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January 29, 2010

Australia 2009-10

Will to win in rare supply

Kamran Abbasi

As another dismal chapter closes on Pakistan's senior tour of Australia, another exciting one is about to start for the U19s. There have been few redeeming features of Pakistan's cricket since the failure in the Sydney Test, and Mohammad Yousuf's deluded assertion that his team have performed better than teams of the past is a hollow boast.

The evidence to disprove him has beamed to every corner of the globe. Unfortunately, Yousuf's dread philospohies have alarmed supporters and undoubtedly infected his troops. Mohammad Yousuf's Pakistan have lacked the will to win. They have settled for second best and been content in their failure.

Across the Tasman Sea, a young Pakistan side has shown how the exact opposite attitude can help you exceed expectations. Pakistan U19s may not even be one of the top two teams in the tournament but their spirit, as epitomised by Hammad Azam, has been refreshing. For demonstrating such will to win, Hammad deserves his opportunity in the Twenty20 against the senior Australian team.

Nobody expected Pakistan to beat Australia in the Tests or One-Day Series but the manner of defeat has been unacceptable. Pakistan's consistent success at U19 level over the last decade and more is testament to the talent in the pipeline. What happens in senior cricket that squanders that potential?

Many Cricinfo readers will know that the answers are several and reasonably obvious yet the PCB is unable to pinpoint them and deal with them effectively. Pakistan cricket can blame many factors out of its control both at home and abroad, however, it is far from getting its own house in any sort of order.

There is an urgent need to restore some pride. This series is lost and the team in a rut. Can there be any harm in Yousuf resting for the final match and allowing Shahid Afridi to try a different approach that better suits the Pakistani temperament? With any luck, Hammad and the U19s might once again remind the seniors how it's done.

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Posted by sane cricket fan on (February 2, 2010, 22:09 GMT)

I do not understand the uproar behind the losses of the pak team in australia. the team is not a good team, people need to accept that, australian team does not make silly mistakes. look at the number of dropped catches, inconsistent play.

Look at the ashes 2006-7 results, england lost 0-5, nobody was crying that world will end. its just a game. for example everyone in windies knows their team is not that good (compared to past), so they appreciate whatever wins they can get. can the fans of pak cricket not do so.

Posted by billybob on (January 31, 2010, 16:17 GMT)

First of all the u19s, normally when I read stuff Pakistani players have said in the media it is usually humble even when they are winning. But all I read prior to the final was how good they were and that they would thrash a talentless Australian side. Whoops, that didn't go to plan. Choked I believe the word. The worst thing the senior side ever did was sack Geoff Lawson, he is one tough bugger who did some good for the team. Problem is the Pakistan team is lazy, like the Indians. They need someone tough who can install some self belief in them. But they are too soft and don't like being told what to do, especially by an infidel westerner. In Australia, no matter how talented a player is, when the coach says jump, the players say how high coach. Harden up Pakistan, even if its only to beat your arrogant mates the Indians.

Posted by M KHAN OF LONDON on (January 31, 2010, 13:31 GMT)

If you see above you will see i suggested Afridi to be captain.

For a while I thought he was confirming my opinion.

My thoughts now - HE SHOULD BE BANNED FOR LIFE

or - He was just hungry and we should give him some apples.

Posted by shahid on (January 31, 2010, 13:22 GMT)

this pakistan team is worse than bangla desh team,they unable to complete their fifty over cota in this series,i am guessing in future bangla desh series they will surely lost a test match,does any one think that they cant play more than three session in test match,most worse bating show by the pakistani team in recsent past, i have no hope they should band this team and give them gulli danda to play that will suit them.

Posted by Ravi Shanker on (January 31, 2010, 13:20 GMT)

In the last ten years, the test matches head to head of India and Pakistan against Australia is 10-10 and 12-0 respectively. India beating Australia twice in their own backyard in Adelaide and Perth. This India did when Australia was bulldozing every other international team. Lesson to be learnt GOOD QUALITY BATTING. Technique and Pakistani batsmen are strangers to each other. India was the one and only international team which consistently challenged and beat the Australians mainly because of the technique of their batsmen Rahul, Sachin,Laxman, Gambhir and last but not the least Virendar Sehwag. Please take some time out and look at the records of all these five players. Mcgrath, Gillespie and Shane Warne too could not shake the Indian batsmen. People say its easy to win in your own backyard. How many international teams were able to beat Australia using home advantage? So, PCB please set up a system of batting coaches to inject technique into Pakistani batsmen at the domestic level.

Posted by Reza Thahir (Sri LAnka) on (January 31, 2010, 13:17 GMT)

this would be my team.

1. Shahid Afridi (C) 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Shaoib Malik 4. Younis Khan 5. Umar Akmal 6. Misbah ul Haq 7. Fawad Alam 8. Muhammad Amer 9. Shoaib Akthar 10.Muhammad Asif 11.Saeed Ajmal

Afridi the captain should open with kamran akmal & exploit the powerplays & should get a good start, afridi should always bat as an opener in the shorter version of the game. malik has played his best as a no.3 batsmen, younis can use his experience at no.4, umar should increase the tempo of the innings with his exciting batting, misbah & alam are there to rescue in case of a batting slump as usually happens for pak. Amer & akthar too can handle the bat.

Bowling with Asif & Amer probably pakistan has the best opening bowlers in world cricket. shoaib akthar's pace is ideally suited to bowl at first change as the other fast bowlers have failed in GUL, RANA, RAO have failed. Afridi & AJmal will do the spin & supported by malik. so its 3 fast bowlers & 2 spinners.

Posted by saty on (January 31, 2010, 12:56 GMT)

Yes Kamran, Afridi took the the captaincy for 5th odi and shows the world his new invention of chewing the ball to forced the victory towards pakistan. Unfortunatly umpire and the law didn't allow him to continue his new discovery and Aussie hand over final blow to Pakistan.

Posted by sanjeev on (January 31, 2010, 12:48 GMT)

@Muhammad Jehanzeb Peshawar look at your scores 3-0 loss in test and 5-0 drubbing against aussies...where is your afridi and please dont compare afridi with sehwag, sehwag has 16 test centuries in tests and well he has scored runs in England, Aus, SA, WI, SL and even Pakistan where he scored triple century get ur facts right before opening ur month!!!!

Posted by Rauf on (January 31, 2010, 12:43 GMT)

I just got thru watching the 5th ODI and was pleased with Pak performance and Afridi's captainship until he was shown attempting to eat the ball at few occasions like an apple... obviously to alter the state of the ball. This is so pathetic and lame and to top it off, he was the captain. It was so obvious that he can't come up with a credible excuse. I am now glad Pak lost the 5th match and they should throw the book at Afridi for pulling a stunt like that. He should be banned for atleast five matches. If you can't win a match on your skills alone then be man enough to loose with dignity.

I AM SO MAD AT THIS!!

Posted by muzz on (January 31, 2010, 12:37 GMT)

Selection wrong again - why dropped Kamran in 1 dayer - means one less Batsman/Khalid Latif needs more time to observe and soak -knee jerk reaction/zulficar test keeper only - his batting is insignificant/shahid good captain for 1 day/although we lost but it was match on not surrunder/in Pakistani news it says yusuf - waqar and intikhab had a row over playing eleven probably over kamran - yusuf might have a point so he refused to play - we should continue with shahid as captain in 1 day - white wash was always on the card - well done Aussies/hopefully you will face a tougher Pakistan team in England/subject to sacking of coach and selection committee and selection on merit. Ban all the Pakistanis from IPL please. Salman butt gave a nice interview - but again played the same stroke- why the love cutting the ball -get a batting coach. thank god we only lost by 2 wickets this time not complete humiliation. Oh by the way we might loose 20/20 as well to create a perfect hitory - try again

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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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