New Zealand 2009 December 2, 2009

Forget two, one opener required

Pakistan's bowlers almost pick themselves but the batsmen are a different matter altogether: nobody seems to know who to pick
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Bring back Misbah © Associated Press
 
After the setback in Dunedin, Pakistan will regret two decisions. The first was Mohammad Yousuf's defensive option to bowl first, which forced his team to chase a tricky total on an unpredictable final-day wicket. The second was the team selection.

Pakistan's bowlers almost pick themselves but the batsmen are a different matter altogether: nobody seems to know who to pick. You might have expected that Pakistan's salaried selectors had a sufficient level of expertise to be sure of most, if not all, of Pakistan's top six? That isn't the case, and disturbingly the top three positions are in a constant state of indecisive flux.

What to do, especially as Khurram Manzoor and Imran Farhat looked out of their depth and the next match at Wellington could be even more difficult for Pakistan's batsmen? These two unfortunates should make way for Salman Butt, a proven Test opener, and Misbah-ul Haq, a proven rallier of the late order with a career to revive.

It also seems unfair, almost negligent to throw Fawad Alam in at No. 3 when Shoaib Malik and Yousuf are in the ranks. As a senior player, Malik needs to be in the top three. Yousuf is unlikely to shift from his preferred position. Pakistan's paucity of opening options also means that Kamran Akmal might have to be a temporary solution again.

But this top-order nonsense really does have to end. When Younis Khan is back he will take No. 3 but Pakistan's best opening combination is unknown. Pakistan should be looking ahead to the tour of Australia. To enter that tour without at least one settled opener will be suicidal. Again, with the options available Butt has to be that man.

Young, inexperienced, our out-of-form players are usually best inducted one at a time in top-level sport. Pakistan throw in all these varieties in one go and hope for the best, which is exactly what the fans are left to do thanks to their team's inexplicable selection policy.

With Shane Bond out, Pakistan have every chance of winning this second Test but they must back their most proven performers and those with the soundest techniques.

The bowlers and the Akmal brothers deserve better.

Thanks to everybody who tweeted during the final day's play last week. I'll also be intermittently tweeting on the second Test: http://twitter.com/KamranAbbasi

The tweet of last week was by buya_kasha in the middle of Pakistan's final-innings collapse: "We should be playing the whole Akmal family including their maids."

Lose in Wellington and it might be worth a try.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad Hussain on January 11, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    I would like to commend the political and sports governing body in Pakistan in bringing more shame and humiliation into cricket. The system is full of rotten apples from the political arena to every other system that affects the man on the street. The current management, along with the cricket squad are an absolute joke. They never cease to bring fresh humiliation onto themselves and the nation they represent. It is no wonder Pakistan is the laughing stock of the cricket world. Can I suggest something positive out of this, that the PCB convert the cricket stadiums into hospitals so that it's countrymen can benefit from somthing as pointless as cricket being served to the poor nation.

  • Muhammad Hussain on January 11, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    I would like to commend the political and sports governing body in Pakistan in bringing more shame and humiliation into cricket. The system is full of rotten apples from the political arena to every other system that affects the man on the street. The current management, along with the cricket squad are an absolute joke. They never cease to bring fresh humiliation onto themselves and the nation they represent. It is no wonder Pakistan is the laughing stock of the cricket world. Can I suggest something positive out of this, that the PCB convert the cricket stadiums into hospitals so that it's countrymen can benefit from somthing as pointless as cricket being served to the poor nation.

  • Zarif on December 9, 2009, 5:41 GMT

    I think pakistan should consider bringing Shahid Afridi out of his retirement and including him in the test squad. I think he recently has proved his consistency in batting and he can also bat in almost any position. His inclusion in the squad can also make room for one more batsman as he as very well take the part of a quality bowler.

  • Omar on December 8, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    I am absolutely convinced that Shahid Afridi should be in the test team as player and captain. If he doesn't want to play test cricket, he needs to be convinced. He is a potential match-winner as a bowler alone, and he can be a devastating batsman. Who is a better allrounder at present, and what does Pakistan have to lose by playing him?

  • Marlo on December 8, 2009, 14:14 GMT

    SHAME, yes its a shame that selectors Khuram and Shoaib in the team for Australia. Khuram with his totally flawed technique was so easily exposed in NZ and should have been replaced by Taufiq Umar. And yet again Shoaib stays in the team for no other reason then politics. This batting lineup is never going to touch 300 even once on this australian tour. And its so obvious that defeats are in their fate then why not take a couple of new talented boys with you. PCB should make a policy to take 18 boys on foreign tours when there is no international games in Pakistan.

  • SHAHID on December 8, 2009, 11:52 GMT

    It is so obvious that the present bating line will hardly score 200 in a test innings in Australia. It will be a shame if selectors do not come up with some fresh talent like Naved Yasin in to the fold. Faisal Iqbal or Shoaib Malik, it doesn't change anything. Toufiq Umar who is in form having better average (40) than Butt and Farhat and having experience of playing in south Africa and England should be part of the team. For me Mohammad Wasim is a much better prospect than Faisal. They are destroying it by selecting players with chachey and mamey on board posts. Neither Faisal nor Farhat has a first calss or international averages to support their selection. Then you cant go in to a test with only 4 bowlers. Afridi or Said Ajmal should be added as spin is the only obtion to derail Oz. Butt Taufiq Umar Kamran Akmal Mohammas Yousef Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Afridi Mohammad Aamer Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Danish Kaneria

  • Ghaus on December 7, 2009, 20:50 GMT

    I think Fawad Alam or Faisal iqbal should be included in the last test. Misbah-ul Haq should be dropped. He should not have been brought back. There are so many young talented player who were selected ahead of Misbah and they are not given any chance. Even if they are given any chance they are asked to bat as an opener or one down position (Example Fawad alam). Fawad is a middle order batsman and he should be allowed to play at no. 5 or no 6 position. Also where is Asim Kamal. He has a good test average and he should have been selected over Misbah if they were so deparate to bring addtionally from Pakistan. It is shameful not to give proper chance to young players.

  • Akhtar Hassan on December 4, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    All the openers on this tour are tried and tested failures and should not have been selected in the first place. The senseless selectors need to be sacked as soon as possible. For the last few years none of selectors has shown any foresight. Yasir Hameed and Taufiq Umer who started as very good openers were wasted. PCB as a whole is a useless body. We need honest and competent people in PCB but it seems to be a wishful thinking. Alas our whole nation is being run by corrupt leaders and it is being reflected in every field including cricket.

  • rauf khan on December 4, 2009, 18:20 GMT

    i think imran f,s butt,faisal iqbal khurram,and fawad cant be in test cricket teem salman and imran are very bad filder khurram and fawad have no test match quality they can only play in slow wickets ,faisal is around more then 7,are 8 years only bec he is javed m parchi his average is not for test match look he is PIA captan it make me laugh there is 50 player batter then thease players in pakistan domestick cricket they dont get chance bec they dont have safarish

  • Muhammad Amjad Mayo on December 4, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    We need good technical correct player at opener slot or even middle order too. Most Pakistani players not technical correct that's why they failed to do good with bat when they going abroad.Thanks to our bowlers that produce wining for us in past and future inshallah. Selectors pick the boys that score most in domestic level. The criteria to pick players first technique, then score that he scored in domestic level and the most important fielding.

  • Muhammad Hussain on January 11, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    I would like to commend the political and sports governing body in Pakistan in bringing more shame and humiliation into cricket. The system is full of rotten apples from the political arena to every other system that affects the man on the street. The current management, along with the cricket squad are an absolute joke. They never cease to bring fresh humiliation onto themselves and the nation they represent. It is no wonder Pakistan is the laughing stock of the cricket world. Can I suggest something positive out of this, that the PCB convert the cricket stadiums into hospitals so that it's countrymen can benefit from somthing as pointless as cricket being served to the poor nation.

  • Muhammad Hussain on January 11, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    I would like to commend the political and sports governing body in Pakistan in bringing more shame and humiliation into cricket. The system is full of rotten apples from the political arena to every other system that affects the man on the street. The current management, along with the cricket squad are an absolute joke. They never cease to bring fresh humiliation onto themselves and the nation they represent. It is no wonder Pakistan is the laughing stock of the cricket world. Can I suggest something positive out of this, that the PCB convert the cricket stadiums into hospitals so that it's countrymen can benefit from somthing as pointless as cricket being served to the poor nation.

  • Zarif on December 9, 2009, 5:41 GMT

    I think pakistan should consider bringing Shahid Afridi out of his retirement and including him in the test squad. I think he recently has proved his consistency in batting and he can also bat in almost any position. His inclusion in the squad can also make room for one more batsman as he as very well take the part of a quality bowler.

  • Omar on December 8, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    I am absolutely convinced that Shahid Afridi should be in the test team as player and captain. If he doesn't want to play test cricket, he needs to be convinced. He is a potential match-winner as a bowler alone, and he can be a devastating batsman. Who is a better allrounder at present, and what does Pakistan have to lose by playing him?

  • Marlo on December 8, 2009, 14:14 GMT

    SHAME, yes its a shame that selectors Khuram and Shoaib in the team for Australia. Khuram with his totally flawed technique was so easily exposed in NZ and should have been replaced by Taufiq Umar. And yet again Shoaib stays in the team for no other reason then politics. This batting lineup is never going to touch 300 even once on this australian tour. And its so obvious that defeats are in their fate then why not take a couple of new talented boys with you. PCB should make a policy to take 18 boys on foreign tours when there is no international games in Pakistan.

  • SHAHID on December 8, 2009, 11:52 GMT

    It is so obvious that the present bating line will hardly score 200 in a test innings in Australia. It will be a shame if selectors do not come up with some fresh talent like Naved Yasin in to the fold. Faisal Iqbal or Shoaib Malik, it doesn't change anything. Toufiq Umar who is in form having better average (40) than Butt and Farhat and having experience of playing in south Africa and England should be part of the team. For me Mohammad Wasim is a much better prospect than Faisal. They are destroying it by selecting players with chachey and mamey on board posts. Neither Faisal nor Farhat has a first calss or international averages to support their selection. Then you cant go in to a test with only 4 bowlers. Afridi or Said Ajmal should be added as spin is the only obtion to derail Oz. Butt Taufiq Umar Kamran Akmal Mohammas Yousef Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Afridi Mohammad Aamer Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Danish Kaneria

  • Ghaus on December 7, 2009, 20:50 GMT

    I think Fawad Alam or Faisal iqbal should be included in the last test. Misbah-ul Haq should be dropped. He should not have been brought back. There are so many young talented player who were selected ahead of Misbah and they are not given any chance. Even if they are given any chance they are asked to bat as an opener or one down position (Example Fawad alam). Fawad is a middle order batsman and he should be allowed to play at no. 5 or no 6 position. Also where is Asim Kamal. He has a good test average and he should have been selected over Misbah if they were so deparate to bring addtionally from Pakistan. It is shameful not to give proper chance to young players.

  • Akhtar Hassan on December 4, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    All the openers on this tour are tried and tested failures and should not have been selected in the first place. The senseless selectors need to be sacked as soon as possible. For the last few years none of selectors has shown any foresight. Yasir Hameed and Taufiq Umer who started as very good openers were wasted. PCB as a whole is a useless body. We need honest and competent people in PCB but it seems to be a wishful thinking. Alas our whole nation is being run by corrupt leaders and it is being reflected in every field including cricket.

  • rauf khan on December 4, 2009, 18:20 GMT

    i think imran f,s butt,faisal iqbal khurram,and fawad cant be in test cricket teem salman and imran are very bad filder khurram and fawad have no test match quality they can only play in slow wickets ,faisal is around more then 7,are 8 years only bec he is javed m parchi his average is not for test match look he is PIA captan it make me laugh there is 50 player batter then thease players in pakistan domestick cricket they dont get chance bec they dont have safarish

  • Muhammad Amjad Mayo on December 4, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    We need good technical correct player at opener slot or even middle order too. Most Pakistani players not technical correct that's why they failed to do good with bat when they going abroad.Thanks to our bowlers that produce wining for us in past and future inshallah. Selectors pick the boys that score most in domestic level. The criteria to pick players first technique, then score that he scored in domestic level and the most important fielding.

  • sajjad mohd on December 4, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    as far as test cricket is conserened u must have crickting knowledge to play it . i farhat can nat play test nither is khurram. so better option is to give salman at least 5 matches to prove whether he is able to play at this level. yousuf must come at three as he is the most experienced one but then his not a grat technichean to handle swing than what to docall younis back from the pakistan .malik should remain at no 5 as he is a player who can win matches for u on his day but with misbah u just end the with a draw. wel in curent test yousuf come at no 3 which is a good sign .umar is a raw talent so give him no 4 to ply more n fawad no 6 os 7 n play with 5 bowler asif gul aamer ajmal n kaneria . if 6 batsman do not make runs then 7 one is also not going to improve the cause but a 5th bowler always counted

  • Ahmed Zeeshan on December 4, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    I think Paksitan shuld bring taufeeq umar back with Butt fr opening the game.Taufeeq averages 39.4 which is just less than M. yousaf in Pakistan Team. Secondly Asim kamal should be included in team as a iddle order batsman.Umar Akmal should be the number three batsman in team.

  • awais butt on December 4, 2009, 17:08 GMT

    my test eleven should include: 1.butt 2.t.umer 3.younis kahn 4. m.yousuf 5.misbah 6.umar akmal 7.Shahid afrifi(c) 8. kamran akmal 9. m.amir 10.umar gul 11. m.asif 10.

  • nasir raza dar on December 4, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    I think team need revolutionary changes as for as top order concern,so called seniors who are afraid of bating at #3 should be left out particularly Shoaib Malik, may I ask the selection panel does he deserves to be in the playing eleven? he is not delivering as a batsman nor as a bowler,Faisal Iqbal should replace him, I think in absence of Younis our Captain should have the courage to come & bat at #3 but he is also trying to save his place in the playing eleven.What we need is a brave captain like Imran who led from the front in 1992 world cup by coming at #3 even in the presence of player like Miandad, we need captain like Younis who played champions trophy`s crucial match against India with a broken finger. We don`t need captains like who left crucial world cup quarter final sighting hamstring or send a new comer at #3 in his very second test to save himself. The mother of all the evils is loose management of our board there we need persons like Air Marshal(rtd)Noor Khan.

  • Humayun on December 4, 2009, 16:40 GMT

    Danish Kaneria should be playing every test. He's the best spinner in our history in Test cricket. Great comeback Danny boy. 6 Overs 6 Run conceded and 3 Wickets!!!

  • Mian R on December 4, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    Taufeeq umar and Yasir has been tested. Imran Nazir and Salman Butt to open. Malik be replaced by Razak, tested alrounder.

  • Merit on December 4, 2009, 15:15 GMT

    In last three one days of current serise Khalid Latif scored two good scores as a opener.Why did he was not select? People we likes him we call, like Misba. What happened with Asaim kamal, scored 9 fifties in 12 test matches and Inzi & his group dumped him with any justification. We should make rules for the selection, best bowler & best batsman from Quiad-e-azam trophy should be in a test team, best bowler/batsman from ABNRO should be in a one day team. Merit, Merit, Merit

  • Aoun Hassan on December 4, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    Totally agree with you. They only need one opener who could open with Salman butt. Butt has done very well in Australia in the past. In 2004/05 tour to Australia he was the only player who could face Aussie pace on Aussie wickets. I agree with Fahad, where is Taufeeq Umer, Yasir Hameed?

  • fahad on December 4, 2009, 2:08 GMT

    Taufeeq Umer !! Where is he ? Amongst all the openers we have tried he has the best record. He has scored in Australia and South Africa, and averages around 40 with close to 2000 runs. He was such a wonderful talent.

  • Asif on December 3, 2009, 21:42 GMT

    India can we borrow your top six batsmen please! Our bowlers are fine.... Just the batting is absolutely shocking (Akmal brothers being an exception)! Lol!

  • Blue Devil on December 3, 2009, 16:59 GMT

    The top order batting lineup is suffering from utter chaos. We need to think ahead and keep the Aus and England tours in mind. Misbah and Shoaib Malik should be sacked for good. Mishbah for his atrocious shot selection and temperament, as demonstrated in the 2nd Test today, and Malik for his complete lack of application and technique despite having playing at this level for years.

    Salman Butt must be persisted with - while he is no Saeed Anwar, he is still a much better bet than the Farhats and the Manzoors. Kamran Akmal needs to man up and take the other opening slot.

    Younis will come back after the NZ tour - much needed boost for the lineup! I'd also recommend Afridi be brought back. He has matured as a midle order batsman and would be an asset as a bowler and/or potential future captain.

    My Test team for 2010:

    1. Butt 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Fawad Alam 8. Aamer 9. Gul 10.Asif 11.Ajmal

  • Qasim on December 3, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    Borrow Sehwag ya Gambhir from neighbours

  • Gulab on December 3, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    I do not know what is wrong in my comments that u r not posting it. The openers is also a problem and u r right to use salman butt instead of trying others. But the main problem is something else. I am again and again reminding the people backing Shoaib Malik, Misbah and Afridi that be realistic. All these are bone of contention in the team. They dont accept any other as captain, they are playing politics instead of cricket. These should not be included in Test and ODIs. Further if the people are supporting Afridi as captain for God sake dont say like this he is just player of T20 which is for immature players. In test we need Asim Kamal, Taufeeq Umar, and Younis Khan. The team can still perform better if we place Nasir Jamsheed and Salman as Opener and remove Shoaib Malik and Misbah from the team. I hope the people will see improvement.

  • Omar Mazhar on December 3, 2009, 10:16 GMT

    Dumbest article ever. Salman Butt and Misbah? True techniques? For a knuck who gets out by constantly following the ball moving away, or the schmuck who gets out trying outlandish non-cricketing shots, i'll tell you what.. i'll take neither. i'd much rather go in with 9 players than play those two. Farhat doesn't deserve another chance, neither do any of the other top order. Yousuf can't hack captaincy and batting together and shouldn't be captain, but thats a serperate issue. Bring in another youngster who has openned. try someone new for crying out loud. why keep shooting ourselves in the foot, then saying, i can't remember what that was like.. lets do it again...idiocy. Hell, bring Saeed Anwar man...no wait, lets dig up the corpse of Don Bradman, regenerate his DNA, mix in some pakiblood and boom there's your one opener that you want. look for other avenues. hell, bring back ahmed shahzad or whatever his name is..

  • Inziman-ul-haq on December 3, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    Allah ke liye, for Gods sake leave out Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik for tests, bring in two fresh openers, PCB dont be a coward be brave and try new thing, look at Autralia and India giving chance to youngsters, look at Pakistan team, M.yousf, Misbah, Yunis Khan all of them in there thirties, bring in fresh blood, but no SUFARISHI TATU'S, please, and also sack the coach.

  • Imran Khan on December 3, 2009, 8:04 GMT

    If salman Bhatt would have been born in India, he would not be given a chance even in Ranji throphy domestic matches, he and Malik went out to slog shots today, are they playing club cricket, come PCB give a chance to new talent, pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...............

  • Hassan Fershori on December 3, 2009, 7:36 GMT

    I think anybody who is the keen follower of the game could easily retraces that there are two players who can fit in test 11 at any moment..

    Taufiq Umer & Asim Kamal

    Just look at the batting order below, just as a keen spectator, this batting line is best available set of player who has the mental toughness to blossom in Test Arena... For God’s sake, let us select player on merit...our ICC test ranking is no where

    1)Taufiq Umer 2)Any body whose father-in-law is influential or have a dedicated good looking mother 3)Younis (Perplexed)Khan 4)Mihammad Yousuf 5)Umer Akmal 6)Asim Kamal

  • waqas ur rehman on December 3, 2009, 7:30 GMT

    where is Asim kamal why selectors not considering him,he has highest average after Yousaf in current team.i m astonished no one is even considering him.can someone answer y?

  • Mayur Bhakar on December 3, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    The year 2009 has been a nightmare for the Pakistanis except for them winning the T20 world cup.It all started with the attack on the Srilankan team in Lahore & now it seems that the end won't be better either.Talking about the current dilemma of their selectors, it looks like they are going for a world record. The record for the most no of opening combinations tried in year.Unfortunately none of them succeded. Well, looking at the averages of most of their openers, none of them deserves a place in the playing 11, because all of them average below 35.I think Yaseer Hameed should be recalled & one of Akmal brothers should step up the order.Finally the selectors should start praying for a better 2010.

  • ASIF on December 3, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    Mr kamran abbasi why are u not writing for afridi's inclusion in the test team.Afridi in the team as an opener or middle order batsman can perform better than others & brings stability to the bowling & fielding.I still remember afridi's brilliant century in madras,magnificent 2nd fastest fifty in bangalore & good bowling contribution enabled pak to win the matches.As a matter of fact pak started loosing more often after axing afridi from the tests.Afridi's decision of not playing tests is out of frustration as he was dropped after performing brilliantly against india,west indies & england.It is very surprising that the media,ex-players & you kamran bhai are silently watching & great injustice is being done to the most popular afridi.When they can give so many chances to malik,salman,faisal,manzoor & others why can't they bear with afridi who can atleast score a quick 30-40 & take two wickets.His ave. of 45 in his last 12 tests with 3 100's & 4 50's is enough to qualify him for tests.

  • Usman on December 3, 2009, 5:52 GMT

    well pakistan team sucks anyways, no matter who you choose, no batsmen takes responsibility, so predictable that how they will perform in the match, of course ZERO. My question is, dont we have talent in pakistan that we always ended up on veterans who always failed and will fail again, I think this is the time to build new and young team and get rid of Misbah, Yousuf, Younis, Imran Farhat, Salman Butt and of course Shoaib Malik this is enough and they did their job, PCB is not delivering what it needs to be.......Think and act before its too late and Pakistan team will become another West indies...means PATHETIC

  • Hassan Farooqi on December 3, 2009, 2:45 GMT

    What a pathetic selection. Butt once again gets in. Misbah again gets in. Imran Farhat with no score and three dropped catches is still there. Shoaib Malik with no wickets and no big score is still here. Look who got the axe? Fawad Alam and Khurram Manzoor. Again! Pakistan should have opened with Kamran Akmal and Fawad Alam. Shahid Afridi is a dependable test batsman, though not a dependable ODI batsman.

  • Zia on December 2, 2009, 22:51 GMT

    The title should be, bring back Misbah or Shoaib Malik as opener once again and keep the fingers cross...else try with some other maybe

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

    around the world the best batsman in a team opens and later in the career goes down the order. Tendulkar, Lara all made names by opening the batting and then moved downwards. Pakistan made a mistake when they didnt have Inzi open the batting. I see the same thing happening to Umar Akmal. He has a sound technique and a good head so i think we should ask him to open and he can really become a world class batsman.

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

    opening is the is big problem for pakistan after saeed and sohail, they have to pick salman butt and imran farhat for this match and drop shoaib malik and pick misbah for his place. the rest leave it to the bowlers.

  • xiyad on December 2, 2009, 22:07 GMT

    i fink dat umar akmal and kamran akmal should open da bat cuz dey r both wicket keepers n kamran is ok but it will be a test 4 umer akmal brothers opening da batting lolzzz

  • Cricket Fan on December 2, 2009, 22:04 GMT

    Hi I am not a big follower of pakistan domestic cricket. But why can't you identify somebody at the local circuit who is good technically (Like Dravid) and just bring him and assure him of the place and try him. Does not matter if he scoring rate is slow. But openers secondary imporatant role is to stay at the wicket and see the accident won't happen at the top. If someone who is technically strong can stay at the wicket atleast you have one opener sticking around at # 3 Shoiab and #4 yousuf can stay with him incase the other goes out while the score reads like 10 for 1.

  • Abdul-Jalil on December 2, 2009, 21:58 GMT

    Salam I think that our team bar the openers picks itself. Given some of the drivel I have read on this blog I will state it below; 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. U Akma 6. Misbah 7. K Akmal 8. Aamer 9. Gul 10. Asif 11. Ajmal/Kaneria

    This leaves the openers- I think we need to pick two and just stick with them for 10 test matches. I think Malik is decent enough to do it. If he doesn't want to do it chuck him out. The other option would unfortunately have to be Butt given that he did OK against Australia last time out.

    I think that this XI would put up a good fight if they could eliminate the politics and show some unity! Oh and the slip cordon would be very good too!

  • Asad on December 2, 2009, 21:42 GMT

    I think we should open with specialist openers and give them appropriate support and time to prosper.we should be patient. salman butt is a good option. im not sure whether fawad has played as an opener in domestic cricket or not. If he has not opened i think he should not be presurised to do it. other options include K Manzoor, Y Hameed and I. Nazir. Shoaib malik shoud stay in the team, i know statistics are important but players do go through good and bad patches in their careers. He has the ability to deliver at international standards & i think it will be unfair with him to drop him at this stage.

  • Daniyal on December 2, 2009, 21:31 GMT

    My team for 2nd test:

    Salman Butt Kamran Akmal Shaoib Malik Mohammad Yousuf Umar Akmal Misbah ul Haq Faisal Iqbal Mohammad Aamer Umer Gul Mohammad Asif Saed Ajmal

  • MIR ABID ALI on December 2, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    I think Razak is better then Shoab Malik.He should have called back instead of Misbah. They should open with Faisal Iqbal and Imran Nazir and drop Shoab.Salaman Butt better be made Womens' Cricket Captain.He will better off there

  • Aftab Qureshi on December 2, 2009, 20:44 GMT

    Kamran, your "proven test opener" has averaged just 28.65 over 40 test innings. Exclude his 2 centurues and 6 50s, he would look miserable even in comparison with a No. 8 or 9. And you want him to open? Give me a break!

  • Omer on December 2, 2009, 20:35 GMT

    Malik needs to open in all forms or else he needs to pack his bags. Butt can be a temp solution to the other test opener and Nazir needs to work on his temparament to be a regular ODI and T20 opener. Younis at # 3 is fine however it is time to look for replacements for Younis, Yousuf and Misbah. Fawad Alam has no place in any form. Razaq and Afridi should be playing T20 and ODI only. Umar Gul should not be in tests. Also, time to look for spercialist spinners for test as Kaneria and Saeed are not test material. Kaneria bowls 35 to 40 overs for his 4 wickets. And if any player is involved in politics, is against the captain and/or coach, impose a 12 month ban. That would set them straight. One ban and everyone would shape up.

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

    Looking at our(pakistani) opening history i would recommend playing a team of 9 persons(without openers) and let start some where around 20/2. No way that we find some good guys who are able to play with new ball. These guys including Butt can not play new ball, impossible when it is moving a bit.

  • KHURRAM HUMAYUN on December 2, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    I have been hearing openers issue since more than a decade, i dont understand why cant we find young fresh blood for the mentioned slot. Khurram Manzoor has zero techique to be precise i have no idea what selector looked in him before selection, the moment i saw him holding his bat with a funny stance i said to myself another false hope. With salman Butt consistancy is against the lad but again he is much better off than Khurram Manzoors type of experiments.

  • xiyad on December 2, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    i fink dat umar akmal and kamran akmal should open da bat cuz dey r both wicket keepers n kamran is ok but it will be a test 4 umer akmal brothers opening da batting lolzzz

  • Andy burge on December 2, 2009, 20:10 GMT

    Were u asleep when u were writing this post....Salman butt a proven test opener.....How many hunderds has he got to his name in test matches...only 2 I can think of.. Average under 30 and I dont understand how someone can call him a proven opener...ridiculous

  • Adnan on December 2, 2009, 20:06 GMT

    NZ broadcaster noticed one thing that Pakistan's practice of slip fielding was at beast "club level". They were wondering if thier coach is too old for really getting these boys up to the task. I think that there is a merit to this observation. Perhaps pakistan needs a fielding coach as well as Batting coach.

  • Malhar Memon on December 2, 2009, 19:58 GMT

    First of all, Yousuf made the right decision. Fielding is something they should work on more than anything else. Batting is going bad already, atleast they will take the catches. Vettori was dropped on the first ball he faced and then he scored 99? Salman Butt is a good opener but he's nto a smart batsmen. He plays the same shots everytime and bowlers read that. This is what puts pressure on him and he doens't perform. Maybe he can get a chance later on, but I think its the time to try someone different. Shoaib Malik has to take the responsibility to open or come in at number three. Selectors are making mistakes. They are going upon short term statistics. Pakistan has to try not to change teams aorund, even if the player doesn't perform. They got to let the players settle on the annual basis and then make a decision, where they will have good stats. Mohammad Asi is an example. He cme in new and give a lot of maidens but now he takes wickets like crazy. Believe in your players!

  • ali on December 2, 2009, 19:54 GMT

    Desperate situation needs desperate measures. Everyone knows the middle order has always been strong for Pakistan. Most of these openers could play well in the middle order so why not switch the order, give Umer Akmal a try as an opener. If this move works out, we are home free to a great start. The middle would take care of itself no matter who bats. What do you guys think?

  • adnan on December 2, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    its amazing to c people asking for faisal iqbal to be in the playing 11 i cant believe how the guy is even in the squad. he shudnt even be named in the top 30. the guy is avegaing 26 in his 23 test matches what kind of cricket do these people watch.

  • Riaz Ahmad on December 2, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    well...how many suggestions are there...but i think kamran abassi is telling right about the opening problem...every one should know that in the avaiable set of players for this position salman butt no doubt is the best of all....the root cause of salman irregualar performance is just not having any regular or single player for opening...he has opened the innings with 17 players...this z the problem wt i m talking abt..the very ist bad effect z that salman has got 10+ times runout due to lack of understanding with fellow.opoening position needs a single pair but that pair should be given enough time continously ignoring their failure in a sereis or two...only then player can perform well and we can have a trustful pair...one of our friend mentioned abt farhat's performance in the test (10 runs, 10 drop catches, it made me so much laugh tha i can explain.... in addition to that,fawad z talented bt young so he should be forced to bat at No3..malik or yousuf should be there...

  • Tiger on December 2, 2009, 19:49 GMT

    The question we should ask is WHY THE HELL is Imran Farhat in the team. He regularly drops catches and is a walking wicket....Oh then I remember Mr Sifarish Farhat's father-in-law is one of the national selectors... 2nd point which deranged moron picks someone like Khurram Manzoor into the test team. His technique is a JOKE...He isn't good enough to play first class cricket in england and would struggle to make a english county 2nd XI...but here he is opening the batting for PAK. Our country rewards ineptitude it's why we are so far behind India in every walk in life...shameful!!!

  • Farrukh on December 2, 2009, 19:47 GMT

    I think Malik is the best after Younas and Yousaf for test. It is about placing him right and using him better. last test him and fawad never got to bowl. 1. Butt 2. Malik 3. Yousaf 4. Umar 5. Misbah 6. Fawad 7. Kamran 8. Amer 9. Gul 10. Asif 11. Kaneria

  • Adnan Ashraf on December 2, 2009, 19:46 GMT

    Yes perfectly said Manzoor will be best playing gully cricket. I never knew that it is so easy becoming a cricketer in Pak watching Manzoor.Pak should open with Butt and Malik or Fawad with Faisal at no 3 followed by Yousuf,umar,misbah and kamran.And my advise to Yousuf will be hat he should keep only one slip .e.,misbah because he is the only one who can catch a slip catch.We lost the first test because of top 3 and add to that farhats drop catch of vettori and shamelessly indicating that the ball dropped in front of him.We can also play in 4 fast bowlers with abdul rouf replacing ajmal only because the pitch suites the fast bowling more.Not always will the akmal brothers come to rescue.our batsmen need to apply their mind rather than blaming each other.Well we hope that Pak will come good in the remainig two tests and hopefully win the series after a long time.Insha Allah

  • Habib on December 2, 2009, 19:45 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 there 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.

  • wanderer on December 2, 2009, 19:30 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is a donkey, nothing more needs to be said, at best he should be in the squad as a bits 'n' pieces cover player. It's time for Pakistan to scour the country and try youngsters as openers to find a good one, these previous guys haven't cut it, simple as that. Salman Butt has had chance after chance after dropped chance. No more. Try Umar Amin and Khalid Latif in the Test opening slots, or possibly Taufeeq Umar who I believe was unfairly dropped a little too early.

    Pakistan Best XI right now:

    1. Umar Amin. 2. Khalid Latif. 3. Younis Khan. (Misbah/Malik cover if not plying) 4. Mohammad Yousuf. 5. Umar Akmal. 6. Fawad Alam. 7. Kamran Akmal. 8. Mohammad Aamer. 9. Umar Gul. 10. Mohammad Asif. 11. Saeed Ajmal.

  • Ali raza on December 2, 2009, 19:26 GMT

    i think we should gave opener atleast this series to play with a guarantee that they will play all three then they might gain some confidence otherwise giving one chance and then take them out is not the best policy but if u talk about but i think he was tried so many time but he is not capable to adjust in this position cus opener need to play seamer ist then need to play spiner with confidence ,ist of all he lose his wicket early and by chance if he survive he cannot play spiner he just slog to the spinner and lose his wicket for me i would like to give chance to farhat and khurram for atleast this series, and if malik cannot play one down and not ready to bowl few overs in the middle then he is useless cus his technik is not good to face seaming and boncy surface as we saw in both inns in ist test and im sure u will see in all series we should give chance to faisal iqbal at no 3.

  • wajid on December 2, 2009, 19:03 GMT

    I dont know why Afridi is not in the team, he averages around 38 as a batsman and is a very good bowler. I know he called for retirement but someone should ask him to play.

  • AMARJEET on December 2, 2009, 18:59 GMT

    Kamran I think there's no place for MISBAH (since he is of 35 years of age), MALIK & BUTT Our Selectors have given them too many chances & they let them down again & again... So far as Malik is concerned he always played for his place like he did in Srilanka where he consecutively failed & when Pakistan lost the series & Younis lost the glory he scored a century to keep his place.. Malik is the mastermind of all that non-sense happening in the Pakistani dressing room, may be soul of Shoaib Akhtar penetrated in him. In Dunedin Test we remembered Younis all the time because of lolly-pop drop catches & also as he said that Pakistan is not a good finisher. Besides giving Younis credit of winning T20 we must also give him the Credit that he introduced many youngsters like Fawad Alam, Umar Akmal, Muhammad Amir, Shahzaib Hassan, Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Saeed Ajmal,Abdul Rauf,Ahmed Shahzad, Sohail Tanvir as the future talent there by giving them chances

  • khalil on December 2, 2009, 18:54 GMT

    Lack of openers is a chronic matter.It has become an attitude problem for our openers.Butt also falls in the same category even if you consider him better than the others. Pak should open upside down like at times, Imran would do to prevent the regular batsmen from early movement/swing of ball in Aus/Eng.

  • saud hassan on December 2, 2009, 18:48 GMT

    Ahmed Shehzad and Khalid Latif should be the new openers. Im sick of seeing shoib malik, farhat and the usual suspects continually fail when they open. Why try them again when they never succeeded before kamran?

    Lets try something new, players for the future: Ahmed Shehzad and Khalid Latif.

    Unfortunately this will not thappen, because next year authors/people like kamran will be asking for butt, farhat, malik to open again. Every year its the same story!

  • Raheel on December 2, 2009, 18:45 GMT

    First of all we need to get rid of Shoaib Malik. He needs to be dropped for good. I can't understand why he is still in the team?

    Secondly, Yousaf's decision of bowling first was the correct one. We would have won quite easily had we just taken our catches. Moreover, Yousuf is the best batsman in our team by quite a distance. His batting is always a treat to watch, and it would be nice if Mr. Kamran Abbasi (for a change) finally recognized the contributions of Yousuf!!

  • shahid on December 2, 2009, 18:14 GMT

    my friends. fawad's place in the team is not justified at all. you need to work hard on finding quality players like Omer Akmal. I love his confidence. I would rather have fawad alam replaced by Abdul Razzaq. He's being wasted really. Please people vote for razzaq :-(

  • imraan F on December 2, 2009, 18:11 GMT

    Mr S Malik {the blogger - and NOT the -you know who} seems to have gone delirius - did you bet large sums of money on the pak team ? I think there is something wrong the the name S Malik

  • Himad on December 2, 2009, 18:10 GMT

    My team for Wellington:

    Salman Butt Faisal Iqbal Misbah ul haq Mo Yo U Akmal F Alam K Akmal Aamir Gul Asif Kaneria/Ajmal

  • Asad on December 2, 2009, 18:10 GMT

    If Butt fails which he will, then who will be next? Yousaf will fail as a captain and more problems ahead waiting for Pakistan. U need to get rid off old Misbah who has been worst international player for the last 2 years. Shoaib Malik needs to be kicked out of the team, since he is only there to play politics and grouping the team. Yousaf is part 2 of Inzi, with no brain and defensive captain. Pakistan team needs both Pathans back in the team so they can lead Pakistan with agressiion.Currently the team is only playing musical chair in opening and captaincy department.

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque & Nafis on December 2, 2009, 18:09 GMT

    Assalamulaikum Kamran Vhai,before selecting the specialist Opener batsman, Pakistan Cricket Board Management should have enough knowledge about cricket and opening position. In neutral eye’s with basic opinion about stylist opener, honestly telling that Khurram Manzoor is never considered to take place a position at Pakistan Cricket team, Khurram should never deserve to play until he would gain more experience, basic cricket sense, stylist skill in order to become a true opener. Now in crucial moment for Pakistan cricket team emergency requires to select the appropriate matured, skillfull, energetic, players. I definitely support the opinion to select the new First eleven for TEST & ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, this guy one of the true viewers, commentators submitter someone like Zeshaan Ahmad who described & posted a his comments exactly what I am deserving from Pakistan Cricket Board. Please Pakistan Cricket Board--- review all of users honest & true opinions.

  • Tamil on December 2, 2009, 17:59 GMT

    NEW RULES should work out

    ONLY ONE SQUAD for all 3 forms AFRIDI is CAPTAIN-must convince him to play tests KAMRAN is VICE CAPTAIN OPENERS - AFRIDI and SALMAN BUTT - oooh enough for 10 years of watching different openers 3,4,5 YOUNIS,YOUSUF,MISBAH-till retires 6,7,8 UMAR AKMAL, KAMRAN AKMAL, ABDUL RAZACK 9,10,11 12 AMER ASIF GUL AJMAL

    13,14,15 RESERVE FAWAD ALAM, SHOIB AKTHAR, MALIK

    Atlease someone will click with deep experience/skill if batting order is extended and picked the team according to condition/pitches

    BUT DON'T DARE TO CHANGE OPENING COMBINATION AGAIN...THEY NEED ATLEAST 50 MATCHES IN ALL 3 FORMS...PERIOD.

  • Khan on December 2, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Please write a blog about Asim Kamal. I strongly believe that Asim Kamal is just the right person for Pakistan team. We do not have an established left handed batsman in our middle order (infact not even in the top order) but Asim is some one who has long been overlooked. He has immense talent, the right skill set to be a permanent member of the team. Please bring ASIM KAMAL back in the ranks. OR write a blog and check the public and critics opinion about him. If only this will have affect on the decision makers of our team but We can atleast voice what we think is right. After all we would only know more than the big wigs who select players like Imran Farhat, Khuramm manzoor and Most of all the terminal waste and absolutely hopeless Salman butt.. The concept is simple, a player whom u CAN NOT imagine to hit big sixes these days are worthless in longterm. All the gr8 players must have that potential and thats the most simple litmus test to tell apart b/w waste of time and real talent.

  • Umair Haroon on December 2, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    We have a couple of issues to look at. Firstly, get a better opening pair that can atleast look through the new ball, leave aside scoring runs for now. And secondly, make the best of resources available. I still do not understand why was Misbah dropped at the first place. They say his form was not good, then what are Shoaib and Yousuf doing in the team? When was the last time they both scored a test century? We all know that Mishab has great technique, suitable for the conditions that NZ has to offer. Glad that Misbah is being sent back. As far as the opening pair is concerned, please just go back to Kami/Butt pair. Play Shoaib Malik at number 3, and Yousuf, Misbah, Umer and Fawad on 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively (and hope for the best). Also get in Kaneria in place of Saeed Ajmal. I have no doubts on Saeed's ability but Kaneria is a wrist spinner and bound to do well in NZ conditions. And also traditionally, NZ are not good players of leg spin.

  • Abdoo on December 2, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    Atleast one thing goes to Yousuf's credit: He pressed the selectors to send in Misbah. Remember, the selectors were not allowing an additional player when Younis bowed out. Misbah might still get out cheaply but we should try to go with the best 'available' combination.

  • Muhammad Imran on December 2, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    I think Imran Farhat and Khurram Manzoor should be replaced by Misbah and Afridi and Kamran Akmal Should open with afridi. I agree that Afridi does not possess best of techniques but he be a little selective, then i think he can play a good little inning of 30-40 runs. He will also bring a lot of positive energy in fielding and his inclusion will give more variety in bowling department.

  • Maz on December 2, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    I'm expecting a fierce comeback from our cornered tigers in the second test. Fawad should be given another go and Salman Butt needs to be brought back as Kamran Bhai outlined. Undoubtedly Bond's absence will boost the Stanis chances.

  • Nadeem on December 2, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    My team for tomorrow game would be:

    Malik Butt Yousuf Misbah Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Kamran Akmal Aamir Gul Asif Ajmal

    One for the future Mohammad Rameez, maybe he can replace Umar Gul because his bowling is starting to annoy me

  • S Malik on December 2, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    I WANT PAKISTAN TO LOOSE THIS MATCH .. so they can learn from their mistakes .. read my earlier blogs

  • Mohsin Khan on December 2, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    Salman Butt a proven test opener?? What has he proven other then the fact that he cannot open? The guy averages 21 in the last 5 years. Is that really an improvement on Farhat and Manzoor?

    The improvement is Ahmed Shehzad, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed. Not fish outside off Salman Butt.

  • omar hussain on December 2, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    I was dumbfounded when i saw that Imran Farahat was chosen for the squad and even more amazed that he was given a test place ahead of Misbah and Abdul Razzaq.Manzoor deserves a longer run as a opener but Farhat or Faisal Iqbal are club standard players who are only in the squad because of their chamchas in the PCB thereby depriving genuine players a chance to show their worth.I would stick with Fawad Alam and drop Malik who simply can't play fast bowling.I wonder why nobody has tried Razzaq as an opener because early in his career he did open and with better success then our present openers.It was wrong to drop Misbah because he served Pakistan well generally and his slip catching is the best in the team.If this irrevelent trend of team selection keeps along together with favourtism we can expect a terrible mauling from Australia.Our bowlers have been magnificent and had at least 2 batsmen besides Umar Akmal kept their heads we would have convincingly beaten NZ.

  • Asad on December 2, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    Here we go again. When Butt fails we ask for Nazir, when he fails then Farhat is the man and when he predictably falls flat on his face we return to Butt again.

    Not only do Butt and Farhat fail miserably with their batting, they are awful in the field, especially Butt. Whenever I read posts asking for Butt or Farhat then that poster immediately loses any credibility.

    Please look beyond these failures and if you don't have any sensible answers then be brave enough to admit this.

    Misbah is a good addition and should not have been dropped. He has a good temperament and proved over the past few years that he can do a job at this level.

    Find some youngsters and then develop them and stick with them.

  • ali saifuddin on December 2, 2009, 17:25 GMT

    i think that pakistan are trying to many options altogether ...... well if u try 40 different pairs in 2 years how do u expect to get a saeed anwar or aamir sohail out of them??????? .... the thing is that they should give enough time to each pair so tht they hv enough time to showcase their talents insecurity of the place in the team are not going to get them performing n perhaps cause more lack of performance in them........ i hope tht they think the way i want them to cheers pakistan zindabad (tha , hai , aur hamesha rahega)

  • aftab on December 2, 2009, 17:22 GMT

    I agree that Butt should've been there, but what was really missing in Test 1 is what MY pointed out well before, a mature pair of hands. Misbah is all Pak needed, perhaps in place of IF. He dropped the match when Vettori was on 1. And of course, he wil do that again, as he showed in plenty of other instances. Again, MY was on target to isolate fielding as the the reason for loss. I think the test was not a big loss. Pak fought well.

  • asj on December 2, 2009, 17:21 GMT

    I think there is no harm in trying salman butt atleast for this series as he is one of the three openers on the tour and he is definetly a much better and experienced player then Manzoor and Farhat. But Salman Butt has never been consistent and seems to give away his wicket. thets why i think Ahmed Shezad and Afridi should open in tests. Ahmed has a good technique and afridi can play attackingly some whAT like Dilshan and SEHWAG. Afridi is amuch better option then Butt, MANSOOR AND Farhat. Yunus Khan is the best option for no.3 and as captain.

  • Ali Khan on December 2, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    Calling Yousuf's decision to bowl first a bad one, is such a naive statement, only a person who doesn't have much cricketing sense can give. I am not a big fan of Yousuf but I didn't like the way you criticize him for other's failure to field or bat. In my opinion, "selection" has to be blamed for our failures in this test and also in ODI series. They should have played with Salman butt in test instead of ODIs. I am not sure who is calling the shots, they might be drunk when making those decisions. Malik gotta go not only b/c of his form but also b/c of his "policitcal" moves to stay in the team, I may be wrong but I think he is following "divide and concur" to keep his place in the team. I used to be a big fan of Malik but not anymore. Can someone tell me why Afridi not in the test team? did he say he never play tests again?

  • Ghaus on December 2, 2009, 17:17 GMT

    Why drop new openers. Give them some time to settle in. Misbah has a bad average overseas and should not be allowed to replace young players. Enperience alone is not good enough. Good overseas average should be monitored and only players having good average on fast bowling pitches should be picked for overseas matches. Where is Asim Kamal. He has excellent bating technique and temparament. Bring him back.

  • asad on December 2, 2009, 17:12 GMT

    myselected 11 are following: 1.Fawad Alam 2.Salman Butt 3.Umar Akmal 4.Mohammad Yousuf 5.Younus Khan 6.Misbah ul huq 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Kamran Akmal 9.Mohammed Amir 10.Mohammed Asif 11.Sohel Tanveer

  • bohurupi on December 2, 2009, 17:09 GMT

    Mostly agree with you, Kamran. Salman Butt, of course. I think, Shoaib should open with him.Followed by Yousuf, Fawad, Umar Akmal, Misbah, Kamran Akmal, Mohd. Ameer and rest of the tail. I would prefer Kamran not at the top, he plays better when comes at late middle order.

  • Steven Dias on December 2, 2009, 17:09 GMT

    I agree with Abdul Hussain about thinking outside of the box. Why don't we (yes, i am Pakistani born) play Kamran Akmal as a specialist opening batsman and play a specialist wicketkeeper who can bat a bit at No.7. There are so many adavantages with this suggestion, namely better wicket keeping, Kamran seems to be a better batsman (opening) than anyone else in the country. Take a chance with him and make him our regular opener. He is also experienced and can concentrate more on his batting in the nets - less time on wicket keeping as I still think he should do both duties in the shorter format. It will also keep him fresher if he does not wicket keep in tests. In addition if we want to make our future star Umar Akmal a one-down batsman, then maybe we should try that right away and stick with it and ask Younus to bat at No. 5. Who knows - Umar could be our Ricky Ponting!!!

    I hope the selectors read my comments because I know what I am talking about.

    Hope we win the next 2 tests.

  • Kaleem Farooq on December 2, 2009, 17:09 GMT

    well this is for those who think Salman butt isn't good enough,if anyone remember that Pakistan's tour of Australia in 2004 there was only 2 centuries were scored one by none other than Mohd. Yousuf and the other one was scored by Butt which proves his ability to perform in those conditions.Inzamam-ul-haq,Younis khan,Shoiab malik,Asim kamal,Abdul Razzaq,Kamran Akmal,Imran Farhat,Yasir Hameed and Shahid afridi these were also there. I think I proved my point

  • S. Sheikh on December 2, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    Sorry Sir I do not agree with you on these points; that M.Y went defensive even with pathetic batting performance by the team had 3 of the catches were held out of the 7 that were offered you would have been singing a different tune.

    It is the technique & temperament that counts.

    Opening problem goes way back for Pak team. Hanif Mohd was not an opener and was tried with different combination Imtiaz, Saeed, Ijaz Butt etc etc. Turned out to be a brilliant opener.

    Majid Khan was not a genuine opener found a good partner in Sadiq turned out to be excellent one.

    Saeed Anwer was not the opener found Amir Sohail as partner turned out to be a classic one.

    I prefer batting or bowling if available left and right combinations.

    Though S. Butt is not a very good choice since hardly any time left to groom an opener for the on going and up coming Australia tour do the best what is available he was given more than enough chances to prove himself went in vain. Last chance for him.

  • Adnan on December 2, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    I agree that Malik has no place in team. He seems to have a really bad technique. Also, he tends to make runs only in sub continent conditions. I cant recall him playing a decent knock in Uk, Aus, or in Nz. I like him as an athlete, so i am more tolerant of him compare to likes of Imran and Butt.

  • Asim Khan on December 2, 2009, 17:02 GMT

    The decision to bowl was a defensive one because yousuf did not trust the openers however we lost the test because of the dropped catches gifting NZ the game. Butt is not a proven opener but he is the best we have, he should open with Alam who is a gutsy player and has a good cricket brain. Malik should not be in the side (i would love him to prove me wrong)he is a disruptive influence and his spin is redundant at test level, he should be replaced by a genuine batsman (Faisal Iqbal). Farhat and Manzoor were an embarrasment and looked out of their depth, Misbah should come into the team and provide some backbone and Yousuf should lead by example and bat one down. Pakistan are very close to being a force in test cricket once we sort our batting out. Comeon boys make the sleep deprivation worthwhile!!!!!

  • Adnan Syed on December 2, 2009, 17:00 GMT

    Butt is a lazy. He tends to get out with his laziness and does the same on field. He is no better than Imran. I would prefer to have someone like Imran Nazir who at least catches the ball. Granted he is no geniuses with bat, but at least he will take the game to the opposition.

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

    hahaha you all must be kidding, lets import few from South Africa, or Australia

  • asad on December 2, 2009, 16:58 GMT

    myselected 11 are following: 1.Fawad Alam 2.Salman Butt 3.Umar Akmal 4.Mohammad Yousuf 5.Younus Khan 6.Misbah ul huq 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Kamran Akmal 9.Mohammed Amir 10.Mohammed Asif 11.Sohel Tanveer

  • S Malik on December 2, 2009, 16:57 GMT

    DROP UMAR AKMAL TO ACCOMODATE MISBAH .. read my earlier blog

  • Nasser Ahmad on December 2, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Butt should be in. His partner - not so sure about that. Some one mentioned Faisal Iqbal. He seems to have been forgotten. However, he is worth considering for the number 3 spot because he has some experience and technique that is better suited to the top order than Malik. I would drop Alam further down the order to number 6, drop Malik from the team, and try Faisal Iqbal at number 3. Open with Butt and someone else (Manzoor or Farhat). We have to find a regular opener before Australia - Akmal or Alam cannot be the answer. Misbah - I guess in this scenario would only be played if we are prepared to drop Alam and I think that would be unfair. Picking Misbah for his catching is nonsensical because he should come in to the side to replace some one in the middle order and that's not where we have our fielding problems (other than Sufi Sahib who is usually at mid-off).

  • shahzad khan on December 2, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    Right now in QEA trophy we have a left handed opener who is the leading scorerwith 735 runs in 6 matches ,he was named in pakistan 24 against bangladesh last year for top class performance but shoaib malik went with out him i think he should be given a chance as he has bashed the best bowlers of pakistan playing for islamabad recently

  • sam roy on December 2, 2009, 16:42 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, have you realised that Pakistan haven't won a test match since early January 2007 in South Africa. Out of their last 12 tests they have drawn 6 and lost 6. Well, throughout the 90's I thought that Pakistan were the most talented team in the world but now Australia, SA, India, Sri Lanka, England (even the Poms,eww..) are better than them. Well I think I can visualize what will happen when they face Australia in Australia and then in England in a few months time. Can't you, Sir? Though it would be quite hilarious if Sarfraz and Co. raises match fixing issues after those drubbings!! Have a good day. Sam

  • Faizal NY on December 2, 2009, 16:30 GMT

    My test team Butt Yasir Hameed/Taufeeq Umar Younis Khan M Yousuf Umar Akmal Asim Kamal/Fawad Alam Kamran Akmal M Aamer M Asif U Gul S Ajmal

    Sohail Tanvir Sohail Khan Khalid Latiff

  • Syed Haider on December 2, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    http://blogs.cricinfo.com/diffstrokes/archives/2009/12/why_is_shoaib_malik_not_openin.php Please read this blog Mr. Kamran. It tells that Salman Butt's avg. is less than even Imran Farhat. So your comment saying that he is a proven opener is clearly wrong. PCB have to find a couple of good solid openers. Till than the experience of Shoaib Malik & Kamran Akmal should be used at the top. This can provide us with adding another middle order batsman.

  • J. Khokhar on December 2, 2009, 16:28 GMT

    If I were the selector, I would make Shoaib Malik open the innings (take it or leave) or replace him with any medium pace all rounder like, Yasir or A. Razzaq or Rana. Pakistan should play at least 3 strike bowlers. In last test they had only 2 (Asif / Amir), rest were mere support. Asif, Amir, Yasir, Danish and Saeed may have been a better option (Yasir Arafat, replacing Malik unless he opens).

    I would select following 11

    1. Shoaib Malik 2. Khurram Manzoor 3. Misbah Ul Haqq 4. M. Yousuf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Fawad Alam 7. Kamran Akmal 8. M. Amir 9. M. Asif 10. Umar Gul 11. Danish Kenaria

    If Malik doesn't want to open, we may make two changes. Dropping him and Umar Gul, bringing Yasir Arafat and Saeed Ajmal in. Personally, I believe Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, and sadly M. Yousaf seem to have one thing in common - "afraid to fail". They all lost wickets trying to deffend Short pictch balls instead of attacking. It is about leadership and imprivision.

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

    Pakistan needs to have special and different teams for 3 formats. I personally believe that Fawad Alam can be tried as an opener with butt and Malik shoud be given another chance. However, he needs to know that there are other players out there who are better than him and can replace him. This is the team Pakistan should play for 2nd test

    1. Fawad 2. Salman 3. Malik 4. Yousuf 5. Misbah 6. U. Akmal 7. K. Akmal 8. M. Amir 9. M. Asif 10. U. Gul 11. D. Kaneria This way we are playing 7 specialist batsmen (theoretically) and 4 specialist bowlers capable of getting 20 NZ wickets. ODI: Khalid Latif / Imran Nazir Salman Butt S. Malik / Misbah 4. M. Yousuf 5. U. Akmal 6. S. Afridi (c) 7. A. Razzaq 8. K. Akmal 9. Amir 10. Asif 11. Ajmal

    We definitely need specialist openers for TEST, improvising can only be done in ODI and T20 formats

  • Arvind on December 2, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    Misbah? A mediocre cricketer living on the glory of his World T20 performance. The fact that Pakistan followers are asking to bring him back shows how much Pakistan cricket has fallen. The sooner you guys get rid of him, the better it is for you.

  • me2 on December 2, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. Well said Kamran.

    Imran Farhat has been tried before and he is a lost cause with lot of failures under his name. It won't be an exaggeration to conclude that he single handedly caused us the first test.

    Khurram Manzor does not seem to have a good defense required for test cricket.

    If we only need test player to make 30-40 runs in a match then why not gamble with Afridi? He can at least get you 1 or 2 wickets if nothing else.

  • Ali from Houston on December 2, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    The lineup should be Salman and Shoaib Open, Yousuf,Misbah,Umar,Fawad,Kamran,Aamer,Asif,Gul,Kaneria

  • asad on December 2, 2009, 15:55 GMT

    Who are the jokers who select the pakistan cricket team.Farhat and manzoor look out of their dept,Farhat more so than manzoor,Farhat can't bat,can't bowl,and definitely can't field.So any curious observer would asked what is he doing in the team?It is time to try a different opening pair these two aren't cutting it.

  • Kamran Abbasi on December 2, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    Sure, Salman Butt isn't proven in the Saeed Anwar sense, for example, but he's the most proven specialist opener we have available on tour.

    Australia would be a bad place to blood a new opener.

    On Malik, he's an experienced Test player and a former captain. He needs to stand up and be counted.

    Again, we can only use the resources we have available on tour.

  • Irfan on December 2, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    On spot!

    Why they droped Butt he was looking good in last Abu-Dhabi series. Also if Pakistan wanted to try new face they should have given Khalid Latif a chance. He faced NW bowlers in AD, he might have lasted longer on the pitch then Manzoor.

    Secondly, Alam is late inorder player (much like Misbah) and he is lefty. Why put him in #3? Common guys use common sense. Only thing Pakistan coach/captain should teach him are the words "Chill Out!". He will last much longer and score much bigger.

  • Bilal Naqvi on December 2, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    I agree with you, Mr. Abbasi. Imran Farhat not only didn't score, but dropped at least three dollies (one of them of Vettori in the 1st innings with him on a duck). Bring back Salman Butt. Maybe give Faisal Iqbal a chance. I hope Pakistan team doesn't go around and drop Fawad Alam. He is a good prospect and deserves a longer run in the team. Also, Shoaib malik needs to step up being a senior player. I personally believe he is not good enough to be in the test team in the first place (especially after his performances and his apparent creating factions in the team). But if he is to play, he needs to either open or come one down. Doesn't matter if he doesn't like it. The team needs it. Shane Watson was not an opener, but now look at him in both test and ODI teams. Our bowling line picks for itself. Aamer and Asif were awesome. Gul need to get back into his rhythum and not sure whats wrong with Ajmal. Maybe we need Kaneria in the team. On a different note, love your blogs and opinions.

  • rabbani on December 2, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    I am asking how many brothers do Akmal brothers have ? I guess 6 and the third is also playing cricket, Adnan Akmal.

    Can we ask PCB to bring all akmal family even those non cricket players, probably they would bat better than Imran Farhat, Malik and Khuram manzoor.

    Fawad should not be out, he is a fresh and young blood in the team. I hope malik, imran and Khuram are out, Butt, Faisal and Misbah come.

    Hoping pakistan would win this time, Bond is not there there is a chance.

  • Waqas Ather Saeed on December 2, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    I feel Shoaib Malik should be dropped altogether. He is a nonsense batsman, capable of scoring runs only on the flat tracks of the subcontinent. With a flawed technique, he is nowhere close to being a test match batsman. We should have been over and done with him in test matches a long while ago. Persisting with him for all these years only meant that batsmen like Asim Kamal and Misbah ul Haq didn't get as many chances as they deserved. Next I would comment on Imran Farhat and Faisal Iqbal. What are these two doing in the team? They surely made the squad through backdoor diplomacy and certainly not through performing in domestic cricket. They've had enough chances, its time to invest in others. Young players like Umar Amin and Azeem Ghumman should have been considered. Khurram Manzoor is new and should be persisted with. Along with him, from among the mediore lot to choose from, Salman Butt should be picked as the second opener. Misbah should show guts and come out to bat one down.

  • Fizul on December 2, 2009, 15:18 GMT

    I saw Asim Kamal in the West Indies, he has a good technique, knows where his off stump is and can be very patient, so why don't they have him opening the batting.Also I think Kaneria should be the test spinner and Ajmal the one day spinner.If it's a case that Pakistan is just trying anyone at the top then it should be Afridi,the rest of the openers averages is about the same as his.

  • EAMiran on December 2, 2009, 15:18 GMT

    KA, You are right about 1 thing - Salman Butt is a test opener? A test opener with an average below 30.0 and one that cannot play the moving ball! Nice! Pakistan must move beyond this bizarre policy of rotating proven failures. There are other openers in the country besides Butt, Farhat, Taufiq, and Nazir. OK Manzoor was tried and he failed - maybe he doesn't have the technique - let him develop more at the domestic circuit and move on!Try others! They cannot be worse! However our batting troubles also extend to the middle order where Shoaib Malik, who is at best a devastating club level player, has cemented his place in the side in all formats of the game. Why is it that everyone and their grandmothers can see this except our selectors. Finally may I suggest, for the short term at least, Kamran Akmal open the innings and younger brother Adnan Akmal, who bats pretty well, be selected as specialist keeper. Solid starts and fewer dropped catches - Killing 2 birds with 1 stone!

  • Imran Yousaf on December 2, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    ...Pak have probably their toughest period of ckt in possibly their history - away to NZ, Aus followed by a tour of Eng to play Aus than Eng all in a period of about 8 months. All these matches will be played against good attacks and on pitches totally alien to our batsmen so its hardly a time to have a top order as weak as we have. They selectors should be sacked for selecting this squad of misfits. How are we to face Aus (twice in 6 months) with just one establised batsmen rapidly approaching his use by date! Younis has to come back and not as capt, Misbah must play and as MUST Afridi as captain. Granted his batting is up and down but after Younis he is only true Captaincy material player Pak have and not to mention he is a genuine match winner and can play on his bowling alone! My team to face Aus would be 1.Fawad Alam 2.Misbah-ul-haq 3.Younis Khan 4.Mohamad Yousuf 5.Umar Akmal 6.Kamran Akaml (wk) 7.Shahid Afridi(Capt) 8.Mohammad Amer 9.Umar Gul 10.Mohammad Amer 11.Saeed Ajmal

  • mohammed ata on December 2, 2009, 15:13 GMT

    Well 1st of all i totally agree with opening with Salman Butt, he is one of the best test openers in my opinion playing for pakistan, right at this moment.

    Misbah is also a good option to bring back. Umar Akmal should try opening with Salman Butt in my opinion, Misbah and Yousuf could fill in the no.3,4 slot, Malik 5, Faisal Iqbal 6, Kamran Akmal 7, Mohammed Aamer 8, Umar Gul 9, Mohammed Asif 10, Saeed Ajmal 11.

    I dont think the likes of Imran Farhat and Khurram Manzoor could replace people like Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail, simply because one is just a youngster, and the other need more match practice as he has been out of International Cricket for quite a while.

  • Marlo on December 2, 2009, 15:09 GMT

    Majid Khan came in as a fast bowler and so did Asif Iqbal. Alike Mohammad Amer has a very straight bat and I can imagin him to open in one days to start with.

  • Shahid on December 2, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    TAUFEEQ UMAR is the opner with the best average (40) among the lot, he has the most 50+ scores ratio, he is in form, he has experience, and when ever he didn't score in a test innings, he has at least spent time on wicket and taken the shine off the ball for the comfort of in coming batsmen. (last 2 innings which were the cause his drop: scored 7 stayed one hour at wicket at Leads, scored 11 stayed 80 minuttes at wicket 2nd innings in Leads). Its him who should partner Salman Butt (experience of playing in Australia and has a century there) in Australia, unless slectors are made to choose some chachey and mamey.Fawad is our futur and will develope his game by gaining experience, he should be played at no.6 and should replace bits and pieces player Shoaib Malik. For the 2nd test i will ask Kamran to come at 3 and bring in Misbah to replace Shoaib Malik. Salman Butt Imran Farhat Kamran Akmal Mohammad Yousef Umar Akmal Misbah Fawad Alam Mohammad Amer Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Rauf

  • Arshad Zaidi on December 2, 2009, 15:05 GMT

    I think Kamran you are in New Zealand to cover this series. I would therefore suggest you should open because you will certainly do better than beloved damaad of PCB Mr. Imran Farhat..... his contributions in the first Test....10 runs and 10 drop catches !!!

  • sharaf khan on December 2, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    salam every one what i think this team cant win.when they have not bated well on flat wicket how will they bat on fast seeming track.shoaib malik should be out of team for better pakistan team.put in asim kaml for his place

  • Imran Yousaf on December 2, 2009, 15:00 GMT

    Finally, someone has stated the bleedin obvious. Misbah has a career to save and a sound enough technique and therefore should must has to open. PERIOD! Pakistan do not have a single opener (Butt) included who is worth opening with in tests. The selector must STOP selecting the tried and failed like Farhat, Butt, Hafeez, Taufeeq, Hameed etc etc etc....When Aus dropped Hayden, Martyn and Steve Waugh after they burst onto the scene they had to go back to 1st class cricket iron out their flaws and score 1000s of runs before they got re-selected. In Pak, a player is selcted makes a couple of decent scores than hits a brick wall, gets promptly dropped, playes a couple of 1st class games and before you know it hey presto they are are back in the team making same mistakes as ever. On what basis have Faisal, Farhat and Butt been selected for this tour. Pak does not have abundance of talent to be trowing away players like Misbah and bringing in useless canon fodder like faisal, butt n farhat...

  • Malay Deb on December 2, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    Kamran, as always you are spot on. It seems to me a little odd that with the exception of great Hanif Mohammad, pakistan didn't produce many great openers (while producing so many great middle order bats) when it churned out fast bowlers with great pace and guile on a regular basis. Is there or should there be a corelation between having no of good opening batsmen with no of good pace bowlers around. Hope you will shed some light on it someday.

  • ayzaz on December 2, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    Butt? Proven what? That he has the biggest gate between bat and pad? His fielding is worse than Farhats!

  • Faisal on December 2, 2009, 14:52 GMT

    This is going to be another batting collapse for Pakistan. Regardless of Shane Bond's absence, the problem is that our top 3 lack the proper technique to handle swing at good pace. Its nothing unique. This has been the case for decades. None of the coaches or authorities have paid attention to training the batsmen in the OZ/Kiwi conditions during off season. All the batsmen we have right now, Malik, Butt, Alam, Kamran, Farhat are very dangerous players at home or on a batting track. They are however just like many other Pakistani greats, incapable of handling swing in these conditions.

    Open with Butt/Malik or Farhat/Manzoor or Alam/anyone, batting will collapse time and time again until a proper batting training is not done for our batsmen for these conditions.

    Even batsmen like Miandad,Zaheer Abbas, Saeed Anwar and Inzi used to struggle in these conditions. I don't expect heroics from Pak batting,if anything bowling will take us close to win...

  • S Malik on December 2, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    I have a gut feeling ... pakistan will play both Imran Farhat and Khurram Mansoor again .. these boys need time to settle. Also there is no place for Misbah in the team as shoiab is a better batsmen than him. Only way to make place for him is to drop Umar Akmal .. experience should be preferred over raw mindless energy. Pakistan should stick to this combination till the end of england tour next year and see if things improve. Intikhab Alam should be persuaded to stay. Younis khan should not be allowed to return as he's a quitter .. shoiab can be tried as captain once more as he has matured now and understands the politics better. Also Akhtar has to be braught back. Most people would agree with me and and those who dont need to get a better grip of the game.

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

    pakistan will face these problems until thay spend time on openers with good technique...i saw AHMAD SHAHZAD against the australians in UAE...he has real good technique..where is he now? y dont the selctors give him a chance

  • Usman Bashir on December 2, 2009, 14:43 GMT

    I think brining Misbah is good option in middle but we are suffering more in top order where Imran Farhat and Fawad Alam do not justify their positions. I do not understand the media's love with Fawad Alam as he might be a good all rounder but a spot in test team and then as specialist one down is just a joke with cricket. Farhat is not worth of any comment as i know how he got into the team :)

  • vinod nambiar on December 2, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    hi Kamran...coudnt agree more....Pak cricket neds to use the resources available more intelligently....Misbah def has to be there...cos he has the temperament to fight (calmly)....the legacy or Akram and Imran to mention just two deserves a better top order....no disrespect intended to the young blokes trying to do their best but they are not ready

  • Zain Farid on December 2, 2009, 14:41 GMT

    I found it very appalling, that the selectors chose to play Imran Farhat in the first place. Farhat hasn't played International Cricket in over two years. They didn't play him in the ODI's or the T20's, yet they just rushed him into the Test side, after one Warm-up match? That is stupidity at its highest for me. If you were planning to play him in the Test's then at least let him play in the T20's first, so he can get some exposure to an International attack. With him in the team, we were playing a 10 vs 12 match. I usually don't blame losses on one player, but how can I not? At least Manzoor managed to get the vital run out of Taylor.

    Like you said it was injustice to have Alam at one down. He is a good player of spin, and should be coming at 5 or 6. Malik should have taken the responsibility of coming in at three. Even if we sort out our batting problems, we still have one problem. Our tail is too long. We cannot expect Aamer to score runs each time. It would not be fair on him.

  • Immy on December 2, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    Typical comment from the author again blaming Mohammed Yousaf defensive option to bowl first - clearly it was the fielding that cost us the test than bowling first. You seem to have major issue with Mo Yo always finger point at him. I agree with you about giving Butt a recall at number one...but will like to point out that the match was not lost due to the decision to bowl first but was lost due to fielding of which Imran Farhat is the main suspect.

  • Sheharyar on December 2, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    I agree with Mr.kamran.Im also fedup with this opening problem.Cant we have another Saeed anwar or Amir sohail.The team management and selectors have to really solve this issue.This problem is troubling us for more than a decade, and it should b solved asap.Salman butt is a very good player.He is my fav and so is Misbah.Salman has proven himself so many times and he deserves another chance to show his potentials.Misbah is very unpredictable, but, he is a senior batsman and he needs to show wat he is capable off.After watching the first test, ill definately not go for Khurram and Farhat.Malik should open the batting with Salman.Best of luck Pakistan

  • Ahsan Ikram on December 2, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    "Salman Butt a proven test opener", I would highly doubt this statement and it clearly contradicts his form calling which "recent" would again not be fair as it has prolonged for over a year. If PCB keeps bringing players who have a beyond poor performance(2+ Ducks, 4+ < 10s) in their last as far as one can see endeavors that gives a poor signal to the team.

    Pakistan has enough on benches waiting for a chance while all chances are being given to Butts and Maliks.

  • Mahmood on December 2, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    I am not too sure of Malik's place in the team. He started of as a one day bowling allrounder, and interestingly ended up as a test batsman. He hardly ever bowls in test and im not too sure if he qualifies for his place as a genuine batsman in test cricket. Yes, I have not forgotten his last day stand against srilanka but as a professional cricketer one innings in a year hardly justifies his status at no.5, especially as a senior member of the team. Unfortunately, our batting resources are so limited that i cant even name a replacement, i guess it is our "selectors" job who actually get paid to do this job. I hope i am wrong and Malik comes out of his whole and step up his game!

  • Zamil on December 2, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    Butt isn't really a proven Test opener as he averages under 30. I don't think Yousuf's decision to bowl first was a bad one, we were able to get early wickets but the fielding let us down.

    You are right that Farhat and Manzoor have to go. It's not just that they failed, it's that their technique simply cannot do the job on these kind of tracks. Is Butt any better though? Maybe it's time to try another new pair of openers, Ahmed Shehzad and Khalid Latif are options for the Australia tour.

  • Abdul K Hussain on December 2, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    Its time to think out of the box. Play Kamran Akmal as a specilist batsmen and have him open with Butt with sarfaraz keeping. Umar Akmal at 3, he has the tightest technique after yousuf. Misbah at 5 and Alam at 6. The only caveat is that Kamran should be assured that he will have the specialist opening for the long term and he will always have the option to return to the keeper role later. But main point is that the Butt/Akmal partnership in tests and Nazir/Akmal partnership in ODI;s should be persevered with through to the 2011 WC.

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

    I think that pakistan should open with Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal with Yousuf or Malik to come in at no.3 and 4. We then have Umar Akmal at 5 and Misbah to come in at 6 and maybe Fawad or Faisal Iqbal taking the 7 position with the consistent pakistani ballers who played in the first game. This would strengthen the batting considerably

  • Tiger on December 2, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should be dropped period. He can't play fast bowling, isn't a test quality spinner...I ask what is he there for. Oh then I remember his partybazi and politics are a vital cog of the PAK cricket machine. His dismissal in Dunedin on the last day was embarrasing for someone who has played so much cricket but has never developed his game.

  • Ray on December 2, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    Yusuf's decision to bat was a good one - it wasn't his mistake if the son-in-law of Pakistan couldn't catch. Pakistan would have easily won if they had taken the catches - I don't understand why you have to start of the articles with a negative story about Yusuf! Butt should open with Fawad and Malik as one down - although I am not sure what impact al this will have. Misbah can be tried one down, and Faisal Iqbal at 5 or 6. Drop Farhat and Manzoor. And bring in Kaneria.

  • JG on December 2, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    I believe Asim Kamal was and still could be a worthy of middle order slot.

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  • JG on December 2, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    I believe Asim Kamal was and still could be a worthy of middle order slot.

  • Ray on December 2, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    Yusuf's decision to bat was a good one - it wasn't his mistake if the son-in-law of Pakistan couldn't catch. Pakistan would have easily won if they had taken the catches - I don't understand why you have to start of the articles with a negative story about Yusuf! Butt should open with Fawad and Malik as one down - although I am not sure what impact al this will have. Misbah can be tried one down, and Faisal Iqbal at 5 or 6. Drop Farhat and Manzoor. And bring in Kaneria.

  • Tiger on December 2, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should be dropped period. He can't play fast bowling, isn't a test quality spinner...I ask what is he there for. Oh then I remember his partybazi and politics are a vital cog of the PAK cricket machine. His dismissal in Dunedin on the last day was embarrasing for someone who has played so much cricket but has never developed his game.

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

    I think that pakistan should open with Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal with Yousuf or Malik to come in at no.3 and 4. We then have Umar Akmal at 5 and Misbah to come in at 6 and maybe Fawad or Faisal Iqbal taking the 7 position with the consistent pakistani ballers who played in the first game. This would strengthen the batting considerably

  • Abdul K Hussain on December 2, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    Its time to think out of the box. Play Kamran Akmal as a specilist batsmen and have him open with Butt with sarfaraz keeping. Umar Akmal at 3, he has the tightest technique after yousuf. Misbah at 5 and Alam at 6. The only caveat is that Kamran should be assured that he will have the specialist opening for the long term and he will always have the option to return to the keeper role later. But main point is that the Butt/Akmal partnership in tests and Nazir/Akmal partnership in ODI;s should be persevered with through to the 2011 WC.

  • Zamil on December 2, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    Butt isn't really a proven Test opener as he averages under 30. I don't think Yousuf's decision to bowl first was a bad one, we were able to get early wickets but the fielding let us down.

    You are right that Farhat and Manzoor have to go. It's not just that they failed, it's that their technique simply cannot do the job on these kind of tracks. Is Butt any better though? Maybe it's time to try another new pair of openers, Ahmed Shehzad and Khalid Latif are options for the Australia tour.

  • Mahmood on December 2, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    I am not too sure of Malik's place in the team. He started of as a one day bowling allrounder, and interestingly ended up as a test batsman. He hardly ever bowls in test and im not too sure if he qualifies for his place as a genuine batsman in test cricket. Yes, I have not forgotten his last day stand against srilanka but as a professional cricketer one innings in a year hardly justifies his status at no.5, especially as a senior member of the team. Unfortunately, our batting resources are so limited that i cant even name a replacement, i guess it is our "selectors" job who actually get paid to do this job. I hope i am wrong and Malik comes out of his whole and step up his game!

  • Ahsan Ikram on December 2, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    "Salman Butt a proven test opener", I would highly doubt this statement and it clearly contradicts his form calling which "recent" would again not be fair as it has prolonged for over a year. If PCB keeps bringing players who have a beyond poor performance(2+ Ducks, 4+ < 10s) in their last as far as one can see endeavors that gives a poor signal to the team.

    Pakistan has enough on benches waiting for a chance while all chances are being given to Butts and Maliks.

  • Sheharyar on December 2, 2009, 14:32 GMT

    I agree with Mr.kamran.Im also fedup with this opening problem.Cant we have another Saeed anwar or Amir sohail.The team management and selectors have to really solve this issue.This problem is troubling us for more than a decade, and it should b solved asap.Salman butt is a very good player.He is my fav and so is Misbah.Salman has proven himself so many times and he deserves another chance to show his potentials.Misbah is very unpredictable, but, he is a senior batsman and he needs to show wat he is capable off.After watching the first test, ill definately not go for Khurram and Farhat.Malik should open the batting with Salman.Best of luck Pakistan

  • Immy on December 2, 2009, 14:35 GMT

    Typical comment from the author again blaming Mohammed Yousaf defensive option to bowl first - clearly it was the fielding that cost us the test than bowling first. You seem to have major issue with Mo Yo always finger point at him. I agree with you about giving Butt a recall at number one...but will like to point out that the match was not lost due to the decision to bowl first but was lost due to fielding of which Imran Farhat is the main suspect.