New Zealand 2009 November 27, 2009

Batting pretenders face instant examination

 
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Umar Akmal's debut century rescued Pakistan from a disastrous position © Getty Images
 

A debut Test century is a moment of optimism, a flower about to bloom. Now that Umar Akmal has joined Pakistan’s bouquet of record-making debutants—most of those flowers have wilted quickly—expectations will soar even higher than they were already. Can young Umar be the next batting star of Pakistan cricket?

A decade’s wait underlines the misery that Pakistan fans have had to endure. Many young men have flickered briefly only for their temperament or technique to send them into oblivion. Almost every year a clutch of new prospects raise and shatter our hopes. Nobody has emerged with class enough in recent years to suggest a comparison with the legends of Pakistan’s batting history.

Even debutant century makers have a dismal record. Javed Miandad, Salim Malik, and Younis Khan the only three that have gone on to forge substantial careers. The remainder have failed to turn potential into results. Some have been aided by friendly home wickets or friendly opponents, in Yasir Hameed’s case by both—and he succeeded twice over, a century in each innings of his Test debut. Nonetheless, Pakistan must have expected better progress from these men.

Could there be something different about Umar Akmal? In just about every innings he has bristled with intent and confidence. He has a wide range of attacking strokes yet is capable of defence, comfortable against spin and pace. He has a desire to dominate, an encouraging trait. He has achieved his debut success away from Pakistan like Fawad Alam did in Sri Lanka. Indeed, New Zealand isn’t known as a happy home for Pakistan’s batsmen. Most importantly, he triumphed in adversity, rescuing a near disastrous position of 85 for 5.

These are early days. Umar Akmal will be judged over many years not a few months or even one innings. For once, however, Pakistan fans will dare to believe that a young champion has been discovered. They will also hope that Fawad will seize the opportunity thrust upon him.

Tours of Australia and England will further examine the potential of these young batsmen. But the next day’s play, chasing a difficult final innings total, will be the first genuine insight into the future capabilities of Pakistan’s new batting pretenders.

I’ll be tweeting during the first session of the final day’s play. It should be exciting. You can follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/KamranAbbasi

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Haris Mir on January 8, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    We would have won this match on third day if Kamran Akamal was a true professional Keeper not a make shift one. Chasing any target by any team against Australia would always be a challenge because they play like a fighter unit irrespective to the situation of the game. They are tough opponent who would never lose their nerves and keep on pressing their opposition till the last delivery of the Game. Dropping 4 catches and a run out against Australia is a major crime Kamran you have broken our hearts by not being honest you are just a good stroke-player so be it. I think you should never keep in international level because you have prove repeatedly that you are not a genuine keeper and you tend harm the team by your sloppy keeping over and over again. Yosuf did great over all he drew the test series in NZ land and if the batsman would have kept their nerves we would have won both tests as well as series. Over all team has been playing competitive cricket byt missing killing instinct.

  • Haris Mir on January 7, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    We would have won this match on third day if Kamran Akamal was a true professional Keeper not a make shift one. Chasing any target by any team against Australia would always be a challenge because they play like a fighter unit irrespective to the situation of the game. They are tough opponent who would never lose their nerves and keep on pressing their opposition till the last delivery of the Game. Dropping 4 catches and a run out against Australia is a major crime Kamran you have broken our hearts by not being honest you are just a good stroke-player so be it. I think you should never keep in international level because you have prove repeatedly that you are not a genuine keeper and you tend harm the team by your sloppy keeping over and over again. Yosuf did great over all he drew the test series in NZ land and if the batsman would have kept their nerves we would have won both tests as well as series. Over all team has been playing competitive cricket byt missing killing instinct.

  • Muhaamad on January 6, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    hmmm after this match i m sad grieved weaping bcz team, captain, wicket keeper batsmen led us badly down . After 14 years of long wait we were in a position to beat aussies in sydney.bt coward captaincy poor shot selection by batsmen and bad bad very bad fielding let whole nation down i m grieved i may not watch any more match i better to use my time in other activities rather than watching those people who let whole nation down badly

  • ASIF on December 2, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    Pakistan badly missed afridi in the dunedin test.Pak will keep on loosing unless they recall afridi for the tests.Omar akmal & kamran showed how to handle pressure situations by playing aggressively.Unfortunately the prime reason for ignoring afridi for the tests is his aggressive batting & bowling which actually has won matches for pak in the past & can win many more in the future.The pcb says that afridi has opted out of the tests on his own but the fact of the matter is he was constanly being overlooked for the tests.Even now if the pcb requests afridi to change his mind he will never say no & will be available for the tests.Afridi can be used as a fifth bowler & his aggressive batting scares even the best sides.Just remember his brilliant match winning knocks against india,west indies & england in tests.Also his average of 38 is better than malik,butt,farhat & manzoor.His 5 centuries & 9 fifties with 47 wickets are ample proof that he can do better than the so called specialists.

  • Irfan on December 1, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    Cont’d…Farhat and Salman should be sent back replaced by Nasir Jamshed and Kahlid Lateef, it’s after all a home series. These three should be given a fair run. They could be tried on one two and even third positions in different combinations. Fawad should be in Malik’s spot. Danish should be shown the door, as he is no more the secret weapon as he once was. Stick with Ajmal until he is found out. Another enigma is Fawad’s bowling. Originally Fawad came in as an allrounder (left arm leg spin) and a pretty darn good one. Why his bowling talent is being wasted? He adds variety to the current spread. If Vettori is a success on these pitches Fawad should be tossed the ball (may be the captain didn’t know about his portfolio). Yousuf needs to pick up his captaincy and show a lot more aggression, as it is dull and quite predictable. Pakistan’s bowling is not to be touched as it is doing very well and is capable of getting the opposition out twice even in Australia.

  • safi on December 1, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    from what i have seen in the last 10 to 12 years of pakistani cricket i can say this with a lot of confidence that these new kids by that i mean umar and fawad will exactly be the same as the rest of them. they are playing on the basis of their God given gift and it can only take them so far, eventually they will need the proper technique and temperament and those are not given you have acquire them.

  • Karl on December 1, 2009, 11:39 GMT

    It was embarrassing to watch our opening batsmen in the last test, Farhat and Mansoor with their poor techniques. I would not even pick those 2 for Sunday school taxi driver leaguer never mind an international team.

    Fawad he is also very poor in his technique but his got guts so I don’t mind him.as for those doubting Shoaib Malik, don’t know anything about cricket. He is class but out of form and you know what they say ‘form is temporary class is permanent’.

    I would open with Salman Butt simply because he gives you a glimpse of Saeed Anwar with his wristy flicks and drives.

  • Adnan on December 1, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    Dear Kamran, can you or someone please write and explain why no-one is calling Afridi back into the test squad. Shahid is so different a player now than he was two years ago when he left test for want of a selextion - surely he merits a place in the test team purely on his bowling even if we set aside (the still) temperamental batting. But then, bring in at a number 7 or 8 at the cost of Farhat and does it not add so much more to the team in terms of bowling, fielding and, I daresay, batting?

  • Nadeem Mirza on November 30, 2009, 22:58 GMT

    @Jack Honsard: Good for you. Congrats!!! Hope that makes you feel little better.

  • Davish usman on November 30, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    Indeed umar akmal is a new star of pak cricket and some of our senior batsmen should learned how to play in pressure situation by seeing umar batting especially shoaib malik

  • Haris Mir on January 8, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    We would have won this match on third day if Kamran Akamal was a true professional Keeper not a make shift one. Chasing any target by any team against Australia would always be a challenge because they play like a fighter unit irrespective to the situation of the game. They are tough opponent who would never lose their nerves and keep on pressing their opposition till the last delivery of the Game. Dropping 4 catches and a run out against Australia is a major crime Kamran you have broken our hearts by not being honest you are just a good stroke-player so be it. I think you should never keep in international level because you have prove repeatedly that you are not a genuine keeper and you tend harm the team by your sloppy keeping over and over again. Yosuf did great over all he drew the test series in NZ land and if the batsman would have kept their nerves we would have won both tests as well as series. Over all team has been playing competitive cricket byt missing killing instinct.

  • Haris Mir on January 7, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    We would have won this match on third day if Kamran Akamal was a true professional Keeper not a make shift one. Chasing any target by any team against Australia would always be a challenge because they play like a fighter unit irrespective to the situation of the game. They are tough opponent who would never lose their nerves and keep on pressing their opposition till the last delivery of the Game. Dropping 4 catches and a run out against Australia is a major crime Kamran you have broken our hearts by not being honest you are just a good stroke-player so be it. I think you should never keep in international level because you have prove repeatedly that you are not a genuine keeper and you tend harm the team by your sloppy keeping over and over again. Yosuf did great over all he drew the test series in NZ land and if the batsman would have kept their nerves we would have won both tests as well as series. Over all team has been playing competitive cricket byt missing killing instinct.

  • Muhaamad on January 6, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    hmmm after this match i m sad grieved weaping bcz team, captain, wicket keeper batsmen led us badly down . After 14 years of long wait we were in a position to beat aussies in sydney.bt coward captaincy poor shot selection by batsmen and bad bad very bad fielding let whole nation down i m grieved i may not watch any more match i better to use my time in other activities rather than watching those people who let whole nation down badly

  • ASIF on December 2, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    Pakistan badly missed afridi in the dunedin test.Pak will keep on loosing unless they recall afridi for the tests.Omar akmal & kamran showed how to handle pressure situations by playing aggressively.Unfortunately the prime reason for ignoring afridi for the tests is his aggressive batting & bowling which actually has won matches for pak in the past & can win many more in the future.The pcb says that afridi has opted out of the tests on his own but the fact of the matter is he was constanly being overlooked for the tests.Even now if the pcb requests afridi to change his mind he will never say no & will be available for the tests.Afridi can be used as a fifth bowler & his aggressive batting scares even the best sides.Just remember his brilliant match winning knocks against india,west indies & england in tests.Also his average of 38 is better than malik,butt,farhat & manzoor.His 5 centuries & 9 fifties with 47 wickets are ample proof that he can do better than the so called specialists.

  • Irfan on December 1, 2009, 16:51 GMT

    Cont’d…Farhat and Salman should be sent back replaced by Nasir Jamshed and Kahlid Lateef, it’s after all a home series. These three should be given a fair run. They could be tried on one two and even third positions in different combinations. Fawad should be in Malik’s spot. Danish should be shown the door, as he is no more the secret weapon as he once was. Stick with Ajmal until he is found out. Another enigma is Fawad’s bowling. Originally Fawad came in as an allrounder (left arm leg spin) and a pretty darn good one. Why his bowling talent is being wasted? He adds variety to the current spread. If Vettori is a success on these pitches Fawad should be tossed the ball (may be the captain didn’t know about his portfolio). Yousuf needs to pick up his captaincy and show a lot more aggression, as it is dull and quite predictable. Pakistan’s bowling is not to be touched as it is doing very well and is capable of getting the opposition out twice even in Australia.

  • safi on December 1, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    from what i have seen in the last 10 to 12 years of pakistani cricket i can say this with a lot of confidence that these new kids by that i mean umar and fawad will exactly be the same as the rest of them. they are playing on the basis of their God given gift and it can only take them so far, eventually they will need the proper technique and temperament and those are not given you have acquire them.

  • Karl on December 1, 2009, 11:39 GMT

    It was embarrassing to watch our opening batsmen in the last test, Farhat and Mansoor with their poor techniques. I would not even pick those 2 for Sunday school taxi driver leaguer never mind an international team.

    Fawad he is also very poor in his technique but his got guts so I don’t mind him.as for those doubting Shoaib Malik, don’t know anything about cricket. He is class but out of form and you know what they say ‘form is temporary class is permanent’.

    I would open with Salman Butt simply because he gives you a glimpse of Saeed Anwar with his wristy flicks and drives.

  • Adnan on December 1, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    Dear Kamran, can you or someone please write and explain why no-one is calling Afridi back into the test squad. Shahid is so different a player now than he was two years ago when he left test for want of a selextion - surely he merits a place in the test team purely on his bowling even if we set aside (the still) temperamental batting. But then, bring in at a number 7 or 8 at the cost of Farhat and does it not add so much more to the team in terms of bowling, fielding and, I daresay, batting?

  • Nadeem Mirza on November 30, 2009, 22:58 GMT

    @Jack Honsard: Good for you. Congrats!!! Hope that makes you feel little better.

  • Davish usman on November 30, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    Indeed umar akmal is a new star of pak cricket and some of our senior batsmen should learned how to play in pressure situation by seeing umar batting especially shoaib malik

  • Muhammad Usman on November 30, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    I really agree on bringing in some new openers like Ahmed Shezad in Team as they deserve chance. Plus Umer Should be given some competition in the form of Sohail Tannveer. The main problem is giving a competion to some players as the get relaxed As soon as there position is cemented in team. I would like to see Abdul Razzak in Team As well. As he can stand on one end to support any batsman. I will really like to suggest replacements for each player as well. 1, Ahmed Shezad/Nasir Jamshed, 2, Kamran Akmal, 3, Younis Khan, 4, Muhammad Yousaf, 5, Umar Akmal, 6, Misbah Ul Haq/ Asim Kamal, 7, Shahid Afridi/ Abdul Razaq, 8, Umer Gul/ Sohail Tanveer, 9, Muhammad Asif/ shoib Akhtar, 10, Muhammad Amer, 11, Danish Kaniria/ Saeed Ajmal.

    There are more names to cover butt this could be one option. We should have replacement for Each player and that will be the only thing that can work for us.

  • Naveed Hassan on November 30, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    I think if Pak will play with khuram manzoor it means they playing with 10 plyers, he is usless he should replaced by "Butt" and faisal Iqabl should in and Alam out....No place for malik too Misbah should come back

  • Jack Honsard on November 30, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    Bottomline....Pakistan looses on more match...but fans live in dreamworld consoling themsleves in one way or another ...trying ot find explanation to feel good about loss...fact is we beat you ODI and now test and CT semi final....Gulp that fact and accept it.

  • Hussain on November 30, 2009, 6:14 GMT

    Agreed.I knew there was something special about Umar when I first saw him in the one day series against Srilanka.Inshallah he shall do justice to his talent On a different note, what is Imran Farhat doing in a test side? I would not even pick him in my domestic one day squad, let alone in an international test side.Pathetic slip fielding is enough reason to discard him from a test side. What were the selectors thinking? or is he another parchi?Even an out of form Salman butt would do better than him Fawad Alam is an ok cricketer who will soon fade away with time. At best he can be kept in the side as No 7 batsman who fields well. He should not be a part of the T20 side.He does not display the sort of maturity Umar Akmal does. I think Mohammed Aamer and Umar Akmal are the greatest finds of this decade and if they do justice to their talents, they can be the new Akram and Miandad of their times

  • Hanif Bhatti on November 30, 2009, 1:03 GMT

    Opening pair has been a perennial issue for Pakistan cricket. We really need to hunt for openers who have the technique and solidity of the likes of Rahul Dravid (though he is No.3 but openers need to have that sense of patience with technique/solidity). Fawad Alam deserves a few more chances at No.3. If Umar Akmal continues to be good in the long run then Pakistan must be good given he can bat like Tendulkar and Dravid according to given situations. We need to have one more solid middle order supporting Akmal and Yousuf. Pakistan bowling attack will get better and better with more trying real match situations. I guess no worries at that end. Batting, Batting and Batting! We lost the match due to frailities in our batting line-up.

  • arun on November 29, 2009, 7:39 GMT

    follow up to my earlier post, i had forgotten about Asim Kamal. Definitely, he would be at no. 6. Even though Afridi has retired from test cricket, he needs to unretire nad made captain of the test team also. As has been shown from his 20/20 and ODI experience, he has batted sensible with the responsibility of captaincy and vice-captaincy. Younis Khan has proved that he is too much emotional and temparamental to be captain, so if he comes back, that needs to be in the capacity of batsman only. So here is the test team for Australia 1. Fawad Alam 2. Afridi (capt.) 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. U. Akmal 6. Asim Kamal 7. K. Akmal 8. Aamer 9. Gul 10. Aif 11. Ajmal/Kaneria

  • Mohamed Admani on November 29, 2009, 5:45 GMT

    You people keep praying for success of Pakistan. The team will never do well as long as those corrupt fat cats also known as PCB are demolished. Pakistan need a new order in cricket and we all know this is not going to happen.

    Anyways team is doing reasonably well if you have the like of Farhat and Malik in the team added with the absolutely awful captaincy of M.Yousuf.

    What grants this player captaincy? sucess, experience etc. well when hes doing the job he looks as clueless as a 10 year old gearing up to face Mcgrath.

    Another positive note close finishes like this could save test cricket and i hear there will be no press coverage HAHA.

    Need i say more.....

  • Waqas on November 29, 2009, 2:11 GMT

    Great test match. Both teams played very well and the better team prevailed. Disappointed Pakistan lost in the end but they did fight out thanks to the Akmal brothers and our awesome bowlers. Here's my take on the team:

    Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, and Khurran Manzoor should be dropped immediately. Imran Farhat is a total waste and Shoaib Malik is no good because of his antics and attitude.

    Salman Butt, Misbah ul Haq and Faisal Iqbal should be selected instead. Salman Butt is better than all Pakistani-opener wannabes like Farhat, Nazir, Hafeez, Manzoor, and Hameed. Fawad Alam should be asked to open with Salman Butt. The guy's an excellent fielder, a potentially good batsman, and an ok bowler. He should be given more chances - this was only his 3rd test match.

    Misbah ul Haq should - hopefully - bring some solidity to the middle order.

  • Hussain Khan on November 28, 2009, 23:57 GMT

    Well, the result of the first test is before us and the loss was because of poor batting and fielding. Where is Pakistan's batting coach? Why is he not with the team knowing batiing is Pakistans weak link. When will you ever learn???????????????

  • Wasim on November 28, 2009, 23:36 GMT

    The batting needs a little reinforcement, all the matches we lost this year were so close they could have gone either way, the absence of Younis Khan and Misbah Ul haq has hurt Pakistan team. It won't be a bad idea to force Afridi out of test retirement if Malik continues to perform like this.

    People should acknowledge the efforts of Muddassar Nazar because of whom we have two new stars in the team Mohammad Aamer and Umar Akmal. It is because of his guidance that these players are ready for international cricket. PCB should reorganize the academy and should use it as a nursery for the upcoming talented players.

  • Marlo on November 28, 2009, 22:40 GMT

    Players like Tanver Yasin of Multan and Azeem Ghuman are in early 20s and promise a lot of talent. Tanver Yasin has averages of 50+ in last two seasons, in running QA trophy he has scored 4 centuries and a fifty and his performances demand some type chance to taste the international level. Throw Shoaib Malik out of tests plzzzzz and for god sake he is worth nothing, averages of low 30s are crape in this time when every team has 3-4 players with 50+. We tried a couple of new faces and found some good players, and if we have to lose anyway as we are doing then let some other good players in to the fold too.

  • SHAHID on November 28, 2009, 21:55 GMT

    The biggest loss Pakistan cricket is facing by not having home series is those side-matches where domestic performing youngesters had a feel of international level. Now Pakistan need to do something to compensate that by have at least 4 youngester as additional players being part of national team. It should be worked out with host nations and ICC and we should be ready to pay the costs. Secondly more A-team tours should be planned. I dont know why but I always feel that board officials are not innovative at all their strategies are always designed so that things can go on as they are, exactly as our political leaders do. When we have been loosing all test and ODI serieses for last 30 months anyway, then why not try to find some new talent just as we did with Umar, Fawad and Aamer. Why not, for example try Naved Yasin who has scored 4 centuries in 6 Q.A trophy matches. We need to replace Shoaib Malik. You cant persist with some one who has 30 average after so many chances in an era of

  • Imran on November 28, 2009, 19:49 GMT

    Cont'd 3. Why did the board also agree to play a home series in conditions favouring N Zealand. What happened to Shahid Yousuf,they raved about him took him to England several years ago and never played him in a single match.Especially when Malik had a record run of wins against naff teams and arrogantly bragged about it,when it was only minnows. Why can't the bench strength play in dead matches and games against the minnows, especially when the seniors keep saying that they are playing too many matches and are tired,injured and need a rest.

  • imran on November 28, 2009, 19:38 GMT

    cont'd. Don't bring back Misbah,he was dropped for being useless so don't recylce,well not on this occasion. Umar Gul needs to given competition for his position,we need a tearaway quickie to complement the attack.Nasir Jamshad is great but needs to curb his attacking instincts to make it at test level.Yousuf needs to proof his worth because he is starting to look past his best and his fitness is pathetic. Farhat,Butt,T Umar,F Iqbal,S Malik,Misbah you're not sportsman or cricketers.Kamran Akmal is becoming a genuine bat so should open and Safraz should keep,catches win matches and i'm sure he can score 20/30 odd so thats ok.You lose more runs by dropping catches,hundreds in Farhats case.Anwar Ali should be in the squad because Umar Gul has become a T20 specialist.

  • Imran on November 28, 2009, 19:29 GMT

    Sack the selectors and Ijaz Butt first of all. There's no transparency and professionalism in the board,the administration and selection.Put the army in charge and sack Zardari's lackeys. Why do we keep recycling the same players who fail miserably and have no technique, like Malik,Farhat. At least Manzoor/Alam are newcomers to this level so have an excuse and Alam performed in Sri Lanka while othes failed.But he needs to be sheltered lower down and given time to adjust to this level and iron out his technique.Yasir Hameed hasn't really been given a proper run and his stats are better than some others and if you watch him bat his technique is actually very good defensively,but he himself has said that he is not an opener but one down, so why is he played out of position.Afridi's test battin average is pretty good & we need a 5th bowler.Plus he would have got quick valuable runs and scared the opposition, unlike malik.

  • Faisal Wahab on November 28, 2009, 17:12 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should be dropped immediately for the next two tests, Faisal Iqbal should be given a chance for the next two tests. Misbah Ul Haq should come in place of khurram Manzoor. Imran Farhat should open with Kamran Akmal (wk). One down position should go to Misbah ul Haq. You need an experienced bat to handle this position, not a young player like fawad Alam. Bowlers have done an excellent job especially M. Asif, he is a master in these conditions like Saleem Altaf. Gul & aamer are an excellent combination to back Asif, kaneria should be given a chance in the Wellington Test, kaneria's experience will be essential in the next test.Wellington has always been a track benefiting Spinners. M. Yousaf has to be more imaginative while field settings for his bowlers. Team for 2nd Test 1. Imran Farhat 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Misbah Haq 4. M. Yousaf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Faisal Iqbal 7. Fawad Alam 8. Umar Gul 9. M. Aamer 10.M. Asif 11.D. Kaneria Good Luck for the Wellington Test.

  • rabbani on November 28, 2009, 15:07 GMT

    i am very angry and upset pakistan has lost....i am feeling sorry for the sleepless nights i have had during the first test. The openers has to go especially Imran Farhat...no place ever in a test squad......wish success in second test and I hope PCB realized and take bold decision and pump in fresh blood into the squad ( young batsmen)....kick out the pathetic Malik out of the team.

  • Javed Maindad on November 28, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    Imran khan is dead right, Intikhab Alam, Imran Farhat, Khuram Manzoor Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik should be sent back to Pakistan. Bring in Nasir Jamsheed, Ahmad Shahzad, Azeem Ghumman, they are Quality openers, Please PCB stop being so corrupt,

  • bitzzz on November 28, 2009, 14:19 GMT

    Malik is the weakest link in this batting line up. Pakistan need not worry about the middle order as after Younis returns, he will take care of everyrhing. The main worry is the opening spot. The thing is the others like Butt, Taufeeq, are no better than those now in the team. And i dont consider Fawad Alam good enough after playing just one significant knock against Lanka. Umar Akmal is a treasure. Being an Indian, i dont know how others are doing in domestic cricket. But i think bringing back Yasir Hameed can be a good thing. You need to give a player fair chance to establish himself not just one or two games. And what has happened to ASim Kamal. From what i saw he never let his team down and always put a heavy price on his wicket. And i believe he will do well as opener.This is what will be needed when you tour Australia. Openers survive the new ball and u hav got a strong middle order.

  • khan_najam on November 28, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    Dear Kamran bhai. good notes. only one question why Iqbal Qasim should'nt send misbah before first test. now pakistan is 1 down in series. and now its to much pressure on misbah to get runs for his place. top 3 players poorly failed need to replaced them. kaneria should be in team.

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on November 28, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    Please remove Khurram, Imran Frahat and the most irresponsible miserable player Shoaib Malik. Where is Asim Kamal ? MIsbah should and must be included in remaining next two test matches.

  • Anu on November 28, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    "Catches win matches". I wonder if Pakistani selectors and coach have ever heard this golden saying! Farhat kept dropping catches (at least 7) but I wonder at the idiocy of the captain that he did not change his crucial position at slips! And this is not a new discovery, in the past too farhat has proved himself a filthy catcher and methinks he should better stay out of the team. And please stop experimenting on Fawad Alam. He can't be a specialist in every batting position, sometimes he is an opener, sometimes he bats way down the order and now he's at No 3! Anyway, despite this deplorable perfromance, I wish all of you a very happy Eid!

  • Rauf on November 28, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    Continued from previous post ...

    None of the players in Pak lineup are a waste. They are all good players and can win any match given the right conditions. It's PCB that does not provide any consistency when selecting a team. It seems like they have been in experiment mode since the last millenium. Select raw talent (which is good but not at the risk of loosing experience), dropping and selecting players based on one or two matches, bringing in players from obscurity like Farhat and Fawad and expect that they click right away from ball one.

    We (PCB mostly) never seem to learn from our bad experiences.

  • Rauf on November 28, 2009, 11:57 GMT

    Can young Umar be the next batting star of Pakistan cricket?

    It's statement like these from the media and PCB with collective IQ of less than a door knob that have messed up Pakistan cricket in recent years. Pak cricket is littered with stories of oohs and aahs one day and a devil the next.

    Leave it to the same media and the geniuses at PCB to sniff out any life out of this young talented batsman's career if God forbid he is out on a duck in one innings.

    Pakistan lost the first match in NZ chasing a very reachable 251 because of the poor batting. We needed a stand from our openers plus Yousuf and Malik and we did not get it. This is what happens when you tinker with the starting lineup 10 times in 10 matches. Akmal brothers were great... specially Umar. Young man should be given his due credit but please do not put him on a pedastal and watch him disappear like Yasir Hameed.

    continue ...

  • Rukunuddin Aslam on November 28, 2009, 11:52 GMT

    just because muhammad ilyas is in the selection committee imran farhat gets a free trip to newzealand. why dont you guys write about such atrocities with cricket adminstration. imran farhats domestic average is far below other younger and statistically better openers.farhat dint even fit any criteria for selection, besides being the son in law of the selector. but maybe that is whats required

  • Jack.Hosnard on November 28, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    End result : Lost match.....despite all so called talent

  • Mehdi - Singapore on November 28, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    Vital dropped catch cost us this match.Batting as usual was pathetic except the Akmal brothers.Bravo.Time for oldies like Yusuf,Malik to exit and get Younis khan,Afridi and a young team organised under them.Serious thinking required if we want Pakistan back in tests and 50 overs.Definately PCB needs change also politics should be routed from Cricket.Any player involved in party bazi,sould be ousted.Take some lessons from our neighbours please,they are world class.WAKE UP PAKISTAN.Shameful performance honestly.Bravo blowers.Is anyone listnening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Imran Khan on November 28, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    More than 10 catches dropped in 2 innings cost Pakistan the match, what is the coach doing, I should call him a FAT DUCK( Intikhab Alam ) just kick him out, the news is that he does not get the boys out for practice because he says he is old for that job. Anyway Paki selectors please call back Imran Farhat, Kuram Manzoor, Salman Bhat and Shoiab Malik, look at young talent Umar Akmal so please go for young players like Nasir Jamsheed and Ahmad Shehzad. I pray that Pakistan selectors are all fired because they are really very corrupt including the PCB head Butt.

  • Kool Kat on November 28, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    Eid Mubarak to people across the border. Umar is a gem. Terrific confidence and attitude. The return of Younis and Misbah will strengthen the Pak middle order. You need all the help in the middle order, as the openers are a joke (both for NZ and Pak). When you consider the likes of Strauss, Smith, Sehwag, Gambhir and Katich setting up wins, this is blind spot for both teams.

  • Rija Zaidi on November 28, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    So finally batting, as expected, failed yet again..... The first three batsmen do no deserve the play even club level cricket yet there are in the national team thanks to Uncle Butt.

    Imran Farhat droped 5 catches in this match and did not play even a single convincing score. Why we don’t have Imran Nazeer in his place purely for his fielding?

    Please arrange to send Imran Farhat back to Lahore to his his loving daddy Ilyas. I am willing to pay his ticket....

    This is Pakistan cricket at its lowest ebb!!!!

  • Asad on November 28, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    Misbah will strength the middle order,what a joke!he is the worst player for the last 2 years. Someone said Danish should play instead of saeed ajmal, really! first he needs to take wickets against club team in NZ. Yousuf said he will bring unity in the team, well then why he didnt bring unity when younis was captain. Half of the team wana be captain without havng leadership qualites. Give younis 100% control and u will see the result, younis was nice to everyone giving everyone chance with rotation policy and what he got from team is no respect. as long as shoaib malk is in the team , pakistan team will always have grouping in the team. we need to remove this cancer NOW.

  • Yogesh Anand on November 28, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    hi regards to akmal with heartiest congratulations. such a talented player. He is such a smash hit since his arrival. He has a wonderful carreer ahead.

  • Arif on November 28, 2009, 3:14 GMT

    Bring back the the only technically correct batsman of Pak Cricket --Misbah and make him a captain, Pak cricket will flourish. And please send Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik back to domestic cricket forever.

  • Qurator on November 28, 2009, 2:26 GMT

    I think Umar is the only one at the moment with the potential to challenge Sachin Tendulkar's 30000 international runs. He has the technique, a sense of completeness to his batting (similar to Sachin), looks compact with good defense and overall, he has age in his side. Sachin will retire soon, and I will be following this young man's career with great interest.

  • Amran Yousaf on November 28, 2009, 1:39 GMT

    I watched Umar Akmal's century and loved the swagger, class and grit shown by the boy. It reminded me of Javed Miandad. IMO out greatest ever batsman. With Umar, Fawad and Aamer we have three very good young talents which auger well for our future, As for the openers where is Nasir Jamshed. in the ODI's that i saw him plat i thought he looked a terrific prospect. Far better then the hapless Khurram Manzoor. Lastly I hope we do not keep Malik in the team for the remaining tests I have always thought him a poor and divisive individual who generally weakens our team. Kamran bhai keep up the good writing.

  • KM on November 28, 2009, 1:30 GMT

    I am watching the 5th day of test and the peroformance of Imran Farhat, Khurram Manzoor and Fawad Alam was HORRIBLE. If Pakistan loses today, it will be all because of Imran Farhat; did not play good in either innings and dropped lot of cathches. For next test, Farhat, Khurran and Fawad should be bench warmers. Salman Butt, Misbah and Faisal Iqbal should be in the team. Definitely the this trio will play better than the current losers. Hope Pakistan wins the test.

  • rabbani , on November 28, 2009, 0:02 GMT

    well well, enough is enough for these two rusty openers, today thet got out cheaply again and disappointed us again. They have to go and replaced bby But.....let us hope yousuf and Umer Akmal save our day.

  • mqi on November 27, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    @orenishi : Your proposal for the right team members is very good, I support it. Let us take a vote, how many will support this team. That will show how the selection committee and the supporters think. I think even layman can think better than the current selection committee.

  • Imran Khan on November 27, 2009, 23:10 GMT

    Don't get hopes high guys. I have played at University Oval. This pitch will stay low and will take bit of turn. Chasing 251 will be tough. It will be testing for our batsman. Good news Misbah will join the team for 2nd test, it will strengthen our middle order. OA is a good batsman but too early to get our hopes high. Best of luck Pakistan team

  • immi on November 27, 2009, 22:17 GMT

    why danish kineria is not playing....???good questions...answer is very simple...because he is HINDU...come on give danish a chance...he deserves it...he is a much better bowler than saeed...

  • David on November 27, 2009, 22:14 GMT

    i am an Australian...but i love pakistani cricket team...i love to watch when they play...yesteday there was a match between aus and west indies but i followed pak/nz/...pakistan team is one of the world most love team...in a second they are top of the world and then within minutes they are down...i get so excited when i watch pakistan play...i can't wait aus/pak series even though i am australian but i will be cheering for pak...i am in love with pak team

  • Syed Zahir on November 27, 2009, 22:06 GMT

    I really don't think that Umar Gul can cement his place for longer period of time..i think Rana Naved could have done better in NZ and Aus conditions..Gul hasn't perform well since Semi final of World T20.. Aamir U.Akmal are definitely the biggest find..Fawad Alam can be a good make shift opener i believe..and its bettr to try Salman Butt in next 2 matches..Imran Farhat really needs to work on his fielding..he is surely one of the worst catcher in Test cricket today ..

  • asad on November 27, 2009, 21:54 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is the cancer in team. we should get rid of him ASAP.Pakistan made another stupid decission of sending Misbah to NZ. Misbah and shoaib will again grouping up the team. what is faisal iqbal doing in NZ? Our selectors r really dummy's. There are players who will keep failing no matter how many chances they get for e.g. Imran farhat poor slip filder and opener,danish kanera,faisal Iqbal,khuram manzoor and salman butt,they dont have the real talent and technique to survive for longer period. Since yousuf came back the fielding has been very poor soo many catches r being dropped regularly. umar gul is another bowler who has been showing no performance in oneday and test cricket, he is only good for 20/20.

  • indian2core on November 27, 2009, 21:29 GMT

    hi i was waiting for this blog from you. i just wanted to post my comments and i knew that you will come up with one article about umar. The way umar played i guess he will be the one who can surpass the records set by greats like sachin, dravid , ricky and inzi. i wont agree with people saying abt runs scored on flat pitches. even there you have to be confident enough to score big runs. lot of people fail there too. and i love the pull shots of umar akmal. those pull shots of o'brien had shown umar's extreme confidence. he is having a wide range of shots and he is good on both feets. his temperament in his first test innings when his side was five down for 80 odd runs was amazing. i watched him in limited overs edition and i was juz wondering how this guy will fare in tests and he did that with aplomb. at the same time i just remember there have been many false dawns and i hope this should not be one among them. i want to see more of umar's heroics and i wish him all the best.

  • hamza mirza on November 27, 2009, 21:27 GMT

    why is danesh kaneria not playing, he is a way better spinner then saeed ajmal.

  • Tariq on November 27, 2009, 21:14 GMT

    My suggestion is that Younis should come to test cricket and misbah too.They should select openers on the basis of their current form and performance between imran nazir,imran farhat,yaseer hamid,latif and salman butt.Rest of the current team is fine.Malik should sit in spectrators only.

  • Omer Admani on November 27, 2009, 21:04 GMT

    It is true that Pakistani cricketers have a tendency to start well and then fade away.

    In any case, I concur with all the posters here that Malik shouldn't be in the test team. Afridi should replace him. Imran Farhat, likewise, shouldn't be in the test team, Fawad Alam should bat as a makeshift opener, and Younis should replace Farhat.

    Since Afridi opens up a reliable bowling end, Pakistan can play an out-an-out aggressive bowler, such as Akhter, to replace Gul. Gul is a 20/20-specialist bowler and has repeatedly shown that test cricket is not his forte.

    However, without afridi and with four bowlers, Akhter is too big a risk if he gets injured and everything goes awry. In that case, Abdul Rauf should replace Gul.

    Lastly, Ajmal doesn't spin the ball enough to be a test standard spinner and Kaneria will be a better rounded test bowler.

    So, basically, risk of Kaneria and Akhter can be hedged with Afridi. Pakistan will have the best bowling if they do this.

  • bitzzz on November 27, 2009, 19:22 GMT

    Hey what did someone say????????? Tendulkar and Gavaskar scoring against weak oppositions on dead pitches!!!!!!!!!!Feel sorry for you,dude. Neways Umar looks good but This is just his first test. Now people will just recognize this guy and accordingly sort him out and his flaws. So long way to go. Flaws will be there. After all, flawless cricketers like sachin, rahul and sunil comes only once in a generation

  • Owais on November 27, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    We should understand one thing - Yasir Hameed, Taufeeq Umar, Salman Butt, Imran Farhat and maybe even Faisal Iqbal should be discarded for good. There is ray of hope in the form of Alam and Akmal. Till the time we dont find another prospect, Misbah should be on the team. Shoaib Malik should only be in ODI format. I am 100% sure even Afridi can perform better than Shoaib in Tests. Though both Afridi and Malik are suited for ODI and T20s only. Afridi is definitely a better leader and at present better players as well. Coming back to the four players *YH,TU,SB and IF), they have been provided with AMPLE opportunities and no one can blame PCB for not giving them the right number of opportunities. We need to find openers. MAybe Kamran Akmal can leave wicket keeping, where he drops one important catch every second innings, and start concentrating on his batting in opening slot. Second opener could be this Latif guy whose technique and temparament were impressive. I donno why he isnt in squad

  • rahel on November 27, 2009, 18:57 GMT

    younas khan is the worst cricketer by luck pakistan ever produced.... he looks extremely well out of stadium... i hope he never returns... AMEN

  • mUDDASSIR SHEIKH on November 27, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    I think Pakistan fought back very well,whether they win or lose,they did not just lay down and play dead like they did in last tour to Sri Lanka.They are in with an even chance.Yousuf has to keep one end going if they are to win this game.Imran farhat's fielding is inexcusable at this level of cricket.

  • atif yousuf on November 27, 2009, 18:52 GMT

    I disagree. While Umer akmal played well , he also plays too many shots for Test level cricket. Right now he has hit a purple patch. When this form deserts him , which invariably happens to all cricketers, then his tecnique and temperament comes into play. We will see if he has this over the next two years or so .

  • Wajih on November 27, 2009, 18:50 GMT

    Just give Umar and Fawad a consistent place in the side for two more tours in addition to the NZ one. If either of them fails to prove himself, show him the door for good couple of years. I doubt that this would happen though.... (a) They would either not be given that sort of run in Pakistan cricket or (b) they will not fail.

  • Arif Khan on November 27, 2009, 18:18 GMT

    If Pakistan wants to do better in next test, they have to drop Imran Farhat. The guy dropped three catches in the test along with his selfish act when he asked for a review for the LBW decision that went against him. It was only the second wicket of Pakistan's innings and he should have atleast consulted with the batsman on the other end before asking for a review right away (too bad if it's your comeback test and you haven't scored enough runs yet). He hadn't edge the ball (and he knew it better than anyone else) and it was pretty obvious that he will be given out unless he had edged the ball. No more sons-in-law (or other Parchees) in the team please!

    On a separate note, I vote for Umar Akmal to be Pakistan's next batting coach (if they can't get Miandad to do that job)

  • abdullah on November 27, 2009, 18:17 GMT

    hey my names abdullah and i seriously think shoaib malik should the heck out of cricket.Im a 9 year old and I would kill to be a cricket player when i grow up.My dads on the LONG ISLAND WARRIOURS TEAM.I think shoaib should be replaced with Afridi.I dont care if the umpire gave the decision. AMER FREAKEN RULES

  • Ali on November 27, 2009, 18:11 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is run by thieves...not just only cricket whole country is run by thieves...umer akmal is good right now but in 2-3 years he is not gonna get chance to play...where is taufeq umer???what happened to him????where is azher mahmood????until shoaib malik is in the team pakistan will never win any match...this test pakistan is NOT gonna win....kick out malik,,,kick out mohammad yousaf....

  • Mohsan Ali on November 27, 2009, 18:06 GMT

    Misbah should take Shoaib Malik's spot and hopefully that will bring some consistency. I personally think that Butt is a better opener the Munzoor even though Butt is inconsistent, but he needs time to adjust.

  • Rauf Turkmen on November 27, 2009, 18:01 GMT

    I think Pak has much better players then Farhat, Malik and Khurram in thier domestic level but I still do not understand how these guys come in to the team without good performance, they do not have the ability of staying @ the wicket out side Pak against good teams. If they want to save the team then need to bring people on the merit.

  • kaiser mukhtar on November 27, 2009, 17:49 GMT

    I was thrilled to watch him play in S. Lanka ODI series where he showed his real zeal and talent. I thought Ahh.... thats what we lacked for many many years. After Miandad, Saleem Malik, Saeed Anwar , Yousouf and few others I can envisage a new Big Shining Star for Pakistan Cricket and I pray that Pakistan in general get out of the Terrorism's mire and international cricket returns to Pakistan and Inshallah we see more of Umar Akmal in home conditions. After all all the 10-dulkars and G-waskars have piled up their runs on dead pitches against weak oppositions along side the strong ones. Any way lets hope best for this young lad and he would deliver big time.

  • desihungama on November 27, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    How could I leave Fawad Alam out.

  • Shahzad on November 27, 2009, 17:40 GMT

    Umar Akmal is gr8 fututure for Pakistan, InshaALLAH. Alam is talented too with some tendency of improvement in basic technique. Worried part is opener's slot where (chaley hoowey kartoos) are placed. Very ppor quality of pitches in Pakistan domestic does not allow to identiy a talented toporder batsman where likes of Khuram Manzoor makes double hundreds but at at international level.....I think Suleman butt and Ahmed Shahzad are only options considering their better technique than others. I know Shahzad did really good in England couple of years ago as member of under-19 which depicted his better technique and talent.

  • Ghaus on November 27, 2009, 17:38 GMT

    Give Asim Kamal a chance. Misbah has a bad record on overseas pitches. Try young players they deserve a chance.

  • desihungama on November 27, 2009, 17:36 GMT

    One major difference between Umar and other century debutants is that Umar featured and excelled in all 3 formats of the game. He has the neccessary temperament to adjust to the conditions. We sure do have a great batsman in the making.

    The core of Pakistan cricket (Aamer, Ajmal, Umer, Kamran, Asif, Afridi) is set and ready to roar. It's a high time we get rid of the likes of Shoaib, Yousaf and Younis or atleast confine the last two to the Test only.

  • Ghaus on November 27, 2009, 17:34 GMT

    Misbah has a bad record against England, Australia, New Zealand and West Indies. He should not be sent to replace anyone. Asim Kamal deserve another chance. He is a great player.

  • Ahsan on November 27, 2009, 17:10 GMT

    Afridi has retired from tests guys come on! Why have they taken faisal iqbal? he has done nothing and in my opinion is not better than yasir hameed ala players. also, plz get rid of farhat. performing in ICL is different and performing on international stage is completely different.

    I think Pak needs long term plan. First and foremost, they need to invest money in the domestic setup. Re vitalise the circuit so that larger crowds are attracted in the games. You can never expect a player, who scores century in QA trophy infront of virtually 100 people, to perform on global stage. the lack of crowd in the domestic games does not help a player nurturing his mental side of game. its very important that PCB start to dos omething about it otherwise we will keep getting players like Butt, Farhat, NAzir, Hameed.

  • orenishi on November 27, 2009, 17:10 GMT

    hopefully pakistan can get the remaining wickets and really go and try to win the match tomorrow.

    for the next match malik needs to be dropped. for the next series misbah and afridi need to be called up, and younis needs to be back.

    ideal team would be:

    1)alam 2)kamran akmal 3)younis khan 4)mohammad yousuf 5)umar akmal 6 misbah 7)afridi 8)aamer 9)asif 10)gul 11) ajmal

    opening is a problem as always, and though i'd like alam to play lower down i think it is worth giving another try to misbah. if younis wont be back, then khurram/butt up front.

    main players for pakistan right now are aamer, umar akmal, ajmal, asif, afridi and gul. these players have good technique and temparament and are in form, they should be the core of the team for years to come.

  • rabbani from Afghanistan on November 27, 2009, 16:50 GMT

    I am really impressed the way Chotto Umar Akmal and his brother saved Pakistani batting fiasco. I was really hoping that he would continue getting runs to reach to his double century a record! I am reading a future batting genius in him like B. Lara. I would agree with Arun and Muddasar, Shoaib Malik has to go out of all forms of cricket. he is a destructive factor in the team. Afridi should come back to Test cricket, he is a wonderful and cheerful team player that someone enjoy watching him playing. I woke up at 3:OO AM watching the current test match. We also should not forget Aamer as well. I am dearly hoping that Pakistan wins this Test !

  • waseem sarwar on November 27, 2009, 16:47 GMT

    well. u r absolutely right. we have seen many fantastic talents with both ball and bat from Pakistan in last few years but the big question is will umar akmal be consistent against teams like Aus and S.A probably the two best bowling sides along with pakistan in world in recent times. You are right, it will be mighty tough for pakistan to chase 250+. but greater challenges like AUS and eng are yet to come but nice start by U Akmal.

  • M Mahboob Hossain on November 27, 2009, 16:47 GMT

    I doubt if Umar will be given proper time to develop. Captains like Imran, Wasim brought talented youngsters from U19 level, gave proper time in big league & most of them succeeded. Recently PAK team is led by captains struggling for their chair & we saw Umar sitting to accommodate Malik. PAK selectors are rotating with few seniors & R afraid to drop them. Youngsters unless R exposed @ big stage initially, will not develop to a higher level. From last 3 U19 WC India has promoted 10/12 players, how many PAK from 04 & 06 U19 WC? Funny that ICL Farhat is dropping chances (& stupidly referrals), pathetic Malik in middle order, Iqbal keep touring, Meshbah being recalled @ official 35 but not sure what was Shehzad, Zamshed’s fault or what else U Amin, A Raza, Ghani, Azhar Ali, A Shafiq, Umair, N Yasin (I do follow PAK Domestic cricket seriously, not sure if the selectors do) need to do for a call @ camp? Talking about 2MRO’s chase, unless MY gets a 75+, PAK is likely to loose chasing 250+

  • aftab on November 27, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    My only worry about Umar Akmal is if one of the three brothers will be kept away due to having too mny brothers. The third one seems ready too. On a different note, Pak cricket fans yell their hearts out when the team has fitness problems, but no comments on the current state of fitness when this team was the fittest among the CT teams. Kudos PCB! For once.

  • Rizwan Khan on November 27, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    Nice article Kamran,

    But since Misbah is coming back, one of these guys is gonna get the axe cuz apparently the "seniors" who scored 2 and 17 (Mailk and Yousuf) can achieve everything. I think its time pakistani cricket start putting there money in the youngster and dump the "seniors" <-- who are the root evil of this groupism (Shoaib Malik in particular) .........yes i agree with these new youngsters pakistan might take a hit for couple years but these guys have talent and they will flourish inshallah and we'll be back on the top of the world. Look at Indian Cricket they sit Dravid down if he doesnt score.......and what happened when we sat Misbah down....our "passive" captain instead of coaching the newbees wants him back so he can take up a spot of the youngster and score 2 runs!

  • khalil on November 27, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    Its too early to say something about Umar but his career augurs well for Pak cricket,as evident from his few outings in international games.He loves to dominate even the best of the bowlers in the game today.A glimpse of Miadad in attitude & style but still it is early to say something. I hope he continues in the same way as he is exposed to more cricket in the days to come.

  • Akhlaq on November 27, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    I think Malik is still ok in the lower oreder.U Akmal Should be promoted ahead of him.

  • Ray on November 27, 2009, 15:44 GMT

    Get rid of Imran Farhat before anyone else. He dropped three catches, this has cost about 150 runs! The match was all Pakistan's if it weren't for the son in law of Pakistan!

  • Usmani on November 27, 2009, 15:32 GMT

    well..though malik hasn't justified his place in the test XI, but far he has been the most consistent player in ODI's over the year... as i see it, Malik has the experience to deliver, what he needs is a stable batting postion, since younis khan has literally played with his batting position, it has clearly played a negative role on malik's batting.. his role should be defined as a senior middle order batsman.. and he should bowl more.. come on the guy has 130 odd ODI wickets, you cant waste his talent.. he has alot to offer in the test side, put him a no. 5 and just give him a fair in the test XI, hopefully with the experience he would reward the team InshahAllah.. about Umar Akmal, he's just amazing.. lets hope he can maintain the reputation he has made for himself and be consistent in the long term... if both these batsman perform consistantly, 50% of the batting problems are over!

  • imran Naqvi on November 27, 2009, 15:13 GMT

    shoib malik should be replaced by yunis.. he is only freak in the team

  • Ejaz Ahmad on November 27, 2009, 15:05 GMT

    May i question the technique of Alam cause he shuffles a lot in crease whereas Umar seems more like an accomplished player. I wanna see afridi in Test team as well not because i like his hitting but more of his bowling form these days. He could have done a lot better in Australian Series.

  • jilani on November 27, 2009, 15:04 GMT

    Not sure why we discuss Yasir Hameed in past tense. He should be playing in NZ right now. The guy is only 32 and has a 10 times better technique than Malik or Misbah.

    Also Salman is the only credible opener we have we over Khurram. How many times does Khurram have to fail? He is a first class guy who does not have the temperament or technique to make it big time. Farhat I am not sure.

    I would have put Butt and Yasir Hamid alongwith Misbah in the line up'

    jilani

  • Tay'yab-Ali Malik on November 27, 2009, 14:50 GMT

    I got a call at 6am from my cousin in Australia - he was excited by the young akmal as he had just scored 3 back to back hundreds against Australia A in Australia. My cousin informed thar umar has smashed 90mph yorkers for six bowled by Shaun Tait. I checked the scorecards but thought my cousin was just embelishing about the yorkers. Two later I witnessed him walking down the wicket and hit murli for a six. He then went on to smash Malinga's 90mph repeatadly for sixes. This lad IMO is very very special

  • Mudassar Rana on November 27, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    agree with arun - shoaib malik is an absolute waste of a team place. i have stronger words for him but it will ruin forum etiquette.

    the akmal brothers, amer, ajmal, afridi and alam are the future of pak cricket. they have bottle and are not scared to show it. akmal century was wonderful to watch in that it showed complete disregard for the situation. he played his natural game and took the fight to the new zealanders the way the 5 before him got out was absolute treachery. yousuf's captaincy leaves a lot to be desired. after several dropped catches the 2ft 2 farhat is still in the slips! im sure he is only in the team on sifarish - he is not fit to be in pakistan z team if ever they had one. as boycott would say my grandma could have caught that one!

  • Sameer Malik on November 27, 2009, 13:58 GMT

    I hope tomorrow u write an article on Pakistan's victory on NZ .

    ^^

  • Anum on November 27, 2009, 13:53 GMT

    It would be a difficult task for PAK to win this test match, but certainly its not impossible. It all depends on how quickly the bowlers take the last 2 wkts and whether or not the batsmen click. Malik has to score runs this time or he'd better say goodbye!

  • tahir on November 27, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    its really good to see pakistan playing but i dont understand y they are not playing kaneria when he had proved himself in all these domestic in england and pakistan tht he is a match winner even in international he has been able to bowl very tight in tense situation. there should have been 2 spinners not only 1 and only 4 bowlers thts borring to see..

  • Vishy on November 27, 2009, 13:17 GMT

    Nice article, Kamran bhai! Umar Akmal is a real, special talent! It was also nice to see Mohammed Asif come back with a wonderful performance! A few questions I have for the Pakistan team management and selectors are : (1) Why is Kamran Akmal batting so low down the order? He is really a top order batsman and is wasted down at No.7! (2) Why isn't Shahid Afridi there in the test team? He is an excellent team player, can hold his own as a specialist batsman and his legspin is extremely good. It is a shame that his talent is wasted. (3) Why isn't Umar Gul opening the bowling? What else does he need to do to prove that he is an excellent opening bowler??

  • Farhan on November 27, 2009, 12:58 GMT

    Agree with the posts calling for Maliks sacking. He is divisive and fails with the bat, always loses the plot and can't bowl. We have too many talented players around to bother with him, I just hope they dont dump poor Fawad Alam to make room for Misbah.

  • arun on November 27, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    need to kick shoaib malik out from next test before he has negative influence on these wonderful youngsters. there is no doubt now that the main reason behind younus' leaving the captaincy is the behind the back happenings instigated by malik. he needs to te be sent back hope before he corrupts the whole team, this should be the test team for Australia: Alam, Afridi(capt. and opener, can't be worse than what's available) Younis, Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Misbah/Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, M. Aamer, Gul, Asif, Ajmal/Kaneria

  • Pathan on November 27, 2009, 12:24 GMT

    The exciting thing about both Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamer is that they both appear to possess and have already exhibited very un-pakistani characteristics. Firstly, they both appear to have good techniques to be successful not only in Pakistan but also abroad in foreign conditions. However, more importantly in my opinion, they possess the right temperament, attitude, commitment and determination - in short, they have the right mentality. Temperament and mentality has been the problem for Pakistan for decades and under pressure they have consistently fallen apart. But, these two very young players have already rescued Pakistan on many occasions.

    I am not sure if the new academies are focusing on mental training but it is refreshing to see such talent unflappable players. Get rid of the old and bring in the new!

  • Dr Omar Khan on November 27, 2009, 12:22 GMT

    An interesting comment brought up during the TV commentary that Umar Akmal should get emerging ICC player of the year award. Looking at the M. Aamer, one would agree cuz the latter has probably already emerged and should be in the running for player of the year, barring all statistics. I really think PCB should also thinking 10 years ahead. Start a program for these teenagers for education and help them evolve as true professionals and ambassadors of the game and the country.

  • Walid Malik on November 27, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    yes i beleive Umar Akmal is the best young talent we have in Pakistan . His stance is very good, he is steady playing shots and has an attacking approach towards the opponents. Now Pakistan selectors have to make sure that Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam should be given enough chances to prove themselves like they are still doing for our flop openers i.e. Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Taufeeq Umar & not to forget Muhammad Hafeez. Like India believed in Yuvraj Sign And Mohammad Kaif we should give our young talent enough chances to prove themselves and I am pretty sure they will perform in every match they play.

    Good thing about Umar & Fawad is that they dont give away their wicket quite easily and thats what the main reason our middle order was collapsing, if Misbah Ul Haq is back in the squad Fawad & Umar should play along with them and give Pakistan a strong middle order. Fawad & Umar should always play in the middle order, they should not be tried as openers.

  • Asad Piracha on November 27, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    Umar is indeed a batsman who is worth watching for his batting and the type of strokes he plays. Moreover his ever smiling and jubilant face even in disastrous conditions is a very good sign of his temprament and not being underpressured. I wish him all the best for a glorious future for himself and also for cricket pakistan.

  • Tahir Ahmed, Germany on November 27, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    I am your silent reader:- Good article...

    and about Umar Akmal.. he's doing very special these days. I think he'll go very long. I am amazed to see how he pulled 'Bond' for three fours in an over. Umar has everything defence, attack, he can play spin as good as fast bowling. He is sharp minded. But my opinion he must avoid politics of pakistani cricket.

    And Abasi bhai plzzzzzzzzzz dont forget Amer. He's doing well with bowl and bat also....

    write for him...

    these both players(umar and amer) will give Pakistan some hope in their next world cup in india....

  • RS on November 27, 2009, 11:56 GMT

    Hope a little less please. That puts a lot of pressure on the boy. The thing about many of our Pakistani brothers is knee-jerk reactions. If ABC fails to score in 2 games, they say "get rid of ABC, bring XYZ on!" even if XYZ has already had his opportunity 6 months ago and didn't do much with it, which is why ABC replaced XYZ! Every batsman has good patches and bad one. Even Javed and had lean periods, but not too many as he was one of the greats after all. My point is - chill. Sit back. Watch how the boys do and support them even in lean times. If you to scream at someone, scream at the team management, which despite changing 20 times itself, hasn't done for decades anything about groupism within the team.

  • Nasser Ahmad on November 27, 2009, 11:54 GMT

    The emergence of Akmal and Alam is fortuitous for Pakistan. Both seem to have very good cricketing brains. Akmal seems the more talented of the two but Alam makes up for it with what seems like a great cricketing brain. Hopefully, this allows Pakistan to finally jettison Shoaib Malik who just does not fit in to the test side. Malik has two centuries in 26 matches - none outside the subcontinent. In fact, this is the first test series he has played outside the subcontinent in a while because he has a mysterious tendency to get injured on away series. His average in 5 innings outside the subcontinent is 2.00 - a telling stat. Pakistan's batting lineup ideally should have Akmal at 5 and Alam at 6 (with Younis back at 3). Alam is more suited to a lower middle order role at the moment. One hopes that his technique can improve over the next couple of years and as Younis and Yousuf come closer to exiting the stage both Akmal and Alam can move up the order to replace them.

  • Qurram on November 27, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    Only time will tell as how these two batsman will cope with conditions and circumstances around them. Though naturally gifted they need to excel in Australia and England. These tours will test their nerves and characters. All the best to the duo.

  • Ali Siddiqui on November 27, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    This article appeals a lot, WELL SAID.

    Your article;

    "I've never been more worried about Pakistan cricket"

    It was really a very poor thought & article. Hopefully a lot of feedback will help you to change your mind about YOUNAS KHAN.

  • Muhammad Usman on November 27, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    I believe it Is a healthy sign for Pakistan cricket. We can see both Umar & Fawad As emerging cricketers for Pakistan. Both have talent and they have Shown it. Only we need to keep An Eye on What we Are talking About. Means this Article is giving a complete favor to Umar and Fawad but in Case ( Hope not) they fail In second inning articles on there inauthenticity will be published to degrade Them. Hope That don't happen.

  • Shafiq on November 27, 2009, 11:00 GMT

    If we get 90 overs tomorrow, means no loss of time due to rain etc... Pakistan wikk win by 2 wickets in last session. i feel Fawad Alam or Malik will win it or Pakistan. Lets see.

  • waterbuffalo on November 27, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    With regards to Umar Akmal, look at his back foot defence, this will be very useful in Australia, too bad he is not an opener. I hope he and Misbah and Yousuf will make up a strong middle order, and who knows? Pakistan might not get humiliated like the Windies are going to be. Just get Shoaib Malik out of the team. The guy can't bat period.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • waterbuffalo on November 27, 2009, 10:58 GMT

    With regards to Umar Akmal, look at his back foot defence, this will be very useful in Australia, too bad he is not an opener. I hope he and Misbah and Yousuf will make up a strong middle order, and who knows? Pakistan might not get humiliated like the Windies are going to be. Just get Shoaib Malik out of the team. The guy can't bat period.

  • Shafiq on November 27, 2009, 11:00 GMT

    If we get 90 overs tomorrow, means no loss of time due to rain etc... Pakistan wikk win by 2 wickets in last session. i feel Fawad Alam or Malik will win it or Pakistan. Lets see.

  • Muhammad Usman on November 27, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    I believe it Is a healthy sign for Pakistan cricket. We can see both Umar & Fawad As emerging cricketers for Pakistan. Both have talent and they have Shown it. Only we need to keep An Eye on What we Are talking About. Means this Article is giving a complete favor to Umar and Fawad but in Case ( Hope not) they fail In second inning articles on there inauthenticity will be published to degrade Them. Hope That don't happen.

  • Ali Siddiqui on November 27, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    This article appeals a lot, WELL SAID.

    Your article;

    "I've never been more worried about Pakistan cricket"

    It was really a very poor thought & article. Hopefully a lot of feedback will help you to change your mind about YOUNAS KHAN.

  • Qurram on November 27, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    Only time will tell as how these two batsman will cope with conditions and circumstances around them. Though naturally gifted they need to excel in Australia and England. These tours will test their nerves and characters. All the best to the duo.

  • Nasser Ahmad on November 27, 2009, 11:54 GMT

    The emergence of Akmal and Alam is fortuitous for Pakistan. Both seem to have very good cricketing brains. Akmal seems the more talented of the two but Alam makes up for it with what seems like a great cricketing brain. Hopefully, this allows Pakistan to finally jettison Shoaib Malik who just does not fit in to the test side. Malik has two centuries in 26 matches - none outside the subcontinent. In fact, this is the first test series he has played outside the subcontinent in a while because he has a mysterious tendency to get injured on away series. His average in 5 innings outside the subcontinent is 2.00 - a telling stat. Pakistan's batting lineup ideally should have Akmal at 5 and Alam at 6 (with Younis back at 3). Alam is more suited to a lower middle order role at the moment. One hopes that his technique can improve over the next couple of years and as Younis and Yousuf come closer to exiting the stage both Akmal and Alam can move up the order to replace them.

  • RS on November 27, 2009, 11:56 GMT

    Hope a little less please. That puts a lot of pressure on the boy. The thing about many of our Pakistani brothers is knee-jerk reactions. If ABC fails to score in 2 games, they say "get rid of ABC, bring XYZ on!" even if XYZ has already had his opportunity 6 months ago and didn't do much with it, which is why ABC replaced XYZ! Every batsman has good patches and bad one. Even Javed and had lean periods, but not too many as he was one of the greats after all. My point is - chill. Sit back. Watch how the boys do and support them even in lean times. If you to scream at someone, scream at the team management, which despite changing 20 times itself, hasn't done for decades anything about groupism within the team.

  • Tahir Ahmed, Germany on November 27, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    I am your silent reader:- Good article...

    and about Umar Akmal.. he's doing very special these days. I think he'll go very long. I am amazed to see how he pulled 'Bond' for three fours in an over. Umar has everything defence, attack, he can play spin as good as fast bowling. He is sharp minded. But my opinion he must avoid politics of pakistani cricket.

    And Abasi bhai plzzzzzzzzzz dont forget Amer. He's doing well with bowl and bat also....

    write for him...

    these both players(umar and amer) will give Pakistan some hope in their next world cup in india....

  • Asad Piracha on November 27, 2009, 12:17 GMT

    Umar is indeed a batsman who is worth watching for his batting and the type of strokes he plays. Moreover his ever smiling and jubilant face even in disastrous conditions is a very good sign of his temprament and not being underpressured. I wish him all the best for a glorious future for himself and also for cricket pakistan.

  • Walid Malik on November 27, 2009, 12:19 GMT

    yes i beleive Umar Akmal is the best young talent we have in Pakistan . His stance is very good, he is steady playing shots and has an attacking approach towards the opponents. Now Pakistan selectors have to make sure that Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam should be given enough chances to prove themselves like they are still doing for our flop openers i.e. Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Taufeeq Umar & not to forget Muhammad Hafeez. Like India believed in Yuvraj Sign And Mohammad Kaif we should give our young talent enough chances to prove themselves and I am pretty sure they will perform in every match they play.

    Good thing about Umar & Fawad is that they dont give away their wicket quite easily and thats what the main reason our middle order was collapsing, if Misbah Ul Haq is back in the squad Fawad & Umar should play along with them and give Pakistan a strong middle order. Fawad & Umar should always play in the middle order, they should not be tried as openers.