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January 4, 2010

Australia 2009-10

Discipline and attack work for Pakistan

Kamran Abbasi


The man who holds the key to Pakistan's victory is Danish Kaneria © AFP
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Pakistan should expect Australia to come back hard tomorrow. Ricky Ponting is an aggressive captain and he will believe his team can still win despite Pakistan's unexpected supremacy throughout this match. Mohammad Yousuf's team will need to be on their guard but must fight aggression with aggression, as taking wickets is the surest way to halt Australia's recovery.

I think Pakistan have shocked Australia in the first two days here - in truth, they've shocked even their most ardent supporters. First, a hastily flung together pace attack held an attacking but disciplined line and length. Discpline and attack were also on the agenda when the batsmen took their turn. Some of the shots might have been unnecessarily ambitious but the aggression of Pakistan's middle order was a refreshing sight.

The most accurate barometer of Pakistan's intent is usually their running betweenwickets. At Melbourne the batsmen were on their heels. Here they scampered and rushed through for quick singles. Yes, Pakistan could have secured a bigger lead but a more circumspect approach might well have surrendered as many wickets for fewer runs. The overall approach of the batsmen has been a sensible one: to unsettle Australia at every opportunity.

Now, Pakistan's bowlers and fielders face a stiffer challenge than in the first innings. The wicket is still helpful but less so than on the first day. Australia will have a much clearer target in mind and a determination not to lose to a humiliating innings defeat. The prospect of victory can be as tough to handle mentally as the danger of defeat.

Pakistan must hold their nerve and seek to bowl out Austalia on day three. Any sizeable fourth-innings run-chase has historically posed problems for Pakistan, and hence their target should be to dismiss Australia for under 300. That's certainly possible, provided the pace men revive the discipline and attack of the first day.

But the man who should hold the key to Pakistan's victory is Danish Kaneria. Nathan Hauritz produced a few viscously turning and bouncing deliveries that should have whet Kaneria's appetite. Like so many of his fellows, Kaneria has been short on match-winning performances against the strongest teams outside Asia. The stage has never been better set for Pakistan's late-blooming legspinner. Discpline and attack should be his watchwords too.

Pakistan cricket is in desperate need of this victory, against this opposition, and at this venue. Can Mohammad Yousuf's team pull off a momentous result?

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Posted by Qaisar Bajwa on (January 23, 2010, 15:19 GMT)

i don't know whe Danish Keneria is iz pakistan team, whoever so many ex players also favering him , no body checked his record, is he a BOWLER f?nope bcoz if cricket board will try any other streer player as a leg spiner may be he can perform better the Kenaria.............yes if Pakistan playing against Bangaladesh u can try Kenaria.....and Fawad Alam he is Bolwer or Batsman?

Posted by Merit on (January 6, 2010, 23:41 GMT)

Shoaib Malik, Misba ul haq, Faisal Iqbal and Kamran Akmal must go. Deserving Asim Kamal, best find of 2007 Yasir Hameed, Khalid Latif, Sarfraz Ahmed (WK) and Fawad Alam must in. We also need to warm up best batsman and highest wicket taker bowler from our domestic cricket. We should have seperate team from T20, One day and Test. Mohd Younis is good only for the Tests. Shahzeb hasan should be in as a opener for T20 and Oneday. He was a part of our winning team of T20 WC. He impress every one and scores 35 fast runs in his first appearence. Fielding should be the plus point. Our best fielder is Fawad Alam.

Posted by nasir raza dar on (January 6, 2010, 14:32 GMT)

After 34 run opening stand out of 176 apart from Omer`s 49 where is the contribution of our so called senior & experienced middle order & it looks more pathetic if v saw it like this two openers 21 & 22 runs,Omer 49 & the middle order 47 out of 139, shame on so called senior middle order as well as the people at the helm of affairs.Moreover recently Aamir Sohail said in Australia bowling let us down not the bating in the past according to statistics but what can a bowler do than they did here if one need a bowler to score 176 runs then what is the fun of having batsman in the team.If fielders & KEEPERS drop catches, Captain went on defensive when the lead is only 80 runs & only one specialist batsman of opposition with two tail enders remaining what a bowler can do 4 u & still with there efforts batsmen had to score 176 to win,is bowlers had to blame & bowling or bating need to be strengthen.Where are those people who wants Younis should prove himself.I ask them WHO SHOULD PROVE?

Posted by Anu on (January 6, 2010, 13:58 GMT)

Its better to lose a match by a large margin without even giving a contest reather than losing a match that Pakistanis are very good at i.e throw away a match that they are about to win! It causes more disappointment and anger for the fans. I mean what is the psychology of the players? Why do they have to bat irresponsibly when its only a small score to chase and there are at least 100 overs to achieve the target?

And well if it hadnt been for Kamran Akmal, Pakistan would have securely achieved victory. Whats wrong with the guy? Dropping 4 catches is no laughing matter. He's been that for countless number of times but has not been dropped even once. Why dont the selectors see this? They have dropped talented and promising cricketers without any reason such as Asim Kamal but why cant they see what Kamran Akmal is doing? And please Younis Khan is a whole lot better than the whole lot, what is the logic behind asking him to play in Pentangular when the team needs him badly? RIDICULOUS!

Posted by Osman Aftab Ahmed on (January 6, 2010, 13:27 GMT)

I have never felt so low and gutted as today! How the hell did they manage to lose this match? I have a great respect for Yousaf and no doubt he is a great batsman, but his approach of negative field placement undid all the work. The rest of the top brass of experts, selectors & Inti, have to take the blame for this too, as this has as well! It was so obvious that they should have thrown the kitchen sink at the aussies in that situation, and containing runs defies all logic. However, I would request everyone not to call for the scalps of this or that player, but instead call for an institutional change, where a more robust system is in place for player selection. This loss is hurting, just as it hurts to see our country burning in a senseless war. Instability and corrupt government is negatively impacting everything in Pakistan. I have stopped listening to the news, and instead take succour in Pakistani cricket - what a sucker I've been!

Expletives, upone expletives come to mind!

Posted by malik on (January 6, 2010, 12:59 GMT)

It's useless to waste time on commenting on such a pathetic cricket display of Pak team.

Posted by Waqas on (January 6, 2010, 12:59 GMT)

At least our record in losing in near 100% & our consistency as well.

I am sure everyone who does not play professional cricket would like a chance to play for Pakistan as we could easily perform better than the current team (excl. Umer Akmal & Mohammed Ameer).

Recommendations:

Captain:Afridi Sack: Kamran Akmal, Faisal Iqbal & Misbah Introduce: New players ASAP (Anyone) Bring back Geoff Lawson as Coach as he still believes in Pakistan cricket.

Posted by Qaisar Wahr on (January 6, 2010, 11:28 GMT)

Pakistan what joke cant get 175 the u19 team could of got that

Posted by ITJOBSUCKS on (January 6, 2010, 11:15 GMT)

This pakistan side is one of the worst TEST team in the world along with WI & NZ. Even though they have got very good bowling attack, most of their batsman are pathetic when it comes playing outside sub-continent. Most of their batsman score runs only in sub-continent including Yousuf(AUS-31,SA-26) and surprisingly has got poor record against SL(26),Younis( AUS-31,SA-33) & Inzamam(AUS-30,SA-31). I don't how these people are treated as great players even though their record is pathetic outside sub-continent except england. Inzimam regarded as best match-winner by pakistanis but rather Suprisingly has never won matches against AUS & SA either in pakistan or in their backyard. Just winning matches against teams like Ban,SL,WI&NZ, one can't be called match-winner. He has do it when it matters like Finals or key moments in a test match, which i don't think he has done that consistently oe even on few occasions in his entire career.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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