2010: Summer of Pakistan July 5, 2010

Pakistan's biggest summer

 
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Shahid Afridi's men will look to gather momentum ahead of the Tests © AFP
 

Could this be the biggest summer in Pakistan's cricket history? Some of the hype from that other tournament in South Africa might have disturbed my logic but it's an argument that's beginning to convince. Following the humdrum of another Asia Cup and a further revival of the Pakistan-Australia T20 franchise it's easy to lose sight of the deeper meaning of a sport that for Pakistanis is often akin to life, the universe, and everything.

Indeed, BBC Radio 4's Today Programme spoke with Ramiz Raja this morning, a sure sign that something really important is taking place. Ramiz didn't disappoint. Cricket, he said, is often the only reason that a country divided by religion, politics, and ethnicity hangs together.

Now Pakistan must hang together in England, home of large numbers of expatriate Pakistanis but also a former Imperial master. In truth, Imperialism is becoming a distant memory replaced by more recent and equally divisive religious confrontations. Where cricket was once Pakistan's attempt to lance the Imperialist boil, the ECB's hand of friendship in hosting this tour has helped further recast the rationale for the Pakistan-England rivalry.

By choosing Australia as their first opponent on English home territory, Pakistan have also given a reason for English and Pakistani fans to unite over the next few weeks. And it is the fans who will be the main arbiters of the success of this neutral venue. Pakistan's enforced home exile means these neutral venues are a lifeline, and most cricket fans would surely prefer the green fields of England over the dustbowls of the Middle East.

Spectators and television viewers will determine revenues and the commercial success of Pakistan's new home. But the enthusiasm of fans is related to the quality of cricket on offer. In this regard, Pakistan cricket has had an unfortunate year since winning last year's World T20. The circumstances are well documented but the simple truth is that Pakistan have been hammered by Australia all around the globe.

For commercial success as much for the pride of fans, Pakistan must be competitive over this summer. Australia had a stuttering start to their own tour but have begun to rediscover their power play. A good start to this summer is essential because, as the winter Down Under proved, this Pakistan squad can fall apart over the course of a long tour.

Hence, while at face value we approach another routine T20 series, it is yet another significant contest for Pakistan. Shahid Afridi's team will want to build some momentum before next week's Test series opener at Lord's, which in turn will be expected to ready Pakistan for the subsequent away clash against England.

Pakistan fans have reasons for optimism, in T20 cricket at least. It has become Pakistan's strongest format, reflected by the squad selected. The two to watch are Shahzaib Hasan, a World Cup winner who was inexplicably discarded but has won his place back, and Shoaib Akhtar, making another comeback against all expectations.

Shahzaib is a fierce striker and compulsive shot-maker, whose run of form will be tested by Australia. Shoaib, as ever, has something to prove, not least that he can work with Afridi. Yet a four-over burst has always been Shoaib's optimal distance, and he adds a further dimension to a Pakistan attack that probably has the edge over Australia's in T20 cricket.

It is in T20 cricket that Pakistan have pushed Australia closest over the last year, although any true Pakistan fan will have blanked from memory the horror of the most recent encounter. Whenever Pakistan have sensed victory Australia's iron will has crushed their ambition. Pakistan cricketers and Pakistan cricket need to break free--and this is the tour that will liberate or incarcerate.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Yousuf Ehsan on August 7, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    Salam, Well, Currently it seems England VS LAHORE not Pakistan, All players are unsuitable for test cricket accept some bowlers, Salman Butt is not capable for Test Team and also Immature captain. He knows how to keep bat, but does not know how to play...... Sorry. I Think Cricket Board should send some mature & capable players rather then these type of players, for playing in country like ENGLAND.....

  • Furqan on July 21, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    Pakistan Team Analysis: Salman Butt - Lahore, Punjab Imran Farhat - Lahore, Punjab Azhar Ali - Lahore, Punjab Umar Amin - Rawalpindi, Punjab Umar Akmal - Lahore, Punjab Shoaib Malik - Sialkot, Punjab Kamran Akmal† - Lahore, Punjab Mohammad Aamer - Gujjar Khan, Punjab Umar Gul - Peshawar, Khyber PK Danish Kaneria - Karachi, Sind Mohammad Asif - Sheikhupura, Punjab

    9 players - almost 82% from Punjab, and what about Ejaz BUTT, Waqar Younus, Ijaz Ahmed?? all from Punjab.... Are they representing Pakistan??? now we know why Saeed Anwer was left out and Inzemam was selected as captain after 99 world cup debacle, why Rashid Latif was left no where and why Younus Khan is treated how he's treated. Facts speak louder than lame excuses man!!!

    God Bless Pakistan. May all affairs be undertaken on merit and democratically rather than on personal favourism or 'Grayeen Geeri'

  • huni on July 20, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    it would take a while for pakistan to prove their mettle in test cricket while they are so busy playing t20.pakistan needs players who can stay for longer periods and while talking about staying on crease the name of yunus khan comes to mind, he should be recalled and also yousaf and another name worth mentioning is that of asim kamal,god knows he was a great test player

  • ARSAL on July 7, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    Finally Guys.. After a Long While.... We outclass the Aussies in T20s. This bring a lot of cheer for all the PAKISTANiS. Its the time to prove ourselves the Best in Test matches as well... Good Luck Green Shirts ...!!!

  • Gulab on July 7, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    @Arfan Yes I know Afridi and I am the person who is supporting the team in any conditions but we all should accept this is a fact that the whole team is based on bad intentions. You are telling me about Afridi today he has been in the team from the last 14 years and why he become such an energetic now after 14 years my dear. It is just the matter of his own survival he knows that if the team collapse in this summer the people of this country will not allow him and his friend Malik and Ijaz Butt to be in the squad any more. Atleast we have now free judiciary. I am loving my country more than me and expect all the Pakistanis especially the ones which has got a lot from this country to think for Pakistan not for oneself.

  • Saiful Ansari on July 7, 2010, 2:15 GMT

    The T20's are out of the way & Pak did well to get past the Aussies winning the series 2-0. Now the team needs to prepare for the test series. The 5-day format demands technique & discipline. Waqar has a tall task ahead. To beat the Aussies his batsmen must play long innings, rotate strike and be prepared to spend longer time on the crease. Partnerships will be key to build up decent scores, for the bowlers to defend, supported by good fielding. The test team lacks experienced batsmen like Moyo & Younis who in the past played well in the English conditions. Now it is time for for Afridi & Malik to play mature innings & give the much needed confidence to the younger team mates to play sensibly. Shahzaib failed in both T20's. For Pakistan to have a respectable start to their innings S.Butt should have a reliable partner. Pakistan has no depth in their batting. There are no replacements for Inzy, Moyo & Younis. The outcome of the tests will depend on Akmal brothers & Malik.

  • qasemh on July 6, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    @Zimmerman: Are you sure they were "clearly" not out. Warner was out to naked eye as per at least one of the commentators I was listening to. Obviously you were listening to Tony Greg or such on Channel 9; or you may need hearing aid. Johnson was unlucky to get out as was Shoaib Malik yesterday (that was given out by a 3rd umpire! and pakistani too!!). Say hi to your buddys - Howard, Hair and Speed for me. Well done Pakistan team for beating a good team who also played well but weren't as lucky as in St lucia.

  • Asaf on July 6, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    Herr Zimmerman, perhaps you care to take note of the less than fair umpiring of said fair dinkum blokes - Bob Woolmer noted 12 clear decisions in one short test series clearly in favour of the Aussies- I am afraid you are not so gracious winners and even sorer losers!!!!

  • Arfan on July 6, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    @ gulab. do you know afridi, or malik or ijaz butt. Perhaps with all bieng said in the media about malik, your veiws are right to some extent, and everyone knows ijazz butt is only in it for the money. But shahid afridi? hes in my opinion a complete team player, the guy was running up and down the whole ground jus to encourage bowlers almost every ball in both t20s. Hes energetic and brings a vibe to the team so ur comments on afridi particulary are unjust and its veiws of such why pakistan are in such a state.

  • Arfan on July 6, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    Pakistan win the twenty20 series 2-0. Pakistan's "biggest" summer is off to a an unexpected great start with a twenty20 whitewash against the mighty Ozies. Allah karay, pakistan test bi jeetay ga, inshallah! peace

  • Yousuf Ehsan on August 7, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    Salam, Well, Currently it seems England VS LAHORE not Pakistan, All players are unsuitable for test cricket accept some bowlers, Salman Butt is not capable for Test Team and also Immature captain. He knows how to keep bat, but does not know how to play...... Sorry. I Think Cricket Board should send some mature & capable players rather then these type of players, for playing in country like ENGLAND.....

  • Furqan on July 21, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    Pakistan Team Analysis: Salman Butt - Lahore, Punjab Imran Farhat - Lahore, Punjab Azhar Ali - Lahore, Punjab Umar Amin - Rawalpindi, Punjab Umar Akmal - Lahore, Punjab Shoaib Malik - Sialkot, Punjab Kamran Akmal† - Lahore, Punjab Mohammad Aamer - Gujjar Khan, Punjab Umar Gul - Peshawar, Khyber PK Danish Kaneria - Karachi, Sind Mohammad Asif - Sheikhupura, Punjab

    9 players - almost 82% from Punjab, and what about Ejaz BUTT, Waqar Younus, Ijaz Ahmed?? all from Punjab.... Are they representing Pakistan??? now we know why Saeed Anwer was left out and Inzemam was selected as captain after 99 world cup debacle, why Rashid Latif was left no where and why Younus Khan is treated how he's treated. Facts speak louder than lame excuses man!!!

    God Bless Pakistan. May all affairs be undertaken on merit and democratically rather than on personal favourism or 'Grayeen Geeri'

  • huni on July 20, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    it would take a while for pakistan to prove their mettle in test cricket while they are so busy playing t20.pakistan needs players who can stay for longer periods and while talking about staying on crease the name of yunus khan comes to mind, he should be recalled and also yousaf and another name worth mentioning is that of asim kamal,god knows he was a great test player

  • ARSAL on July 7, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    Finally Guys.. After a Long While.... We outclass the Aussies in T20s. This bring a lot of cheer for all the PAKISTANiS. Its the time to prove ourselves the Best in Test matches as well... Good Luck Green Shirts ...!!!

  • Gulab on July 7, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    @Arfan Yes I know Afridi and I am the person who is supporting the team in any conditions but we all should accept this is a fact that the whole team is based on bad intentions. You are telling me about Afridi today he has been in the team from the last 14 years and why he become such an energetic now after 14 years my dear. It is just the matter of his own survival he knows that if the team collapse in this summer the people of this country will not allow him and his friend Malik and Ijaz Butt to be in the squad any more. Atleast we have now free judiciary. I am loving my country more than me and expect all the Pakistanis especially the ones which has got a lot from this country to think for Pakistan not for oneself.

  • Saiful Ansari on July 7, 2010, 2:15 GMT

    The T20's are out of the way & Pak did well to get past the Aussies winning the series 2-0. Now the team needs to prepare for the test series. The 5-day format demands technique & discipline. Waqar has a tall task ahead. To beat the Aussies his batsmen must play long innings, rotate strike and be prepared to spend longer time on the crease. Partnerships will be key to build up decent scores, for the bowlers to defend, supported by good fielding. The test team lacks experienced batsmen like Moyo & Younis who in the past played well in the English conditions. Now it is time for for Afridi & Malik to play mature innings & give the much needed confidence to the younger team mates to play sensibly. Shahzaib failed in both T20's. For Pakistan to have a respectable start to their innings S.Butt should have a reliable partner. Pakistan has no depth in their batting. There are no replacements for Inzy, Moyo & Younis. The outcome of the tests will depend on Akmal brothers & Malik.

  • qasemh on July 6, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    @Zimmerman: Are you sure they were "clearly" not out. Warner was out to naked eye as per at least one of the commentators I was listening to. Obviously you were listening to Tony Greg or such on Channel 9; or you may need hearing aid. Johnson was unlucky to get out as was Shoaib Malik yesterday (that was given out by a 3rd umpire! and pakistani too!!). Say hi to your buddys - Howard, Hair and Speed for me. Well done Pakistan team for beating a good team who also played well but weren't as lucky as in St lucia.

  • Asaf on July 6, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    Herr Zimmerman, perhaps you care to take note of the less than fair umpiring of said fair dinkum blokes - Bob Woolmer noted 12 clear decisions in one short test series clearly in favour of the Aussies- I am afraid you are not so gracious winners and even sorer losers!!!!

  • Arfan on July 6, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    @ gulab. do you know afridi, or malik or ijaz butt. Perhaps with all bieng said in the media about malik, your veiws are right to some extent, and everyone knows ijazz butt is only in it for the money. But shahid afridi? hes in my opinion a complete team player, the guy was running up and down the whole ground jus to encourage bowlers almost every ball in both t20s. Hes energetic and brings a vibe to the team so ur comments on afridi particulary are unjust and its veiws of such why pakistan are in such a state.

  • Arfan on July 6, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    Pakistan win the twenty20 series 2-0. Pakistan's "biggest" summer is off to a an unexpected great start with a twenty20 whitewash against the mighty Ozies. Allah karay, pakistan test bi jeetay ga, inshallah! peace

  • Larry Zimmerman on July 6, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    Pakistan surely have got home advantage with the umpires being Pakistani. The obvious benefit of this was seen in 2nd T20 when the umpires gave Warner and Johnson both out when they were clearly not out as per commentators both on cricinfo and on TV as well as radio. Looks like Pakistan wining days are back now that they have their own umpires.

  • Gulab on July 6, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    To all my country people: Be prepare for the clean sweep against Australia and England. Do not be so happy after wining against Australia in T20 because this is the only format inwhich Australia has still some deficiencies. When Ijaz BUTTTTTTTTT and Afridi is leading our team including Shoaib Malik which is only Pakistani for cricket otherwise he prefers to live in Dubai our team will never win. May be it occurs once or twice in year by the effort of Aamir, Akmal brothers and Gul but please do not expect so much from I.Butt, Afridi, Shoaib Malik who only live for themselves not for Pakistan

  • Rahul on July 6, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Terror they are really "terrorist" when they play well

  • Tariq on July 6, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Hi Again

    i think i am the only one that believes that shoaib deserves to be there, the guy looks in great shape trim. at 35 he is doing well to bowl as quick as he is razzaq is lethargic and slow fielder but no worries there.

    some people are too quick to judge efforts from one game, ok after the asia cup he has more rhythm and hint smoother to the crease.

    everyone ask yourself this, ARE WE AS FANS GOING TO JUMP ON EVERY PLAYER THAT GETS HIT, OR SUPPORT HIM TO BECOME THE BEST HE CAN BE?

    Ajmal came back strong, got the chance.

    dont forget oppositions are smart they get in the head of the captain and Akhtar, they either attack him blindfolded or play him out.

    i applaud the comeback of umar gul he was missing in west indies, the stunning batting of umar akmal yesterday matchwinner he is.

    if Afridi drops Akhtar today then thats not fair give him a chance to prove himself

    pakistan picked the best team yesterday and i hope it persists with akhtar or he will be demoralized again.

  • hassan on July 6, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    The aussie selection panel also need to think leaving bolliger out is ridiculous as he didd fantastic in the ipl n clarke even doesnot fits in the team as his batting avg. shows, surely aussies need some serious changes. Well done Pakistan

  • hassan on July 6, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    The aussie selection panel also need to think leaving bolliger out is ridiculous as he didd fantastic in the ipl n clarke even doesnot fits in the team as his batting avg. shows, surely aussies need some serious changes. Well done Pakistan

  • Fahad on July 6, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Very well Said............

  • MARLO on July 6, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    WIN OR LOSE, Its so funny to see pakistani fielders compared to Aussies. Their movements are like of old people with knee problems. Some of them do try to dive but no one knows how to do it. Pakistan always needs to score 20 extra runs to compensate their funny fielding.

  • Aizaz on July 6, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    I have 2 comments regarding Pakistan's loss against Sri Lanka and India in the Asia Cup.

    Firstly,Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka because everyone from the manager to the coach and physio did not not have an idea to send an electrolyte solution to Shahid Afridi when he was suffering from very bad muscle cramps. Secondly, they lost against India because they are still not not able to use the Batting Powerplay when it is required.

    Regarding the England Tour which had started with a win against Australia, I want to point out that everybody says that Shoaib Akhtar is a match winning bowler. Can anyone really count just how many matches Pakistan has lost due to his poor bowling? For example, in this recent T20 Match, just another over from Shoaib was required to lose the match. I would request the coach and manager of the Pakistani team to please advise Shoaib Akhtar to cut down his run up due to which by the time he reaches the bowling line, he's already very exhausted.

  • Muhammad Adnan on July 6, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Well said by Kamran... If pakistanis play as team they can give tough time to Australia

  • Samer Ansari on July 6, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    The reason why I have always supported Shahid Afridi is because he brings spirit and passion into the game. We need passionate and inspiring captains rather than dull and pessimist captains. Today Pakistani team was looking as aggressive and as dangerous against the Aussies as it used to look under the inspiring Wasim Akram.

    Just one or two solid middle order batsmen and we are set for the world cup! With Umar Gul back, Akmals thriving and the new Afridi, we are force to reckon!

  • saoud butt on July 6, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    i think pakistanis have found their way in the guadince of BOOM BOOM and this the only pcb's decision that made me to laguh i always believe that a brave,confidient,self decision maker and a fighter man should lead the unit and Afridi has got those qualities he his best choice for all the famats, from other end we have got a very sincer man coaching the side so if this continue i strongely hope that we as a nation can achieve the glory and set a example for other nations as well.

  • Sud on July 6, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    Eventhough I am an Indian I would love to see Pakistan beat Australia.

    Mainly because I feel that a generation of some good players from Pakistan like Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan and Mohammed Younis (know that the last two are not in the test team) are losing out on a lot of cricket for no personal fault of theirs.

    We in India are always amaed by the great natural talent and flair that the pakistani cricket teams seem to carry.

  • Gulkhan on July 6, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    Nice Article. Abbasi sb you are a optimist thats what I like about you

  • Faisal on July 5, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Well, Pak at least started off on the right foot for this long summer. Good to see Gul back and back with the good old accuracy too. I am hoping to see Shoaib Akhtar replaced with Asif. At least Asif is not as big a liability as Shoaib seems to be at the moment for T20. Also i would like to see Umar Akmal take the all important 1 down position. He needs more exposure to the overs then he is getting right now. And seriously why is Razzaq batting so low down. He is capable of hitting big and making quick runs, he has to be tried up the order may be even open with Butt. Shahzaib is disappointing time and time again so he needs to either pull up his socks and stop it with the rubbish strokes or take a back seat.

  • arif Rana on July 5, 2010, 21:30 GMT

    well, Pakistan is on its way to bring the glory back of pakistan cricket they used to have in Imran,Waseem and Waqar's era.Shahid Afridi have to use his mind utilizing the poetential of each player and bring out the maximum. The long lasting commitment, thrust of win and a winning combination is required to overcome the superpowers of cricket i.e England and Australia. Pakistanis have all the abilities to perform well only players need to concentrate on thier performance as well as fitness and the most importantant not to indulge in any kind of activities which, could bring the bad name of the country. Good Luck Pakistan and all the prayers are with you. We are expecting good cricket from you.

  • Tariq on July 5, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    i think people need to lay off shoaib akhtar, i think he needs a few more games to get his rhythm back up, if yo noticed it werent convincing boundaries from warner.. and at his pace a touch was flying.

    i think its unjust to say he is finished, i know he aint moving back to the top of the mark with ease, but when he is still sending down thunderbolts at 93mph he is getting back into shape.

    they need that akhtar, who knows he didnt get the chance to finish his overs he is deadly at reverse swinging the ball too.

    dont give up on him yet, he will be a force again for pakistan need to keep faith in him.

    its now till the end for Akhtar

  • Rizwan Shirjeel on July 5, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    WoW...Great Win for Pakistan.Afridi and team deserves the praise. Team is looking pretty united under the aggressive leadership of Afridi which is very important and good sign.If we see the track record against Aussies, Pakistan always performed v.well even in lost matches. This is a very good chance to get revenge from Austrailia and InshAllah team will perform very well in tests as well. We are very much hopeful by the grace of Almightly ALLAH, that Pakistan will be victorious this time in T20's as well as in tests. Well done Pakis and wish you best of luck.

  • Faizi on July 5, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    great overall performance by Pakistan..but the real hero was umar akmal..he played so bravely..and then what an impact umar gul can make..he is absolutely superb at the death..shoaib was the only dissapointment in bowling..but Pak really need to work on their batting..go Pak go..let aussies taste some defeats now..

  • Waqas on July 5, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    I disagree with you here. Shoaib is a spent force and Shahzaib will end up into another Imran Nazir. Asif would be more useful on English wickets and Yasir Hameed should be given one more chance.

  • Asghar Kazim on July 5, 2010, 20:23 GMT

    Every format of the game is important and Pakistan is strongest in the 20/20 for now. I hope some wins will bring back the confidence in the team. Over the past couple of years we have been losing games that should have been easy wins. We need to learn to win under a strong captain. Pakistan in lacking the winning confidence and combination and it will come.

    Test cricket will be a true test for Pakistani batting. I do not see anyone who can bat out a whole day...wishing for the best.

  • desihungama on July 5, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    Not having to play in the country in forseeable future and hold all thier matches on neutral avenues of UK, Aus/NZ is a blessing in disguise, in my opinion. Playing on these fast-paced pitches will be intrumental in the development of players, specially all the new comers. I, now expect Pak batters to be ready to explode in the upcoming ODI WorldCup. Afridi, too needs neccessarry experience to learn how to cultivate a win and master the realms of the game. This one will be one hot summer in England.

  • Nadeem Mirza on July 5, 2010, 20:20 GMT

    @Mark the Unruly

    Please use "Australianism," to get John Howard selected in ICC. We need a second fiddle to Powar.

  • Saiful Ansari on July 5, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    Pakistan's big summer has started with a bang.In the first T20 game after a wobble in the middle,there was an alarm to self destruct. But Umar Akmal&Shoib Malik had other plans. Umar showed class in putting up 64 of 30 balls. Defending an small total of 168, Shoaib Akhtar gave away 5 fours & Afridi rightly took him off after giving him two overs. This time there was not going to be a repeat of St.Lucia. Afridi led from front. Took two excellent catches. Amir,Razzak&Ajmal bowled well. Umar Gul broke the back of the Aussies & it was not hard to tell why his captain missed him in the death stage in St Lucia. It was a sweet win. If Pak can take this momentum to their next game. Another win should give them greater confidence to compete with Aussies, who are widely regarded as the best team in all formats of cricket.Today Pakistan fans should be very proud.If Afridi can bring his team together to play to their fullest potential,the fans should expect some wonderful cricket this summer.

  • Shahid on July 5, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    End is well, all is well.....But By witnessing Shoib Akhtars performances in Asia Cup and now the first T20 against Australia, and by watching him wobbling back to his runup mark after just one over or looking at his pethetic moveless fielding, its so obvious that the guy should not be humilated and should be asked to retire from the game and there by keep his pride of old

  • Siddhartha on July 5, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan on winning. Umar Gul made all the difference. Sorely missed by Pak in T20 wc 2011 and by KKR in IPL

  • Matee Ur Rehman on July 5, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    Guys !!!!It finally happened to say the least. We have finally come around to see Shahid Afridi as a better skipper today. He showed that he can lead his team by example. Shoaib, on the other hand, looked like a deflated chump and absolutely had nothing to offer to his team mates. He needs to either clean-up his act or just disappear in the wilderness of unknowns. We need to nip the Aussies where they belong.......the only way to do that is to show aggressive captaincy. In the end, Bravo Pakistan of showing your true character to the bullies.

    Matee

  • Amir Cheema on July 5, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Had we Gull in WC ? I think Shoaib Akhter should limit him self for test only and bring on some young guns in to the squad.I think need YO/YO in test&ODI at any cost.Let these guys gell in to little by little and see what happen.Afride is to strong for Mailk to mess with him I think He is in the teem because BOOM BOOM other wise he will be on side line .

  • Moin Khan on July 5, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    SHOAIB AKHTER, MOHAMMAD SAMI, MOHAMMAD YOUSUF, YOUNIS KHAN, AZHAR MAHMOOD should also be included in the SQUAD

  • sir dong on July 5, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    i think pak spinners get most from the pitch,but there success will depend on opening bowlers,if they get wickets,than it will easy for them to control the match,but if opening bowlers get uneffected than spinners will face hard to get wickets,

  • Gulab on July 5, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    Being a Pakistani I will always support my country in any field of life. I am supporting this team also to win against Australia and England. But one thing is striking my mind again and again. This is the bad intentions in part of our team players and PCB. The players and PCB both has sidelined some of best players like Imran Nazir, Younas Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Asim Kamal. We all know but are blind that this Afridi kicked younas khan from the captaincy and team. How you can make progress in life when you over stepped the person who has right to lead. This is the bad intention and I am 100% sure this team will not survive for three months. If you are bringing culprits and dishonest people like Shoaib Malik and throwing honest and country loving people how how how you can win and how Allah Almighty will help you. I am telling all the readers and author of this article please remember me and my these words about this Pakistani Team. Afridi I challanged you that you will never win.

  • Irfan Ul haq on July 5, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    Shahid Afridi should ful faith on Abdul Razzaq with complete utlization in batting and as well bowling there is no need of Fawad Alam (Good player only for test Cricket)my all prayer and whishes for pakistani team because i am PAKISTANI

    Irfan Ul Haq Baddomalhi ALLAH HAFIZ

  • jd on July 5, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    I was looking at the schedule for PAK team... I am not sure if our team has that kind of fitness to go through this schedule. I assure you there are going to be some calls for players to fill in for unfit. Real test for our players. They should not complain any more for lack of international cricket. Shoaib Akhtar should play a key role in 20-20 matches on the other hand Assuies fast are bowling their heart out specially in last 2 one day matches with Brits.

    I hope following players come out of this series on the top:

    -Shazaib Hassan -Salman Butt -Umer Gul -Shoaib Akhtar (his last chance) -Fawad Alam (yet to see big score from him) -Umar Akmal (Future of Pak team) -Aamer (Please be carefull...we need you for a long time) -Shahid Afridi (need some BOOM BOOM jsut like the last practice match)

    GO PAKIS

  • Saiful Ansari on July 5, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Cricket is a sport. Like every sport, it is about competing and bringing your best game to a match. Records show that Aussies have been the team to beat. They do not rely on the performance of one single player and boast a bank full of great players in their team. Even after losing the first three ODI's to a resurgent England, they came back to snatch the last two matches. This shows the quality and indomitable will of a team that wants to win and possesses the means to close games. Pakistan has elevated their game and though they lost the important matches in T20 World Cup & Asia Cup, they went down fighting and played great cricket. If Pak can keep that momentum & keep playing good cricket, they will rediscover the path to victory. Lets hope this Summer will be the Summer of Pakistan.

  • plsn on July 5, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    Heartening to see so many comments and not a mention of India or India-bashing for once. This is a healthy trend. And the article is so matured for a change, unlike those by Gideon. I hope Pak will thrash the Aussies. I wish Pak and India also play a series on the lively pitches of England or SA. I am an Indian and wish the best for Pakistan. Hope they regain the past glory in a hurry and provide some exciting Indo-Pak series.

  • Mark the Unruly on July 5, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    @ Mali

    You Said

    "In whole world only aussies are the one who plays with opponent's weak points. They dont play fair games."

    Of course they don't play fair, they play to win. It's was Australianism by John Arlott at the end of the 1948 tour of England.

    "Australianism," remarked Arlott, "means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down."

  • Saif Ali on July 5, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar is not the future of Pakistan Cricket. You cannot rely on him for too long because he is simply too old. Rely on the younger guns like Aamir and Muhammad Asif or Wahab Riaz, because they will be around long term. However, Shoaib definitely has not lost his magic, despite his pace being reduced. He is still the same dangerous, smart, and adaptable bowler we all love.

  • Ashar on July 5, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    english pakistan crowd shud support pakistan ... and help them in creating dual pressure on aussies....inshallah de shud win all the t20s

    australia must pay for the its semifinal win in the wt20 against my fav team....

  • yfez on July 5, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    Pakistan team is cursed due to the politics being played by the board and team management, and the injustice done to some of the players, specially Younis khan. See what happened in T20 world cup where instead of playing very well, they could not beat the Aussies, and in Asia Cup lost two very close games. Shoib Malik is in the team after all he did (he should be on trial for taking oath against the national captain and intentionally losing the matches to bring the captain down)! And Younis is still out after all he has gone through!! And we want our team to win ! Does the team and management deserve the victory ??

  • Tariq on July 5, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    Pak team is looking to be in great touch as it was reflected in the side matches in England. Aussies just escaped in the Semi due to freak hussie, well this will not happen here as Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhter are bowling in the depth. One more thing I want to add that in 20 20 matches our success in bowling really depends upon the Gul. In the past 2 word cups Gul have performed extraordinary and just due to him we had won matches. We really miss him in the last T20 World Cup. Well I am a big fan of Pace bowling, dying to see Shaun Tait and Shoaib Akhter in Speedy and aggressive mood. Love to watch them both. Hope that we will see and tight match. Good Luck to Pakistan..

  • Zubair Khan` on July 5, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    Very nice article but i will have to disagree with the line "Pakistan attack that probably has the edge over Australia's in T20 cricket" Australia is playing with 3 of the most fearsome bowlers around! Johson, Nannes and Shaun Tait!! For me, they have a little edge over Pakistan as extreme pace might trouble most of our batsmen, especially the young guns like Shahzaib Hassan. Secondly, no doubt Shoaib Akhter is a world class performer but he has lost his magic and pace, he cant bowl faster than 145 kphs now! He is a spent force but still good enough to find himself in the squad but his pace will be of no match to Shaun Tait's pace! The only department where Pakistan has the edge is their spin department.

  • Vaseem Siddiqi on July 5, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Pakistan playing cricket in England is an opportunity for players to get recognition and do well for themselves. By playing well and winning they are likely to obtain contracts with English counties and once relationship improves with India may also participate in IPL.

    Furthermore, if the players play as a team and perform it is likely that by the end of this summer Team Pakistan would be more settled and one of the favourites to win the World Cup next year to be held in the sub continent. Pakistan should do well in T20 and ODIs during the summer but it is test cricket where their inexperienced batting may let them down. If we are to win tests than in my opinion both Mohammed Yousuf and Younus Khan need to be included in the test team. This can only happen if both the administrators and players put aside their differences for the good of the country because each one of us know that we represent Pakistan and Pakistan always comes first irrespective of personal likes and dislikes.

  • LIAQAT on July 5, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    LETS SEE HOW SHAHID AFRIDI AND HIS TEAM DEALS WITH AUSSI WE ALL HOPE FOR THE BEST

  • Pier Wasif on July 5, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    afridi is really working for Pakistan, we did good in the last world cup there was little mistakes in the last over but you cannot blame Afridi becouse Syed Ajmal has been very sucess in all the game as a last over killer, Afridi did not have a choice but to use Ajmal and we lost the semi-final after all it was a great team affort @ we played as a team. i believe Younus & Yousuf does not belong to T20 Abdul Razzak should be promoted to 4 down Umar Amin should be playing in T20 i believe we have a good team i do not believe Umar Gul can do much he is out of Form. Pakistan T20 team. Afridi, Salman Butt, Abdul Razzak, Umar Akmal, Shahzaib, Umar Amin, Shoaib Akhtar, Shoib malik, Syed Ajmal, Mohd Amer @ Wahb Riaz Good Luck Pakistan

  • Kamran Khan on July 5, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    I m just waiting to see Pakistanis crushing Aussies... well in t20 game only miracle can save Aussies from Pakistan as in semi-final.. This time hussey freak cann't help aussies..... Go Pakistan Go

  • Muhammad Rafi on July 5, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Definitely this will be a big challenge for Aussies under the fire blaster's captainship. Let's start hunting other teams.All the best Pakistan. All the best Shahid Afridi.

  • bashir ahmed. on July 5, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Well looks good team slection against australia, we hope team will fight well and hope for the best performance Ishallah. I wish them all the best. Good luck for Afridi and his team. Hope for the good performance by our ballers spacialy Mohd. Amer and bating by Kamran brothers......

  • fahad abbasi on July 5, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    InshaAllah boys will do better,team is in the process of rebuilding and captain is leading from front with his performance,i hope we will see a totaly different team after this summer.

  • aamir sami on July 5, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    Paksitani team selection looks good. let's see how they perform aga one of the best team of world cricket in uk conditions. keep in view that pakistan had won 20/20 w.cup in 2009 in these conditions. keep working & give your 100% the result will be according to our expection.

  • mansoor khan on July 5, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    in t20 i will pray for pak to win.but in tests i will pray that australia win all the matches.becoz my favt player is not in the squad(younas khan).he is one of the honest&greatest player in pakistan.and he is out from the team becoz of his good manners.he is alot better than shoaib malik.any way good luck pak in t20.,,and good luck australia in tests.

  • Suleman on July 5, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    Pakistan is capable of beating Aussies, they only have to be mentally strong. Afridi should also learn to use his team better and when and where to use which bowler(I believe if he had given the last over to someone else than Ajmal, the result would have been different)and be flexible to change the batting order, if required.

    I agree that Razzaq should climb up the batting order, but also he should be used better as a bowler. He showed in the the warm up matches that when he becomes the main bowler, he can take wickets(He took three wickets in three overs).

  • Asif on July 5, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Kamran..... i have never EVER agreed with your comments, this is the first time you've actually written something i agree with. Might well be a change of an era!!! Well written mate, Like Afridi said we have given them good fights despite what the records show, and i reckon we just need to tip over the line once, just once, to turn the tide... WE ARE PAKISTAN and we have been rediculed for over 60 years about our in fighting, our crazy PCB and generally everything else... but yet we always bring with us the X Factor....Cometh forth the next era of Pakistan, be warned!!! yeah i reckon i been out in the sun too long as well....

  • Mohammad Asad on July 5, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA.....

    Very good comment by Shahil....I do agree with you 100%.... Thanks for the comments... Yeah, they are capable to make it.....Good Luck !!!!!

  • MuhammedhTamil on July 5, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    Little and finally a definite hope has arrived because of Afridi and certainly he is going to prove as a True Captain provided no mismanagement from PCB or any unnecessary pressure from other greats of PAK/Elsewhere. Selectors must not disturb the squad for atleast 10 matches. Shoaib Malik must come at no.3 - I don't know whats going wrong there, he was a proven no.3 batsmen - when he was there the runs came very quick in ODIs - really confused surrounding his position - Younis for no.3 at Tests and Malik for ODIs and T20s - Definitely this is going to fix a lots of problem for PAK. PCB should stop bringing more new players atleast for 2 years and tell the new comers to specialize the spot where team needs, instead stick to current pool of new players and master them by giving enough leadership and chances. Enough is enough, this is last chance to start winning, otherwise Afridi will run away from Captaincy, please take these messages to them. Give good run for Fawad in Tests atleast.

  • saleem khan on July 5, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    i think you are wrong,every thing is not good in yoyr artical.very sorry. Saleem khan ..lahore

  • MIrza Kamran on July 5, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    Best of Luck Pakistan Forever.

  • rao khalid on July 5, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    salam, im not here to talk about winning and losing bt i like the artcle so i thought i should post a comment. one thing for sure this cricket summer would be very long....2nd thing Pakistan hv to show that test cricket is alive in Pakistan, they hv to show sm fight and courage against these test cricket giants, i hope Pakistan would give better performance than that they give in australia and plz plz forget abt younis, yuousf or shoaib akhtar, give cofidence to younger players, they r best and they can prove that they r best, best of luck to Pakistan

  • Fawaad Baluch on July 5, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    The Pak team is a microcosm of the country as a whole. Disorganised, racked by infighting, and disgraced members who seem to get away with any misdemeanour. But alas, its something for the nation to cheer for. The team has the talent, but as with all Pak teams facing Australia, the weakness is psychological. And the Aussies have mastered the art of war - winning the mind game before the first ball has been bowled. My message to Afridi and his men, hold your nerve, play with finesse and flair, and never, I repeat never let your foot off the pedal until the game is in the bag!

    Come on Pak!!!!!!!

  • Mirza Kamran on July 5, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    Inshallah Pakistan Wins Todays Match. Pakistan Zindabad

  • Kamran on July 5, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Afridi believes that Pakistan can win. I hope he is right. I also hope that if we lose, he doesn't come on the stage and say "boys really enjoyed the game", like he always do, and I hate it when Pakistani players say that. Pakistan has made it habit of "enjoying" losing. The team plays for the country in international matches, the people expect alot from them. The day Pakistan starts to regret losing, will be the day they can start striving to win.

  • Mohsin on July 5, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Fun us inherent in this format, but in this particular season I am not that much interested in these 20/20s. I am waiting for the tests series. This is the format in which Pakistan is moving in off mode. With no experience in the side for the longer format, i can only hope that this tour will not aggregate to the torture of losing to Australia again.

  • rameez raja on July 5, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    I am rameez raja saying pakistan should play well to beat aussies. But it wont be easy for pakistan.. keep faith in allah..

  • Sohail Malik on July 5, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Pakistan always been unpredictable. So, any thing can be expected. Aussies will be more confident but also aware of the stated fact. I think Pakistan will perform well in one days and T20s but tests will still remain a problem. Pakistan is a much stronger team in T20s with Umer Gul and Akhter. Afridi is good captain and will become better if he is given confidence for the next 2 years at least. Hope to see him performing better. Though unhappy to see Misbah and one of my favorite T20 player Imran Nazir missing in the side but still Pakistan will give hard time this season.

  • Salman malik on July 5, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Long live Pakistan Hope we win.

  • Usman Rathore on July 5, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Sorry to say this but i have a bad feeling about this summer, after the amazing clean sweep in australia now our beloved patriotic, unselfish, loyal, professional and "United" team will make another clean sweep in england as well..... so history is in the making, don't miss it !!!!

    PS: Don't let the patriotism fool you because within this team the roles may be different now but the actors are the still the same !!!

  • Sharad on July 5, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    Well , there is no doubt that present Pakistan team is doing very well and they can beat any team. The question is about discipline on ground. If Afridi can control his boys then they can change their image. and most important thing is as long as politics remains away from this team it would do better for the team. Best of Luck...

  • Tabassum on July 5, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    Hi Kamran I would suggest that please avoid derogatory words such as " Imperial Masters" for the nation. Lets keep it to cricket Anyway they were nothing more than intruders who took over from other intruders called mughals.....

  • SLfuns on July 5, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Pakistan today will win the mache againg australiya

  • umair malik on July 5, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    i love pakistan and his team i hope pakistan is played well i love afridi and shoaib malik

  • javedtahir on July 5, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Pakistan has potential and ability to beat Australia, but the thing is that how our players behave on the field. Afridi is an aggressive captain but he is still don't know how to finish the game in positive note. My all best wishes with Afridi & his men. I am in office but I will try to reach at home in time to catch up the live action.

  • Manjeet on July 5, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    Like Boycott said “The shorter the format of any game, there is less skill and more luck involved. The longer the format, the more skill comes in, because you have to to use that skill with temperament and cricketing discipline and logic and all this comes into picture in Tests and to some extent ODI's” . Keeping this statement in perspective , Pakistan might scrape home with a victory or two in T20's but in terms of Tests and ODI...it seems a long summer indeed and probably one which will soon be forgotten in selective memory brain cells of the Pakistani fans.

  • MIR ABDUL REHAMAN on July 5, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    Very Good Captain by Shahid Afridi, Pakistan Team 5 Times Salah First ALLAH HAFIZ.

  • Boota on July 5, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Awwww. not australia again... I cann't even imagine pakistan beating Aussies...

  • razak on July 5, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    yaa i agree but i want imran nazeer to be in the side i like him he is much beetter than most of them i thing so

  • mali on July 5, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    in whole world only aussies are the one who plays with opponent's weak points. They dont play fair games.

  • Mirza Shahid Mahmood on July 5, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    A challenging series for Pakistan where the whole team has to perform exceptional keeping in view to play as one unit as a team.

  • Jawad on July 5, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    hi i am jawad fron faisalabad pakistan,i follow cricket from last 15 years,yes its a touf tour for pakistan,but ins pak will do better in this tour,pakistan always have good players but lacke of confidence and physical and sp mental fitness,but now pak have a very strong minded captain like Shahid kahn afridi,only need to unite the team and gives confidence to playes as well as to captain and coach,ins pak will perform a lot better as compare perivous

  • usman on July 5, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    i think our case is exactly the same as english football. English supported England football team all the way and media built so much hype about England ending their 45 year draught to win the worldcup but deep down every English fan knew that England dont stand a chance. With us pakistanis, we have falsely started to believe we can do well but deep down we know we dont stand a chance. I hope im wrong but i also know i wont be.

    Problem lies in our structure. to start with we have no constitution in cricket. Imran khan rightly that u are asking some one who had no education to compete with some one who had the best education possible. It just can not happen. Its abt time that we chane our cricket structure. Who the hell gave zardari to elect pcb chairman? WE MUST CHANGE OUR CRICKET STRUCTURE

    On a different note, change entire leadership of ICC. Have u guyz seen the format of 2011 cricket worldcup.Its pathetic and mark my words. NEXT WORLDCUP WILL BE THE MOST BORING WORLDCUP EVER.

  • msport on July 5, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    As an Australian supporter,i wish australia to win but also wish 2 see umar akmal n mohammed amer to perform because i m a big fan of them.But i guess as a team pakistan will fail.

  • irshad Ah. on July 5, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    In t20 against aussies they have a chance to beat them, but in test matches without Mohammad Yusuf, Younis Khan and Misba & Abdul Razaq I dont see them winning easily.

  • anas on July 5, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    i thinks its time to support our country ..yousaf shold not be in the side as he is more in sreious in icl and molvi movements...younas must be there especially in test...but hope youngsters rise to the circumstances under the brave leadership of boom boom...my test side should be farhat ,,butt,younas,malik,akmal,kamran,afridi,aamir,gul,asif ,kaneria aur may be fawad,,amin,,asad,,azhar,,irfan,,wahab in reseves....hope the long tour bring the necessity life and energy back to pak cricket...................

  • irshad Ahm on July 5, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    hope for the best for the pak

  • Javed Iqbal on July 5, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Being a brummy. I am going to watch tomorrows (6th) match at Edgbaston.

    Almost half of the ground is under construction but still there we loads and loads of tickets available till yesterday. Suddenly they announced on the local Radio that tickets for both edgbaston T20 will be 'BUY ONE GET ONE FREE' 2 for £50 and I rushed to buy the tickets :)

    little disappointing that Birmingham has largest Pakistani/Kashmiri population after Manchester but still authorities were unable to sell out the Pak Aus match of half under construction ground.

    Anyways its not all bad news because most of the matches for Pak Eng series are either sold out or very few tickets available.

    As I am sitting right behind the bowler would love to watch the likes of Aamer, Shoiab, Tait Johnson, Bollinger.... and I will hope that Akmal brother hit some straight sixes to I can free my arms too :)

  • Salman Karim on July 5, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    I hope Pakistan will do better in this long English tour.. However Pakistani team is not an experienced team but the talent of Umar Akmal, M.Amer and U.Amin will definitely help Pakistan to give tough time to English and Aussies teams..

  • Think on July 5, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Don't agree with you in that Pakistan is a country divided by religion. There is only one predominant religion in Pakistan.

  • WAJID on July 5, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Excellent article Mr.Kamran,

    Can anyone tell me which channel will broadcast this Pak-Aus series?

  • Tahir Hussain on July 5, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Well friends let us cheer up our team even win or lose no matter. Just look at their performance in Asia cup. We can see the TEAM. Wish you all the best. CHUK DAY PAKISTAN

  • Gohar on July 5, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Well, another great article Kamran, We are waiting for 4-0 against australia. Just to minimise the overdue. I hope Afridi and his Men will not disappoint this time. Time to pay back boys!!!

  • wasim on July 5, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    im looking for Umar Akmal,Amir n Afridi as a captain.All the boys should show the tempaerament and the winning spirit to grap the trophy.

  • Imran on July 5, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Great chance for pakistan to take revenge.

  • Rehan on July 5, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Well Pak T20 team looks in good shape, however against AUS we seems to loose our bite at crucial moments, we are the only team that came close to beating AUS in last year T20 tournament.

    This is probably the first time i have no objection to selected team, everyone looks necessary for the team and i hardly feel for anyone missed out, not sure if Fawad will play today, in my opinion he should be in playing eleven though little up the order.

    Good Luck guys, play like champions.

    My Pak team,

    1-Shazaib Hassan 2-Salman Butt 3-Shoaib Malik 4-Umar Akmal 5-Shahid Afridi 6-Kamran Akmal 7-Fawad Alam 8-Abdul Razzaq 9-Umar Gul 10-Mohammad Amir 11-Shoaib Akhtar

  • Amir on July 5, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    Well, I tend to disagree with some of the comments made on this blog. I would like to praise the mental strength shown by the Pakistani player's in T20 world cup and in Asia Cup after losing semi to Austrailia and India fearlesly and crushing Bangladesh scoring Pakistan's highest ever One day total despite been affected by the overall negative security situation in Pakistan. As the sitauation in pakistan is improving i believe Pakistani team players confidance has started to return and I am really excited for this summer and like to expect good performance and team spirits from all players. If they become united Austrailian have no chance we have already seen how badly they played against England.

  • Johar on July 5, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    High hopes . Many fans seem to think that the over hyped bowling will be too good for England and Australia. Its just a hype as ususal becasue of selective memory of fans. They tend to remember only one good bowling spell and feel that's is gonna happen every inning every match. Conveniently forgetting each good spell by Pakistani bowler is coated by at least 4 innings where opposition has declared because of the inability of Pakistan to get the team out. Well the batters well less said the better. Inconsistency is masked by using the word unpredictability .

  • navz on July 5, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Aussies are already used to english condition while pak is still new,if u want to beat aus we have to be very positive.i want to see razzaq up the batting order,he use to bat when only few balls remaining in the inings.

  • Dr. Mubahir Hanif on July 5, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    Assalamoalikum Kami bhai! Thanks for the encouraging write-up. Pakistan is full of talent at all levels, no doubt about it. We were lucky to win in 1992 as Imran picked almost single handedly, Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam and gave his team a motto of the cornered tigers and led from the front to rasie the cup. T20 is fast and furious where you can hide your flaws like bad temperament, bad technique, questionanable selection on wrong merits, desciplianry issues (what is behind malik's story)? etc but at ODI and test level you simply cant. Pakistan will surely push Ooz to the wall in T20s but sorry to write the truth, they will be smashed again in ODIs and in tests. And again Mr Ijaz butt will throw grabage on the third party, some scape goats and a new look team that will need time to adjust... This shaytani chakkar goes on and on and on....till you put deserving people on all the seats and observe rule of law, justice, equality, merit etc. Till then please stop day dreaming. Peace

  • Mohammed Meeran on July 5, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Pakistan T20

    Pakistan is the toppest team in this format of the game. They have 11 quality players to select. They can compete with any of the team in the world. Today's match will be challenging for the Kangaroos after the return of Shoaib Akhtar.

  • Naseer Mir on July 5, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    There is nothing exciting about the tour - No younus and no yousuf. We are without the backbone of our oneday and test side. But i hope Pakistan perform Well !!! Best of Luck !!!

  • Anees Razzak on July 5, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    Let's hope we don't toil with our weak batting line up. The real tests are in the tests! Bring it on!

  • Shahil on July 5, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    Can Afridi's Prove himself as good captain ? Can Afridi's Men shut all critics ( By Akram, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Zaheer Abbas , Etc)? It's all time to come forward to perform every youngster ( Umar Amin, Shahzeb, Wahab ). On the paper, It looks dark Pakis Squad which has been selected for England Tour but Believe me , every youngster has a capability to full-stop dead rubbers ( Include, Younus Khan, Misbah, Faisal Iqbal, M.Yousuf, ). I predict that Umar Amin will be the finest and technically dam correct so he has a golden an opportunity to fix permanent place instead of Younus khan. Another bright prospectus will be SHAHZEB HASAN WHO CAN BE DASHING ATTACKING PLAYER FOR SHORT VERSION MEANS 50-50 & 20-20.

  • Shariq Haroon on July 5, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    The Aussies don't beat other teams, its most teams who beat themselves when they think they are taking on the might Australians. Pakistan perhaps does it the most. This is it, then, perform well and Pakistan as a nation wil continue to believe that miracles can happen, flop, and a whole nation will perhaps look towards another sport.

    Good luck!

  • atif munawar mir on July 5, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Pakistani team should learn to play as one unit and revive and consolidate its fighting spirit in this tour. Winning or loosing is secondary at least for now.

  • Syed Nauman Hassan on July 5, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    Few points of wisdom:

    - Pakistan must look to play Asif under the English condition. - Afridi should stick with Shahzaib opening throughout the summer, even if he keeps on failing! - Umar Akmal must be cemented at number four position. - Shoaib Malik must play one down, even if he keeps on failing! - Razzaq should climb up the order. - There is no point in playing Fawad Alam or Imran Farhat! Alam is not a stroke maker while Farhat has a flawed technique.

  • Javed Iqbal on July 5, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    For some weird reason I can sense a strong performance from Pakistan this summer. We will have home crowd feeling and will have the pitches where Pakistan has done reasonably well over past 50 years. Although I dont expect a lot from Shoiab Malik but given the current team He is the key to Pakistan's success if he play sincerely and make other batsman play around him. Its time for Malik to pay back what PCB has invested on him over the years. In the recent series in Lanka, Although shoiab and Aamer bowled really well but they bowled short unplayable deliveries. I think they both need to pitch the ball up like Gul to get any swing English piches gives you other wise they can only bowl long economical wicketless spells. I am just hoping that they will include Fawad Alam in the test squad which he is not in currently as the guy has 56 avg after 50+ games in domestic which is not a joke given the avgs of other players in the squad. C'mon Pakistan win our hearts. Glory Long due!

  • Mohammed Meeran on July 5, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    This will be definitely a challenging series for Pakistan under Afridi.

    Afridi should come early at 5, while Salman & Shahzaib should open. Pakistan is totally balanced team & will definitely compete with resurgent Aussies.

  • Ahmed on July 5, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    Well it really have been the dream of pakistan to defeat Australia atleast once .. but they didn't defeat them ever.. now its a nutral vanue and its England Soil it can b still difficult but can't b impossible for green shirts .. Pakistan stands the chance in T 20 but in tests Austaralia has far much better side then Pakistan.. even in T20 they have to play out of their skins to beat Aussies as they are coming to form now..Anyhow goodluck Pakistan long live Pakistan..

  • Ali on July 5, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    What I like about the author is that he speaks positive. If i was the PCB chairman I would have hired Mr. Kamran as a motivational coach specially for long tours and ideally on permanent basis for a long terms basis.

    I beleive the author through this article is trying to create hype - the reasons mentioned are Shahzaib and Shoaib...... I disagree!!

    There is nothing exciting about the tour - No younus and no yousuf. We are without the backbone of our oneday and test side.

    What is exciting about is ----- This trip may tell us how bright or dull our future is ----- Winning or losing is not the excitement here.

    We will be looking for Umar Akmal consistant performance, Amirs mental streght, Umar amin, Fwad alam, shahzaib, future with the team and Afridi as a captain --- If we lose we will not be disappointed as but if young fellow can show the fighting spirit and mental streght to fight against the camps in english condition, it will be our sucess.

  • Talha Siddiqi on July 5, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    This is going to be a big cracker of a tour. Pakistan playing as visitors against England and as hosts against Aussies , this is going to be a build up to the all-precious World Cup next year .

  • Rizwan Ahmed on July 5, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    The team composition seems to be OK except for one member who is a total disgrace to the side.He has no self dignity and no respect.He is a person who is utterly confused and shamelessly immature.Even on the field he has limited ability and never has an integral member of the team and is the reason for discord and dis-unity.He also is mentally weak and in England I am sure the fans will humiliate him.Who is he---its none other then the pathetic childish Malik.

  • Bilqees Begum on July 5, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    Kamran, you should end each article with the following line: "Cameraman Faraz kay saath, main hoon Kamran Abbasi, Cricinfo news, Peshawar".

  • Sharjeel on July 5, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    In 20:20 against aussies they have a chance to beat them, but in test matches without Mohammad Yusuf, Younis Khan and Shoaib Akhtar I dont see them winning easily.

  • Harris on July 5, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Very well written. There is no doubt that Pakistan has been hammered by the Aussies but I always love watching Pakistan play as they always have something up their sleeve that can sting any team. Although Pakistan's tour of Australia earlier this year was pretty disappointing but Im sure in T20 they'll entertain!

    Can't wait for the game to start in about 6 hours time. In Australia it will be 2AM but Im happy to wake up and watch the two giants clash!

  • Prashan on July 5, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan but very fond of Pakistan! I hope this tour of England will be the greatest of chances for Pakistan to excel. Hope the Pakistani diaspora in UK will come to support. Hope international cricket returns to Pakistan next year even?

  • Waseem Sarwar on July 5, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Well article Kamran bahe, really good one. We Pakistani people are eager to win against Aussie team, Pakistan can do, atleast in T20 by targeting people like Smith and Johnson.

  • Imran Khan on July 5, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    very good article !!! i hope Pakistan perform Well !!! Best of Luck !!!

  • Shujaat Ali Khan on July 5, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    nice blog, i hope pakistan play as a team. i am sure they are capable of beating australia. England has done so, pakistan also can..!!

  • waterbuffalo on July 5, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Well the crowd should help the Pakistan team a great deal, the sight of Aamer and Gul and possibly Akhtar will be very exciting, Pakistan should always bowl first..as for batting, the less said the better.

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  • waterbuffalo on July 5, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Well the crowd should help the Pakistan team a great deal, the sight of Aamer and Gul and possibly Akhtar will be very exciting, Pakistan should always bowl first..as for batting, the less said the better.

  • Shujaat Ali Khan on July 5, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    nice blog, i hope pakistan play as a team. i am sure they are capable of beating australia. England has done so, pakistan also can..!!

  • Imran Khan on July 5, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    very good article !!! i hope Pakistan perform Well !!! Best of Luck !!!

  • Waseem Sarwar on July 5, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Well article Kamran bahe, really good one. We Pakistani people are eager to win against Aussie team, Pakistan can do, atleast in T20 by targeting people like Smith and Johnson.

  • Prashan on July 5, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan but very fond of Pakistan! I hope this tour of England will be the greatest of chances for Pakistan to excel. Hope the Pakistani diaspora in UK will come to support. Hope international cricket returns to Pakistan next year even?

  • Harris on July 5, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Very well written. There is no doubt that Pakistan has been hammered by the Aussies but I always love watching Pakistan play as they always have something up their sleeve that can sting any team. Although Pakistan's tour of Australia earlier this year was pretty disappointing but Im sure in T20 they'll entertain!

    Can't wait for the game to start in about 6 hours time. In Australia it will be 2AM but Im happy to wake up and watch the two giants clash!

  • Sharjeel on July 5, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    In 20:20 against aussies they have a chance to beat them, but in test matches without Mohammad Yusuf, Younis Khan and Shoaib Akhtar I dont see them winning easily.

  • Bilqees Begum on July 5, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    Kamran, you should end each article with the following line: "Cameraman Faraz kay saath, main hoon Kamran Abbasi, Cricinfo news, Peshawar".

  • Rizwan Ahmed on July 5, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    The team composition seems to be OK except for one member who is a total disgrace to the side.He has no self dignity and no respect.He is a person who is utterly confused and shamelessly immature.Even on the field he has limited ability and never has an integral member of the team and is the reason for discord and dis-unity.He also is mentally weak and in England I am sure the fans will humiliate him.Who is he---its none other then the pathetic childish Malik.

  • Talha Siddiqi on July 5, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    This is going to be a big cracker of a tour. Pakistan playing as visitors against England and as hosts against Aussies , this is going to be a build up to the all-precious World Cup next year .