Saad Shafqat December 2, 2009

Why is Shoaib Malik not opening the batting?

If there is anything this team needs, it is an opener with a steady bat, and Malik has one
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In the seven Tests in which he opened, Shoaib Malik averaged 42.60 © AFP
 
The usual answer is that he doesn’t want to, but that is hardly good enough. After all, he’s an experienced professional. He has ability, depth, and a clever cricketing head. He can look opponents in the eye. Most important, he is playing in a team that has not found a successful opening pair in over a decade. Pakistan’s opening troubles have become so entrenched that the team mentally reduces itself to 10 for 2 even before the start of an innings.

If there is anything this team needs, it is an opener with a steady bat, and Malik has one. Out of 27 Tests played so far, he has opened the batting in seven, for an average of 42.60 in the opening slot that is a cut above his overall Test average of 37.57. Nor are these inflated figures: Malik has opened only against authentic opposition, including West Indies, England, India and Sri Lanka. His highest Test score of 148 not out was made as an opener in a defiant fourth innings against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Of the seven Tests in which Malik has opened, Pakistan have won three, drawn four, and never lost. Admittedly, a span of seven Tests is not much of a trend, but at the very least it is a good omen.

In ODIs too, Malik has fared better as an opener than lower down. Of his 167 ODI innings, 15 have been as an opener, with an average of 37.35 that compares favourably with his overall ODI batting average of 34.76. On three occasions he has opened against an associate nation, but the other matches have been against the likes of India, England, Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand. Of his seven ODI hundreds, two have come as an opener (against New Zealand and India).

Indeed, Malik’s batting average as a Test opener is superior to the several other openers Pakistan have tried in the last few years, including Imran Farhat (32.26 from 28 Tests), Salman Butt (29.23 from 22 Tests), Taufeeq Umar (39.29 from 25 Tests), Khurram Manzoor (27.66 from six Tests), and Kamran Akmal (35.77 from six Tests).

And why else is he in the team, anyway? With Saeed Ajmal in the side, Malik’s offspin is redundant. Even if Ajmal gets replaced with Danish Kaneria for the Wellington Test, Malik’s spin will only be a back-up option.

On the other hand, here we are waking up with great anticipation at unearthly hours, only to find Pakistan with tormenting scorelines like 6 for 2. There is a gaping vacuum here and Malik should be man enough to fill it. He has been included in the team primarily as a batsman. It is only logical that he be used in the spot where not only has he performed the best, but also where his team needs him the most.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhid Zakaria on December 3, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    Why does not the team management try imran nazir as an opener in the test team. The indian team uses gautam and viru in almost all the 3 formats as openers whenever possible. Imran and Salman should be given a long run so that their understanding could develop. Or the Akmal brothers could open, after all, who understands one's strengths and weaknesses better than family? This would also bring out the best in both of them, brotherly rivalry can't be bad for the team.

  • Masrur on December 3, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    Seems to be an excellent debate on Pakistani cricket. Many of us feel Misbah and Asim Kamal should be in the team. However, that would be a temporary fix. Both of them are past their prime playing years. Why not give Faisal Iqbal and Fawad Alam an extended run in the middle, not just one or two tests and forget them for a couple of years. Like what just happened to Fawad, and has been happening to Faisal for a number of years. PCB should select three openers (not makeshift) and stick with them for a while. As far as Shoaib malik is concerned, I feel he has had more than enough time in the middle without showing anything for it.

  • Agha Raza on December 3, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    I believe strongly in Afridi's bowling. I think he can rout all the teams of the world and can win tests as well as ODIs for Pakistan.

  • Abdul Rauf on December 3, 2009, 3:10 GMT

    Malik is not solid in his technique and one these pitches he would fail up the order. We should still consider Asim Kamal and Yasir Hameed for our batting line up. Both deserve a fair chance.

  • zaheer on December 3, 2009, 2:26 GMT

    Malik is ok ,but cant understand why keep selecting imran farhat ,salman butt ,faisal iqbal.keep trying new players.

  • Shehzad Ghani on December 3, 2009, 2:04 GMT

    Well said sir, but now I believe he is a big parchi and does what he wants to. Yousuf and him never went along but rather than being replaced, he was ratained at the position HE wants to play!

  • Sheikh Arslan on December 3, 2009, 1:13 GMT

    I think that Ahmed Shahzad should be given a chance because he did well against australia in UAE. He hasn't been given a chance since T20 World Cup. Khalid latif is another option as he also showed some tempramant against New Zealand.

    Can't say anything about butt because he is a good player but lacks consistency. There is a greater probability that he might edge the ball to slips rather than playing a good innings.

  • Hakim on December 2, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    team without Younis Khan like salad withoud salt any how what about playrs unity this days in team?

  • immi on December 2, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    Dear all Pakistan must think of a change in the top order now they should give the chance to those who r performing in the domestic level say good bye to malik misbah they are finished now look what they have done in the past

  • Adnan on December 2, 2009, 22:48 GMT

    I think Malik should resign now. He is really of no use. He plays ten games and performs in just one and remains in the team just on the basis of seniority while the other young players are just tested in one or two games and thrashed out because of their poor peformance. Why's that so?

  • Muhid Zakaria on December 3, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    Why does not the team management try imran nazir as an opener in the test team. The indian team uses gautam and viru in almost all the 3 formats as openers whenever possible. Imran and Salman should be given a long run so that their understanding could develop. Or the Akmal brothers could open, after all, who understands one's strengths and weaknesses better than family? This would also bring out the best in both of them, brotherly rivalry can't be bad for the team.

  • Masrur on December 3, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    Seems to be an excellent debate on Pakistani cricket. Many of us feel Misbah and Asim Kamal should be in the team. However, that would be a temporary fix. Both of them are past their prime playing years. Why not give Faisal Iqbal and Fawad Alam an extended run in the middle, not just one or two tests and forget them for a couple of years. Like what just happened to Fawad, and has been happening to Faisal for a number of years. PCB should select three openers (not makeshift) and stick with them for a while. As far as Shoaib malik is concerned, I feel he has had more than enough time in the middle without showing anything for it.

  • Agha Raza on December 3, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    I believe strongly in Afridi's bowling. I think he can rout all the teams of the world and can win tests as well as ODIs for Pakistan.

  • Abdul Rauf on December 3, 2009, 3:10 GMT

    Malik is not solid in his technique and one these pitches he would fail up the order. We should still consider Asim Kamal and Yasir Hameed for our batting line up. Both deserve a fair chance.

  • zaheer on December 3, 2009, 2:26 GMT

    Malik is ok ,but cant understand why keep selecting imran farhat ,salman butt ,faisal iqbal.keep trying new players.

  • Shehzad Ghani on December 3, 2009, 2:04 GMT

    Well said sir, but now I believe he is a big parchi and does what he wants to. Yousuf and him never went along but rather than being replaced, he was ratained at the position HE wants to play!

  • Sheikh Arslan on December 3, 2009, 1:13 GMT

    I think that Ahmed Shahzad should be given a chance because he did well against australia in UAE. He hasn't been given a chance since T20 World Cup. Khalid latif is another option as he also showed some tempramant against New Zealand.

    Can't say anything about butt because he is a good player but lacks consistency. There is a greater probability that he might edge the ball to slips rather than playing a good innings.

  • Hakim on December 2, 2009, 23:39 GMT

    team without Younis Khan like salad withoud salt any how what about playrs unity this days in team?

  • immi on December 2, 2009, 23:23 GMT

    Dear all Pakistan must think of a change in the top order now they should give the chance to those who r performing in the domestic level say good bye to malik misbah they are finished now look what they have done in the past

  • Adnan on December 2, 2009, 22:48 GMT

    I think Malik should resign now. He is really of no use. He plays ten games and performs in just one and remains in the team just on the basis of seniority while the other young players are just tested in one or two games and thrashed out because of their poor peformance. Why's that so?

  • Kashif Anwar, M.D. on December 2, 2009, 22:42 GMT

    i agree with a comment earlier..its a joke. SM will only play if he is a captain otherwise he influxes only negative energy. Remember he is a make shift batsman HE SHOULD NOT BE IN A TEST TEAM AT ALL along with likes of Imran Farhat. Salman Butt and Khurram manzoor should be given a chance for the whole tour of NZ and Australia before trying more new pairs with Fawad alam one down...we need to see the future pls.

  • Ahmad Raza on December 2, 2009, 22:37 GMT

    As we have limited choice for this series . According to me the best possible side is 1. S.Butt 2. F.Alam 3. S.Malik 4. M.Yousaf 5. Misbah 6. U.Akmal 7. K.Akmal 8. M.Amir 9. A.Rauf / U.Gull 10.M.Asif 11.S.Ajmal

  • scott on December 2, 2009, 22:32 GMT

    1. Taufeq Umar 2. Salman Butt 3. Yunus Khan 4. Mohammed Yousuf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Mohammed Aamer 9. Mohammed Asif 10. Shaib Akhtar 11. Danish Kaneria

    12. Faisal Iqbal 13. Shoaib Malik 14. Umar Gul 15. saeed Ajmal 16. Misbah Ul-Haq

  • Syed on December 2, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    I would say Shoaib should be dropped,he has messed up since he was dropped from captaincy.He has to proof himself in the domestic to comeback like what Misbah done. Where is Asim Kamal?Why wasnot he included when middle order were struggling? Where is coach? Is there any role exist for him to stay,please remove Malik,Fawad,Imran Farhat,Khurram Manzoor and bring back Asim Kamal,Afridi,Yasir Hameed and Younis back to side,let Younis lead the side and remove Intikhab Alam.

  • Tariqjan on December 2, 2009, 22:14 GMT

    My test team will be 1.Latif 2.Kamran akmal 3.Fawad alam 4.Yousaf 5.Misbah 6.Umar akmal 7.aamir 8.Asif 9.Gul 10.Ajmal 11.Imran Nazir

  • Umar on December 2, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is spending more time conspiring against others than to improve on his technique. He can't get his bat straight while defending a short pitch delivery.His bowling has deteriorated a lot and has reduced him from 2nd tier to third tier bowler. I see many people here stating that Shoaib Malik has a very cool/stable head and not a single reason to back their claim. Well friends Bob Woolmer thought he had a cool head, it should not be treated as truism. One can lose his/her head as well and that is precisely what has happened to him. I believe he should be rested for Test Matches and young promising lads with good technique should be encouraged. I would replace Shoaib Malik with Shahid Afridi. Shahid will give pakistan an option of addiional spinner, and am sure he will not bat worse that Malik and will fill the team with boom boom energy.

  • Mohammad Shafi on December 2, 2009, 22:03 GMT

    For the wellington test NZ vs PK Umar and Kamran Akmal should open because Imran Farhat and Kurram Manzoor aren't good openers.They alwways get out in the first 3 overs.Another pair could be Misbah and Malik.They should take out Kurram and Imran.They should replace saeed Ajmal with Kaneria.

  • Sami on December 2, 2009, 21:52 GMT

    bring back Afridi..... atleast we will enjoy his batting for some moment.... and he is also a very good leg break bowler which can be handy for pakistan.

  • Luqman on December 2, 2009, 21:40 GMT

    A better question would be: why is Shoaib Malik still in the team? No real performance, either with the ball, or with the bat, and a widely known streak of undermining other players in the team.

  • Asad on December 2, 2009, 21:29 GMT

    Thanks for some very good comments.Good players will not come in a day, the fact is we have to play with our existing players for the time being. They r professionals & somebody need to open the innings. i think team management should give chances and time to the existing openers and work with them. As far as malik is concerned i think he is above average and should be played in the team he will deliver soon. Salman butt, k. Manzoor, Imran nazir, Y. hameed should be given chances and appropriate support, Im sure they will respond. they all good assets.

    I agree opening need specialist batsmen and Afridi and Malik should not be pushed to do it.

    Asim kamal is very sound technically and has the temprament of a test player i think he should be given a chance.Again Misbah is the same and i am happy that he has been given a chance.

  • Kaleem on December 2, 2009, 21:28 GMT

    Shoaib or for that matter any other player,v will keep on commenting and guessing about who to play , who to open and bla bla...the fact of the matter is that not only shoaib but in real terms no other player is ready to open the innings in these conditions in particular,our selction committee which is a bundle of impotent people really sent so as many as three players atleast for the regular opening slot and we still are arguing if shoaib should open or not,for what reasons those three guys are carrying their bags with the team,its really the time to stick with two guys or in army terms who would really volunteer for the spot and the management should give them a good run for a season or so,they should be given a go ahead and firm belief that whatever happens,they fail or succeed they are the openers for next few months,mayb mayb by this strategy we can come up with a regular opening pair otherwise this debate gonna prolong for ever n ever and would bear no result.

  • Sunny Anand on December 2, 2009, 21:24 GMT

    Since exit of S Anwar and Aamir Soheil Pakistan has struggle in area of opening the innings. Secondly, their batting order is keep on changing and first Pakistani management and coaches have to decide what role they want to give to their players. One more thing, Abdul Razzaq is very good test player and has good skills to play a good role as defensive batsman since Younis Khan is not in line up.

    In my opinion, Pak should have

    1. Shoaib Malik 2. Imran Nazir 3. Faisal Iqbal 2. Mohammed Yousuf 3 Umur Akmal 4.Adbul Razzaq 5. S Afridi 6 Kamal Akmal 7. Umur gul 8. asif 9. aamir 10. Saaed ajmal 11. Fawad Alam or bowler

  • Avi Singh on December 2, 2009, 21:17 GMT

    Interestingly as an NZ cricket fan I was thinking almost the same thing. I was amazed that a senior player like Malik was batting so low down at 6 when it was clear that the inexperienced top order was completely out of its depth. Misbah should also be there, that would help shore up the middle order. My Pakistani XI for the 2nd Test would be:

    Salman Butt Shoaib Malik Fawad Alam Mohammad Yousuf Misbah ul-Haq Umar Akmal (but he should in the future surely be 3 and swap with Fawad) Kamran Akmal Mohammad Aamer Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Danish Kaneria

    I would drop Khurram whose technique looked shaky, Farhat for similar reasons as well as his awful slip fielding and the fact that since Ive brought in Butt there is a leftie, and Ajmal because as an NZ fan I know that the Black Caps are especially weak against leg-spin.

  • shah on December 2, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    the problem we are facing is not Malik, Butt, Younis, Misbah. why we don't have this problem with bowling because about a year ago we didn't have any bowlers until aamir and asif return and now we have a big reserves in a a bowling departement like tanvir, rauf, rana, talha, razzak, and bowlers knows if they don't perform they will be replaced. as compare to batting there is no bench strength. Malik, Misbah, Younis, they all know if we don't perform no body can replace them. we need good honest players who are willingly to play for the country instead of playing for themselves. Why India have a such a strong batting line up as compare to bowling, there players knows if they don't perform in couple of matches automatically they will out or force to get rest. Pakistan need a reserve batsman and practice on a bowling track.

  • Danial Mian on December 2, 2009, 20:54 GMT

    Malik is technically not good enough to play in middle order in tough new zealand conditions..playing him as an opener would be a big mistake on fast and bouncy pitches..He can justify his place in ODI and t20 teams by improving his bowling which has gone down the road in past 2-3 years but not in tests..We need someone with solid technique and should be given the chance regularly to get confident..Salman butt and Imran Farhat are good choices unless someone from domestic cricket with better technique shows up..Selectors should keep looking in this regard..We also need to look for atleast two middle order batsmen of the caliber of umar akmal and fawad alam cuz Yousuf ,Misbah and Younis won't be in the team for too long...If we have decent opening pair..Our middle order and allrounders can really make a difference..We need to groom Muhammad aamir as an allrounder ..I really think we have the best bowlers in the world..we can seriously be world beaters with good openers...

  • sushil jacob on December 2, 2009, 20:54 GMT

    Shahid Afridi should be captain in all forms of the game. Misbah Ul-Haq and Hassan Raza would make a good opening pair in Test matches for Pakistan. I wonder why Hassan Raza was never given a proper run, very stylish, plays perfectly straight, knows how to leave the ball. Thats what you need as a test opener and Hassan Raza as i remember had loads of patience. Misbah is not that young but till Pakistan gets someone else he would lend stability as he has good technique to do it if he puts his mind to it. Shoaib Malik should be picked only if he bowls too. 1.Hassan Raza 2.Misbah Ul Haq 3 Mohammad Yusuf 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Umar Akmal 6. Shahid Afridi 7.Kamran Akmal 8. Mohamad Amir 9.Umar Gul 10. Mohammad Asif 11. Saeed Ajmal

  • Ahmer Muzammil on December 2, 2009, 20:45 GMT

    I can't believe that someone as knowledgeable about cricket as saad sahab would make such a suggestion. Malik is a king on dead pitches, but hes dead on a pitch with a hint of life. I have never seen his feet moving, given that sehwag's dont either but sehwag has an uncanny ability to see the ball early and he overcomes his footwork issue with immaculate bat-speed. Malik is also a very selfish player. It is proven without the shadow of doubt that he throws his wicket on purpose to implement his wider agenda, case in point final odi in abu-dhabi. Its criminal in my opinion and considering the current form he should not even be a part of the test squad. Fawad should open with khalid lateef and omer akmal should come one down, with misbah, yousuf and faisal iqbal in middle order.

  • Saleem Usman on December 2, 2009, 20:01 GMT

    Why don't we try Misbah as an opener with Salman Butt and they should be given a minimum run of 3-5 tests. Misbah has a fair technique and is solid in defence and we already have too many middle order players. In my opinion the team should be in batting order: Salman Butt Misbah Faisal Mohd. Yousuf Umar Akmal Fawad Alam/Shoaib Malik Kamran Akmal Aamir Gul Asif Saeed/Danish

  • faisal baig on December 2, 2009, 19:58 GMT

    Yes malik should play as a opner in team otherwise he has no place but i think pakistan will play in 2nd test with 4 fast bowlers as wicket looks this time so they can replace saeed ajmal with fast man abdur rauf.if malik avail this chance so he must show his experience best of luck malik.

  • Dr. Asim Ali on December 2, 2009, 19:53 GMT

    I just don't understand, the logic with the selection of malik and Fawad Alam in the first test. Neither of the two were not used at least as bowlers, that means, both were considered as ' Specialist batsmen', which neither are , as a matter of fact.There dismissals, were hardly as 'specialist batsman'. Malik, has always spoken against opening, and he is nt performing regularly as a middle order batsman, this hardly leaves him a place in the team. A cricketer, is a true judge of his temperament and talent, Afridi, never considered himself as a test player, so Quitting this format, lets him perform well in the limited over game. Malik, shuld reconsider his status, on Afridi's lines, leaving the spot for some one deserving.

  • Faraz Zaidi on December 2, 2009, 19:49 GMT

    This piece deserves a place in cricinfo page2, very funny indeed.

    While the author is bragging about Malik's opening average, he is conveniently ignoring the fact that it is boasted by 148* innings which he played on slow spinning track in SL. In 10 other innings, his averages comes crashing down to 27. Moreover, most of those tests were played in Pakistan and SL/WI and I'm sure everyone would agree that the conditions are 'slightly' different here.

  • Abid on December 2, 2009, 19:41 GMT

    Team can play lot better than what they show. It is player who is not play what they are capable of. We should have won 1st test but let is go. It is time to start new player under 19. We need to our mind out of old player start building for future.

  • Malhar Memon on December 2, 2009, 19:41 GMT

    This should be the batting order RIGHT NOW, since there is no younis Khan. Kamran Akmal- he's good here Shoaub Malik- he's done good, so its worth a try Misbah-ul-hag- as a senior batsmen and to prove his fitness, he has to support the team after pakistan is one down. Mohammad Yousuf- We want him to come when one of the good batsmen are still there with him, not when they are all out. Umar Akmal- This is a good spot for him because, at least oen of the batsmen wiill be there from the top order and we all know that this guy can play good with any batsmen. Fawad Alam- We atleast want 6 batsmen, and Fawad alam is a youngster, who could play good if he is motivated. Abdul Razzaq/Rana Naved- We can have a third pace bowler and both can bat down here! Mohammad Aamir Umar Gul Danesh Kaneria- Since there is no Shahid Afridi, we need a leg spin combination. And Danesh has been asking to ive him a chance. He's been eager to play. After all Test match is all he plays Saaeda Ajmal

  • Arif Usmani on December 2, 2009, 19:27 GMT

    I haven't read all the comments but why no one is talking about Khalid Latif.

  • ali p on December 2, 2009, 19:25 GMT

    both innnings in the last test started the same way - on the back foot losing the top order cheaply. Khurram Manzoor hasnt proved himself at this level - his poor footwork isnt up to test standard, Imran Farhat - how many times are we going to pull him in and out of a squad and line up?? He doesnt have a test match temperament full stop but a useful ODI batsmen. Fawad Alam - although he is a great talent, at no.3 lets just briefly compare him to other no.3's....SL - Sangakarra, Ind - Dravid, Aus - Ponting, SAF- Gibbs/Kallis/Devilliers/Amla. Fawad is a useful ODI player batting down the order. By no stretch of the imagination does he have the temparement or technique at test level, one century on a flat track in Sri Lanka does not merit a regular test berth - esp at no 3. As for the rest of the team - i think we've got extreme depth in talent and ability, yousuf, akmalx2, malik, asif, aamer, ajmal, gul. All world class. We're missing misbah massively. WE HAVE TO CHANGE OUR TOP 3.

  • Malhar Memon on December 2, 2009, 19:25 GMT

    I think you guys are not just thinking properly. Shoaib Malik is a young and an experienced batsmen. He is just not in form, but we are supposed to support. I think the reason why Pakistan doesn't have a fixed opening combination because they don't let their players settle down. Just because the players are doing bad, doens't mean they suck. If you know they were good before they came in, then they are still good. If they are struggling, then the coach's job is to teach them and this way they will learn form their mistakes. Also, this way the batsmen will learn more and settle down in that same spot. the thing is, you can change the middle order and bottom order, but openers have to stay there all the time until a injury or a problem comes up. You have to give the batsmen to learn about that particular spot and improve in eveyr match. Yes, they could perform bad at start, but when you look at the long term (the future), its good because they are learning and will do good in future.

  • zafar on December 2, 2009, 19:11 GMT

    who will open pakistani inning?? million dollar question and I know for sure Malik does not want to do so as he has been struggling to bat at # 6 even. But somehow Malik is always in playing eleven!!!! When all tested guns are unable to fire then one should look beyond theses "rusty" guns. Go back to you domestic cricket I am sure PCB will find ansewer but sincerety and merit is condition to find appropriate openers. Playing Yousaf and Misbah up the order will take out remaing resistance in Pakistani batting. Loosing one series is only one loss but do give chance to plaeys doing well in domestic cricket, if PCB will not come forward to harness talent then who will???

    Do not forget despite of having all mess in PCB, never ending act of terrorism and ever fragile Pakistani govts, Pakistani team has played some fantastic cricket in last few months inluding lifting T20 world cup.

    Keep your head high you will climb up the podium.

  • Priyank Vaish on December 2, 2009, 18:56 GMT

    I am not agree with the view that Shoiab Malik should open. Though I admit that Pakistan has been struggling in getting their right opening pair but that will not be solved by this idea. In my view point he should bat at no' 3 position ahead of Younis Khan in ODIs The simple reason why I m saying this is b'coz he can rotate the strike better than Younis and Yousuf. He can take the responsibility of getting the score bored tickling. As far as Tests are concerned, he better be batted at no' 6 position and take care of the lower middle order...

  • atif yousuf on December 2, 2009, 18:43 GMT

    In response to " imran yousaf". Dude , I completely agree with you ( see my earlier post) .

  • Tahir masood sandhu on December 2, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    In the history of Pakistan,we have had terrific opening partnerships on placid wickets but that has rarely happened on lively wickets or on tours abroad.We need to follow the policy of horses for courses. We are getting sick of finding our team two or three wickets down before reaching a score of thirty because we play a set of openers for the sake of opening. If we ask Amir and Saeed ajmal to open, i m sure they perrform better than the so called specialist openers but that may be taken as a joke. I am a vocal supporter of playing Afridi as an opener even in tests in partnership with either Malik or Kamran Akmal. The other openers like Butt and this guy farhat spill a lot of catches too in addition to getting out before the score of ten is reached.In addition to his batting, bowling and fielding Afridi raises the level of purpose and spirit of the team. Thats what the team needs more than any thing else.

  • Hamza Junaid on December 2, 2009, 18:38 GMT

    No one can understand the philosophy of pakistani selectors. They can find players like Mohammed Aamir and select them for the team and they can also put players like Fawad Alam and Imran Farahat in the team who have no technique or anything while Misbah-ul-haq and Afridi are available. No one can understand what they are thinking!!! As far as Shoab Malik is concerned I think giving a chance to another youngster from domestic cricket would be a better choice then putting him as an opener. Please selectors give the chance to people who really deserve it!!! Hope our voice is heard

  • AMARJEET on December 2, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    Malik is feard of batting as an opener & to face the new ball... Don't forget Malik refused to bat as an opener several occassions & his major differences with Younis was that he wants to see him as an opener therefore, Shoaib rioted against him, well it is sorry to say that again the same group united (MALIK, MISBAH, BUTT, AKMAL etc) that rebelled against Younis in Srilankan Tour, in Champions Trophy & recently in Sharjah, Malik thinks that he was step down from captaincy by Younis Khan but it is understandable that his Captaincy was expired on Dec-2008.

  • Abid Jan Khan on December 2, 2009, 18:32 GMT

    1. get rid of the players that are spliting the team in fraction (If you think i am talking about Malik and Co. you are God damn right) 2. look for wasim, waqar, inzi and anwar in the streets and the parks of the villages and towns, they are not always found in the big cities in furnished facilities 3. take advantage of the proposal of civil engineers for making pitches that will behave like Eng and Ausi pitches (bounce and pace) so our current and future players can get acustomed to the global "conditions". The greatness of Imran khan has produced wonders in the fast bowling department, we need Anwar_Inzi_Javed_Zahir to shine and do their magic.

  • Hamza on December 2, 2009, 18:32 GMT

    No one can understand the philosophy of pakistani selectors. They can find players like Mohammed Aamir and select them for the team and they can also put players like Fawad Alam and Imran Farahat in the team who have no technique or anything while Misbah-ul-haq and Afridi are waiting. No one can understand what they are thinking!!! As far as Shoab Malik is concerned I think giving a chance to another youngster from domestic cricket would be a better choice then putting him as an opener. Please selectors give the chance to people who really deserve it!!! Hope our voice is heard

  • mobeen on December 2, 2009, 18:30 GMT

    In my opinion 3 to 4 players including lead from the front shoab malik, fawad alam,imran farhat, saeed ajmal are the worst players for test cricket..test criket is not a fun and time pass game like TT20 or ODI that apply 1 or 2 sixes and just go away from stadium that is 5 day cricket and test cricket demands proffesional crikters not like our team players who don't know how grip the bat..very low level of players they are. with 30 plus averages shoab malik imran farhat fawad alam referenced players playing test cricket PCB should give reiteriment and say pls go and do some food shops for their family why felling standard of cricket...all teams have genunie players only we are who just pusing referencing players..that's why today pakistan is in 6th position in both medium ..now any one can say in TT20 pakistan is first position..then i don't accept TT20 that is not cricket that is wasting time and destroying techniques of players..so kindly kicked off those worst ever cricketers

  • M. Khan on December 2, 2009, 18:17 GMT

    Could someone tell me why is Shoaib Malik in the test team anyways? His batting has been abysmal - he is not dependable at all or consistent - which are the traits that a batsman at the test level should possess. In my opinion he is not suited for a place in the test team.

    He should only be included in the 1day and T20 sides.

    Its time that Pakistan cricket establishment should consider grooming talent to be specialist openers in the test team and not let people try as openers just because they couldnt find a place in the team at another positions and others were too afraid to open.

  • Salman on December 2, 2009, 18:17 GMT

    Are you serious ? Shoaib Malik has a high score of only 148* ? And people actually consider him a batsman ? This is pathetic in my books, I don't need to even provide examples here. Someone please tell me why Nasir Jamshed has not been playing recently ? The kid has a talent, and yet we want to bring in 35 years old instead in the team. I can't believe people have hard time figuring out who is better for our team, misbah or nasir ? Then there is the case of Imran Farhat, not sure what exactly he is doing when playing cricket, yet he finds a spot. Ah my beloved Pakistani cricket team, gone are the good days of Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, etc. Now we suffer from the likes of Shoaib malik, Imran Farhat, old fart Misbah etc. The only good things happening in the team are Umar Akmal, and Aamir. Wish you guys all the best! Also good to see Aasif back in the action,hope he didn't take any herbal medications this time! Pakistan Xindabaad

  • Umer Rana on December 2, 2009, 18:08 GMT

    Kaneria a key to success for Pakistan; Look around the world how many good leg spinners are there in test cricket. You will see only two; Mishra and Kaneria.And Pakistan are not playing Kaneria; a quality leg spinner while on other hand England are keen to get Rasheed in team which is ordinary one. Good legspinners are are blessing and not many team have even Australia are struggling to find one and Pakistan is not playing Kaneria.It was sad to see Ajmal struggle for wickets in first innings, he is excellant oneday bowler but lacks class as test bowler i.e variations.

  • Azim on December 2, 2009, 18:06 GMT

    This is the culture of Pakistani bating that they are SCARED to open or one down. When Imran Khan said "Pakistani Team has hidden Younus Khan at the lower middle order he should be one down" only then Younus was brought to one down. Imran also gave example "How many times Ricky Ponting's batting order was changed?" Bottom line is Pakistani batsmen are scared to open or one down; as soon they think their position is safe in the Team they lobby and do what ever they want including NOT batting at open or one down and Malik is no exception.

  • Omer Admani on December 2, 2009, 18:02 GMT

    While I agree that a waste up the order is better than a waste down the order and a waste up the order, consider Malik's averages in ODIs abroad: 1) Averages 3.25 in NZ 2) Averages 8.16 in England 3) Averages 25 in Australia

    Meanwhile, overall, he averages 22 against Australia, 14 versus England, and 25 versus New Zealand.

    He plays in the team as a specialist batsman. Nevermind test cricket, it would be hard to justify his place in the ODI team as well.

    I agree with you, that the specialist opener idea is a waste. Fawad Alam made a big century on a seaming track in Sri Lanka. Kamran Akmal can play a positive, Sehwag-like role (albiet with a lesser average) as an opener. If these two can be used as makeshift openers, it would allow more depth in the middle order-- Younis Khan comes back at 3 and a solid player like Asim Kamal can be used. On the other hand, Afridi, who averages more than Malik in tests can come good, as he can provide Kumble-like legspin as well.

  • zaid kazi on December 2, 2009, 18:00 GMT

    I don't thing that shoaib malik should do opening.

  • zaid on December 2, 2009, 17:56 GMT

    where is shaabir ahmed

  • Fayyaz on December 2, 2009, 17:55 GMT

    After some years we finally had a good captain who lead us to winning stand. It is frustrating to see our selectors selecting players who do not have good technique and footwork. If you have made 1000+ runs in domestic season but does not have good technique and footwork they should be told upfront that they have no scope in national squad unless they improve it. Players like Yasir Hamid Asim Kamal, Hasan Raza and Imran Nazir who does have good technique and footwork should be selected for that tour. Malik need to go out from national team if cricket board really want cricket to be clear from politic. It is already in the media who is making group of seniors it orders to be part of national team.

  • Sam on December 2, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should open for Pakistan, right now the only problem Pak have is open pair. as soon as they found solid openers they will be unbeatable. they have excellent bowling attach all they need to good openers... and Shoiab is fit for one side butt might be the other one...

  • Rasheed on December 2, 2009, 17:44 GMT

    I seriously think you need to clear up yours thought process. Please come to USA for UCLA Neurology center we have some world class neurologist.

  • Mohsin Khan on December 2, 2009, 17:44 GMT

    Pakistan needs to understand that we do not have good openers and we cannot produce good openers. I can think of two maybe three good openers in all of Pakistani history.

    So until a Saeed Anwar or Hanif Mohammad pops up we should go for Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi as our openers. Both have averages above the high 30s as openers (if not over 40s) and both provide experience and a bowling option to the team.

    People like Ahmed Shehzad,Khalid Latif, Nasir jamshed, Taufeeq Umar, imran Nazir...etc should work their way up by showing performance in the ODIs and T20s.

  • Sam on December 2, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should open for Pakistan, right now the only problem Pak have is open pair. as soon as they found solid openers they will be unbeatable. they have excellent bowling attach all they need to good openers... and Shoiab is fit for one side butt might be the other one...

  • Noor Khattak on December 2, 2009, 17:41 GMT

    i Think pakistan open with Fawad alam & Shoaib malik ,eleven team squad should be as mentioned under : Malik Fawad Yousaf Misbah umer akmal faisal iqbal kamran umer gul asif aamir saeed ajmal

  • Imran Yousaf on December 2, 2009, 17:38 GMT

    Ludicrous! Malik is just as bad as the rest of them. He is good for 20-30 or the odd 40 but just doesn't have either the technique nor the batting temperament to bat long to score 100s. If you want stats than how about his 30.27 average in 89 first clas matches! He was a decent all rounder now has stopped bowling and simply isn't good enough to be playing as a batsmen! Not sure who's parchi he is but they must be powerfull for him to be still playing! When required Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly and even Kallis have stepped up to the plate and opened for their countries. Pak senior batsmen must stop hiding behind fresh out of nappies youngsters and step up and open for their countries. Ihave Misbah or even Younis in mind as they end up coming in the first 5 overs anyway. For now my line up for TESTs would be 1.Fawad Alam 2.Misbah Ul Haq 3.Younis Khan 4.Mohammad Yousuf 5.Umar Akmal 6.Kamran Akaml (Wk) 7.Shahid Afridi (Capt) 8.Mohammad Amer 9.Umar Gul 10.Mohammad Asif 11.Saeed Ajmal

  • Shabih on December 2, 2009, 17:38 GMT

    Malik is the best player, in the current Pakistani side, he can play at any position, he should open the batting..

  • Waheed USA on December 2, 2009, 17:35 GMT

    Malik has been one of my favorite players. He started his career in the mold of Saqlain and quickly developed into an all-rounder. Sadly, after having to alter his bowling action he lost confidence in his own abilities as a bowler. As a batsman, like many other Pakistani batsmen, his technique to cope with moving ball early in the innings has never improved. Therefore, he is always susceptible in the beginning of the innings. Playing him as opener is not going to solve the problem. What Pakistan needs, is to find and instill batting technique of Indians and Srilankan batsman who, at home play on similar pitches as our batsmen do at home. As far as I remember Pakistani batsmen have always had problem against moving ball specially, away from home. In the 80's and 90's Pakistan has had to ask middle order batsmen to open. Miandad seemed to have best technique to play new and old ball. But, I am sure you remember, he refused to open or one down, after Zaheer and Majid moved down the order.

  • vinay on December 2, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    hello guys,what if shoaib scores a century..will u guys be talking in same way..warning..he is going to score hundred..mind it

  • Icktidar on December 2, 2009, 17:25 GMT

    Shoib Malik is not playing for team anymore, he is justrying to do enough to retain his place. Malik should be replaced with Afridi to give pakistan option of using an excellent leg spinner and a confident batsman in the middle, not taking the pressure.

  • afzaal on December 2, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    i think shoaib should not be in the team as last match i can see there was no effert like a real player, team must be salman, khalid latif, misbah, yousuf, umer akmal kamran asif, danish umar gul aamir, faisal iqbal or fawad,

    i missed imran nazir in one day side, they did not gave him too many chances as he just came in international cricket team,

  • sohail on December 2, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    pakistan team should be like this (1)Imran Farhat (2)Shahid Afridi (3)Umar Akmal (4)Mohammad Yousaf (5)Faisal Iqbal (6)Misbah ul haq (7)Kamran Akmal (8)Mohammad Aamir (9)Mohamad Asif (10)Abdur Rauf (11)Danish Kaneria

    (

  • ahrash on December 2, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    It is a matter of time before ' Brothers Akmal ' open for Pakistan - it makes perfect sense, let Kamran be the aggressor and Umar play the steady hand, Shoaib Malik is redundant and we should never ever leave our talisman Afridi out of any Pakistan team.

  • SYED AYAZ ALI on December 2, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    he can open bcoz his average is much better then as a middle order batsman

  • awanish on December 2, 2009, 17:03 GMT

    i dont think imran farhat should be in the team, i even dont remember when he made his last fifty. shoaib malik is a good attacking player. he along with salman butt should open the innings. and afridi should be brought back instead of alam.

  • jonim on December 2, 2009, 16:59 GMT

    My choice 11 are: 1.Fawad Alam 2.Salman Butt 3.Umar Akmal 4.Mohammed Yousuf 5.Mishbah ul Huq 6.Faisal Iqbal 7.Kamran Akmal 8.Naved ul Hasan Rana 9.Mohammed Ameer 10.Mohammed Asif 11.Danesh Kaneria 10.

  • ashfaq khan on December 2, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    I sincerely feel and believe that malik shoib should leave the team as his integrity is very doubtful. he is not delivering the goods at all. He was previously asked to open but he was little good. Now wait and see tomorrow what he will do - i doubt he will do nothing. let us hope some thing good from him.

  • ashfaq khan on December 2, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    I sincerely feel and believe that malik shoib should leave the team as his integrity is very doubtful. he is not delivering the goods at all. He was previously asked to open but he was little good. Now wait and see tomorrow what he will do - i doubt he will do nothing. let us hope some thing good from him.

  • ashfaq khan on December 2, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    I sincerely feel and believe that malik shoib should leave the team as his integrity is very doubtful. he is not delivering the goods at all. He was previously asked to open but he was little good. Now wait and see tomorrow what he will do - i doubt he will do nothing. let us hope some thing good from him.

  • jonim on December 2, 2009, 16:52 GMT

    My choice 11 are: 1.Fawad Alam 2.Salman Butt 3.Umar Akmal 4.Mohammed Yousuf 5.Mishbah ul Huq 6.Faisal Iqbal 7.Kamran Akmal 8.Naved ul Hasan Rana 9.Mohammed Ameer 10.Mohammed Asif 11.Danesh Kaneria 10.

  • Jawad Khan on December 2, 2009, 16:48 GMT

    Well in my opinion and this is my opinion everybody i think Malik should bat at three, Younis khan and mohammad yousuf should open as they take their time and are good at facing the new ball, 1.Younis 2.Yousuf 3.Malik 4.Umar Akmal 5.Misah ul Haq 6.Shaihd Afridi 7.Kamran Akmal 8.Aamir 9.Gul 10.Asif 11.Kaneria/Ajmal

    Hey your probably thinking why the hell is afridi in there, well he is now regarded as one of the best spin bowlers in the world after murali and Mendis, he can get quick runs e.g say if pakistan needed to chase 400 in one day he could end up getting a quick hundred and when he gets runs, it has a huge impact on the players, they work more harder and the crowd are more interested.

  • jamshed on December 2, 2009, 16:48 GMT

    in my opinion pakistan should play the following team muhammad yousaf shoaib malik kamaran akmal umair akmal asif amir ajmal misbulah haq khurram alam umair gul

  • asad on December 2, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    Pakistan should play with the following 11: 1.Fawad alam 2.Salman Butt 3.Umar Akmal 4.Mohammed Yousuf 5.Mishbah-Ul-Huq 6.Soaib Malik 7.Kamran Akmal 8.Abdur Razzaq 9.Mohammed Amir 10.Dinesh Kaneria 11.Mohammed Asif

  • georgebush on December 2, 2009, 16:34 GMT

    we need team players and not the one who play for themselves. Its all about team no matter how good of a player you are. We should stick with new guns as the olds guns are creating many problems

  • Anonymous on December 2, 2009, 16:30 GMT

    Malik Afridi Yusuf Misbah Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Kamran Akmal Amir Gul Asif Kaneria

  • haider on December 2, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    i think pakistan currently has right players for the 2nd test but they very much need to re-shuffle the batting order by promoting kamran akmal and shoaib malik as an openers.As they will have enough debth with UMAR akmal and Fawad Alam on number 5 and 6 respectively. I think pakistan gets very impatient some times by testing the batsmen only once or twice on a selective batting position. I think they should stick with the combination and batting order atleast for a series and see what happens!

  • Nasser Ahmad on December 2, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    Could not disagree more. Shoaib Malik has very poor technique. Your statistics ignore the fact that he has a very poor record (albeit on limited appearances) outside the subcontinent. His batting average is around 7 in matches outside the subcontinent (6 innings). He seems at sea against the short ball much more so than any other top order Pakistani batsman. He is able to do well in the one day format because of the limits on short pitched bowling and the lack of any close in fielders at short leg etc. The opener with the best technique (not saying much) in the squad is Salman Butt. I think we should go with Butt and probably Manzoor (he at least contributed to a run out) and see what happens. Malik should make way for Misbah.

  • from Chicago on December 2, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    After some years we finally had a good captain who lead us to winning stand. It is frustrating to see our selectors selecting players who do not have good technique and footwork. If you have made 1000+ runs in domestic season but does not have good technique and footwork they should be told upfront that they have no scope in national squad unless they improve it. Players like Yasir Hamid Asim Kamal, Hasan Raza and Imran Nazir who does have good technique and footwork should be selected for that tour. Malik is bad for national team as a batsman as well as team player. His philosophy is to make a group of seniors it orders to be part of national team.

  • Anonymous on December 2, 2009, 16:20 GMT

    pakistan shuld play with my 11

    salman butt shoaib malik misbah m. yusuf umar akmal fawad aalam kamran akmal m.aamir m.aasif umar gul danish

  • Masood Khan on December 2, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    In my opinion Pakistan should play with the following 11 players:

    1. Khalid Latif 2. Shahid Afridi 3. Muhammad Yousuf 4. Misbahul Haq 5. Umar Akmal 6. Asim Kamal 7. Kamram Akmal 8. Muhammad Amir 9. Muhammad Asif 10.Umar Gul 11.Danish Kaneria

  • Zubyr on December 2, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    The problem from past is Pakistan batting approach to send youngsters at the top and let them to see of new bowl, many great batsman born in Pakistan but none of them got courage to go and opening the innings, look at example of India all seniors open the inning Tendulkar,Ganguly,Laxman,Dravid, westindies Chanderpaul and even ponting gone for it for few matches.I simply think Muhammad Yusuf must go with a youngster for opening , otherwise if Yunus was there he should going for opening with a yougters that would develop opners.

  • mqi on December 2, 2009, 16:10 GMT

    Too many unwanted blogs are creating problems for the captain and the team. Malik should be out of the team, that is the consensus, reading the comments in last few weeks. He may be a good player, but not good for the team. They need to have an opener, not a stop-gap, playing in 4 different positions. I hope the comment writers keep that in mind. Young blood is always better than old crooked.

  • Faizal on December 2, 2009, 16:07 GMT

    Drop Malik - he breeds player negativism, and underperforms. He wants to be captain again.

    Bring back Yasir Hameed to open with Salman Butt. Drop Khurram Manzoor

    For tests, make Younis captain, play Yousuf, Misbah, both Akmals, Asim Kamal or Faisal Iqbal

    My Test Team

    Butt Hameed Younis Yousuf Umar Akmal Asim Kamal / Fawad Alam Kamran Akmal M Aamer M Asif U Gul S Ajmal

    Taufeeq Umar - 12th man Faisal Iqbal - 13th man Shoaib Malik Sohail Tanvir

  • True Cricketer on December 2, 2009, 16:02 GMT

    Will somebody tell PCB that Imran Farhat cannot play cricket. PCB should bring young cricketers like Umar Akmal. there is plenty of talent in Pakistan. Even small towns like Hyderabad you have first class cricketer who are averaging way higher then Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat. PCB needs to look at the talent not recommendations.

  • Mustafa Moiz on December 2, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    Malik should not be used as a backup spin option, rather he should be bowling in every match. I'm extremely surprised and disappointed in how Yousuf didn't bowl him in the last match. In the time between the last two World Cups (2003-2007), when Afridi was extremely erratic, producing only a few good spells every now and again and Saqlain Mushtaq was inexplicably dropped, it was Shoaib Malik who carried Pakistan's spin bowling (and sometimes the bowling overall).

  • Mustafa Moiz on December 2, 2009, 15:52 GMT

    Malik should not be used as a backup spin option, rather he should be bowling in every match. I'm extremely surprised and disappointed in how Yousuf didn't bowl him in the last match. In the time between the last two World Cups (2003-2007), when Afridi was extremely erratic, producing only a few good spells every now and again and Saqlain Mushtaq was inexplicably dropped, it was Shoaib Malik who carried Pakistan's spin bowling (and sometimes the bowling overall).

  • boxster on December 2, 2009, 15:52 GMT

    I have not looked into the stats but I am 100% sure all the runs Malik scored openning the innings were made in sub-continent pitches. Malik is not an answer to play against short balls, seaming conditions and outside (india, pakistan and srilanka). As a matter of fact he does not even deserve a chance in middle order outside sub-continent. In test matches we need a regular openner and we need a batsman with proper technique in middle-order.

    Seems like author of this blog didn't watch last test match (how Malik was out). It was a bad decission on Vetori's part that he came in and bowled in second innings when malik came in to bat. That was the reason he scored 32.

  • Aftab Qureshi on December 2, 2009, 15:46 GMT

    I hate to say that, in my view, Shoaib Malik has no place in the test team as a batsman, whether opener or middle order. If my memory serves me right, he had sneaked into the team primarily on the strength of his offspin at the expense of Saqlain Mushtaque, who was by far the better offspinner, with a genuine claim to fame because of his 'doosera'. He was able to cement his place in the team only because of health and other issues that brought an unfortunate and premature end to Saqlain's career. Shoaib's batting record is unimpressive and even as an all rounder, Shahid Afridi would edge him out, because Shahid is a better fielder and has improved his bowling skills and batting temprament lately. Finally, Shoaib is singularly responsible for the disunity in the team that has frustrated Younis Khan and demoralized the whole team. Yet he enjoys a Class A contract with the PCB and gets paid for such shameful politicking. I suppose the time has come to ease him out of the national teams.

  • Canadian on December 2, 2009, 15:45 GMT

    Imran Nazir shouldve been included in the squad.. Him and Kamran Akmal can face any opening bowlers NZ has to offer. He is as reliable as any other pakistani opener but could turn out to be a match winner.. Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, M.Yousuf, Misbah, Faisal Iqbal, Fawad Alam, M.Aamer, S.Ajmal, Gul and Asif would be a solid batting card.

  • Adeel on December 2, 2009, 15:44 GMT

    I don't rate Malik as a batsman. He is poor off the backfoot. He needs to be a very good backfoot player to succeed against any good bowling attack, on a quick track even more so. He has a big heart, I will give you that, but he lacks in other, more important areas. I don't understand why Pakistan has such an issue with finding capable batsman. I always say that if you pick up a rock in India, ten batsman will crawl out. In Pakistan you will noting, even after picking up whole mountains. Why do they have such good player, even if ours are far more talented. I think it is because of discipline and guidance. I suggest bring back Imran Nazir. He is at least as poor as Khurram Manzoor and Imran Farhat. Maybe he will come off.

  • Canadian on December 2, 2009, 15:42 GMT

    Imran Nazir shouldve been included in the squad.. Him and Kamran Akmal can face any opening bowlers NZ has to offer. He is as reliable as any other pakistani opener but could turn out to be a match winner.. Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, M.Yousuf, Misbah, Faisal Iqbal, Fawad Alam, M.Aamer, S.Ajmal, Gul and Asif would be a solid batting card.

  • jawad on December 2, 2009, 15:41 GMT

    Ridiculous idea!.Malik does not deserve a place in the test side.I dont know why the selectors are so patient with him.We need to plug his place temporarily with an all rounder like Razzaq.Malik plays to keep his postion in the team.If Imran Farhat can be given a chance then Asim Kamal and Yasir Hameed should also be brought back to open the innings.Younis should end his tantrums and solidify the middle order.

  • Irfan on December 2, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    Pakistan should have played Salman Butt in first test. He wasnt looking bad at all in recent Abu Dhabi series also. While everybody is taking about technique whats wrong with Khalid Latif's technique?

    Im amazed why Pakistan is still playing Imran Farhat, he have managed only 2 Test and 1 ODI century, clearly telling you how good a batsman he really is. And with average of lower 30s I may consider him for a Wicketkeeper but wait in last test he was the guy who slipped simple catches!!!

    I think pakistan should bat Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt as opener. No. 3 is very important for Pakistan and right position for Shoiab Malik. With M. Yousef, Umar and Misbah +/- Alam in the middle order.

  • malik khan on December 2, 2009, 15:39 GMT

    malik doesnt deserve to be in team in my opnion because his batting technique against moving wicket is so weak that he cant stay on wicket he has no front foot for your kind information he is good in flat wickets but he cant bat in moving wickets like seaming ,bouncy, and grassy wickets.

  • saud haji on December 2, 2009, 15:37 GMT

    there should some change in the team

    1.shoaib malik 2.fawad alam 3.mohamed yousuf 4.misbah ul haq 5.umar akmal 6.yaser arafat kamran akmal'

  • sharhan malik on December 2, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    actually the biggest problem with our opener is that in subcontinent there is flat wickets and outside the country they have to face differnet type of grassy, bouncy wickets.sorry to say their batting techniques are so weak they didnt learn from thier mistake .our openors need to learn from thier thier mistake and second thing is that our oponer had payed so many tests and odi but they never learned ..

  • Shams ur Rehman on December 2, 2009, 15:32 GMT

    It is very true that Malik should open the innings after all he has very good average as an opener.this is not only good for the sake of opening problem but it will open a space for another specialist batsman in the middle order too. if Malik starts open the innings then their will be no need of excluding of Fawad from the middle order because Fawad has very good First Class average and he has been waiting for along time. some people are saying that open with Umar Akmal; I think this is very bad thing to think even because when ever you change some one from his original place he started to perform really bad that it cost him in getting out of the team specially in Pakistan. so please do not think about it.

  • mushahid on December 2, 2009, 15:30 GMT

    well guys i realy feel for my nation.we all watch cricket with so much passion and they team members of our team just to laid down a person from the captaincy throw there wickets and deleybritly change the course of the match after seeing there dismissals in 3rd odi that is a proven fact. i feel very very sorry for us

  • Mohsin on December 2, 2009, 15:27 GMT

    Why not Umer Akmal ? The young guy is strengthening the batting line up and posses the energy to give Pakis the good start and also have the technique to stay at the wicket.The other opener could be Butt but i don't know what is the issue with Butt himself.. Butt is creating problems for himself. We all see him playing from under 16 level and he also has played crucial knocks and been a success. I will give continuous chance to Butt, he will certainly mark his appearance. So i'll go with Umer Akmal and Butt. 1 down Yousuf bhai..If younus is not available. 2 down Any new young bat.. 3 down Misbah... 4 down a youngster bat 5 down Kami and then the rest tail bowlers. This one was for Test and for ODI:The whole order should be the same but Include Afridi bhai at 2down and at 4down replace the young batsman with another all-rounder.

    We need the thinking administration as well including selectors.. There should be No more politics with pakistan cricket.

  • Salman Shahid on December 2, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    i think Pakistan Squad should be 1. Kamran Akmal 2. Imran Farhat 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Muhammad Yousaf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Misbah-ul-Haq 7. Fawad Aalam 8. Muhammad Aamir 9. Muhammad Asif 10. Abdul Rauf 11.Saeed Ajmal

  • rimtu on December 2, 2009, 15:19 GMT

    This article makes no sense. Malik does not know how to bat. If I am to believe these numbers for 7 tests then have to admit he got lucky, and it's better to keep it that way. If he opened in England, or South Africa etc, then his average wouldn't be anywhere near this. His batting is really most suited for limited overs cricket so he should be dumped from the test team all together.

  • Khurram Dawood on December 2, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    BIGEST JOKE MALIK AS OPENER ? LOL

    HE SHOULD NOT IN TEAM. UMAR AKMAL HAS TAKEN HIS PLACE

  • waqas ahmed on December 2, 2009, 15:15 GMT

    Malik is a good opner. And i think he will perform wel if he get chaance as a opner. And another reason is that if he doesnot like to open then, his position in the team is finish becz misbha back.

  • atif yousuf on December 2, 2009, 15:12 GMT

    while the idea is reasonable of a more experienced batsman opening , s. malick sorely lack the technique ( just take a look at his dismissal in the last innings). However if he can provide an avg of 40 at the top of the order he would have done his job.( I certainly would not be expecting centuries from him in this position ). Problem with pakistan's batting line up is that the weak protect the strong and experienced from the new ball. What a joke , no wonder they fail. If I was the team captain in early 2000's I would have groomed Younis khan in becoming a test opener ( too bad he keeps on having his mental breakdowns ). We will continue to miss him throught the upcoming tours.

  • Danish Ahmed on December 2, 2009, 15:10 GMT

    I would drop Malik because he is not performing and if i was Mohammad Yousaf i would tell him perform or you are out. We do not need senior playing muckking around. They are playing for pakistan not for some randon punjabi 11 team.

    Imran Farhat Fawwad Alam Mohammad Yousaf Misbah-ul-Haq Umar Akmal Kamran Akmal Yasir Arafat Mohammad Ammir Mohammad Asif Umer Gul Saeed Ajmal

  • purist on December 2, 2009, 15:10 GMT

    A better team could be

    Taufeeq Umar Yasir Hameed Misbah (or Younis if he comes back, move Misbah to 6) Yousuf (capt in the absence of Younis) Umar Akmal Shahid Afridi (allrounder) Kamran Akmal (wk) Aamer Umar Gul Asif Danish Kaneria

    The reaosn why I dont want any Butt of Imran Farhat is because of their terrible fielding and dropped catches. Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria need to spend more time practicing with each other. For Malik, I think he's not good enough to represent Pakistan in tests and its better if selectors start to think of tests as a separate format from ODI and T20 and stop selecting players like Malik or Farhat as specialist batsmen for tests.

  • Rija Zaidi on December 2, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    Saad, I dont mind even if you go and open the innings because I am dead sure you will do much better than Imran Farhat.

    Ths is amazing why we dont use Imran Nazeer because he is a world class fielder.

  • Riyas on December 2, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    Good suggestion,Shoaib Malik Has to come for the Opening Batting.

  • Zain Farid on December 2, 2009, 14:55 GMT

    Stop criticizing Malik. The guy played wherever he was needed for so long. He batted as an opener came one-down ,came at four,came at five,came at six etc etc etc. He did whatever the management asked of him. He even bowled when required. He is also one of the best fielders in the current side. But for once he actually stands up for himself, and says that he doesn't want to go as an opener or one down, and people bash him. Are you serious? If you guys had forgotten, he said he was more than willing to go as an opener right before the Champions Trophy. But he asked that the selectors give him 10-12 matches at the position, and not to just discard him. Obviously the selectors had other plans. After that he told the management, he doesn't want to go at those positions, and the people of Pakistan went wild. I hate the double standard. Afridi doesn't want to go as an opener yet no one jumps on him. Then why Malik? Give the poor guy one place and let him stay there. Stop shifting him around.

  • Ayzaz78 on December 2, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    Right .. so let me get this straight. Taufeeq Umar averages 40 after 25 tests having scored his runs overseas against south africa and australia against warne, mcgrath pollock and ntini and we are still looking for an opener post anwar?????

    Kamran Akmal should just focus on his batting and get someone else to keep wicket in tests.

    No doubt Malik should be in contention too but didnt fawad alam just get 150+ in his last test as opener and now hes at no.3?

    Do pak have selectors or electors on the panel?

  • mohd on December 2, 2009, 14:43 GMT

    Dear Saad,I agree with Muhammad Haroon's playing eleven and if at all Shoib has to show he should come down as opener try to hold on the innings let the new player play with him and then give the middle order chance to play as amiddle order and then if everybody who become senior dont want to open just for his personnal sake then what about pakistan as ateam

  • Nipun on December 2, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should open in both tests & ODIs;elsewise,he is too poor to be included in Pakistan's middle order.

  • Asad on December 2, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    i think he should have to open. Becuase somewhere he is better than other we have choices in opening spot. But my request to cricket board they bring back Yasir Hameed. The second thing is that, they need to change intikhab alam. i do not know what his job. Please bring back JAved Bahi

  • Abdul on December 2, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Malik is waste of space he should be replaced by Imran Nazir. and Fawad Allam should be replaced by Misbah. My 11 are Imran Nazir Salman Butt Mohamed Yousuf Ummer Akmal Misbah Kamran Razak Aamir Asif Gul Ajmal

  • Abid Islam on December 2, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    Nice Analysis... I think Intikhab Alam Should read this blog

  • S. Roohullah Shah on December 2, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    shoaib malik is not team player all the problem we are facing now because of him if he drop from the team you can see that the team will be happy and working properly. in abu dabi series in first ODI we won the match very easily and after his incluson in the team i think you have saw that also so please drop him from the all the formate thanks, shah

  • Ashiq on December 2, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    Malik must deserve a place in the team.. He is one of the energetic player in the team. And Afridi should recalled for test team..

  • Nasir Ulhaq on December 2, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    I 100% agree with Muhid. Shoaib Malik should not be in the team. See his recent scores and his attitude in the team. For all controversies in the team he is the master mind, he is a "MEESNAAN" player who remains behind the curtain.

  • Abid Shah on December 2, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    Very good suggestion especially in current team setting. If malik open, Pakistan could use following line up very effectively: 1. Malik, 2. Butt, 3. Yousaf 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Faisal, 6. Misbah 7. Kamran 8. Aamer, 9. Gul 10. Asif 11. Ajmal/Kaneria

  • Agha Raza on December 2, 2009, 14:20 GMT

    I thnk Pakistan is making very big and serious mistake by not including Shahid Afridi in test team. He will be very attacking bowler in a test and if he performs with a bat in a test, Pakistan will be victorious in that test without doubt. Can somebody contact the selectors.

  • Muhammed Sayyed on December 2, 2009, 14:11 GMT

    In order for Shoaib to stay in the team I think he should open and empty a spot for specialist batsman in the middle order. We lost ODI and hasn't won a single test in ages due to the stability in the middle order. Last year Yunus and Misbah was in the middle order and now when Yousud is back both disappeared. Best opening option Pakistan has is Umar Akmal alongwith Salman Butt period. It will open up Pakistan 5 batting slots for specialist batsman. Then you can even play Afridi or Razzaq based on the situation. But either Kamran or Umar who both are very talented and love bouncy wickets should open. Everyone knows Kamran's ability to play on bouncy wickets and now world has seen Umar as well. I have been following Akmal brothers for a long time and watched the games he played in Australia for Pakistan A. He is a serious player full stop. We need to use his talent and the start of the inning and polish other players in the middle.

  • Shahid on December 2, 2009, 14:11 GMT

    Just heard the news of 13 players announced for 2nd test, with no spinner included, shoib will be kept to have some kind of spin present in the team. It looks as Misbah is going to replace Fawad, and thats really a bad news. Fawad is our futur and should not be dropped. He is a lower middle order batsman and should be played instead of Shoaib. And I think he is as good a spinner as Shoaib is.

  • zaeemanwar on December 2, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    I also think that Shoaib Malik should open if he is in the playing 11. Can somebody please tell me that why Khurram Manzoor is still in the team, we are watching him since SriLanka series, he is such a poor cricketer, even with the Pakistan A team he has not done any magic, He should be out of the team. Another surprise is Imran Farhat, after ICL he has not played any competitive cricket, he should have played ODI and T20 in MiddleEast before getting into the Test Playing XI. Anyway what to say, that's how pakistan cricket run.

  • Shaukat Ali Awan Spain on December 2, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    wel i think that Shoaib Malik should be replaced by any young cricketer.And for openers problem can i ask that where is Nasir Jamshed? But right now i think Imran Farhat and Suleman Butt should open FOR PAKISTAN.

  • Eddy Murphy on December 2, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    Malik is "LUND PE THUND" cricketer who only sees the ways to do politics. Throw him out and bring in Hasan Raza OR Agha Sabir from PIA as they both are scoring massively in domestic right now. Think re !

  • S. M. Fawzul Kabir on December 2, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    Hey man Shoaib is not playing well now. So he should lose his place. But it will not be wise not to pick up for the squad. I think he should be the opener. Because I think Pakistan is the team for the tenanted players. But you should expect another Saeed Anwar or Rameez very soon. Shoaib is a good batsman before 2007. He has lost his form for his captaincy. Since then he never performed well. In opening spot nobody has performed in tests. So Shoaib should be lifted up the order. He may perform. We should see as no one is performing and Pak is losing 2 wickets before the innings. And also we should keep it in mind that the olds and experienced know the best how to play the test.

    I agree with Muhammad Haroon about his squad. Fawad Alam is good but I think he is too young and he should be a little bit more experienced. I think Salman Butt is a pure opener and he should get a chance. Umar Akmal is exceptional. He is pure cricketer. I also think the great Saqlain should be in the team.

  • Tariq Hussain on December 2, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    This would be my Pakistan test team:

    1. Imran Nazir/ try someone new) 2. Sohaib Malik (but Afridi, when he is back) 3. Muhammad Yousuf 4. Umar Akmal 5. Asim Kamal 6. Fawad Alam (he is a much better player lower but not beacuse he doesnt have the skill to open) 7. Kamram Akmal 8. Muhammad Amir 9. Muhammad Asif 10.Umar Gul 11.Danish Kaneria/S Ajmal

    Maybe the above batting order could be changed but that would my team.

  • Faiq on December 2, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    Interesting stats...even dilshan n watson were not regular openers,but they change demselves for the slot,so y not MALIK???

  • dr wajahat chaudhary on December 2, 2009, 13:58 GMT

    very interesting debate , as expected, by lovers of pakistan cricke, not necessarily the team itself.In my humble opinion the first big mistake was by younis khan, the guy i admire most in team along with yousuf, to step down as a captain when he should have shown more courage and taken the loss on his chin.I can see that S.Malik and misbah have created grouping in team but that shouldnt put off a clean hearted and a man with clean NIYYAT . He is the guy who wants to make pakistan the world champs , and can do so as well.He hasnt performed in batting but neither of his teammates as well, wither intentionally or not. With regards to selction for test team i think they are loosing out on two very talented players for test cricket, TAUFEEQ UMAR as opened and ASIM KAMAL as no 6.Kaneria is a great asset and should be preferred ahead of AJMAL in tests and vice versa in ODI,s.Shoaib malik doesnot fit in the test squad as a batsman anyway , neither he is expected to bowl.LONG LIVE PAKISTAN

  • Adam GS on December 2, 2009, 13:58 GMT

    Shoaib Malik does not deserve a place in the team.he is at best below average player thats in the team for no apprant reason. He is brought shame on his country for his unprofessional attitude, not cooperating with his captains. he is the reason why Pakistan is not progressing and will not progress in world of cricket. Do Pakistan cricket a favor, show him the doors and when he gets out, shut the door tightly so that he can never ever get back.

  • Reverse Swing on December 2, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    well statistically it will be true that he has a better average as an opener but here is another interesting fact, he opened in Sub-Continent most of the time where his over all batting average is also much better, but in conditions like NZ and Australia he always has struggled as he was struggling in first test and according to his current form I don't think opening with him is going to be fruitful and on top Pakistan need to find a proper opener no more make shift please.

    Mudassar Ijaz

  • aayan on December 2, 2009, 13:55 GMT

    i think that is a terrible idea. did you actually see him bat in the test match he should actually be batting for his test carear and your suggesting that he opens the batting he has a terrible technique and isn't a test standard batsman

  • saurabh on December 2, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    whoever opens. story will be same. 10 for 2 after 1 hour play

  • Fizul on December 2, 2009, 13:47 GMT

    Pakistan needs to be consistent with their cricket especially the management.They were suppose to convince Younis to stay on.As for Malik,I don't think he is a genuine test player.But pakistan main problem is the openers not Malik.If these openers are the best Pakistan can produce then their cricket is in big trouble.

  • Wes on December 2, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    i think that fawad alam did quite well as an opener and part-time spinner, so he should be considered as a long-term replacement for shaoib malik. also i think that considering Hasan Raza is a good idea, he has age on his side and is such a technically correct batsman.

  • tahir on December 2, 2009, 13:41 GMT

    i think this should be the line-up for test

    Fawad alam / S.butt shahid afridi shoaib malik / younus khan m.yousuf u.akmal m.ul haq kamran akmal mohammad aamer umar gul mohammad asif saeed ajmal / danish kaneria

    or even nazir could open althou hes not test player but hes attacking player these pakistani openers have always been slow they defend too much in the arly overs n lose their wicket they should keep rotating the strike......look at indian openers very attacking n these pakistanis oh my god....khurram manzoor should be send back to pakistan....farhat is good for odis only...

  • IQBAL KASIM on December 2, 2009, 13:40 GMT

    TOUFEEQ UMAR is the answer. His 4 hundreds in 20+ matches, His technique, his form and his experience, all count for him to be part of it. I wonder how come slectors keep on bringing Khurram Manzoor in the team with this flawed technique. It can work on subcontinental batting wickets but not any where else. He can never survive for long

  • jamil on December 2, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    i guess unanimous verdict: why is malik in the team in the first place? what is his core competency? if we had invested this much confidence and time in people like yasir hameed or in the past, hasan raza et al, we would have a far better result. It is about time to get rid of part-timers and have specialists in place. Secondly, how much more of ridiculous results are we going to get from Imran Farhat before we learn. Well we are kinda stuck with Kamran Akmal - mainly for same reasons as we are with Malik. But then since we can't even make an excellent captain work properly, how can we expect letting Malik, K Akmal and Farhat go?

  • IQBAL KASIM on December 2, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    TOUFEEQ UMAR is the answer. His 4 hundreds in 20+ matches, His technique, his form and his experience, all count for him to be part of it. I wonder how come slectors keep on bringing Khurram Manzoor in the team with this flawed technique. It can work on subcontinental batting wickets but not any where else. He can never survive for long

  • Usman on December 2, 2009, 13:27 GMT

    For GOD sake stop chewing!!!!! Malik is not capable of playing in middle order and your suggestion is only worth crap! No foot work, stimulating players, grouping; thats all malik is made of. He does not deserve to be in side even. Bring someone who can just play with straight bat, every thing else, forget it.

  • Hafiz Saaed on December 2, 2009, 13:23 GMT

    Hahaha...

    Forget this guy who has his rubbish views posted here, i am feeling pity for cricinfo which has given permission to this guy to post his thoughts on their reputed website ...

    Shohaib malik was batting like geoff boycotts mom in the last test. Geoff boycott would have told that even his mom could fair better compared to malik.

    Pakistan should open with a player of Younis Khan's caliber on one end and someone like Imran nazir on the other. They have some class unlike sohaib malik or fawad alam.

    If the person who has some kind of respect, he is suppose to delete his comments on shohaid malik in the next couple of hours .. It doesn't deserve to be on CRICINFO..

    thanks,

  • Mudassar Rana on December 2, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    first point can we get rid of farhat and his pa in law. secondly malik's face tells a story. he doesnt want to play. almost all the time he is lobbing the ball into the fielders hands - so it appears with his half hearted efforts. the top 3 have no place in the test team. open with butt and nazir at least nazir can field and also we will enjoy his batting even if it doesnt last long. farhat wouldnt get into a school boy team never mind test team. the pcb heirachy should be brought to task over these shenanigans.

  • MR. WHO on December 2, 2009, 13:20 GMT

    Shoib has earned enough money for doing nothing positive. He doesn't belong to a test team. Give chances to new young boys. Wasn't there any other guy who performed in that A-team which was in Australia.

  • Sameer on December 2, 2009, 13:13 GMT

    When these players come new in the SIDE , they're prepared to bat anywhere in the side ( not fearing anything ) . And proudly say " ANYTHING FOR THE TEAM AND COUNTRY ". but when they become a tad experienced they decide their own batting numbers. i hope he scores at any no. he bats !

  • Aadil on December 2, 2009, 13:13 GMT

    To me too the suggestion is kind of a joke, for when a player doesn't even deserve a place in the playing eleven, suggesting him to perform a critical is but sheer naivete. Persisting with the likes of Shoaib Malik is a true example of the dubious credentials of the PCB and its pure injustice with the performing youngsters at home.

  • Sharjeel Malik on December 2, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    Can't believe so many people still think that Salman Butt should be in the team, he's had too many chances as has Farhat and Hafeez. Pakistan should persist with Fawad Alam as he did recently score a big hundred in Sri Lanka and given the squad, he should open with Shoaib Malik. Someone said Hasan Raza.....he's roobish as Geoffrey Boycott would say.

  • MARLO on December 2, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    I will rather open with MOHAMMAD AMER. His batting technigue is much better than many others in the team. Remember, Majid Khan abd Asif Iqbal came in as fast bowlers. Throw Shoaib Out. Fire the selectors and bring in Said Anwar as cheif selector. Fire Intekhab Alam, he doesnt add any value to the team, I hate his cheap excuses for every next defeat. Bring in Wasim Akram as coach.

  • zalone on December 2, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    I think Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt should open the innings.I don't think Malik would be comfortable to open the innings specially on kiwi tracks.Further, Malik should be used as a bowler too otherwise his place in the team as a batsman only is not justified because there are many much better batsman are in the pipeline.

  • Rizwan on December 2, 2009, 13:10 GMT

    Malik should be right choice for opener in Test match only. Malik all nation wants u back as a Captain and Imran Fahrat who dropped four catch in first test match what u want from Imran Fahrat ?????????.

  • Imran Rasool on December 2, 2009, 13:10 GMT

    I think Shoaib Malik should open with exprienced Salman Butt.

  • Mushtaq on December 2, 2009, 13:08 GMT

    My Pakitan 11 Players

    Salman Butt Fawad Alam Younis Khan Mohammed Yousuf(C) Misbah Ul Huq Umar Akmal Shoaib Malik Kamran Akmal(KW) Mohammed Amir Said Ajmal Mohammed Asif

  • Rizwan on December 2, 2009, 13:05 GMT

    Malik should be right choice for opener in Test match only. Malik all nation wants u back as a Captain.

  • sohail on December 2, 2009, 13:05 GMT

    how malik out in 1st test against NZ its a big ??????????? he must be replace by Faisal Iqbal for good Pak future.Shahid Afridi have good records in opening also.

  • Shaz Amin on December 2, 2009, 13:03 GMT

    SHOAIB MALIK...2 test hundreds in 27 tests...its not good enough. He and Farhat have to go. Malik is a very mediocre player in test matches.

  • Tiger on December 2, 2009, 13:02 GMT

    Malik to open?? Is this some kind of joke, the guy can't play fast bowling. Did we not see how badly he played hostile bowling on a track with pace and bounce in the last test match. He might be ok opening on flat, slow sub continent wickets but not in NZ, AUS, ENG or SA where they really do test your technique. I'm afraid to say Malik's technique is average at best.

  • Amjad Husain on December 2, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    It must be a real delight for the NZ bowlers to see who ever is opening for Pakistan as they know few straight balls out side the off stump will result in a wicket. Every match Pakistan have been 2 down for less then 20. What are the coaches and players doing them self to rectify these faults.Malik opening will not resolve the issue but he might hang in there until Pakisatn are 30-2.

  • COMMON SENSE on December 2, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    NO way. Shoaib should be shown the door. He is just a bits and pieces player who can only be used in limited overs games. I would rather keep Salman Butt and Taufiq to open the innings. Any player whoes nr. of 50+ scores are lesser then 1/3 of total innings played doesnt belong in any good team in this era of high scoring cricket. My test team for this season will be as follows. Salman Butt Toufiq umar Younis Khan Mohammad Yousef Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Kamran Akmal Mohammad Amer Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Said Ajmal/Danish Kaneria Reserves will be: Naved Yasin, Hasan Raza, Mohammad Ramiz, Rauf, Nasir Jamshed. Misbah I might drop Salman if he doesnt perform and have Kamran to open and bring Misbah in the fold. I will have Misbah among the 11 while Younis is away. And I will keep thinking about Afridi as a possibility to play tests against England.

    I will send Khurram Manzoor to Rashid Latif academy (not the national) to work on his techniqe and learn some fundamental basics.FIRE SELECTORS

  • Karthik on December 2, 2009, 12:58 GMT

    In fast tracks i think Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal should open the batting, followed by Mohammed Yousuf and Umar akmal.

  • Shehryar on December 2, 2009, 12:58 GMT

    I am very sad to see the current state of our cricket particularly the quality of players with playing style/technique best suited for T20 cricket only. The problems with Pakistani cricketers are not only limited to their playing technique but lack of discipline, arrogance, player politics etc. Think they treat their cricketing careers as a day job, nothing wrong with that as long as they keep this in mind that cricket is not just a game for us Pakistanis. Winning and losing is part of any sport and us Pakistanis are not bad losers but what makes me most frustrated is when at a post match or at a toss a Pakistani captain with a smile on his face says that I've told our boys to just go and enjoy their cricket, perhaps to satisfy me he needs to add on and also stress to his players that they must bat sensibly and according to the situation without being too negative.

    I don’t believe any coach can teach these brats. We need a major cultural change or perhaps a captain like Imran Khan.

  • Adi on December 2, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    All comments are much appreciated...But honestly....this man Shoaib malik doesnt even deserves to be in the team....tell me what for? the time when he is about to be exlcuded from the squad bcuz of his crap performance he scores a 100 or a plays a good innings...we dont need such players...he is obsolete now...its time to stop this so called damn politics in cricket...kick him out...bring potential back...Where is Asim kamal?...poor chap doesnt has a source(Waasta) just like salman butt who keeps coming back out of no where...where is ahmed shahzad....technically correct batsman and showed promise in Pak A matches against Australia and Srilanka...but again wasted him by taking him to the T20 WC in England...and then dropeed him..whereas imran nazir whud hav been included for T20..bottom line pls kick out shoaib malik,salman butt, danish kaneria,khurram manzoor...This guy malik is a burden for the whole nation when he is playing...

  • Saqib on December 2, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    i think Pakistan Should Drop shoiab Malik and bring Razaq as replacement it gives extra bowling and streanght and razzaq had good record against Kewi's,

  • ejaz on December 2, 2009, 12:55 GMT

    No way..he does not deserve to be in the team. there are better openers like Afridi, Tafeeq, Yasir, I know what our selectors & so called coach (who still iving in 1992) will do, they may ask Umar Akmal to open as he is the only one scoring at this time

  • TANZEEL Ahmad on December 2, 2009, 12:55 GMT

    Pakistan is a magical team and wons when magic is on their way.

  • khurram on December 2, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    I am surprised no one has suggested Kamran Akmal to open the batting and should have the backup keeper to keep the wickets thus allowing the backup keeping option to gain experience and since Kamran is going to open in limited overs so this should be along the line of a broader approach. i would like to see how ppl think about it.

  • Arshad Khan on December 2, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    The question is: why is Shoaib Malik there in the first place!! For intrigues, I guess.

  • Pathan on December 2, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    Malik looked completely out of form in the first test match. His footwork was non-existent and his dismissal especially in the second innings was terrible - any schoolboy would drop his hands to a bouncer and sway of out the way but Malik had his hands and bat right next to his chin. Pathetic - he wont survive against the new ball if he opens.

    I think he should be dropped from the squad altogether. Salman Butt should open with Farhat (who should be given another chance), and Alam should remain at number 3. We cant keep picking and dropping players - the pressure created by having to perform in a single match or be dropped is too much for the Pakistani players to handle. They need to be given time I am afraid. Malik should be replaced by Misbah and Ajmal should be replaced by a more potent wicket taking spinner (i.e Kaneria). So my team would be:

    Salman Farhat Alam Yousuf Misbah Umar Akmal Kamran Akmal Aamer Gul Asif Kaneria

  • Vineet Srivastava on December 2, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    with due to respect to mr shafqat i feel malik is not the right choice for test cricket that is played out side sub-continent...for sub-continent pitches he can be an automatic choice for opener...in my opinion opening slot for this nz/aus series should be given to salman butt and khurram manzoor without changing them even if they perish early...i would have liked taufeeq umar to replace even khurram manzoor if he was part of the touring squad...since he isnt accompanying the team i feel they must persist with khurram and give him some more time to acclamatise and then relish conditions outsie sub-continent....as things stands today...following should be pakistan's team for tomorow... Salman Butt Khurram Manzoor Fawad Alam Mohammad Yousuf Umar Akmal Misbah-ul-Haq Kamran Akmal Yasir Arafat Mohammad Aamer Mohammad Asif Saeed Ajmal

  • S. Atiq on December 2, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    I dont understand why people are against Malik. His batting averages in any sort of game, i.e, Tests, ODI,s and T20 is better than all the players in team except M. Yousaf. His outcalss fielding and offspin bowling are an extra advantage for the team.

  • Abbasi on December 2, 2009, 12:42 GMT

    Its good option if Malik can accept it. I think he need to accept it just even to improve his image as a team player. Younas can be considered as a opener as his style suggests being bold and aggressive with sound technique, especially in tests.

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 2, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    Shoiab Malik to play in the seamer friendly wickets in New Zealand???....hahahaha...he might have fared well on the dead surfaces in the sub-continent..not in New Zealnad tho..There shouldn't be a spot for a makeshift opener. We need regular openers. The best bets are Salman Butt and Khurrum Manzoor in the current set-up. I feel Ahmed Shahzad should have been given a go but the selectors have a relationship with Butt and Farhat.

  • mubasher qadeer on December 2, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    Pakistani players are better than any team but they played for thier egos which is the sin for any national game, they forget that they are nothing without the name of PAKISTAN.

  • h4haseeb on December 2, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    Shoaib Malik has not the proper technique to bat as an opener, he has performed well in the 7 test matches he played as an opener, but you can not just rely on the statistics, he has not done that well on seaming pitches, and in the early overs, ball moves a lot compare to rest of the overs. I know Shoaib is not performing that well these days(one could expect from him after all the experience he has got) but it doesnt mean to experiment him as an opener. He has done well over the yrars, and needs support in his bad patch or poor form.

  • naeem chauhan on December 2, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    Players like shoib Malik and Shahid Afridi have no crdentials to be in a test side least they should open....! They should be thankful,to ICC who by starting twenty 20 cricket has prolonged their almost finished careers. Thats all I have to say.

  • Amim ul Ahsan on December 2, 2009, 12:34 GMT

    I m sure that now pakistan missing abdul razaq i think its unfair with fast bowlers (Lengthy spells) In my opinion Pakistan should play with the following 11 players:

    1. Fawad Alam /Khuram Manzoor 2. Salman Butt 3. Muhammad Yousuf 4. Misbah ul Haq 5. Umar Akmal 6. Abdul Razaq /Shoaib Malik 7. Kamram Akmal 8. Muhammad Amir 9. Muhammad Asif 10.Umar Gul 11.Danish Kaneria/ Saeed Ajmal

    there is no need of extra players on tour like 1. Faisal Iqbal 2. Abdul Rauf 3. Imran Farhat 4. Yasir Arafat all these four players are useless for pakistan waisteg of time & money

  • mzhar islam on December 2, 2009, 12:24 GMT

    what about yasir hameed ,asim kamal and tofiq umar they Pakistan have a problem with shoib malik i think he is not capable for a test player he is ondair or t20 Pakistan have to open with some sound players

  • zaib on December 2, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    To be honest we havnt got anything in batting except umer akmal.Malik is just Ok player but to be honest he shouldnt deserve to play from pakistani team.And i dont know why fawad alam is in the team? Player always show his abilities in one chance.Pakistan should find someone new who is exceptional but if not then i guess they should go for imran nazir koz atleast by seeing 10-2 in 15overs we can see 60-1 in 15 overs.From my opinion fawad alam,malik ,imran farhat,khuram manzoor and faisal iqbal shouldnt suppose to be in team.its better to give chances to new players rather then these players who has been tested tons of times before.

  • rauf khan on December 2, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    i saw hole match imran farhat was in slip every time when bowler bowled his hands was on knee and then in pocket he dontknow how to stand in slip this is selector fault ,they have eyes,he drop 4 catches bec of him we lose we dont need .imran,salman,faisal,and khurrum ,fawad in pakistan teem imran,and salman are very bad filder,fawad,and khurrum cant play test cricket they can play club cricket ,and we all know why faisal is around from maney years why ,look his average there is much batter player then him in pakistan ,but

  • Masood Ahmad on December 2, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    I think even if he wishes to open, he is not technically good enough for the job.

  • Said Chaudhry on December 2, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    Dr sahab, Why are you suggesting that this man be playing in the test XI for Pakistan?! He simply has no place in the team. If I remember correctly, he started playing as a bowler, and then a bowling-allrounder. No body will remember the last time he bowled anything in test cricket (or anything worth commenting). He has no technique or ability to play on pitches found in NZ and Australia. If you are such a big fan of Malik, please hold him back for the run fests in subcontinent. Playing someone like him sends out the worst message; that players with faulty techniques and poor temperament will always get a chance to play for the Pak test team. He needs to be ousted and replaced by someone/anyone from the domestic cricket who has a solid and reliable technique with the bat (i.e Asim Kamal or other middle order batsmen).

  • Moqbul on December 2, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    Pakistan should open with Salman Butt and Fuwad Alam.This is best combination at the team now.Mesbah should come in one down as he was done in the past when in is debut.

    PCB should be strongly handle or warn Malik for his wrong doing in the team.So that team spirit will be back.Though I believe the present Malik role to divide the team due a blind decision of PCB while make him Captain without thinking the of future.

    PCB should follow BCCB when they made Patauddhi as Indian captain and subsequently support him.

    Sometimes the childish act of PCB also the damaging the team spirit badly. They should play their role professionally.

  • Naz on December 2, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    Malik shouldn't be anywhere near the test team, clearly he's not an opener or a middle-order bat - i think its embarrassing for him to bat below Umar Akmal!! If he must be in the team then it should be in the Opening slot....as it allows a younger player the advantage of playing the older ball. Why should Fawad face the music when Malik a veteran in comparison is hiding in the middle-order??

    I also agree that he does tend to bring baggage with him, being a former skipper. He doesn't ever show any passion or "jazba"....this is why after Inzi, the captaincy should have gone to Younis/Yusuf(seniority)/Afridi....Malik never looks interested unless playing vs India!

    Selecting Misbah is wasted opportunity, as he'll again hide in the middle-order, we'll still have the problem of 1,2 and 3. Personally knowing how Pak cricket works and the senior's hiding the from the new ball...i'd get the Umar to play at 3. He atleast has some technique....more than chance than any of the others!

  • Obaid Chawla on December 2, 2009, 12:11 GMT

    Mohammed Aamir has got a better technique than Shoaib Malik. How can a guy open the innings when he cannot leave a ball outside off stump when its old ? He is a ridiculous person with only selfish mind and self interest. I think he should be kicked out of the team and a young talented player should be given a chance. It would be interesting to know how many of his 7 successful opening stints were played outside sub continent ?

  • shanny on December 2, 2009, 12:11 GMT

    in simple words pakistan dont have any player in the whole country who is technically good enough to play swing and seam bowling when it is at it's best. Being in good batting form is different and having good technique is different and i am afraid to say that even U Akmal is in good form and it doesn't mean that he has good technique. my XI 1.Butt 2.Malik 3.Misbah 4.Yousuf 5.Umar akmal 6.F Iqbal 7.K Akmal 8.Amir 9.Asif 10.Gul 11.Ajmal i hope to c this line up for next and future test matches

  • deep on December 2, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    IF PAKISTAN WANTS TO MAKE IT BIG IN TESTS ... THEN AFRIDI MUST RETURN TO TEST SIDE ..AT ANY COST ..

  • sharaf khan katawazi on December 2, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    my team for the test. 1.salman but 2.ahmad shazad 3.younas khan 4.mohamad yousaf 5.umar akmal 6.asim kamal 7.kamran akmal 8.mohamad aamer 9.shoiab akhter 10.saeed ajmal 11.asif then u will just see pakistan team.they will win every match.

  • Jegan on December 2, 2009, 12:09 GMT

    Any how pakistan is in big confusion, Why don't they take Afridi in the squad & open the innings with him. atleast he may encourage the crowd & the cricket lovers

  • m.s.hanif on December 2, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    i dont think shoaib deserve to be in pakistan team.he still hasnot forgotten being sacked as captain.he should be only played as allrounder in one day cricket on docile pakistani grounds.i would persist with salman butt as opener.

  • sharaf khan katawazi on December 2, 2009, 12:03 GMT

    well first of all shoaib malik dont deserve a place in the taem.second he is not a good batsamn.third he cant bat as opner.did u not see him in the srilanka recently that he did not play the second new bowl well.he had no idea how to play new bowl.just drop him from the tea.bring asim kamal in his place.and also bring younas khan.

  • Gowhar Geelani on December 2, 2009, 12:02 GMT

    The issue is not whether Malik should open, the issue is whether he deserves to be in the test team including Mr Imaran Farhat, Mr Fawad Alam and Mr Khurram Manzoor..All of them deserve to be dropped...Bring back Salman Butt and Taufeeq Umar, the best available opening pair after great Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail...In ODIs Shoaib Malik is a quality player. Pakistan should seriously consider Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal as openers for Twenty20, Salman Butt and Taufeeq Umar for ODIs and tests. Kamran Akmal needs to keep wickets, batting n keeping wouldn't be an issue in Twenty20 but in ODIs and Tests, it is. Three main bowlers: Asif, Amir and Gul, Spin: Ajmal and Afridi. And yes Afridi should reconsider his decision of not featuring in tests. My test team: Taufeeq Umar, Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yusuf, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif...and in ODIs have Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir back!!! That is it....

  • Muhammad Saleem on December 2, 2009, 11:55 GMT

    Malik, already playing at No. 3, is a practically an opener! It is a big question mark as to why selectors went for Khurram Manzoor and Imran Farhat. Farhat miserably as an opener and dropped four catches in the slips. He can only be singled out for Pakistan's defeat in the 1st test. Khurram Manzoor is also pathetic with his technique. Even Imran Nazir has better technique against fast bowlers. Nazir can even play horizontal bat shots which is a necessity on bouncy tracks. Even Khalid Latif is the better batsman when relying just on hand-eye coordination. Sticking with Butt or Nasir Jamshed would also have some weight. Selecting Khurram Manzoor and Imran Farhat for the opener was tantamount to starting series with one down. On failure of openers sending Misbah is another joke.

    Let Malik be settled in the middle order. Instead of Mibah a chance should be given to openers like Imran Nazir, Khalid Latif and Nasir Jamshed. We ought to take a leaf from Indian team composition!

  • naif on December 2, 2009, 11:54 GMT

    Malik should Open !!!! he should not be in playing eleven even!!!! or warming on Bench....he should be asked to play domestic first ...

  • Muhammad Sajjad on December 2, 2009, 11:53 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is good choice as a opner in all kind of cricket. Malik is good player and always perform well for Pakistan.

  • yousaf465 on December 2, 2009, 11:51 GMT

    Well stats are good but what about his rivalry with Yousaf will he play a good knock Under Yousaf ? That is a big question.

  • mohamed nuri on December 2, 2009, 11:50 GMT

    why about including abdul razzak in the test squad.he is dangerous all rounder can turn the things in favour of pakistan

  • Ahsan on December 2, 2009, 11:49 GMT

    Malik has poor batting technique and is bound to fail in conditions like Australia , newzealand, South Africa, England. This means he should not be selected in test Team at all. Its poor selection and not to blame Malik. From the contracted players the team should look like below : 1)Salman Butt 2)Yasir Hameed 3)Faisal Iqbal / Younis Khan 4)M.Yousuf 5)Umar Amal 6)Misbah 7)Kamran Akmal 8)M.Amir 9)U.Gul 10)M.Asif 11) Ajmal/Danish

    The other back batesman should be Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali.

  • Khalil on December 2, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    I seriously do not understand the Pakistani selectors. I mean they try Salman Butt in ODI's and then don't play him in the tests!!! I'm no fan of Butt and know that is playing badly but at least of all the players we have he has the best technique to make it as an opener. And tests are more suited to his slow game. Like I said it does not make sense!!! I know he is useless, but surely he can't be as bad as Farhat!

  • K.ABDUL WAHEED on December 2, 2009, 11:45 GMT

    sir, Malik opener is good,stand to the wickets & increase the run rate. I requst to PCB selection comitiee u select Shaid Afridi & Abdur Razak in test squad, He help us bat & bowl.

  • habib on December 2, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    I feel sorry for Pakistan Cricket. They have most Talented players but lots of politics in cricket team. I think they should give chance to in Test cricket AFRIDI also. Who ever ther as a spinner in average they take 1/2 wickets after 25/30 overs then why not afridi. At least he can bat. I wish their good luck.

  • Arshad Ali on December 2, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    Malik got all the guts to open inning coz of his experience and ability to resist. All it is required to bost him up and have confidance on him....... keep on giving him the responsibility of Opener then on consistant basis he can perform well... He got alot of potential and team should dug it out.......Further PCB should back him up for this position..........

    Best of Luck to Pak Team

    Arshad Ali

  • Owais on December 2, 2009, 11:41 GMT

    This looks like a good analysis, albeit only on paper !!! Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, all of them are at best average on flat (and low bounce) tracks. Bring in Aussy, SA, NZ pitches and opening with any one of them would be a disaster. It would always be suicidal bringing in someone like Malik or Akmal or Afridi in the top order. If you really want, you can try Misbah or Younis Khan in the opening slot. Forget Shoaib Malik. Problem is we have three contenders for this spot, Malik, Alam and Misbah. And I would prefer Alam and Misbah over Malik on his current form (and attitude!).

  • Arshad Ali on December 2, 2009, 11:39 GMT

    Malik got all the guts to open inning coz of his experience and ability to resist. All it is required to bost him up and have confidance on him....... keep on giving him the responsibility of Opener then on consistant basis he can perform well... He got alot of potential and team should dug it out.......Further PCB should back him up for this position..........

    Best of Luck to Pak Team

    Arshad Ali

  • Khurram Humayun on December 2, 2009, 11:38 GMT

    I think Malik should be told which position he will bat rather than he himself choosing his position. He is not of that class in which he can dictate his terms. I think PCB should look for his replacement either in the shape of Faisal Iqbal or any other fresh face.

  • Abdul Ghaffar Ansari on December 2, 2009, 11:35 GMT

    I still remember few years back Late Bob found two very good openers Hameed and Hafeez, both were ideal opener. My point why are wasting time on players like Fawad and Farhat they even can't play with straight bat!

  • Naheem Khan on December 2, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    I think that based on the records you have shown Shoaib Malik SHOULD open the innings. However, after this series he should be dropped.

    Pakistan needs to pull its finger out from where the sun doesnt shine and find a god damn opener with sum guts and preferably TECHNIQUE.

    Malik does not have the technique of an opener and unless he can change he is just a stop gap measure like all the other pretenders.

    What Pakistan needs to do is produce pitches with pace and bounce and let our bowlers sort then men from the babies in the domestic season. That way we will know who is really a good opener and who is jus benefiting from the flat pitches.

    This is the only way to find an opener in the long run.

    P.S why cant Misbah open? or any genuie batsmen??? for gods sake they are pros this is their job and at some point every batsman has to face "a new ball" after 80 overs even if they bat at 5 or 6 so why not open??

  • plastist on December 2, 2009, 11:29 GMT

    why is it that we'r immidiately able to see a cricketer with serious deficiencies, yet our cricket board selectors & many so-called cricket experts r unable to see ??? Malik has the poorest of techniques against fast bowlers. why did the blogger not care to mention that Malik's almost all international hundreds r made in sub-continents ? in ODIs

  • Shahzad on December 2, 2009, 11:28 GMT

    Kamran Akmal should open with Salman Butt, shoaib malik opening if not a permanent solution, even if he succeeds in the coming tests he cannot be a regular opener, doesnt seem to be !

  • Abrar Akhtar on December 2, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    Unfortunately Pakistan don't have technically strong openers, like Australia South Africa and India . The same case is with shoaib Malik, who is technically not a perfect batsman and he is not suitable for opening spot. Mohammed Yousuf ,Younis Khan and Umer Akmal are technically sound batsmen that Pakistan have for the time being. An other problem with Pakistani batsmen is that they usually play on dead pitches where they find no problem to face fast bowlers because these pitches have no bounce and no swing at all. On the other hand bowlers have to work very hard to get rid of batsmen on these batsmen friendly surface. This is the main reason that Pakistan is producing very good and quality fast bowlers while our batsmen have to face plenty of difficulties when they play on greenish and bouncy tracks. Their poor technique test them and they don't have answer for swing and uplifting deliveries .Bowlers won many Matches for Pakistan but Batsmen let them down on many occasions.

  • Shahzad on December 2, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    Kamran Akmal should open with Salman Butt, shoaib malik opening if not a permanent solution, even if he succeeds in the coming tests he cannot be a regular opener, doesnt seem to be !

  • Muhammad Haroon on December 2, 2009, 11:26 GMT

    In my opinion Pakistan should play with the following 11 players:

    1. Fawad Alam 2. Sohaib Malik 3. Muhammad Yousuf 4. Misbahul Haq 5. Umar Akmal 6. Faisal Iqbal 7. Kamram Akmal 8. Muhammad Amir 9. Muhammad Asif 10.Umar Gul 11.Danish Kaneria

  • Yasir Godil on December 2, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    I don't think he should open for Pakistan. He did well as an opener for Pakistan but only on sub continent tracks. He would fail to open batting in New Zealand or Australia like Tracks.

  • khalid hamedd on December 2, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    Malick can not play even medium fast bowling outside subcontinent, his technique is poor, he was looking helpless agaisnt the Kiwis where there was some bounce and movement.It is about time we decide on him....I think we should stick the present lot of openers and dont discard them so soon.

  • Usman Qureshi on December 2, 2009, 11:07 GMT

    Whatever happened to guys like Yasir Hameed and Asim Kamal? I agree that Shoaib Malik adds no value as a spinner, why force him to bat in a position he isnt comfortable in? Salman Butt is a sound choice (albeit out of a limited group), partner him up with Yasir and give them time to gel.

  • shiyam on December 2, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    malik is the good opening batsman

  • najam khan on December 2, 2009, 11:04 GMT

    well pakistan lost their 1st test due to top 3 players. for i should blame selectors.bring back Toufeeq Umar, he's got nice technique footwork is good and he got 4 hundreds in 25 test,Over seas he performed much better. Imran farhat is T20 player and he's got 2 hundreds only in pakistani flat tracks.toufeeq and butt should be in team.

  • habeeb on December 2, 2009, 10:59 GMT

    Umar Akmal is best choice for opening

  • Asaduzzaman Khan on December 2, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    Please compare the test average of Shahid Afridi (37.40)and other current openers. I think he should be the best choice as Pakistani opener. Why is he not in team? Additionally his spin is an asset for Pak Bowling.

  • SARMAD BILAL on December 2, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    Because of the seeming tracks in NZ , No man wants to open , Shoaib is a senior player but he is just play for his self like others, Imran Farhat is a player who can handle it but Pressure on him just because of ICL , he wants time to settle his mind in International Cricket , Malik all nation loves u and we wants u back as a Captain

  • Goher on December 2, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    Adding to my last post :

    I also believe Mohammed Waseem, Misbah, Asim Kamal, Yasir Hammed should have been here based on the fact they have experience, better technique and Pakistan needed both after withdrawel of Younis Khan.

    Pakistan management need to stand strong and give captainship to someone with true potential of leadership and stand by him. Throw those players who are not supporting selected captain.What are they afraid off, pakistan is not winning anything anyway. Younis is best man right now and must be backed by management. They need to kill this virus of player power if they have to survive their cricket.

    Players like Umar Akmal , Mohammed Amir are pakistan future and S.Malik, Khurrm Manzoor are only there to create Mess especially in Test Match cricket.

  • Farhan on December 2, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    Saad, may be we also need to compare how many times he has opened away from the Sub-Continent. May be it will give us a truer picture. Malik lacks the technique required for a specialist opener along with Imran Farhat, Salman Butt and Khurram Manzoor. His tackling of the short ball has been awful of late to say the least. I was also shocked to see the foot movement of our openers in the first test. Somebody also needs to tell Fawad Alam to relax while in the center, his constant movement before playing a delivery is a sure sign of nervousness. May be the batsmen need to look at Umar and Yousuf who had excellent foot work for the entire match and played the bouncers to near perfection.

  • Naseeruddin Ahmed on December 2, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    I disagree. Shoaib Malik is a very hard working cricketer with a good cricketing head but he hasn't got the ability of an opener. His inclusion in the Test side is very surprising. He isn't bowling either which means that he was included as a specialist batsmen. Are you kidding me? I am very skeptical about his abilities especially those required for this format. Opening with Imran Farhat was a big mistake, I think he is suitable for ODIs but not Test. Perhaps Salman Butt is more suited to Tests (has some good track record in tests against tougher teams). The current batting line up is very feeble, only one experienced Mohammad Yousuf along with the talented Umar Akmal and somewhat revived Kamran Akmal. But thats about it ! I am preplexed why Afridi is not included in the side? I think he will be more effective in Tests than in any other format. He is a very mature bowler now and he can be very dangerous batting down the order when the ball gets old. Anyway SHOAIB MALIK is a big NO NO!

  • Ehsan bhutta on December 2, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    I dont agree that Shoaib will open as he himself announced after Champions trophy that he will not open or come at one down position in future.Thisb means that there is no position for Malik in Test side.The seniors are not taking responsibility.This selfish tactics are hurting the team badly.Pakistan has to play 11 more tests upto August next year and they should give persistent run to two regular openers and not drop after only one failure in a test.Fawad Alam is also not a test candidate on bouncy/seaming wickets.Two lefthanders should be given long run to prove themselves.Hurridely made changes will not work.

  • NaumanM on December 2, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Opening should be done by specialist openers. Using 'make shift' openers won't do good.

  • Mayur Bhakar on December 2, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    I think Shoaib should remain in the team because they don't have anyone else better than him.Right now their strength is bowling & they should concentrate on that. In any case you can't produce Gavaskars and Boycotts in a short span of time.The domestic circuit should be improved.

  • Ashraf Mobashir on December 2, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Nice joke!!! I seriously tought that was a joke... Shoaib malik doesn't deserve t be in the squad...because you will agree with me that no one has ever played test cricket with a first class average of 30... Opening is another tshing...

    I hope ou will awnser the stats i am giving here : Malik as an opener averages 26 in the three matches pakistan won, 1 fifty in 5 innings... Malik averages 58.40 in the four draw matches... these matches were vs england at faislabad, india at faislabad and lahore... They were all high scoring matches, just to tell you, in both matches agaisnt india they were only score over 600..., 6 hundreds in the second match, 6 hundreds for the fall of 8 wickets in the first match... Even Afridi scoring hundred in both mathes, dhoni socring hundred...

    My question to you... Do you still think shoaib malik is a good test opener? or should he open in test cricket?

    And all that was at home... not at the WACA... he was facing the likes of pathan, agarkar, not mcgrath

  • Isaac king on December 2, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    Making Malik to open will not solve the issue for Pakistan. The blame of not developing anyone to bat in the upper half of the batting lineup is purely on selectors. They have been selecting a squad of 15 for last decade or so & filling it will middle order batmen knowing that with Younis,Yusuf & Inzy there is not need for them. Time & again we find people like Malik & Iqbal sent with a touring squad. If only they have select few up coming openers with a solid technique today it may have be easy for the mto fill the hole that are there & will be there once the two "Y"call it a day.

  • Haseeb Ahsen on December 2, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    Not only Shoaib Malik all Pakistani Player playing selfish cricket thats why nobody wants to play new ball they dont have good techniques and proper foot work and outside sub continent these things required..Pakistani selectors always fail to select the squad according to venues as Austrailia did in past when they came to Indo pak they always open with Michal Slater but pakistani selectors select same squad for all venues they need to be straight forward and simple select some guys who is opening in domestic circuit and have good record with good technique rather to select Fawad Alam as an opener as i m very much sure about him that he naver open his life except for Pakistan he always batted no.5 in all forms of cricket. Shoaib Malik is a gutsy player who needs confidence and when he gain the team and selectors confidence he will deliver good for Pakistan Cricket. I think Kamran Akmel is a good choice as an opener.

  • Muhid on December 2, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    shoaib malik should be replaced by hasan raza. Shoaib malik is himself a bad omen for the whole team. Whenever he is in the team one can literally feel the negative energy in the team, and when he is not, the entire team's body language and energy is different and positive in every way.

  • Hussain Khan on December 2, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    Good suggestion. Is anyone listening???

  • moghees on December 2, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    Malik is battling for his place now, i wouldnt think he would wana open!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • moghees on December 2, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    Malik is battling for his place now, i wouldnt think he would wana open!

  • Hussain Khan on December 2, 2009, 9:57 GMT

    Good suggestion. Is anyone listening???

  • Muhid on December 2, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    shoaib malik should be replaced by hasan raza. Shoaib malik is himself a bad omen for the whole team. Whenever he is in the team one can literally feel the negative energy in the team, and when he is not, the entire team's body language and energy is different and positive in every way.

  • Haseeb Ahsen on December 2, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    Not only Shoaib Malik all Pakistani Player playing selfish cricket thats why nobody wants to play new ball they dont have good techniques and proper foot work and outside sub continent these things required..Pakistani selectors always fail to select the squad according to venues as Austrailia did in past when they came to Indo pak they always open with Michal Slater but pakistani selectors select same squad for all venues they need to be straight forward and simple select some guys who is opening in domestic circuit and have good record with good technique rather to select Fawad Alam as an opener as i m very much sure about him that he naver open his life except for Pakistan he always batted no.5 in all forms of cricket. Shoaib Malik is a gutsy player who needs confidence and when he gain the team and selectors confidence he will deliver good for Pakistan Cricket. I think Kamran Akmel is a good choice as an opener.

  • Isaac king on December 2, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    Making Malik to open will not solve the issue for Pakistan. The blame of not developing anyone to bat in the upper half of the batting lineup is purely on selectors. They have been selecting a squad of 15 for last decade or so & filling it will middle order batmen knowing that with Younis,Yusuf & Inzy there is not need for them. Time & again we find people like Malik & Iqbal sent with a touring squad. If only they have select few up coming openers with a solid technique today it may have be easy for the mto fill the hole that are there & will be there once the two "Y"call it a day.

  • Ashraf Mobashir on December 2, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Nice joke!!! I seriously tought that was a joke... Shoaib malik doesn't deserve t be in the squad...because you will agree with me that no one has ever played test cricket with a first class average of 30... Opening is another tshing...

    I hope ou will awnser the stats i am giving here : Malik as an opener averages 26 in the three matches pakistan won, 1 fifty in 5 innings... Malik averages 58.40 in the four draw matches... these matches were vs england at faislabad, india at faislabad and lahore... They were all high scoring matches, just to tell you, in both matches agaisnt india they were only score over 600..., 6 hundreds in the second match, 6 hundreds for the fall of 8 wickets in the first match... Even Afridi scoring hundred in both mathes, dhoni socring hundred...

    My question to you... Do you still think shoaib malik is a good test opener? or should he open in test cricket?

    And all that was at home... not at the WACA... he was facing the likes of pathan, agarkar, not mcgrath

  • Mayur Bhakar on December 2, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    I think Shoaib should remain in the team because they don't have anyone else better than him.Right now their strength is bowling & they should concentrate on that. In any case you can't produce Gavaskars and Boycotts in a short span of time.The domestic circuit should be improved.

  • NaumanM on December 2, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Opening should be done by specialist openers. Using 'make shift' openers won't do good.

  • Ehsan bhutta on December 2, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    I dont agree that Shoaib will open as he himself announced after Champions trophy that he will not open or come at one down position in future.Thisb means that there is no position for Malik in Test side.The seniors are not taking responsibility.This selfish tactics are hurting the team badly.Pakistan has to play 11 more tests upto August next year and they should give persistent run to two regular openers and not drop after only one failure in a test.Fawad Alam is also not a test candidate on bouncy/seaming wickets.Two lefthanders should be given long run to prove themselves.Hurridely made changes will not work.

  • Naseeruddin Ahmed on December 2, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    I disagree. Shoaib Malik is a very hard working cricketer with a good cricketing head but he hasn't got the ability of an opener. His inclusion in the Test side is very surprising. He isn't bowling either which means that he was included as a specialist batsmen. Are you kidding me? I am very skeptical about his abilities especially those required for this format. Opening with Imran Farhat was a big mistake, I think he is suitable for ODIs but not Test. Perhaps Salman Butt is more suited to Tests (has some good track record in tests against tougher teams). The current batting line up is very feeble, only one experienced Mohammad Yousuf along with the talented Umar Akmal and somewhat revived Kamran Akmal. But thats about it ! I am preplexed why Afridi is not included in the side? I think he will be more effective in Tests than in any other format. He is a very mature bowler now and he can be very dangerous batting down the order when the ball gets old. Anyway SHOAIB MALIK is a big NO NO!