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July 13, 2010

2010: Summer of Pakistan

Afridi attack lifts new Pakistan

Kamran Abbasi
Shahid Afridi's attacking approach was refreshing to watch  © Associated Press
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Same bowlers, same opposition - but different captain. This was Shahid Afridi's day. In the beginning he sat wrapped up on the balcony of the Lord's pavilion, a fluffy owl. Later, he appeared for the toss, a dapper country gent in blazer and whites, to win an important toss.

The Pakistan captain's final incarnation was as an attacking leader, a giant among midgets--this is after all, one of the shortest Pakistan teams ever to take the field.

Afridi has laid claim to an oubreak of right thinking in the Pakistan camp. It might be true. For a start, the Pakistan players all strode out proudly in green caps, not a floppy hat in sight. Next, Afridi set five slips in an attempt to pressurise the mighty Australians. He has the bowlers to justify his actions. It is the batsmen who he will be most nervous about, if he ever feels nerves.

For the most part Afridi's bowlers responded. Mohammad Aamer, nerveless as ever, spreading uncertainty with early swing. Asif turned the match from the Pavilion End, favoured by no lesser bowlers than Waqar Younis and Glenn McGrath. Even Danish Kaneria and Umar Gul, unreliable Test fellows, provided worthy support.

Throughout all this, Afridi attacked in the field. Even when his instincts looked foolish, as Simon Katich and Michael Clarke defied the conditions with some sparkling strokeplay, Afridi was on the hunt. He juggled his bowlers but the attacking field placings remained.

If nothing else, Afridi's captaincy is the starkest possible contrast to that of Mohammad Yousuf. In the end, the result might be the same but Afridi's instinct is closer to the senses of his country's supporters.

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Posted by Lakisha on (January 27, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

So true. Hoentsy and everything recognized.

Posted by sajjad_logic@gmail.com on (July 18, 2010, 7:10 GMT)

Well Looks like Afridi chickened out....or his IQ level is so low that it took him a decade to realise he cant or is not fit to play proper TEST cricket. Finally he retires...But then again temporary retirement is so common in the Pakistani land.

Posted by sajjad_logic@gmail.com on (July 18, 2010, 7:02 GMT)

Well Looks like Afridi chickened out....or his IQ level is so low that it took him a decade to realise he cant or is not fit to play proper TEST cricket. Finally he retires...But then again temporary retirement is so common in the Pakistani land.

Posted by Javaid M. Malik on (July 17, 2010, 12:06 GMT)

Mr.dmqi, Your comment: "Does Pakistan can come close to Auatralia in anything: batting, bowling, fielding and professionalism"? You seems to be true at this moment of time. But you forget one of their most important characteristic & ie; POOR & LOW SPORTSMANSHIP TO BE AT PAR WITH OTHER FACTORS YOU MENTIONED.

Posted by Javaid M. Malik / Jeddah K.S.A. on (July 17, 2010, 11:53 GMT)

Mr.REXT, Neither you read my comments properly nor you watched the replay of the Aamir/Ponting incident. I invite you to watch the replay of the incident & listen to the comments of neutral commentators. Furthermore,they also replayed an incident of Aamir/Clarke from T20 match in which Aamir collided with Clarke & offered his apology immediately which was gracefully accepted by Clarke. While in the other incident Aamir turned prior to any collision & Ponting took out his elbow which struck him. Instead of offerring an apology like a gentleman he started murmurring which reflected his sportsmanship. With regard to my comment "Please tell me if I am wrong" I had written: "I have observed over the years that aussies has now emerged as a great team of indecent sport persons. It is obvious when they are down & the opposing team is performing well". An actual scenario prevailed on the day the comment was made. Please review my comments in the light of the game on the day & then comment.

Posted by noor on (July 16, 2010, 23:10 GMT)

Pakistan have lost more games than the oppositions winning it. Pak players lack the will to believe they can win even against Aust. I think Pak could have scored the 440 runs, most of their wicket was handed to the Aussie bowlers. One good news came out of this test, one less idiot (Afridi) will be playing test cricket for the Pak. For the next test it would be wise to drop Kaneria and Farat. Kaneria takes the odd wickets but gives away too many runs. Farat is another fool in this Pak line up, plays flashy ill advised shots. For next test drop Kaneira and Farat and bring in Malik and Yaser Hamid. Pak tail is too long, Aamir comes in at the fall of 6th wicket is a joke.

Posted by Asif Shaikh on (July 15, 2010, 17:56 GMT)

Well, I want systems in Pakistan ..... I want Pakistan to Organize .......PPL in neutral venue to ensure a separate league focusing the Pakistani players and also import players from ENGLAND, SA and AUS etc even second tiers will help .....need Strong personality like lalit Modi ...........

Posted by Gulab on (July 15, 2010, 16:20 GMT)

@dmqi @rext You both are not correct look to the replay of Ponting carefully what he did. Can anyone expect from a great player to do like what he did against the very young and inexperience person. Yes I know Australia is big team but on the other hand they have no sportman spirit. Further Aamir has talent but he is still very young he need some experience.

Posted by vinay on (July 15, 2010, 14:56 GMT)

now its tooooo heavy for Afridi to lift sleepy pakistan..is it not mr. Kamran..poor chap

Posted by dmqi on (July 15, 2010, 14:40 GMT)

For the record, just see my previous post yesterday, I said australia will score 300 in the second innings and Pakistan will loose by 145 runs. Now check australia's second innings: 1st 5 did not contribute as much as they should, but the last 5 responded. Even the aus bowlers knew how to face the Pak bowlers to score 100 plus runs.That is what a team is. See the Pak bowlers. It looks like they forgot (specially the Mr. celebration, Amer) how to take wicket. Now you, who celebrate after every boudary and every wicket by Pak players need to make a sound judgement, Does Pakistan can come close to Auatralia in anything: batting, bowling, fielding and professionalism? By the way, I am from the Indian subcontinent and was a big fan of Miandad and Wasim Akram. But not anymore as all the Pakistani players, present and past are involved in too much in fight.

I hope good sense will come back to Afridi and the selectors for the selection of second test team.

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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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