why your board selected players like Asif. He is a player who was tested 2 times positive for drugs and brought enough humiliation for Pakistan cricket. Asif and Akthar are great bowlers, but will they fit in any team as team players? Unless there is discipline, it will be very difficult to win big tournaments like Champions Trophy. Pakistan team clearly lacks this. To become a champion you have to defeat the big teams and not only India.

  • sidhu........... on September 25, 2009, 18:48 GMT

    pakistanis nobody can stop india winning today's match.......your younis,nazir,mlik all are just a kid infront of SACHIN TENDULKAR god of cricket....ALTHOUGH OUR SEHWAG AND YUVI IS UNFIT....BUT STILL YOU ARE NOTHING INFRONT OF INDIA..........THE NO.1 TEAM IN ICC RANKING.....

  • A Mangla on September 25, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    Nice Piece, once again! My dream team would be:

    Kamran Malik Younus Yousuf Afridi Misbah Umar Asif Naved Gul Saeed Ajmal.

    Championship, so far, has proven that it is a showdown of a fast bowlers. Gul and Naveed are already fit and producing good results. Asif can add to it. Batting, however, has never been good for Pakistan ODI team for a while so experience players can provide some support, and obviously have a lot to prove in this match. Yousuf, Malik and Misbah can be excluded next match if they dont perform here, but we need them in this match!

  • rizwan on September 25, 2009, 18:35 GMT

    Pakistan will be win the match.

    InshaAllah

    wait and see...!

  • parwez khan on September 25, 2009, 18:35 GMT

    white wash india for ur fans my teem for toma... 1)imran nazir 2)kamran 3)younis 4)malik 5)yousuf 6)umar 7)afridi 8)asif 9)aamir 10)gul 11)rana

  • desihungama on September 25, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    In my humble opinion, Misbah is feeling lack of self-confidence due to Vice-Captaincy being removed.

  • Aqeel Bhat on September 25, 2009, 18:09 GMT

    i think the playing 11 vs india should be and batting order

    1.kamran Akmal 2.shahid afridi 3.younis khan 4.Mohammad yousuf 5.Shoib Malik 6.Umar Akmal 7.Misbah/Imran Nazir 8.Umar Gul 9.Mohammad Amir 10.Mohammad Asif 11.Saeed Ajmal

  • Imran on September 25, 2009, 18:07 GMT

    I would like to bring to everyones attention that oneday or tests Mohammed Yousuf is Pakistan's only world class player with a full array of strokes and a solid technique.Comparing him to Misbah or Shoib Malik who both have excellent temperaments but far less skill or to Imran Nazir who has no temperament and little appears very short sighted and its this sort of thinking which has lost valuable playing years from players like Abdul Razzaq ,Mohammed Yousufand even Saeed Anwar

  • Adeel Munawar on September 25, 2009, 17:57 GMT

    Well I have followed this article and comments from my brothers patiently. See the previous match with west indies, in this match, a youngster taught Misbah how to bat. yousf is a class act and he will get the form soon or later. There is no replacement of class and we need him in every match. So Misbah must be droped. In case of Asif, In my opinion management should not disturb the bowling attack of previous match. But he can be given a chance in place of Rana.

  • shahzad on September 25, 2009, 17:44 GMT

    Solid article, but you cannot leave Yousuf out. His role in ODI's is simple - the consistent run compiler in the middle of the innings (9000+ ODI runs at an average of over 42) leaving our top order and middle/lower order free to hit out. Misbah is yet to record an ODI century - he's good, but he's no Yousuf.

    Agree that Asif probably isn't match fit. Great to have him back, but he can't be expected to jump straight back into the deep end and start performing. Besides, our bowling is looking pretty good as it is.

    Imran Nazir is a gamble, but one worth taking, esp with our lengthy batting lineup. If he stays in for a few overs, he can swing any game. Plus he's an asset in the field.

  • Assad on September 25, 2009, 17:36 GMT

    I'd say drop both Yousaf and Misbah and get Fawad Alam in there! it's time to let this new generation of cricketers take over! especially misbah has done nothing to warrant selection in the team...

  • Adeel Tariq on September 25, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    To Me, Muhammad Yousaf & Shahid Afridi to fire with the bat... Best Wishes for Pakistani Team to win against India...

    Pakistan Zindabad

  • Maliks on September 25, 2009, 17:14 GMT

    First thing we need to change our Stupid Cricket Board and put some real Crikter who knows how to run Cricket board , I know Asif very well he is good with bowling and we need him but he need to learn how to be part of Team not Stupid St-Lover . we need sum Mr Imran Khan Waqar , Wasim, Aqeeb Javeed , Javied Miandad … I request our media / Seiners Cricketer please put the light on right spot and let Mohd Yousuf Play his natural game without anything… We have Gr8 Team we prove to many time So just Pray we Win this Game and Win the Champion Trophy as Green Champs .. INSHALL A we WIN and WIN Like an Champions ..

  • Nasif hossain on September 25, 2009, 17:07 GMT

    My team for tomrw will be... 1.nazir 2.kamran 3.younus 4.yousuf 5.malik 6.umar 7.afridi 8.gul 9.ajmal 10.asif 11.amir

    Asif should play because his swing would be lethal in the dead pitch of centurian.taking abt match fitness, asif has been playing some domestic/local matches plus training with rashid latif with the under 23s. Some may say he has lack of international practice,but i Say he is fresh as a new comer. Pakistan has a real chance here!go for it! We have been waiting for the win since 2003.

  • Shoaib Darvesh on September 25, 2009, 17:07 GMT

    Indians can play the spin better than anyone else in the current team...that is why its imperative that Pakistan plays Asif and drops Saeed Ajmal, plus we have Afridi and Malik covering that department anyway. Yousuf or Misbah should make room for Yunis. Pakistan - GO - Fight - Win! Zindabad.

  • Pavan on September 25, 2009, 17:03 GMT

    Asif's selection is clearly unjustified.. Deserving Razzaq should have got the chance instead.... Misbah is the one to sit back not Mohammad Yousuf

  • Jawad on September 25, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    You say "[Asif]is also immensely short of match practice, something the Pakistan team management chose not to correct in the build up to this tournament."

    Wouldn't that have been against the law? I am all in favor of PCB taking the lead in law breaking, and not leaving the lawlessness to the youngsters.

    Syed, please do not embarrass us with your statistics. India has dominated Pakistan since 2003 WC. The fact that they have a losing record is not important.

  • fawad on September 25, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    I believe that the Pak team need to give the "young guns" a chance after all they are the future for Pakistani cricket.

  • Raj240 on September 25, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    Somehow I agree and don't agree about lot of pakistani players. Some of them are saying that Yousuf is too old, some are talking about Misbah or Imran nazir not performing and I don't see anybody apart from M Yosuf and Yonuis Khan in the Pakistani team as world class players. But these same players for eg. Misbah,Imran nazir,Salman Butt,Afridi,Shoaib Mohamad gather all their strength to play well against India. I can give an example of Salman Butt who is a pathetic performer but always play well against India(As he has all his 4 hundreds against India in sub-continent offcourse). On that form he would be my first choice to play him against India.Now without Sehwag,Yuvraj and Zaheer not playing and Gambhir still recovering from injury, I feel Pakistan are favorites but if they play well.Hope the best team wins.

  • eddy on September 25, 2009, 16:41 GMT

    Yet again incompetent PCB shows its true colors. Why is Razzak out of the team? remember, it was Razzak was included in place of that failure Arafat and after Razzak's inclusion Pakistan jelled and Afridi started to perform and we won the cup. Before Razzak, Pakistan was out of the cup. well now Rana must perform but Razzaq should have included instead of the old Yousuf Yohana. Somehow a donkey can select a better team than PCB.

  • Kamran on September 25, 2009, 16:39 GMT

    Pakistani team have very good mix of youth and experience.Go Fought like brave soldiers my Paki Boys. My Pakistan team would be

    1 Kamran 2 Shoaib 3 Younus 4 Yousuf 5 Umar 6 Misbah 7 Afridi 8 Rana 9 Amir 10 Umar Gul 11 Saeed Ajmal

  • umairn on September 25, 2009, 16:26 GMT

    Great article Kamran, as always. Completely agree with you on Yusuf. There is no doubt that he is a brilliant (potentially) batsman, but I can't recall a single ODI match in which he's stayed till the end to get Pak a win. He probably needs to be in the Test side, and also shown that he's not an automatic selection. We need to be more ruthless in selection as the Aussies. Thats also why I'm glad Asif was not played, and I hope that he's not played till he proves he's fit and some other bowler does not perform. Asif was brilliant, and he lost a year's cricket due to his own aarogance. It wouldn't be a good lesson to see him just walking back and being an automatic selection. He's not an Akram, or a Waqar, or an Imran or a McGrath. He needs to work hard and build his way back in. To those who are preferring Yousuf over Misbah and arguing over Misbah's lack of 100s, Misbah comes in at 5 and he's won us quite a few games. let's hope for a great game and a Pak win! Pakistan Zindabad!

  • Uzair Malik on September 25, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    I'll put it in a very sweet and simple manner : Ok Misbah probably did what he could in SA the last time , he's well over his age .. I would simply drop Misbah and play Younis and let the rest off the team remain same and hope to see the best team win !

  • Muhammad Ali Khan on September 25, 2009, 16:09 GMT

    It is expected that the pitch would be dried; suitable for subcontinent batsmen and spinners.

    Nazir is a complete gamble in the team. As an opener, his average is well below acceptable. Looking at the future and beyond tomorrows match, Pakistan should look for a proper batsmen to open with Kamran Akmal, which Shoaib Malik is not. Two or three batsmen tried lately, including Nasir Jamshed seemed good!

    Maybe Yousuf or Misbah can be asked to do this. They are seniors and not need in the middle anymore.

    For tomorrows match, Afridi should open with Akmal instead of Nazir. The way Nazir got out against WI; playing the poor shot he played, I don't think its a good idea to play him.

    Like Yousuf is more suited for Tests, Nazir is even more suited for T20s.

  • Rahman on September 25, 2009, 16:02 GMT

    First of all i dont understand why cricinfo posted this online. Kamram Abbasi is like a 5 year old kid. PCB has gone broke because of BCC lol...then on top of that he is saying yusuf is bad one day palyer. If I remember correctly he is one of the most successful batsman in odi's and has a good record against india. This noob's article should not be posted.

  • JS on September 25, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    The author has summed it up. A batsman as prolific and consistent as Yousuf never got the kind of adulation that he deserved after serving his country for so long. I'd rank him on par with Miadad or Zaheer Abbas, but sad to see that he has been a target of administration and now these elite editors. Is the person's background more important than his deed in Pakistan. Had he represented any other country, he would have been a star for that country and would have surely got an opportunity to lead/captain. Simply Pathetic!

  • Hassan on September 25, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    It's funny that any team proposed by the readers are beatsman heavy with no regards to the Centurion ground or pitch. One thing is for sure that the Pakistan team has to make a decision and it shoukld come fast. I disagree with the author on keeping Imran but I agree with theauthor on Yousuf. I don't know where people come from saying that he is a class act. Please name one pressure innings he played for Pakistan when the team was in trouble. Having said that I think he should be played on experience against India and if he doesn't fire then drop him against australia period. Here is my team for Saturday:

    1. Kamran Akmal 2. Shoaib Malik 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Misbah-ul-Haq 6. Umar Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 9. Umar Gul 10. Saeed Ajmal 11. Mohammed Amir

  • Umair Pervaiz on September 25, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    I would drop Imran simply because we have one destructive player already up the order, i.e. Kamran and Afridi lower down. I think Pakistan's batting needs more stability than volatility. Imran is volatile but extremely fragile defensively at the same time. Plz dont count out all the things Misbah and Yousaf has done for us based on one game failure. Misbah has been our Mr Consistent till recently and Yousaf has fulfilled that role very diligently before him. Shoaib has an excellent record against India and he is one of the few batsmen who constructs his innigs intelligently once set. Intikhab Alam has already indicated Asif is definitely playing which will be a bit harsh on either Ajmal or Naveed, who have both been excellent. I would pick Asif and drop Ajmal simply becuase Rana is a good new ball bowler while Gul and Asif are not, also we have two spinners if required in Afridi and Shoaib. India's recent history against short pitch bowling also goes in favour of four seamers.

  • Ajma on September 25, 2009, 15:36 GMT

    I agree with imran Nazi omission but the problem will be of openning the inning. I think Younas should open with Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal. Let to see the brothers in the openning.

  • Gohar on September 25, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    well it is true that yousuf is growing old!!but check his record against India,he is the player who can steadied Pakistan Middle order and resting him for young umar will create an Additional pressure on Umar which may efect his batting,wat i suggest drop Misbah and rana and include asif.Lots of responsiblities lies on Afridi's shoulder. finally, i guess tomorows match will be one sided, but which side it will be i m not sure!!! @ Philips grapes are sour!!

  • Mustafa Moiz on September 25, 2009, 15:21 GMT

    "A quick search of Google Scholar provides no reliable evidence" What, did you actually search it? Were you honestly that interested? You're just sad.

  • Mustafa Moiz on September 25, 2009, 15:18 GMT

    "When the braggard Shoaib Akhtar steamed in expecting to demolish Sachin Tendulkar's defences". What's that supposed to mean? How does that have any relevance at all to your topic? You're just showing, quite clearly, your animosity and prejudice against Shoaib Akhtar. It's really quite pointless and, frankly, quite sad.

  • Mohsan Ali on September 25, 2009, 15:12 GMT

    I agree that Misbah should be dropped since his batting has been inconsistent, instead I would put Abdul Razzaq in replace of him.

    I am kind of hopping for Imran Nazir to get used to his opening role. Second opener should be Shoab Malik because he is an experienced batsman. Otherwise, our bowling is rock solid.

  • pardesi on September 25, 2009, 15:10 GMT

    If you tamper with Nazir,the whole batting order that follows is disbalanced.I say keep him,he is not bad.Yusuf/Misbah?Could go either way.Both can provide stability if we have too many wickts falling early.The match winner is not any of these players, rather it is your emotions.Control your emotions and you have a better chance.Can't beat your rivals with fours/sixes.Common sense will prevail whichever side employs it.I say dont feed any beef to the Pak side on Friday. Nazir K.Akmal Shoaib Yunus Yusuf/Misbah Afridi U.Akmal Rana/Asif Gul Aamer and Ajmal altho not necessarily in the same order. I prefer Yusuf over Misbah for his experience and can hold the lower order together better than Misbah if needed.I also prefer Asif over Rana.we do not need more all-rounders but a bowler that has consistently performed good against India.A psychological advantage.50 ov @ 6+ per gives u a good score.Lose 1 wkt every 5 ov we still get the score.Lets see what happens.Will b a good game 4 sure.

  • cricket_lover on September 25, 2009, 15:09 GMT

    I completely disagree with you on Yousuf. He is the best batman Pakistan has in both test and one day. If he is not chosen, it would be because of pure grouping and discrimination. Age is bullshit, especially if you use that argument for keeping Misbah-ul-huq. He is in fact older than Muhammad Yousuf!

    I wonder why not take Razzaq and Fawad alam. The right Pakistan team should be: Akmal, Malik, Younis, Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Afridi, Razzaq, Umar Gul, Ameer, Ajmal

    They would have both strong batting and bowling with this proposed team. Hellooo selectors!

  • Abrar on September 25, 2009, 15:09 GMT

    Looks like Philps put some big money on India thats why he is so sure about Indian Victory. Ok mate lest see with the current bowling attack India dunt have a 1o% chance of beating Pakistan.

  • Syed on September 25, 2009, 15:04 GMT

    Reading people comments. Lets do a poll and do it before the game:

    Who to drop to make room for Younis? Should Younis play at all? Should Asif play?

  • Shahiq Ahmed on September 25, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    Regarding about Asif , I dont think he should play as rightly pointed out , he's short of match practice . As that of MoYo being left out, I have a read a lot of comments from top and nearly 99.97 % (I apologize if there's an error of 0.0098% on either side) believes that Yousuf should play , & I too believe the same . We have to realise that he's not short of from but CONFIDENCE , give him some time without critisizing him and am sure he will prove himself ... And not to mention , the last time these two teams met in Champions Trophy , it was his heriocs with the bat that won Pakistan the match . About the role , he's the batsmen around which whole of the team should play (but for that to happen , he should come at no.4 , not lower) .

    About Nzair, although he's trying hard to match (ex-)Afridi in madness , still cant resist the temptation .

    Apart , I wont be surprised if there's a change in batting order like U.Akmal coming ahead of Malik , Yousuf ...

  • khalil on September 25, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    Pakistan is always dependent on its bowlers for victories since its inception as cricket playing nation.While India has a strong tendency in producing legends in batting arena.pak has some mental inhibition in its overcoming India in WC,s.YK should be supported in his quest for victory against Ind. Imran won the 92 WC despite unfitness of Waqar just before the event & YK won T 20 WC without Shoaib Akhtar. So no one should be indispensible irrespective of their past.In this way can get maximum out of them. Even Miandad at his peak & Zaheer at his best coudn,t perform well in India as their batsmen have done on Pak wickets. Bowling is our department & make full use of your strong bowling to earn victories for Pakistan.

  • rafay on September 25, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    Batting might e slow but not completely down and out. We also have a deadly bowling attack. Confidence is all we need. I am hopeful for tomorrow's match.

    May ALLAH help us.

  • Abid Hussain on September 25, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    I will drop Misbah 4 Younis... And I am trustful in Yousaf's abilities as sheet anchor of the team. He can bat sensibly if we face a small target or if team is in some kind of disasteress situation. He's reliable but not Misbah. After the performance of Bowling line-up against WI, I believe that it needs no change. Playing with Asif can prove to be tricky. If Asif plays then Naveed might be droped so my team will be:

    1. I Nazir 2. K Akmal(w) 3. Y Khan(c) 4. M Yousaf 5. S Malik 6. U Akmal 7. S Afridi 8. R Naveed/M Asif 9. U Gul 10. M Aamer 11. S Ajmal

    But if Pak drops Naveed then it might lead to an imbalance in Bating Line-up....

  • Mirza on September 25, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    Philips;You are living in dreams my friend. You ll wake up by tommorrow. Best of Luck Pakistan...

  • Ali Ropri on September 25, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    Mr.Kamran you are wrong. Yousuf is the best batsman pakistan has and asif is the best bowler pakistan has. so how can you not play both. Plus you are saying to keep asif out to not disturb the balance then why are you saying drop yousuf wouldn't that ditturb the team balance to bring a youngster in the champions trophy against INDIA, youngster not going to be able to handle the pressure. Has Malik done what yousuf has done no batsman in the pakistani lineup has done what yousuf has done. middle order is stable because of yousuf. younus khan has not the batting brilliance of yousuf. and you think umar akmal will save you, he is great, but he has to learn a lot before he can become even like yousuf. An d u think bringing in a youngster will produce a legend, you haven't been able to replace anwar at the opening and its been almost a decade. People like you, rameez raja, and aamer sohail should keep their opinions to their selves because people like you bring down pakistan cricket.

  • Noman Qureshi on September 25, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    A very good article, Whatever the teamselection... The team that's hold the nerve best wins in the end...

  • chokkashokka on September 25, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Pakistanis are a productive lot....guessing by these comments.....god bless the internet....everyone is an expert now....LOL....there is a saying in punjabi that comes to mind....mutter di ghaaj verga bae janna ye lokkan ne...

  • Ali Ropri on September 25, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    Mr.Kamran you are wrong. Yousuf is the best batsman pakistan has and asif is the best bowler pakistan has. so how can you not play both. Plus you are saying to keep asif out to not disturb the balance then why are you saying drop yousuf wouldn't that ditturb the team balance to bring a youngster in the champions trophy against INDIA, youngster not going to be able to handle the pressure. Has Malik done what yousuf has done no batsman in the pakistani lineup has done what yousuf has done. middle order is stable because of yousuf. younus khan has not the batting brilliance of yousuf. and you think umar akmal will save you, he is great, but he has to learn a lot before he can become even like yousuf. An d u think bringing in a youngster will produce a legend, you haven't been able to replace anwar at the opening and its been almost a decade. People like you, rameez raja, and aamer sohail should keep their opinions to their selves because people like you bring down pakistan cricket.

  • Aquil Ahmed Siddiqui (Dubai) on September 25, 2009, 14:28 GMT

    Pakistan Bowling attack is perfect at the moment. We are looking for Batting heros. The current Batsmen have no techniques to deliver good on the bouncy wickets. So it has no value to discuss who is to be selected and who should be dropped. Previous records are useless. The important thing is what is happening now. In the current batting line up I can see Umer Brothers, Afridi, Misbah and Shoaib have shown a little resistance to the opposition Bowlers. Imran Nazir is no good as an opener on bouncy wickets. Jawaid Miandad tips during five days may not work at all. I think bring Shoaib with Kamran as opener. Drop Yousuf and bring Fawad. If Younus is not playing then keep Yousuf in the Team. There is no need to include Asif at the moment, it will be a big gamble as you never know how good he is now. Saeed Ajmal, Rana Naved and Aamer can not be dropped. They are valuable now. I feel sorry for Abdul Razzak is not in the Team. His batting talent is enough to include him.

  • a133936 on September 25, 2009, 14:07 GMT

    India dominating since 2003? Kamaran do you know how to use Statsguru? Since 2003 clash, Pakistan has won 16 and lost 15 -- a winning record! here: http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;opposition=7;spanmin1=10+Mar+2003;spanval1=span;team=6;template=results;type=team

  • Jalal Bashar on September 25, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    I can't think of a better chance for our country to defeat India. They don't have their 2 most dangerous batsmen - Sehwag & Yuvraj and esp performance of both these guys have been extraordinary against our team in the last few years. Their bowling seems pretty ordinary and unless we mess up big time, i don't see any reason why we would loose to India this time except just one reason - Tendulkar. Get him out early and the match is all ours.

  • Arif Faraz on September 25, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    yeh its true, its seems that when younis decide mthin he delivered the same as he decide to win this competition and dedicaate it to BOB. now the q is that who is goin to be dropped if younis will cm back. it seems thta MUH Y will be dropped as he is more suitable in test form of the game. the best team who can beat india tomorrow should be as follows: kamran imran younis omar misbah malik afridi rana gul saeed and asif/amir amir showed tht he handled the pressure on big stage but asif has the experience and he showed good rhythm in the domestic practice matches so my vote is for asif and this is the perfect team they are only missing razzak with his presence this team wll b unbeatable

  • Usman Fayyaz on September 25, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    What's the use of a specialist opener :) if he never scores more than 10's and sometimes 20 destructive runs Mr Abbasi! Do you know his overall average and more importantly recent batting average. He might be the best fielder batsman but he is certainly the worse batsman in current lot. Compare Sohaib Malik's average when he opened the batting with Nazir's and you will know why Nazir should be dropped once and for all. Pakistan needs a batsman does not really matter specialist or non-specialist, who can score runs when opening the batting.

    My proposed team:

    Malik K Akmal Younus yousuf Misbah U Akmal Afridi Rana Gul Aamer Ajmal

  • Reverse Swing on September 25, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    Yes that will be a difficult decision for management. My bet is dropping Yousuf too but Misbah's current form isn't that great so can consider him too but still he got plus points as he had a better record against Indians.

    -- reverseswing dot wordpress dot com --

  • Ibraheem Khan on September 25, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Pakistan should play M. Asif as opener instead of Nazir. Believe me both are equally pathetic with bat. If Nazir can swing any match with bat, Asif can do the same with ball. The probability of Nazir winning Pakistan a game are alot less than Asif doing the same (even if Asif is making a comeback).

    So Younis can then easily replace Malik, as Asif would be our 6th bowler. We just need an out of box solution ;).

  • Bilal Choudry on September 25, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    Not easy to choose between Naved and Asif for centurion, as the wicket is batsman friendly Naved's variety will be handy however Asif upfront is an attacking option. As for Imran Nazir i am not sure why we keep picking him he is not good enough and unlike Shoaib Malik he doesnt have the patience to build even a patchy 30. Might as well open with Rana Naved

  • Shoaib Nursumar on September 25, 2009, 13:39 GMT

    I think we cannot sideline Yousuf yet. He is a key player in the 50 over format. He has just made a comeback, and once he gets his confidence back, probably will be the most consistent player. I do not trust anyother player because they are inconsistent superstars. From my experience, India Pakistan have always been high scoring games no matter how formidable our bowling is. I do not agree that it is the bowlers who will win us the game. Even if India score like 180, Pakistan will not be comfortable chasing it in a big match (Pressure of chasing). I would say, drop Rana and play the extra batsmen (both Yousuf and Misbah). This will put the pressure on Malik to bowl 10 overs. but letrs assume the following scenario,

    Rana = 10 over for 50 runs Malik = 10 overs for 80 runs

    India score 300(without Rana) instead of 270(with Rana). If Pakistan was to chase 270, then they can chase 300 too... So I would go in with the extra batsmen. Remember, we have seen Younus bowl in test cricket...

  • Rizwan Rafi Ahmed on September 25, 2009, 13:37 GMT

    I Think Neither Yousuf or Misbah should be dropped both players can be useful in such crucial matches specially Misbah Who has A Specialty in Ind-Pak Matches if want to drop someone Drop that useless peace of garbage Shoaib Malik , he is neither Consistent as a atsmen or a bowler he has never won a match for Pakistan since 3 years

  • Bilal Ahmed on September 25, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    I think Umar Akmal has signalled the way Pakistan has to go .. its high time we bring in younger batsmen who are performing in U19 and A tours .. frankly domestic cricket in Pakistan counts for little so stats from there should be given little weightage ... a key for selecting batmen will be their performances in tours to England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand .. Our bowling is just fine ... with people like Anwer Ali, Muhammad Talha breating near to current fast bowlers add to that Rao Iftikhar and Sohail Tanvir who are being kept out by others .. The biggest mystery for us remains the openers .. as we don't have any good ones yet .. I think someone like Wajahatullah Wasti might be order of the day alongside Kamran Akmal .. someone who can just play out 10 overs and provide our middle order with swingless ball :)

  • Daniyal on September 25, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    I say let the Akmal brothers open and give them atleast 10 matches to run with it. Kamran is proving he can open Umar is young but mature beyond his years I'm sure he'll fit in well at that slot.

  • Adnan Khan on September 25, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    Well........if Yousuf is not a realistic candidate for the next WC, neither is Misbah because MUH is older than MY.

    Drop MUH and play Yunis!!

  • Rahat Ali Qureshi on September 25, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    You are absolutely right. but i think intead of dropping yousaf , misbah should drop. he is not capable of one day cricket that he has'nt score a century single century in onedays. the new blood should be encouraged .we have almost two years left for worldcup . if we want we can produce a good young talent team . i think we shouldnt rely on on experience players like yousaf , misbah and malik in the worldcup.

  • sleepshrink on September 25, 2009, 12:42 GMT

    you say, Imran Nazir is an opener. He surely dosen't have the technique to be an opener. The guy has been bowled and LBW so many times he'd be better off playing soccer. I take that back. He may not be able to see the football either. Maybe no one has had the sense to take him to get his glasses. He would be my first choice for lower level cricket on flat tracks where the bowlers are not to bright. But on tracks with movement and bowlers that can bowl straight; pppllleeease spare me the agony of watching Dumbo bat.

  • Indian on September 25, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    IT WILL BE TOUGH FOR INDIA THIS TIME AROUND...

  • Numair on September 25, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    I Definitely Agree That They Need A Young and Mature Player Like Umar Akmal, That Understands The Situation, Is Stable and Can Score Runs. SomeOne who can Replace Either Misbah, Malik Or Yousuf in the Middle Order!

  • Raheel Hussain on September 25, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    If Asif plays against India I will gurantee that he will be a Hero. If pakistan reaches the Semi final then Asif will be poor. Thats the nature of Pakistan Cricket just like the opposite of what happened in T20. The Pak-Indo match will be very tough and it will depend on the bowler to restrict them as low as they can because ceturain is a batting pitch. If i was the Pak-selector I woulld drop Yousuf because he is not in form he was lucky in the WI game when he was dropped by the second slip. Overall the one who bats second will lose but they can win if the bowlers dont bowl well.

  • Atif on September 25, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    I would drop imran nazir and put shoaib malik as opener, my Pakistan team against india would be

    1 Kamran 2 Shoaib 3 Younus 4 Yousuf 5 Umar 6 Misbah 7 Afridi 8 Rana 9 Asif 10 Umar Gul 11 Ameer

  • KJ on September 25, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    Good article and agree with all but Yousuf. He must play as Pakistan's best batsman. He wasn't out in the first game as we know. Nazir must go. It is too much to refer to him as an opener. I thought opening batsmen had to have technique against the new moving ball. Nazir has a good eye and a powerful hitter. A natural number 7 on a good day. An opener? No way! I would open with K Akmal and Malik and hope for the best.

  • Anas on September 25, 2009, 12:25 GMT

    Hmmm,Spot on with most of the stuff, except the dropping of Muhammad Yousuf. No doubt that pakistan should look ahead in future but they must not compromise on present. Misbah was once a dream finisher for Pakistan (for a short while) but his latest innings have used all of his bonus points that he earned between 2005 to 2007. He should make a way for the skipper as we have couple of good middle order batsmen inform to play with talenders.

  • sunil on September 25, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    I would like to come back and read this blog again on Saturday night.

  • S.A.Khan on September 25, 2009, 12:20 GMT

    I don't see why Imran Nazir "must" play. I don't question his abilities and I do love to watch him play but he is just not consistent enough. Younis must open the batting and yes he should have done this year ago.

  • Guruprasad S on September 25, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    While Mr. Kamran is looking for a batting hero, he (and all true cricket fans) should be concerned that the fast bowlers emerging from Pak either get injured, or get into unwanted troubles, or lose form and focus. Mohammad Zahid, Mohd. Sami, Shoiab Akhtar, Mohd. Asif, Shabbir Ahmed, Sohail Tanveer, Umar Gul, not to forget, Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood: Such an embarrassment of riches and yet very few of them served Pakistan for a significant period of time. The administrators of Pak cricket must address this issue and ensure that Pak remains a lethal bowling unit. Once the cushion and confidence of bowling unit is there, the batsman will be more assured. I always remember Pak as a team that could chase down daunting totals and defend meagre totals, both with aplomb. Unfortunately this impression has diluted in recent times. Hopefully, under Yonis's captaincy, with a resurgent Afridi backing up, Pak will be a force again.

  • TARIQ GUL on September 25, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    Pakistan team looks balanced,but I think Pakistan team should not take risk of playing Asif for tomorrow match,as he is returning almost more than a year to team,and already pakistani seamers,Amir,Gul,Naveed are doing pretty good job with the ball,and two spinners Afridi and Ajmal are very handy,so Asif should sit on bench,and as Younis Khan is playing tomorrow so i guess it will be better if he replace Misbah as Malik is more handy than him,he can be used as a 6th bowler option and Mohammed Yousef is more better and experienced than Misbah,although he is not scoring but still he has ability and has proved.Nazir and Akmal or Malik should open.But i would also suggest that if Umar Akmal given chance to Open will be a good choice too.Anyways Best luck for pakistan team and Inshallah Pakistan will win tomorrow.

  • Umar Qadeer on September 25, 2009, 12:02 GMT

    Mohummad Yousaf is the best batsman in Pakistani squad.He is the legend. How can Pakistan drop him.I remember, Jayawardane of Srilanka was struggling at one stage, but his team gave him the kind of the support that he really needed and at last he got himself in good form again. I was surprised to see that Yousaf was dropped from the squad after only one bad match in the sereis against Srilanka, I can only say that , it happened only because the pakistanies dont know the values of their heroes. If you see the batting avg of Yousaf, its not only the best in whole pakistani team but its better than a lot and good enough to play in one day side. how can one even imagine to drop a batsman having 42+ avg in ODIs. I must say that Pakistan's team management is not giving him the kind of the confidence what they should have been, rather they are trying to pull of everything from him. One player who has proved himself infront of the whole world, all he needs now is to be given confidence.

  • Faakhir on September 25, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    Imran Nazir seems like the most likely omission from the playing elevn on the 26th against India; this will leave Shoaib Malik to open with Akmal.

  • Imran on September 25, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    It is very tempting to hold on to your past heroes, because they have produced, but as they say, "show must go on". You have to replace the old guns with the new guns. Frankly, here is lies the problem with Pakistan cricket, they do not have a legit system of replacing the seniors. Inzi, Imran, and many others stick around until one foot is in the grave, and hurt Pakistan cricket by not giving youngsters, fresh blood to prove in the field. In the professional field, how many chances do you need. There are a million kids behind you, who can do better, much better. PCB and its players are selfish bunch. Albeit Younis has made a few mistakes in his captaincy, In my opinion, I find a lot of sincerity in him, and genuinely feel he does want to leave Pakistan cricket in better hands before he departs.

  • Zuhair on September 25, 2009, 11:55 GMT

    Nice peice but I strongly disagree with Yousuf's exclusion. He is the highest run getter for Pakistan since 2005 and in this decade despite missing a lot of cricket of late. just because he looks more like a test player does not make him an unwanted character in the team. He has to play in order to marshal the middle order.

    I would drop Nazir and will open with Malik. malik has a pretty decent record against India and there is no point dropping him. I can't see why we must play Nazir in such a crucial game. he is such a hit and miss player. And if the argument is that we have to play one proper opener - no matter what - then it is Misbah who has to go.

  • Syed on September 25, 2009, 11:53 GMT

    Followup to my post.. Here is break down of Pak-Ind ODI contests 1970s Pak 2 - Ind 1 67% 1980s Pak 19 - Ind 9 67% 1990s Pak 26 - Ind 17 60% 2000s Pak 21 - Ind 18 53%

    Indcluding and after 2003 WC game Pak 16 - Ind 16

  • Irresistible on September 25, 2009, 11:49 GMT

    watevea it is. Pakistan needs a batsmen like the older BOOM BOOM Afridi rather a The Yousuf Yohana. its the only team tht plays like a team in cricket. and about captaincy none other thn Afridi.........

  • fahim on September 25, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    all the best PAKISTAN....INSHALLAH we will win...

  • zakiuddin on September 25, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    Its time to react with no delays Young boys waiting on the benches for a senior player to be unfit so they can get a chance in the playing eleven, or they go back homes with a slight hope for the next season. Misbah was never considered in the team untill he reached his last years and now he is about to be retired. UMAR AKMAL & MUHAMMAD AAMIR were lucky enough to be in the side immediately, but centurion on debut FAWAD ALAM needs to please his superiors for a chance. This cruel and indecent behaviour which on one hand destroys the young talent and on the other hands deflowers the nations pride. These culprits should be severely punished and dealt with. MEDIA should highlight these area's and ensure these culprits are disgraced instead of the country FAWAD ALAM , force your way into the playing side and show them what u are capable of.

  • Wasim on September 25, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    "The trickier decision is who should Younis Khan replace"

    Based on the recent performance and form I think if Younis Khan keeps on resting he will do a great favor to Pakistan team.

    Asif should replace Rana Naved against India if the team management thinks that he is fit. The management blew up a golden opportunity to test his form and fitness against WI.

  • imran khan on September 25, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    Mohammad Yousuf has to stay, mishbha should be droped, he takes too long to score runs..

  • Syed on September 25, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    You have exaggerated India's supremacy during last 6 years. Even with weaker team and all kinds of other problems Pakistan has matched them during this time. And India is unable to make a serious dent in 35-65 ratio win-loss ratio. Pakistan is under no psychological spell like India was 1978-2003 especially 1986-2003 (post Miandad six.

  • Syed on September 25, 2009, 11:34 GMT

    You have exaggerated India's supremacy during last 6 years. Even with weaker team and all kinds of other problems Pakistan has matched them during this time. And India is unable to make a serious dent in 35-65 ratio win-loss ratio. Pakistan is under no psychological spell like India was 1978-2003 especially 1986-2003 (post Miandad six.

  • Salman Salim Rajan on September 25, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    The team Pakistan has always been under-estimated yet it has performed. Past five years have seen a considerable maturity in the players, still Team Pakistan lacks the elements the zeal a champion team must have. Pakistan has a formidable line up, combining world class players but they need to have consistency in their performance. The teams should click well in both the departments and more over the seniors should take the lead and mold their ordinary lackluster performance into shimmering match winning ones.

    They have all the ingredients of being match winners.

    The notion of the day, "Play for your country not for your survival."

    Salman Salim Rajan

    Karachi, Pakistan.

  • Syed Jaffery on September 25, 2009, 11:26 GMT

    Pakistani batsman are not technically very skilled as compared to Indians and other quality teams. They are more or less like Newzealanders. Muhammad Yousuf is the only true batsman in this side as the others are merely quality hitters ,so his selection is automatic. Umer Akmal and Fawad Alam are good future prospect but Pakistan need to produce batsman like Sachin and Dilshan in order to qualify as genuine force in this sort of competition. Asif's inclusion in this team is surprising. Pakistani management are a bunch of stupids who didn't bother to give him couple of months of practice, councel him and dope test him few time before putting him in the team. Today, He is taken for a random dope test and I am getting nervous about it as Pakistan's prestige is on the line yet again. Abdul Razzaq omission is surprising as he is in form and he is a quality 50 overs player. Since pakistan will not play at the Wanderers again I hope they'll sneak through to the knockout stage. Good Luck.

  • Said Chaudhry (Lahore, Pakistan) on September 25, 2009, 11:24 GMT

    Nice sum up of the situation. Can't stop laughing at Gary Kirsten's ideas of improving testosterone. Im not sure if he knows this, but professional boxers have to abstain from sex or any other "single-handed" activities for a couple of months before their fights. And it would be measure a cricketers aggression & testosterone levels to that of a professional boxer.

    Secondly, I do not agree with you on Yousaf being the weak link in the team. Infact, I do not see a place for Imran Nazir. Did you see the shot he tried to attempt when he was bowled by Tonge? Absolutely ridiculous - that sort of temperament and technique needs to be excised from Pakistan cricket all together. We need batsmen with the best technique to come forward and Yousaf's name would top that list, along with U.Akmal & perhaps Younas. Everyone else falls well short. Yousaf does not deserve the criticism he is receivng from you. Perhaps you did not see him bat in the WI match. Drop Nazir, make Malik open & we'll be set

  • Osman A. Khan on September 25, 2009, 11:19 GMT

    "As ever, Pakistan supporters have no expectation that their team has a secret dossier of any kind."

    I guess you couldn't have put it more correctly and succinctly. Love 'em or hate 'em, expect Pakistan to produce the unexpected :). I would also go along with current crop of bowlers, with Rana being able to provide us with the hope of a cameo with the bat while Yousuf should make way for Younis.

  • 10111 on September 25, 2009, 11:17 GMT

    The pakistan Batting line up is a mess.limited overs cricket is not about batting averages, its about batsman who have an inherent ability to play a match situation! In that regard you have 2 openers(a destroyer and a nudger), a number 3(anchor) your number 4 must be able to be solid but still take the game away from the opposition if required(modern example is Kevin pieterson) then your 5 and six should be able to also defend or attack if required.

    For me there is only one position available for the seniors and thats the number 3 slot.Younis khan looks like a number 5 to me & I hope like in the 20-20 thats the position he will take.I would stick with malik to open with Kamran, because of the role he plays in the field.Have Mohammad Yousuf at 3, Shahid Afridi at 4 and Younis Khan at 5.Umar Akmal at 6 and bring in fawad alam at 7.

    For me Misbah just isnt good enough in this format and to have 3 players playing for their careers in the team wont help.

  • Mazahir Abbas on September 25, 2009, 11:16 GMT

    Yes, Imran Nazir should be there against india beacause of his explosive batting, and he can turn a game very quickly. Then the only option to left out Yousuf or Misbah and at this stage i think Misbah should be the part of 11. Rest is i think ok. Because we do have very strong balling order and Muhammad Asif should not play that game due to lake of match practice and it is a very important game so not to gamble. If Pakistan Provides 80% of its ability then too Pakistan will be the winner. It is also true that in this coming game India will be under immense pressure but not Pakistan.

  • Ahmad on September 25, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    Problem with Pakistan is that Yusuf has grown too big in his stature as compared to the rest of the batting lineup so no one is coming forward to suggest axing him. So, well done Kamran for putting the bell on the cat!

    Guys, lots of discussion going on the Pakistani blog at www wellfielded com as well, check it out too and we are happy to have yuo guys write articles for the blog as well.

    As for the bowling, very right that Asif should stay on the bench. Against India is not the time to test him, they should have done so against West Indies. Now if we win against India and that will pretty much confirm our spot in the semis, only then they should try him against Aussies and see if he blows them away to play him in the semi or not.

    Good luck to Pakistan for the big one tomorrow!

  • Imran on September 25, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    Don't agree with your comments regarding Yusuf vs. Misbah Yusuf is far better player than Misbah; He should play tomorrow alongwith Younis in middle order; Misbah has only played good cricket in previous T20 world cup. I don't know why has been kept in the team after so many failures. Shoiab Malik/imran Nazir: one should go and fawad alam should come into team; atleast he tries to perform

  • Rana asif on September 25, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    well said...muhammad yousuf should not be in the side anymore...its time for young guns like umar akmal to take over...

  • Wasim on September 25, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    I would drop Misbah. Yusaf for all his failings recently is ideally suited to bat in the middle overs and milk the strike. I have never really warmed to Misbah personally - think he is functional rather than fluent. He seems to take a lot of time to get in which in the position that he bats means that the momentum can shift. With Umar Akmal showing an aptitude of batting sensibely as well as being able to explode means that we can afford to drop the safety of a defensive Misbah in order to play a more expansive Yousaf.

  • Rai ally on September 25, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    kamran i agree and actually loved your blog..there is no point in leaving out imran nazir i would tip he to win pakistan a match more then anyone else single handedly..yousuf is the weakest link and he has to make way for young legs..

  • Dr Asif on September 25, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    Great article. Most would probably agree with you. I see just only one way of Asif getting a chance and that is if pakistan beats india without him. In that case,he will and should get to play against australia ( a dead rubber for pakistan anyways). I am not sure that i would agree with your choice of Misbah over Yousuf. I really can not recall any heroics of Misbah since the 2007, 20/20 world cup. I believe there can not be any better time for Yousuf's redemtion.

  • Mudaser Iqbal on September 25, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    I can't understand why Yousaf is trying to find his place in team. He is a natural gifted player and I he is more reliable player then Pakistan Caption, no doubt Younis is excellent player. I think if there is no pressur on Yousaf, he play well. Pakistan team management and especially ex crickers have to give suppourt and encourage him. But they are doing negative thing like Rameez and Amir said earliar on Geo. They forget about greatness of Yousaf. I think he is a key player. look afridi, he have no pressure to place in a team, and he performing well......

  • Wasim on September 25, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    I would drop Misbah. Yusaf for all his failings recently is ideally suited to bat in the middle overs and milk the strike. I have never really warmed to Misbah personally - think he is functional rather than fluent. He seems to take a lot of time to get in which in the position that he bats means that the momentum can shift. With Umar Akmal showing an aptitude of batting sensibely as well as being able to explode means that we can afford to drop the safety of a defensive Misbah in order to play a more expansive Yousaf.

  • Shabri on September 25, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    next match younus want to replace yousuf that is fit for pakistan

  • Syed on September 25, 2009, 10:53 GMT

    Bitter reality of Pakistan team is that their most experienced player is the weakest link at the moment. No matter he broke all the records couple of years ago but he is burden to the team. Only 2 batsmen who can be considered for making room for Younis in the playing 11 are Yousuf & Misbah. I think Yusuf should be rested till he gets his match fitness back in domestic Cricket. Akmals, Malik, Nazir, Afridi are must haves for ODIs.

  • Addy says Sach The Great on September 25, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    Did bit of stochastic and observational analysis. And the reason why India used to loose in 90s more frequently coz most matches that took place in Sharjah used to be on "Friday"..and there is something with Friday when Pakistan becomes unbeatable. Matches played on any other day of week like WC 1996..India had 94% chances of winning:)..Post 2003 all India-pak matches were played mostly on "non-Fridays" hence India had upper hand this decade. One instance where India won on Friday was 1st match of T20 2007 WC but then it was midnight of Friday and Sat in some parts of World.:)...Even the Black Scholes model on Future Derivative agree to it!!!

  • Waleed Mohsin on September 25, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    Kamran bhai though I am an avid reader of Pakspin and appreciate what you write but I am amazed with your comments regarding persisting with Imran Nazir in place of Mohammad Yousuf. One should go with the best available playing XI. Imran Nazir has been tried and tested on numerous occasions without maturing into the destructive preposition that you are suggesting; he has only time and again proved his ability to self destruct; to add to this he is arrogant with disciplinary problems and has never shown a willingness to learn from his mistakes. Mohammad Yousuf may not be a candidate for the next world cup but is Imran Nazir one?

  • Abubakar Ropri on September 25, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    I think you are absolutely wrong Kamran. For the same reason, you are saying that Asif should not play, Mohammad Yousaf should play. So your argument for both players is contradicting. I think it should be the other way around, Asif must play if he is available, Rana Naved must not be given more respect than Mohammad Asif on the basis of talent. All Rana has done is given up runs at a rapid pace and taken some wickets. And mind you, most of his wickets have come while defending 300 plus not while defending 200 or less. Anyone can take wickets when you are defending a big score. And as far Yousaf is concerned, if it was not for him in the first game, Pakistan would be in more trouble than they were. And if you have forgotten, he was wrongly given out when he was looking in good touch. Misbah i believe scored 6 of 22 balls. Oh and I think he was just giving catching practice to the keeper. Yousaf and Asif both must play. Enough with stupid selection decisions.

  • Nazimudding Rangela on September 25, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    Pakistan needs more than one batting hero in the current event.

    On paper the team has quite a few potential batters who can take on any bowler on their day.

    There are at least three technically sound batsmen - Mohd. Yusuf, Younis Khan and Misbha - & quite a few dashers - Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Akmal brothers & Shoab Malik.

    But the big question is about their consistency and temperament.

    Bowling Dept. has enough depth and variety that can trouble any team in the competition.

    Fielding is a big worry. In fact it has been with most of the Asian teams. It can't be overcome overnight.

    Batting is India's main strength, bowling is just OK. It depends on Pakistan batsmen how not to throw their wickets away.

    Whatever their strengths and weaknesses, the contest between the arch Asian rivals is an emotional event for the people of two nations.

    With this background we can hope to see some fireworks on Saturday.

  • rizwan wani on September 25, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    the above arguement to me is utter crap.yousuf is the only real batsman in the team &i cant understand how on earth is misbah or shoaib better suited to one day cricket than yousuf.is it bcoz they can run faster than him then why not get some 100 meter sprinters in pakistan team.can mr. kamran kindly tell me what shots does misbah have either he is blocking all the time or slogging all the time.

  • Waqas Ather Saeed on September 25, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    I beg to differ. Misbah should be dropped, plain and simple. He seems to have forgotten how to hold the bat. Yousuf is a class act, and sooner rather than later he'll get in his groove.

  • Ail on September 25, 2009, 10:32 GMT

    Asslam-u-alaikum. nice blog rie younas if want to keep his legacy for ever need to find batting heroes for us but regarding misbah and yousaf i ll say yousaf to play because he semed in better nick in previous outing against westindies.

  • Sikandar on September 25, 2009, 10:31 GMT

    It's always been between Moyo and Misbah for me when it comes to who Younis should replace. I like Moyo's ability to push 1s and 2s when the bowling is good and conditions are tough, but he needs to be hidden in the field and he's a run-out candidate as well. Misbah is out of form with the bat but what better time to get back into form than against India's weak bowling attack? He also has nice bucket hands in the slip cordon.

    If it's a batting track, I say Misbah.. if it's a spinners track, and believing that Harbhajan is the only bowler I'm worried about, I might go with Moyo.

  • Saleem Sabir on September 25, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    Well it looks like we have started a debate here Yousaf or Misbah ? i totaly disagree with you Yousaf has proven time and again that Form is temporary But Class is Permanent... his experience at this level alone is enough to keep him in the team specially when you are Playing in Champions Trophy and the next two matches are against two of the best teams in the world and we are in a must win Situation...where as Misbah's record does not Justify his inclusion, not a single One Day Century to his name yet, poor average and low Self Confidence, which every one could see from his face while he was playing and missing west indian bowlers..... Remeber Misbah already 35 by the time world cup starts he will be 37 not a Future Star for Pakistan Cricket....!

  • Ail on September 25, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    Asslam-u-alaikum. nice blog rie younas if want to keep his legacy for ever need to find batting heroes for us but regarding misbah and yousaf i ll say yousaf to play because he semed in better nick in previous outing against westindies.

  • Shehzad Ghani on September 25, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    All Pakistani batsmen are inconsistent. No batsman has even a complete series or tournament being consistent! How can batsmen from other countries do it?

  • afnan on September 25, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    i agree younis needs to play..and imran nazir should be droppped not mohammad yousuf, i have had enough of hearing stories about regular openers, the truth is we dont have a regular good opener for many years, imran has failed repeatedly, i would open with fawad, akmal, younis,yousuf,malik,U.akmal, afridi, yousuf role is clear, he is the only play who is capable of playin the 50 overs, he average speaks volumes. he has to play, technically he is the most correct batsmen we have, and please stop criticing his fielding, for pakistan standards, atleast he can catch..he has been out of cricket for 2 years due to pak authorities mistreating him..nazir mus be dropped the guy doesnt have a cricketing brain, and saying things like if he click he can demolish an attack, well when was the last time he clicked, from memory it is against zimbabwe in 2007 world cup, where we were already knocked out...

  • waqas on September 25, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    well your views are appriciatable but the point you mentioned about YOUSAF is little confusing. No doubt Yousaf is not a good Fielder and he cant save more runs than YOUNIS. but i didnt find YOUSAF dropping catch that is more important in Cricket. secondly you have check the records of YOUSAF and YOUNIS, you will find YOUSAF as more reliable batsman and match winning player while YOunis doesnt look like match winning player. if i would get a chance to select team, i wouldnt select Younis Khan in even 15 players squad. i am really disappointed by the captaincy of YOUNIS KHAN. Yousaf is our backbone and even i am sure if inzi comeback than he is still the best player of the team. lastly i would ask a question about ABDUL RAZZAK ? why he wasnt selected for this trophy? He deserves Captaincy but everyone knows that there is grouping in our team and they dont want to see A.RAZZAK to be in the Team.

  • From Manila on September 25, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    I agree with your take on Asif and am really struggling to see who will make way for Asif who is short of match fitness. It would be risky to tweak with balance of the team which looks surprisingly solid. However, I disagree with your take on Nazir, he should not have been in this time in first place and he has shown that in warmup matches as well as against West Indies. Malik is the only choice to play upfront and rest should remain as it is at least against India. I would like to see Fawad being tested as well. Yousuf's ODI career would not last till 2011 WC, therefore Younus would have to look for other young guys who are knocking on the doors for sometime now. I am confident that we will see some good batting heros making headlines for Pakistan soon inshaAllah. Good luck guys.

  • Philips on September 25, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    Ya-- this article is good.. but pakistan will be beaten by india in huge margin.. let's wait and see..

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  • Philips on September 25, 2009, 10:01 GMT

    Ya-- this article is good.. but pakistan will be beaten by india in huge margin.. let's wait and see..

  • From Manila on September 25, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    I agree with your take on Asif and am really struggling to see who will make way for Asif who is short of match fitness. It would be risky to tweak with balance of the team which looks surprisingly solid. However, I disagree with your take on Nazir, he should not have been in this time in first place and he has shown that in warmup matches as well as against West Indies. Malik is the only choice to play upfront and rest should remain as it is at least against India. I would like to see Fawad being tested as well. Yousuf's ODI career would not last till 2011 WC, therefore Younus would have to look for other young guys who are knocking on the doors for sometime now. I am confident that we will see some good batting heros making headlines for Pakistan soon inshaAllah. Good luck guys.

  • waqas on September 25, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    well your views are appriciatable but the point you mentioned about YOUSAF is little confusing. No doubt Yousaf is not a good Fielder and he cant save more runs than YOUNIS. but i didnt find YOUSAF dropping catch that is more important in Cricket. secondly you have check the records of YOUSAF and YOUNIS, you will find YOUSAF as more reliable batsman and match winning player while YOunis doesnt look like match winning player. if i would get a chance to select team, i wouldnt select Younis Khan in even 15 players squad. i am really disappointed by the captaincy of YOUNIS KHAN. Yousaf is our backbone and even i am sure if inzi comeback than he is still the best player of the team. lastly i would ask a question about ABDUL RAZZAK ? why he wasnt selected for this trophy? He deserves Captaincy but everyone knows that there is grouping in our team and they dont want to see A.RAZZAK to be in the Team.

  • afnan on September 25, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    i agree younis needs to play..and imran nazir should be droppped not mohammad yousuf, i have had enough of hearing stories about regular openers, the truth is we dont have a regular good opener for many years, imran has failed repeatedly, i would open with fawad, akmal, younis,yousuf,malik,U.akmal, afridi, yousuf role is clear, he is the only play who is capable of playin the 50 overs, he average speaks volumes. he has to play, technically he is the most correct batsmen we have, and please stop criticing his fielding, for pakistan standards, atleast he can catch..he has been out of cricket for 2 years due to pak authorities mistreating him..nazir mus be dropped the guy doesnt have a cricketing brain, and saying things like if he click he can demolish an attack, well when was the last time he clicked, from memory it is against zimbabwe in 2007 world cup, where we were already knocked out...

  • Shehzad Ghani on September 25, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    All Pakistani batsmen are inconsistent. No batsman has even a complete series or tournament being consistent! How can batsmen from other countries do it?

  • Ail on September 25, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    Asslam-u-alaikum. nice blog rie younas if want to keep his legacy for ever need to find batting heroes for us but regarding misbah and yousaf i ll say yousaf to play because he semed in better nick in previous outing against westindies.

  • Saleem Sabir on September 25, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    Well it looks like we have started a debate here Yousaf or Misbah ? i totaly disagree with you Yousaf has proven time and again that Form is temporary But Class is Permanent... his experience at this level alone is enough to keep him in the team specially when you are Playing in Champions Trophy and the next two matches are against two of the best teams in the world and we are in a must win Situation...where as Misbah's record does not Justify his inclusion, not a single One Day Century to his name yet, poor average and low Self Confidence, which every one could see from his face while he was playing and missing west indian bowlers..... Remeber Misbah already 35 by the time world cup starts he will be 37 not a Future Star for Pakistan Cricket....!

  • Sikandar on September 25, 2009, 10:31 GMT

    It's always been between Moyo and Misbah for me when it comes to who Younis should replace. I like Moyo's ability to push 1s and 2s when the bowling is good and conditions are tough, but he needs to be hidden in the field and he's a run-out candidate as well. Misbah is out of form with the bat but what better time to get back into form than against India's weak bowling attack? He also has nice bucket hands in the slip cordon.

    If it's a batting track, I say Misbah.. if it's a spinners track, and believing that Harbhajan is the only bowler I'm worried about, I might go with Moyo.

  • Ail on September 25, 2009, 10:32 GMT

    Asslam-u-alaikum. nice blog rie younas if want to keep his legacy for ever need to find batting heroes for us but regarding misbah and yousaf i ll say yousaf to play because he semed in better nick in previous outing against westindies.

  • Waqas Ather Saeed on September 25, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    I beg to differ. Misbah should be dropped, plain and simple. He seems to have forgotten how to hold the bat. Yousuf is a class act, and sooner rather than later he'll get in his groove.