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May 14, 2010

Twenty20 World Cup 2010

A rabble with a cause

Kamran Abbasi


Australia haven't yet been on the backfoot in this tournament and if Pakistan can contrive to put them under pressure, a shock is possible © AFP
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Are Pakistan a rabble? A rabble without a cause? They have been dismissed as such by former cricketers and pundits. It's easy to see why. Since Pakistan almost eliminated Australia in last year's Champions Trophy, their results have been abysmal.

Australia, in particular, have hammered Pakistan relentlessly, denying them a single win. Yet despite internal chaos and poor squad selection, Shahid Afridi's rebels have somehow advanced to the semi-finals of another world tournament.

Australia will certainly start favourites thanks to their punishing form in the Caribbean. Even the most optimistic Pakistan fan knows that their team is up against one of the strongest T20 outfits ever assembled.

But Pakistan must take heart. Their bowlers have found form and momentum at the right time. St Lucia's wicket plays to Pakistan's strengths and less so to Australia's. Anything is possible in T20 cricket, and Pakistan should feel less pressure as underdogs.

Importantly, Afridi's team has just begun to play with the required level of passion and aggression. Success in any form of cricket comes through taking wickets, and Pakistan must be brave and attack Australia. Much will depend on Saeed Ajmal, Afridi, and Mohammad Aamer. Now is not the time to experiment, and the surprising team combination that worked against South Africa should be persisted with.

The batsmen must seek to dominate Australia's pacemen, safe in the knowledge that the bounce in St Lucia will be less disturbing. Pakistan's batsmen are due a strong performance, and now is the time to deliver. A good start from Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt, and some impetus from Afridi in the middle order will be the keys to success.

Australia haven't yet been on the backfoot in this tournament and if Pakistan can contrive to put them under pressure, a shock is possible. After suffering persistently at the hands of Australia, after the hurt of the last few months, Pakistan can salvage some pride by eliminating Australia from a world tournament. That has to be worth fighting for.

Pakistan might have been playing like a rabble, but a rabble when roused behind a powerful cause--and what can be bigger than restoring your pride--can humble the mightiest force.

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Posted by Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - S. Arabia on (May 18, 2010, 19:39 GMT)

The T20 cup is with England now a worthy winner. I personally feel that either of the two finalists were worthy of the crown. England this time played to their potential while the aussies are always a tough side to beat. So no regrets on Pakistan losing the semi final to Australia, infact they have done really well to have reached the semis with this team. I am happy the way they played both against New Z'land and Australia and it makes one feel that the team is on the up. Waqar is a no nonsence man and he has the capability to pull the team through provided the board lets him have hjis ways. This of course is a big ask, with the Big Bellied Butt one cannot expect that to happen, plus having Mohsin as the sellection chief one is inclined to feel that the Butt Bulley will have his ways. Our bowling has come a long way and now we need to organize our batting and in perticular the middle order. I am expecting Younis to come back and Hammad should also be tried in.

Posted by ABLE TABLE on (May 15, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

PAKISTAN HAS ALREADY LOST TO A TEAM PLAYING BETTER. WHAT BETTER PERFORMANCE CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A TEAM WHOSE CAPTAIN IS APPOINTED AFTER SELCTION OF THE TEAM AND HAS NO SAY IN IT.

PAKISTANI FAST BOWLERS HAVE FORGOTTEN TO BOWL YORKERS,SLOW BALLS ETC.

FINALLY,I THINK RAZZAK IN THE FINAL OVER WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.

ANYWAY,IT IS GOOD FOR THE PAKISTAN TEAM AS NOW THERE SHOULD MBE A COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE PCB INCLUDING ITS CEO.

Posted by Jacob Sahayam on (May 15, 2010, 7:48 GMT)

Pakistan won just 2 of the six matches that they played. They lost to aus twice, Eng and NZ. They were quite lucky to be in the semi-final.

Posted by Elessar on (May 15, 2010, 6:11 GMT)

I can't stop laughing at the outcome today. Australia showed who is the boss.

Posted by ZamanA on (May 15, 2010, 2:16 GMT)

What a phenomenal match! It was captivating and enthralling. I was very disappointed with the result but on reflection, it was great for the game of cricket. The Pakistani players should not be disheartened. They put on a stupendous performance. It was inspired batting by Hussey and White which turned the tables. One cannot blame the Pakistani bowlers. It was a miraculous display by the Aussie batting. Post match analysis may show one potential area of weakness-the field placements, where defensive settings allowed singles .This allowed consolidation and confidence to the batsmen. Afridi, Waqar Younis and the entire team should be congratulated for the epic match. We will be talking about this for years.Looking forward to an exciting summer in England. A nucleus of the young team is developing. With the return of Gul and advent of M. Irfan we can be a handful. We should keep our focus on the World Cup 2011. It would be sweet justice for Pakistan to lift the trophy in India.

Posted by Dr. Khan on (May 14, 2010, 21:12 GMT)

....... KANGROO hunted the CORNERED TIGERS !!!!!!!

Posted by Mark on (May 14, 2010, 19:45 GMT)

Well done to Pakistan, they pushed Australia more than anyone else has in this tournament. The game could have gone either way and when White was out, I thought Australia was going to fall short.

Again well done to Pakistan lifitng their game so much.

Posted by Desi on (May 14, 2010, 19:33 GMT)

What a play by Pakistani team? They can still feel proud of this lose.

Some body in this forum said "INSHALLAH(GOD WILLING) Pakistan will win". It sounds like even the god does not want pakistan to win with all the sins the countries is commiting. It is not your mistake to loose this game. Simply blame it on the country.

Posted by akhil on (May 14, 2010, 18:26 GMT)

Watching the Pak v Aus game..this is how you play T20 India. Not the crappy, wimpy stuff I see from the indian cricket. Learn how to play bouncers, learn how to bowl fast, learn how to play like men. Embarrased to be a fan of the indian cricket team.

Posted by Faisal on (May 14, 2010, 17:49 GMT)

Akmal brother did it....we got a start we needed..now its up to our bowlers...Go green Go....i love cricket but at the same time i hate it...I am in my office and just watching the score on cricinfo and praying....Pakistan you are going to final inshahAllah

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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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