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November 2, 2009

Age of Khan

Revenge is a dish best served hot

Kamran Abbasi


Pakistan should dominate the one-day series in UAE © Associated Press
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Pakistan embark on their busiest period of international cricket for several years. This is a relief for Pakistan cricket fans who have been deprived of seeing their team play regularly and further deprived of a team that is able to develop. It will be a tough antipodean summer of cricket for Pakistan, who traditionally struggle on these tours -- and that's with a settled and confident team.

As ever, the current squad has potential but this one looks light in the fast bowling department. Provided the first rank of bowlers stay fit, Pakistan should dominate the one-day series in UAE. The dormant tracks will ease the pressure on Pakistan's brittle batting order, which accomodates a curious return for Imran Farhat. It seems the Pakistan selectors are never sure who their best batsmen are. The omissions of Fawad Alam and Imran Nazir are baffling.

On a brighter note, Younis Khan has made an expected return to the captaincy after his recent show of brinkmanship. Younis must now avoid future distractions and focus on building a team that can seriously challenge for the 2011 World Cup and become a force in Test cricket. He has been promised a two-year window to forge his team. That is time enough as the next 12 months will be a serious test of his vision, strategy, decision-making, and strength of character.

Pakistan's reinforced captain has stated that the upcoming series is not about revenge for the Champions Trophy, but the heat of the UAE will be Pakistan's closest stab at home advantage over the next months against a team that they can beat. A false start here will be an ominous omen for the challenges to come. Pakistan need a strong start to their international labours, and if revenge is a motivation then so be it.

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

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Posted by jack hosnard on (November 11, 2009, 11:26 GMT)

Looks like the dish that was to be served hot....backfired ( chuckles)

Posted by Syed Jaffery on (November 10, 2009, 16:45 GMT)

Watching the two One day series in India and in Abu Dhabi I am convinced that there has to be two groups in this game as well similar to football or Davis cup. On one hand India-Australlia series is very exciting, evenly contested and fun to watch while on the other hand we have Pakistan-Newzealand series where first two matches are real boring and the third one is an example of the true unpredictibility of these two weak teams. They should be placed along with West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwae in a group-2 and they should be allowed to fight it out among themselves to qualify for the elite group-1. Currently these teams just cannot match the quality and talent of Australlia, South Africa, India, Sri lanka and England. They can win a few games here and there but in a longer series they just cannot sustain their effort. This is the only way to improve the standard in One-day cricket and Test cricket as well.

Posted by Rauf on (November 10, 2009, 14:26 GMT)

First of, credit must go to NZ for winning the series. Congratulations. Only Pak can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as witnessed in 3rd ODI.

There is no consistency in Pak team which basically reflects the PCB. Dumb question to ask the geniuses in PCB is why leave out Umar Akmal and Yousaf in 2nd and 3rd ODI both of which were lost by Pak in first 25 overs. 3rd ODI required a Ponting kind of an innings, no heroics just basic cricket with singles and twos which Yousaf would have been able to deliver. I would have sacrificed Butt without hesitation and what happened to Imran Nazir?

My suggestion to PCB after watching the 3rd ODI. Find 10 more 17 year old left arm fast bowlers before WC2011 and you would also resolve your batting issues.

Posted by S. Sheikh on (November 10, 2009, 13:01 GMT)

Correction Nov.09/2009. 2:12pm It was M. Yousuf and not Highly overrated Younis captiancy is going through his had.

Another remarkable partnership between Amer and Saeed just like the smifinal one they had with Newzeland almost snatching the match alas our fantastic selection committee still did not get the message. Look now inistead of picking Asim Kamal who is far far more talented player than Fisal Iqbal the poor left hander is out for the test team & Faisal gets the nodd; when these people are going to learn looks not in our life time or may be never.

Posted by Muhammad Noman on (November 10, 2009, 12:34 GMT)

Just another series of disappointment.

Goods: 1. At last we opt for specialist opening batsmen. 2. Aamir is improving day by day and last of all, showing talent with the bat. 3. Spinners doing their job well.

Bads or worses:

1. Middle order failing again and again while chasing. 2. Poor team management and selection. 3. Captain playing for captaincy rather than for the team. 4. Umer Gul is finding it difficult to penetrate. 5. Abdul Razzak is virtually over.

Posted by khurram on (November 10, 2009, 11:29 GMT)

i love to see pak losing the game..this isnt a team but a political party.we atleast need 5,6 new players to join the likes of ajmal,aamir,umer akmal etc....the pesent bunch of politicians cant win matches. just look at the shots of afridi, malick, kamran..you will guess whats the reason for such disgusting performance.

Posted by syed shah on (November 10, 2009, 11:08 GMT)

syed jaffery - the reason i think m yousaf was dropped is cos he is a rubbish fielder - just look at his tummy..lol. i think the selectors should sit down & decide whether yousaf should play in the next world cup as he will be 37!! if not then they should drop him from the team & find a young replacement.

Posted by shah on (November 10, 2009, 11:05 GMT)

to all of you who (zia matloob) want nasir jamshed in the team - just look at this season's stats.. 208 runs scored in 8 innings(5 matches) average 26!! that is rubbish - the reason salman butt was recalled to the team is he has scored 209 run in 5 innings (3 matches) average 52!! the selectors job is to see who is performing & as you can see nasir jamshed is clearly not this season..

Posted by Khurram on (November 10, 2009, 9:21 GMT)

I really liked muddasir Siddiq's comments her. Good to see someone else also knowing what is the problem with Pak cricket team. The answer to the million dollar question is their mentality to start slow, continuing playing deliberately slow and accelerate in last ten years. This works in 1-2 out of 10 one days (like against India in CT) but most of the time this plan fails. No other teams play like that. Pakistan manages to bat below their potential due to this strategy. Slow players with that mindset like Butt, Younis and Misbah should not be in the team at any cost.

Pakistan seems to stuck with the history and the old age method of playing rather than changing with the world.

Posted by Dr. Mubahir Hanif on (November 10, 2009, 8:15 GMT)

Assalamoalikum! Kami bhai, where is the blog? revenge? what revenge?Like I wrote above, Younis has no place in the team, Afridi is much better than him to lead and perform. Younis should ahve resigned from all formats. A class of Yousuf sits out, I dont know what to write. he is the only fluent batsman int he current Pakistani team. I know you dont liek him much, but please tell me, how could you make him rest at the cost of sloggers and young guns?Experience is experience. babaiy babaiy hondaiy nay.These idiots dont understand that once you make a performing player sit out, its too hard to come back and perform right away. Look in one game Umar Akmal out and what he did now in 2 games?Now you rested Yousuf to shake him. I think younas khans end is getting closer with every game. In Pakistan when you want to get rid of someone you make him a captain.It seems he has become more of a dictator than believing in Shoora (taking advice from all). Just wait and see. peace

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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