2010: Summer of Pakistan July 15, 2010

Lessons from Lord's

Pakistan's batting fortunes have changed with the Lord's weather
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Salman Butt needs a better opening partner © AFP

Pakistan's batting fortunes have changed with the Lord's weather. Facing a world record fourth-innings target, Pakistan have begun to restore some credibility if not hope. At the outset Pakistan's coach Waqar Younis argued this tour was a learning experience for him and his charges.

Lots of good has come out of this Test. The overall bowling effort, two new batsmen have debuted, and Salman Butt and Umar Gul have begun to reassert themselves in Test cricket. But lessons are usually focused on areas for improvement and here are some lessons Waqar might want to consider:

1. Play your best batsman at No.3. Umar Akmal has continued a peculiarly Pakistani tradition of the best batsman in the team shying away from the top spot in the batting order. Senior status comes with a cushion that helps you warm the bench while more junior colleagues suffer. The most alarming statistic of this contest is that it is the first time since Pakistan's inaugural match that the batsmen at Nos 3 and 4 have been making a debut. Umar should have grasped the mantle in the manner that he charges out to the crease.

2. Find a better opening partner for Salman Butt. For some inexplicable reason Imran Farhat has become Pakistan's Test opener of choice. The justification for his continued selection is minimal. Farhat has always looked like a batsman who might succeed in Pakistan but will require a healthy dose of luck outside, as he received in New Zealand. Why bring Yasir Hameed on tour and not play him? Even the malign, and the maligned, Shoaib Malik might be a better use of available resources.

3, Find a balance between defence and attack. In Pakistan's first innings they understandably began in super cautious mode. But what they ended up doing was simply hanging around until they got out. When Shahid Afridi entered the arena he was in blitz mode, and began an exhilarating but brief assault. There is a balance that needs to be struck and Waqar must help find it because his captain has only one mode.

4, Keep up the pressure in the field. On two occasions in this match Pakistan helped Australia into a strong position. The first innings partnership between Simon Katich and Michael Clarke was followed by the even more unsatisfactory attempt to dislodge Tim Paine and Ben Hilfenhaus. On both occasions Pakistan lacked focus, energy, and a plan B. They allowed the game to drift, easy singles easy runs. Those partnerships will make the difference between victory and defeat.

5. Is it possible to play Afridi and four bowlers? The tail becomes too long. Should Afridi always be the fourth bowler?

Meanwhile, Pakistan fans will hope and pray for a miracle on Friday. A lesser but still valuable reward would be a century or two to help the batsmen gather some confidence and momentum.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • amir on August 25, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    pakistan should definitely go in the last test wid four bowlers and a change in batting is required, i strongly believe imran farhat should be out of squad now, he has been given enough chance, umar akmal can also be given rest , his performence in last two tests is horrorably poor, and i request to pakistan cricket board , selection committee and tour management committee is dat plz get rid of kamran akmal, he is really source of irritation now for fans of cricket, cant we find his replacement in a cricket loving rather cricket crazy nation like pakistan where child likes to play to cricket, i know oneday we have to kick him out because if we keep him in the side, we will keep on loosing matches as he will keep on dropping catches and our bowlers will keep on suffering

  • Umair Rizvi on July 23, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    I agree with usman sheikh ,that we should get rid of our fatty Ijaz Butt because all he has done is embarrassed Pakistan at every level. He has made many decisions in haste. Secondly if it was Fawad Alam instead of Imran Farhat in the first test he would have been sent home and never considered for the team ever again!!! It is with the grace of Imran's sugar daddy that he is still in the team and is improving with time. My prayers are with the whole team but i hope the most talented players regain their spot again. Salman Butt was also dropped on many occassions, but whenever he came back he scored. Kaneria needs to change up his action and flight of delivery( its too straight up like a medium pacer, no time for turn) lastly our bowlers need to scare the batsmen with some ugly bouncers and fast short pitches every now and then.

  • medrar on July 21, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    Imran Khan calls those half batsman half ballers as "RAILU KATTA". You put pressure on their balling and balling fails, put pressure on their batting and the batting fails. I wonder how long we will do these drama,s by playing RAILU KATTA's like shoaib malik and afridi.

  • waterbuffalo on July 19, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    If I was a betting man, I'd say Yousuf and Younis will be back for the 1st Test against England. As for Afridi, he had 6 Tests and he quit after one, he can challenge Younis for cry-baby of the year. The lack of will and patriotism is astonishing. At least Yousuf had the guts to carry on until the very end. Now that is what I call a Test player.

  • Purushotham on July 19, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    AB KYA KAMRAN SAHEB?! WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNT?!!! ---- FROM AND AFTER LORD'S?

  • ASIAN on July 19, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    Where is MY/YOUR/OUR AFRIDI who is very courageous, never-say-die-attitue, exicting, where is he. Why he took such as nasty decision? And Why. Its really hurting us, why he is not taking it back even after Imran Khan spoke to him, a lengend knows the other legend reckoning/living.

    I hope he will surprise us again by making himself available in the very near future, without him Cricket really dies esp. the Test cricket though he is playing after 4 years. However PCB took a smart move after a long time to put Butt in place, only left is two other legends to come back, Yonis and Yousuf with Akthar is already on the side. A true ASIAN.

  • aftab on July 18, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    To the Patron of PCB: If you don't want Afghanistan beating Pakistan, send Rashid Latif to head PCB. But then, who knows your loyalties!

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on July 18, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    Assalamulaikum Kamran Vhai,in the present disaster times of Pak Cricket-firstly the players must have acquired true fair faithful Patriotism,deeper integrity,stronger stamina,longest patience to stay on the crease,honest & reliable attitude+approach with expression for the team to acting captain,true ability to select the appropriate effective bowlers in the crucial right times & finally for the Pak selectors should have become educated person to select the matured experienced players in test cricket.Well,Azhar Ali & Umar Amin are not suitable choices to be examined & analyzed to play in test. Danish Kaneria is only effective for real spin track otherwise;he is totally waste of perfect selection.In replaced over Danish,Saied Azmal is true handler almost in any situation, environment wherever Pakistan uses to play.So,Pak selectors should be matured to include Yasir Arafat,Shoaib Malik ,Saied Azmal,Abdur Razzaq to be replaced over Imran,Azhar, Danish & Umar Amin for last test.

  • ahsan on July 18, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    I THINK DANISH KANERIA WILL BE OPENER

  • aftab on July 17, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    I like your faith in Afridi. You should know that his talent is natural. Leadership needs the ability to learn and analyze that he has shown lacking. The sixth lesson is not to put all your eggs in one basket called Afridi.

  • amir on August 25, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    pakistan should definitely go in the last test wid four bowlers and a change in batting is required, i strongly believe imran farhat should be out of squad now, he has been given enough chance, umar akmal can also be given rest , his performence in last two tests is horrorably poor, and i request to pakistan cricket board , selection committee and tour management committee is dat plz get rid of kamran akmal, he is really source of irritation now for fans of cricket, cant we find his replacement in a cricket loving rather cricket crazy nation like pakistan where child likes to play to cricket, i know oneday we have to kick him out because if we keep him in the side, we will keep on loosing matches as he will keep on dropping catches and our bowlers will keep on suffering

  • Umair Rizvi on July 23, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    I agree with usman sheikh ,that we should get rid of our fatty Ijaz Butt because all he has done is embarrassed Pakistan at every level. He has made many decisions in haste. Secondly if it was Fawad Alam instead of Imran Farhat in the first test he would have been sent home and never considered for the team ever again!!! It is with the grace of Imran's sugar daddy that he is still in the team and is improving with time. My prayers are with the whole team but i hope the most talented players regain their spot again. Salman Butt was also dropped on many occassions, but whenever he came back he scored. Kaneria needs to change up his action and flight of delivery( its too straight up like a medium pacer, no time for turn) lastly our bowlers need to scare the batsmen with some ugly bouncers and fast short pitches every now and then.

  • medrar on July 21, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    Imran Khan calls those half batsman half ballers as "RAILU KATTA". You put pressure on their balling and balling fails, put pressure on their batting and the batting fails. I wonder how long we will do these drama,s by playing RAILU KATTA's like shoaib malik and afridi.

  • waterbuffalo on July 19, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    If I was a betting man, I'd say Yousuf and Younis will be back for the 1st Test against England. As for Afridi, he had 6 Tests and he quit after one, he can challenge Younis for cry-baby of the year. The lack of will and patriotism is astonishing. At least Yousuf had the guts to carry on until the very end. Now that is what I call a Test player.

  • Purushotham on July 19, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    AB KYA KAMRAN SAHEB?! WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNT?!!! ---- FROM AND AFTER LORD'S?

  • ASIAN on July 19, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    Where is MY/YOUR/OUR AFRIDI who is very courageous, never-say-die-attitue, exicting, where is he. Why he took such as nasty decision? And Why. Its really hurting us, why he is not taking it back even after Imran Khan spoke to him, a lengend knows the other legend reckoning/living.

    I hope he will surprise us again by making himself available in the very near future, without him Cricket really dies esp. the Test cricket though he is playing after 4 years. However PCB took a smart move after a long time to put Butt in place, only left is two other legends to come back, Yonis and Yousuf with Akthar is already on the side. A true ASIAN.

  • aftab on July 18, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    To the Patron of PCB: If you don't want Afghanistan beating Pakistan, send Rashid Latif to head PCB. But then, who knows your loyalties!

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on July 18, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    Assalamulaikum Kamran Vhai,in the present disaster times of Pak Cricket-firstly the players must have acquired true fair faithful Patriotism,deeper integrity,stronger stamina,longest patience to stay on the crease,honest & reliable attitude+approach with expression for the team to acting captain,true ability to select the appropriate effective bowlers in the crucial right times & finally for the Pak selectors should have become educated person to select the matured experienced players in test cricket.Well,Azhar Ali & Umar Amin are not suitable choices to be examined & analyzed to play in test. Danish Kaneria is only effective for real spin track otherwise;he is totally waste of perfect selection.In replaced over Danish,Saied Azmal is true handler almost in any situation, environment wherever Pakistan uses to play.So,Pak selectors should be matured to include Yasir Arafat,Shoaib Malik ,Saied Azmal,Abdur Razzaq to be replaced over Imran,Azhar, Danish & Umar Amin for last test.

  • ahsan on July 18, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    I THINK DANISH KANERIA WILL BE OPENER

  • aftab on July 17, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    I like your faith in Afridi. You should know that his talent is natural. Leadership needs the ability to learn and analyze that he has shown lacking. The sixth lesson is not to put all your eggs in one basket called Afridi.

  • ali_a on July 17, 2010, 22:03 GMT

    I am mad at Afridi- id you did not have paitence for Test cricket, why sign up for captaincy- he brought disgrace to the nation. At least should have the courage to play the next match to avenge the defeat. Has been around for 14 years and yet gets out on stupid shot- should've come earlier in order if wanted to hit. Ijaz Butt should be fired, if Pak needs to win they need Younis and Yousuf (whether Mr Butt likes it or not). Enough of the execuses of a young side. The sooner they recall Younis as captain the sooner they be prepared for next WC. Otherwise, I am sorry its nothing but failed experiments. Afridi was never a good choice for captaincy and was selfish. Glad he decided to retire so he can retain his sponsors, otherwise they all would've been gone after the series. Pak need Younis as a captain and all the other choices are only good for VC. Unfortuantely, they are going to learn this the hard way.

  • PCB JOKERS MAKES BATMAN MOVIE JOKER ASHAMED on July 17, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    every team in d world 1st introduce new talents in 20/20 then 50/50 then test, the team selector by pcb jokers thought their "home series" in england against ozzys r actual a series which will b played in pakistan and against afghanistan will the jokers put MOYO,MISBAH, on the next plane to heathrow as shoab malik n younis khan r already in u.k LETS PRAY PCB JOKER DONT PUT MOYO/MISBAH INTO A FLIGHT TO KADHAHAR AIRPORT, AMIN SUMMA AMIN

  • OCTOPUS PAUL on July 17, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    i wrote it after 1 days play=Posted by: eba at July 13, 2010 7:13 PM

    Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Umar Amin, Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi*, Kamran Akmal†, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad NAME 1 BATSMAN OF ALL ABOVE WHO HAS THE TECHNIQUE/LONG INNING BATTING CAPABILITIES of miandad,inzi or even MOYO, if this team scores even 300 runs in any of the 12 innings of 6 tests in england it will be a miracle paki players not just haf d ability they even dont haf d will to win test matches, d proof is their disastorous tour of newzealand/ozzy all of them r stuck in a 20/20 mode of batting n the proof is recently they didnt even played all 50 overs in asia cup in last 10 yrs they havent devoloped a single middle order batsman who has the ability to bat long innings till they reach for victory target now since nothing can be done about the ROTFL(ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING) selection of d 1st test, captain afridi who never has a plan B, should tell their batsman to bat like 50 overs,may b then INSHA ALLAH they can score 300

  • salman on July 17, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    farhat shoud remain in the team,i mean,he is so stylish,look at the bandanna he wears,plus he can do some good runs on the board.

  • Faisal on July 17, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    oh dear pakistan is having a kim hughes moment the nation stands castrated as another sissy captain throws in the towel when the going gets tough ijaz butt reaps what he sows....he came in with the ambition to undo everything DNA did before him.. it all started with removing malik as captain - it does not matter if he was the right choice or not - but Butt's style of management resembles a puberty reaching teen who decides on basis of whats popular Poor Pakistan - Butt will kill it. Maybe there is hope! Can we check if he has a genuine degree?!

  • rizwan on July 17, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    i totally agreed with you Mr. Salim Patel both guyz only playing for them, as per my openion we need experienced Yousuf and younus with yasir hameed and don't forget guyz we have one more young talent in bowling who can bowl more then 150km/hour his name is Tanveer and he is also good batsmen i think he should get one chance.

  • shahid on July 17, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    12 wickets by the part timers and Australia win again.There is no major advantage of skills in fact Pakistan team is full of skill but they loose it with none sense brains and lack of understanding.If Australian major bowlers can not get wickets then why the part timers can,,, because the Pakistan batsmen get into twenty twenty mode as soon as they see minor bowlers.Adaptability is needed and they can win against any team if not then they will loose against any team ;;;; Coach needs to tell them that when a part timer is introduced it shows frustration of the bowling team and you can further frustrate them by not giving wicket to them...

  • jamjar on July 17, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Well there you have it Abbassi, after baging on the Afridi drum for captaincy for God knows how long, you finally got your man. And what happens? He admits he is not good enough for test cricket. I'm sorry, but to say that you are not good enough for the highest form of cricket is just an easy way out and a total defeatest attitude. Where others aspire to perform at the highest level, our man just wants to carry his boom boom label with him into tests and then go out in a sorry whimper.

    You had your man and he gave up, now please move on from Afridi is the answer to all Pakistan's problems threads!

  • Salim Patel on July 17, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    I see the problem with akmal brothers they seem not to be playing for Pakistan but for themselves. Look at their dismissals for last 10 games they played every time they get out playing rash shots, because Pakistan fans have given more credit then due to them. drop them for few matches give chance to others you might find better telent & there is no harm in trying this, because as it is they have been loosing.Each one has the support of the other which you can see from Kamrans performans since the inclusion of his brother,PATHETIC.No other team would have accepted performance like his behind the wicket in Australia, heshould have been sacked for good. Wake up PCB, have atleast some pride for your national sport.

  • Zahid Amin on July 17, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    I totally agree with you Kamran. Two more points that I think are important are

    1. Pak batsmen should focus on occupying the crease more and this should be the strategy for everyone, including the tailenders. We have seen how this was useful for Aussies tailenders

    2. Pak batsmen are, God knows why, reluctant to take singles and rotate strike. I'm not taking credit off Salman Butt, but one thing that needs to be improved in his batting is rotating strike. It just unsettles the bowler and in the process add very precious runs.

  • Javaid M. Maiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii on July 17, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    I have mentioned in my earlier comments that the team has new & less experienced players & we should not expect a lot from them. Having said this, I would like to add that our boys are mentally in T20 mode while the australians switched themselves into Test mode which is obvious from their application in both innings. WE MUST ADVISE OUR PLAYERS TO CHANGE THEIR TEMPRAMENT WHICH IS REQUIRED FOR A TEST MATCH. THEY SHOULD ENTER THE GROUND TO PLAY AN INNINGS OF THEIR LIFE TO GIVE A REAL FIGHT. Loosing test match is not a problem. The way they are loosing is a matter of concern. Every one should give 100% in order to make it a match. Shot selection is one of the most important area which need to be improved among our players. Another area need to be looked into is "lack of fighting spirit". Afridi has made a good decision but timing is wrong. Preferablly he should not have accepted to lead a test team OR should have announced after the completion of England tour. It is just a funny stuff.

  • Mohammad Shabbar on July 17, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbassi;

    I hope you have a word to say to PCB. Please if you do let them know that Shahid Afridi has clearly mentioned to bring Younis Khan not, Mohammad Yousuf. I do know that he is a good player but at this stage we need someone like Younis whom Imran Khan has praised. I assume that if YK has been given the charge of Pakistani Team as he wanted it them this all would have been in a better shape. But I regret that PCB does not know how to handle senior players.

    I do not regret Afridi to be a captain and was really cherished when commentators said that they had to seen Pakistanis in such 5 slip attacking field placing. This shows that Afridi has something in him. Similarly, YK can do it for us, he just needs some respect and that's all.

    I do love my country and I do love my team and that is my concern to watch them play some nice cricket.

    I hope yo can convey our concerns to PCB if you can and ask them to send YOUNIS KHAN.

    Regards,

    PAK CRICKET FAN

  • vinay on July 17, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    kamran..good morning..pls wake-up

  • mjahmad on July 17, 2010, 0:45 GMT

    PAKISTAN'S MANAGMENT DESERVES THESE RESULTS.FORCING CAPTIANCY DOWN S.A.'S THROAT,KEEPING ABDULA RAZZAQ AND SHOAIB MALIK OUT OF THE GAME. YOUNIS KHAN IS THE BEST CHOICE PAKISTAN HAS, AS A CAPTAIN,WE HAVE LOST 12 MATCHES BEFORE THIS AGAINST AUSTRALIA SO GET A LIFE.SHAHID AFRIDI AND UMER SHOLUD HAVE COME TO BAT EARLIER AND HAD GIVEN IT A GO. THEN AGAIN ITS ALWAYS EASY TO SECOND GUESS ITS BETTER TO FOCUS ON THE 2ND TEST AND WIN IT.

  • Sherif on July 17, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    Problem with Pak is the lack of consistency in selection and frequent unnecessary changes. Don't discard the players or Captain just after one match or one series. Give them time to establish. For a comparison, just look at India team which is starting against Lanka tomorrow, Gambhir, Sewag, Dravid, Tenlkr, Laxman, Yuvraj & Dhoni, what an experienced talented side ! but it did not happen in a day/ year. Likewise, Pakistan should allow their players to establish, support them for that. Otherwise this circus will be neverending.

  • Saiful Ansari on July 16, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    By selecting players not suited for the longer version of the game PCB is risking poor performance which can surely impact the form of those players for the shorter versions too. Afridi under those circumstances rightly decided to relinquish Captaincy (hopefully)from the Test side & his place in the test team. Other Pakistan players who consider themselves as ill suited for Test Cricket, should have the courage to declare their unavailability for playing Test Cricket too.

  • Saiful Ansari on July 16, 2010, 21:10 GMT

    Other teams would have fought to chase the record. Pak started well, but lost direction in the middle, gifted their wickets to the like of North - not even a front line spinner. There were no demons on the pitch. If the batsmen had emulated Salman Butt, they would have stayed on the crease. Except for Salman Butt, Azhar & Umar Amin, the rest gave away their wickets with poor shot selection. Umer Akmal,Afridi & Kamran got themselves out. The lesson for Pak is to have one team for T20&ODI's and another team of for Tests. Afridi, Umer Akmal & even Kamran Akmal are suited for the shorter versions. PCB has to find players for the longer version and rebuild a test batting side for the future. The Aussies recorded their 13th straight test win against Pak & their record will stretch unless PCB can put a team suitable for test cricket. If PCB has decided not to re-instate Younis&Yousuf, than Afridi, Imran Farhat should be replaced by Shoaib M&Yasir Hameed for the forthcoming tests this summer.

  • MARLO on July 16, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    I hope Yaser Hamid and Younis replace Imran Farhat and Afridi and rest of the team stays as it is. May God keep Shoaib and Imran farhat far away from our team. I hope Kamran is never given captaincy otherwise Shoaib is gonna be a permenent actor in the 11.

  • Saiful Ansari on July 16, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    The odds were stacked against Pakistan and at the end the better team won convincingly. The loss showed the lack of motivation for Afridi in the longer format and his personal commitment was found to be lacking. Afridi was honest enough to acknowledge that his game can't adjust to test cricket and his temperament does not suit the longer format of the game. He came out with the announcement to retire from Tests and give up the Captaincy. Pakistan is once again in crisis and without a Test Captain. It is time to get back Younis Khan to cover the feeble middle order and the role of Captain and senior player atleast for test cricket. Yousuf is a great player but he does not have Captaincy material. The decision will be made by the PCB tonight. Normally, Salman Butt should be promoted to be Captain. If PCB has concerns about it. Younis Khan should brought back, to play in his slot as one down batsmen and to Skipper Pakistan in Tests. The Q is if he would accept the role of Skipper?

  • Dawar on July 16, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    First of all team was not select on merit. Highest scrore of our domestic cricketer were ignored by PCB once gain. Asad Shafiq was the top scrorer of Quaid-e-Azam trophy but he was nusleted with out any trial match. Overall in all type of format Khurrum Manzoor scores and keeping best average than any other top batsman. He was 70 runs not out against Austrlia in his last match but he was ignored by PCB. Talented Fawad Alam ignored by Captain and mgmt. In 4 years noone set his batt order and they never used him as a allrounder.he always thread for senior all rounders. He scored century as a opener in his first match, but he is out from the team just after two tests. In one day and T20 he come to bat at # 7 or 8 in last overs but he contribute some runs and he is the best fielder in the team. Another victim is Khalid Latif, he was highest scorer against NZ one day ser but he was out from next oneday series against Austrlia. They gave him chance in T20, he did score & he is out.

  • savo on July 16, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    AFRIDI YOUR WUSSY!

    ~YOUR AS BAD AS YOUNIS KHAN - Giving up when it gets too tough!

    What this team needs is someone with a real lion heart, who can stay on in a captains role and mould a team DESPITE the fact that:

    The chairman is a fool The patron deserves to be shot dead The selectors have gambled the team's confidence and future away by putting debutants at no.3 and 4.

    Because:

    We need stability at the top We need to develop a winning attitude which begun with Khan and Afridi We have one solid opener and 2 potentially good middleorder batsmen in the akmals We have a quality bowling unit, which if backed by batsemn can finally win a match, but not without that batting support though!

    Hold your heads in shame for the umpteenth time Pakistan - you are indeed a basket case, and full of people that shirk the responsibility needed to help the team win - so it never will.

    It is time to give up test status as you are only interested in ODI/T20!

  • Billy on July 16, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    honestly if this is the talent coming out of pakistan..its better to ask imran to captain again.....afridi the joker was always a wrong choice....with 300 odd one dayers...this fella still thinks a few sixes makes an innings..pathetic...and salman butt..gets to be the head honcho coz he has played a few more matches than the rest...come on chaps get real....get sania mirza to captain the paki boys..she looks yummm...can speak english..and can control the boys well..ask shoaib...she knows UK well too..she loses the wimbledon 1st round every year...make miandad the 3 down..he can play better than all the boys put together....and imran can be the advisor...imran farhat and his father in law...when will these funny stories end in pakistan..

  • salman on July 16, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    imran farhat shud remain in the team,he can prove many of us wrong by making a century or a double in the next test!

  • Shahid on July 16, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    Afridi decision is an honest mans decision. I answers your 5th point. You need a sound batsman at 6 and Afridi doesnt fill that requirement. I think Afridi should have tried to play like a batsman but he didn't. I AM ONLY CONCERNED IF THE DECISION IS A RESULT OF A HOT DISCUSSION WITH AKMAL BROTHERS FOR NOT PLAYING TO THEIR STRENGTH AND IN RETURN THEY MIGHT HAVE ACCUSED HIM OF BEING A NON-PLAYER.

  • kasim on July 16, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    just heard that afridi is to retire from test cricket. that indeed is pathetic. Its not a sin to loose a test match, its not a sin to get out in your first test in four years playing rash shots at miserly scores , but i believe it is a sin to quit at the first hurdle and leave your mates when they need your support the most. So much for leadership skills. I dont want to see him as captain in ODIs or T20 either

  • kasim on July 16, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    just heard that afridi is to retire from test cricket. that indeed is pathetic. Its not a sin to loose a test match, its not a sin to get out in your first test in four years playing rash shots at miserly scores , but i believe it is a sin to quit at the first hurdle and leave your mates when they need your support the most. So much for leadership skills. I dont want to see him as captain in ODIs or T20 either

  • Kumar on July 16, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    Well, there goes another captain. Guess it is time to make Salman Butt the captain.

  • Ruchit on July 16, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    Afridi has announced his retirement. So all would be Pakistan XIs with Afridi in them are already screwed without a match being played. Afridi showed his true colors.Don't even compare him with Sehwag!

  • FAHIM MOHAMED on July 16, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    They should bring back Mohamed yousuf and Younus Khan back to the team and should apoint Younus khan as caption.

  • Gulab on July 16, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    Dear Pakistanis: We have lost which is not shameful as we have young team. But I am worry about a new drama in the team which is nearly started as Afridi do not want to play test cricket any more. I do not know what is the motive. It is surprising that he came as captain and was enjoying captaincy. Now suddenly he changed. I mean there is some thing fishy again on the part of Butt's cricket board (BCB). Anyway this was my prediction few days before that as all our team based on bad intentions it will not survive long. We just need completly new players and new PCB not BCB.

  • Vinay on July 16, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    Some Herath did it for Sri lanka..now some north did for Aus..some really unknown will do it for Eng..it happens only against Pakis..come on i cant belive..nine wickes to spinners..without any great effort..non of the duo were even a shadow of warne or macgill..its new low for Pak..13th staright defeat..new reord..Pakis are hiding their faces to avoid embarasements..everybody is heart broken..will Afridi receive kind of ovation given to Miandad and imran at retirement..does he deserve that..i dont konw..do yu know?..drama and unexpected things continue to woe pakistan..wat to do..ufff..supporters will show their agony and pain by posting comments..but no body will listen..really no body..wat else we as cricket fans can do..we are not to change the destiny of pak cricket..but everybody knows too..it can be changed..so keep praying..amen

  • Majid Iqbal on July 16, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Five lessons as under: 1-He can not bat,he can not bowl then why he is in team.Because he is Captain. 2-Captain can ask batsmen to show some responsiblity in batting but Captain himself is most irresponsible batsman in the team. 3-No 3 and 4 batsmen are the best batsman in the team but unfortunatley they are debutants. 4-Where are real best batsmen of the country (Yousuf and Younus) treated badly by the board but culprit player Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik are still in team ...DOUBLE STANDAD. 5-What happen to Pakistan Hockey the same will happen to Pakistan Cricket.....Only because of PCB.

  • Bilal Saeed on July 16, 2010, 14:21 GMT

    Even with a good bowling performance on the first day there was always the fear of our inexperienced and, in some cases, lacking test quality batting lineup to falter under conditions favoring the bowlers. Im still baffled at the selection of debutants at 3 and 4. With waqar stating before the match that this venture will be to gather experience, one can only wonder why a team who has been playing test cricket for over 50 years would need to gather experience again.

    I will always say that dropping mohammad yousuf and younis khan was one of the biggest mistakes PCB have made, not of all time but close enough. Regardless of what they did, if they can let go players charged for causing a rebellion within the team then surely they can overlook "pride issues" of the best batsmen we have had in this decade. A combine average of over a 100 and 40 centuries bewteen them, i arrest my case. The current crop of batters is not cut out for test cricket. Go back to 20/20 please.

  • Rauf on July 16, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Lessons from Lord's.

    Now that Pak team have collapsed collectively (no surprise there) with the exception of Butt to a debutant and an unknown spinner, not sure if there is enough left to be said. It also shattered another illusion that Pak team plays spin well. Nobody thought that they would win it but we were all secretly wishing they do not crumble like a deck of cards but one thing is certain, Pak team is predictable when it comes to collapses.

    Australia's tail scored 150+ runs when it mattered and Pak's tail mustered a "huge" 25 runs collectively. Afridi once again thought that it was a 20/20 match.

    So what are the lessons? Don't take boys to play against men and test cricket is a man's format. I will agree with Yousuf 100%... Pak is only good at 20/20 format so they should just kiss the other two formats good bye and concentrate solely on 20/20.

  • Razzaq Ali on July 16, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    A pethetic display of batting. All the Afridi boom boom fan must have their head tested. He is not a test match player and certainly cannot motivate his charge. A disservice was done to Pakistan cricket by the selection commitee. Pakistan cricket do not deserve this type of player. Get rid of the present selector including Mohsin Khan. There is not an instance in the annals of cricket that partime bowlers taking 5 and 6 wickets. The two innings of Afridi really sums up his approach especially on the flat deck of Lords. Shame on Pakistan cricket and the management

  • afirdi's die hard fan on July 16, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    sure they ll perform in 2nd test..... bring shoaib malik, yousuf and younus..............

  • MARLO on July 16, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    ITS SHAMEFULL to lose 12+ wickets to Watson, North and Smith. NO place for Afridi in Tests. He wants to play street cricket at Lords against Australia, How shamefull

  • Avais on July 16, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    also agree with people asking for Shoaib to open with Butt... persisting with Butt has started to pay-off... hes done well in generally challenging batting conditions against probably the best test side in the world... we know Shoaib has done well top of the order and is also experienced in all formats of the game...Pakistan should consider him at opening spot for the next few tests... I thought Umar Amin played well... seems to have the temprament needed for tests...needs to nurtured to become a regular player in the side....

  • Avais on July 16, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    Afridi was reckless completely disregarding his experience in the first innings... He should learn a thing or two from his team mates.... and Farhat.... pleasseeeeee! Is there nothing anyone can do to keep him out of the team???? Lets face it he just does not have the temprament nor the talent to play at this level.....at one stage it looked as if Pakistan would atleast get close to the target if not overcome it but dismissals of Afridi and Umar Akmal in t20 style put Pakistan on the back foot...Mind you this is not the first time.. In the winter series against New Zealand and Australia there were several instances where Pakistan could have come out winning but lost in the end... goes to show that Pakistan players need some mental reconditioning to play tests...and playing more tests against the likes of Australia and England can definitely help if Pakistan are willing to learn from their mistakes...

  • John Jesh on July 16, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    While the recent pak teams have forgotten my expertise,skills gained, its time for more patience (no other go)

    Negatives Trailing 1st innings by 100+ runs Leaking 130 runs for the tail enders and increasing target Afridi and Umar Akmals irresponsible innings Giving North 4 wickets while very well faced fast bowlers

    Positives Good characters shown by Salman, Azhar and fast Bowlers Afridi leadership

    Real lessons learned Replace Farhat and open with Yasir and Kaneria with Malik Azhar Ali can be tried no.3 for few more times Don't ever try to change Afridi's captaincy fooled by Salman's good batting

    Finally this the better output than the past team underAfridi.

  • Avais on July 16, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    I agree with your analysis Kamran..... there are plenty of lessons coming out of this test and I hope Pakistan will learn and improve on their shortcomings. Katich should not have been allowed to get away in the second innings. I think the bowlers lacked discipline and kept feeding him straight deliveries and he kept scoring off them on the leg side. Clearly there was no plan of attack... looking at Katich's record, he has always done well against Pakistan whereas against Srilanka his record has been pretty ordinary. Aggression is good but when accompanied with caution. Umar Akmal was playing so well in the second innings, when he fell to the part-timer North...easier said than done, but having scored a few off him, he should have known better than to play one outside off....especially when North was targetting the rough and that too in the last over before lunch... and Afridi whom the whole team is banking on.... my question is did he even attempt to understand what North was bowling

  • Adeel on July 16, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    "Pakistan collapse" is a template headline for any of our test or one day matches. What a sorry sorry sorry state. Yet Ijazz Butt/Yawar Saeed and ad hocism shall live on.

    Bye bye Pak cricket, u just lost another follower.

  • Ali Naseer on July 16, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Imran farhat is a disgrace. Its unfortunate for Pakistan he belongs to cricketing family and those too occupieng important position in the Cricket Board. I wont even select Imran Farhat for my neighborhood team, playing in the national team for him is the biggest joke of the century for Pakistan cricket.

    PCB should stop investing on rubbish bags like farhat and start focusing on players like Yasir hameed who have atleast prooved to be a good cricketr

  • PKboy on July 16, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    That's it... Im hanging my coat on Pakistan cricket. Can't watch anymore. It's over.

    Who says we're not consistent performers. Haven't we consistently lost test matches for some time now? With the blip against New Zealand being the exception.....

  • dr. jha on July 16, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    one more important thing that i'd like to chip in with.. who is mentoring these young kids...you have to have someone to mentor the guys right ?? and i don't see anyone in this team.. i mean look at the talent you've got.. oh its simply breath taking to see a youngster like umar akmal take on bowlers.. the maturity shown by salman butt is amazing.. they have got in in themselves to take on the best in the world.. they just need someone to teach them to channelise their energy and talent. umar akmal is god's gift ... preserve him .. harness him..

  • Dr. Talha on July 16, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    I fail to understand why are they not playing Fawad Alam, who scored 250 runs in three tests in his last test series. We always play him in T20 where he doesnt have any utility. He scored 63 in his last ODI against australia, at perth, yet he was dropped from the asia cup. He should be playing as the 6th specialist batsman in the current series against aus and then against england. Afridi should take the responsibility of being the fourth bowler. Just by increasing the quantity of bowlers you cannot improve the quality. So they drop one specialist bowler.

  • niboo on July 16, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    I believe there is no point in exposing too many youngsters in 1 match. Pak's Middle order looks so brittle with two debutant.. lower order comprises of someone coming into test cricket after 4 years and knows only one way of playing cricket . and other not sure what to say abt Kamran .. good bad or ugly .. not sure .. In middle order Malik would have given the experience and in English condition u need that kind of Experience. See the batting line up .. 1 and 2 played hardly 15-20 tests.. 3rd new commer , 4th, 5th debutant.. 6th hummm no comments 7th irresponsible .. then the tail.. Bowling Awsone.. Pakistan needs to sort out there batting order and playing eleven soon before it is too late ..

  • khalil on July 16, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    I think you are right. Yasser at the top of the order will be very useful. Although he is in & out of the team but most of his runs has been scored at the top of the batting order, either at 1 down or opening. He is comfortable against the new ball. In the abscence of YK & Yousaf,he has the capability to score vs best bowling attack. His credential are not that bad to be dis carded. Try him & give him some confidence to adjust.

  • imran ahmad on July 16, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    such a waste of talent in pakistan.A loyal fan could only cry and moan.I am an indian but a keen follower pakistani talent and it gets me rebellious to see the injustice being done to deserving players like yusuf and yunus who are the righteous counterparts of dravid and laxman in the indian line up. Favorism happens here too but Pak cricket has set new benchmarks in the last few years. Afridi is an aggressive batsman but on any given day i wouldnt pick him in any test line up because his aggression is unlike sehwag's.He is threatening onlyin t20s because he always plays cameos rather applying himself for most part of day. Experience counts a lot in tests.Pakistan would be comfortable in 4th innings only if debuts at 3 and 4 could pull off a ganguly and dravid@lord's,circa 1996.

  • Rauf on July 16, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    Kamran you have, yet again, ignored the elephant in the room. What is the logic of pushing two of the best and most experienced test batsmen at the prime of their careers into early retirement? Ofcourse I am talking about Yousuf and Younis. It's all good to bring in fresh talent but not at the cost of shooting yourselves into the foot. You don't push the experienced players aside unceremoniously and replace them with teenagers just because you don't have the guts to solve "non cricketing" issues at hand that are haunting Pak cricket for the last few years.

    If we want to beat the likes of Australia/India in tests then we need to value our experienced players. I still see Ponting captaining Australia and I don't think his in-laws have anything to do with it. He is there because of his experience and I can bet you he won't be replaced until CA is absolutely confident about Michael Clarke who has been work-in-progress for last few years. That's how you build the team.

  • Ashok Sridharan on July 16, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    Mr. Yaser Khan: I agree with you. Unfortunately, you ask for too much. Being from India, where things aren't too different from Pakistan, I know how unreasonable and irrational fans can be. Realistic expectations is a luxury players from the sub-continent do not enjoy!

    With half an hour to go for play to kick off, here's a Best of Luck message from this side of the border.

  • saghar abbas on July 16, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    to those people who are asking for shoaib akhtar to be included? are you guys mad? the guy cant even bowl 4 overs on the trot as he is so unfit as shown in the recent ODIs (Asia Cup), how do you expect him to bowl long spells in test cricket?

  • sohaib on July 16, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Why are you blaming umar akmal for not coming up the order,,,its the job of captain and coach to decide batting order..had afridi asked umar to play at 3,,umar would have happily accepted the job.he is such a brave player..he did that in NZ too i think..we shud not criticize upcoming players like umar akmal just for the sake of critisism...we should encourage them more then critisizing

  • PK on July 16, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    All please stop criticizing the team. Have we won last 12 tests against Australia with experience players? So let these young talents do the job and get some experience. Yes, Pakistan batting line fell apart, but look at the experience batsmen from Australian side due to the weather and pitch conditions; they didn't achieve big score either. So, why do we have to blame our new comers?

  • Irfan Malik on July 16, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    Dear all. I am reading every body's comment quite long. I think I have something to say. As per my opinion about afridi I completely agree with Mr. kamran Abbasi what afridi did in bating it was the only option at front of him. As peoples doubt on his test place I think he has a good average in test then ODI. I believe that the runs are important even it is on fewer balls. If someone stays full day playing 200 balls and making 50 runs it has no worth, it may go for the draw the match but not for win. But if you play 50 balls and make above 50 runs it will help the team to win the match. Afridi is not only batsman to make 300 runs in every match; there are many other batsmen to play their part also. I believe in next match Imran Ferhat should go out for Yasir Hameed & Shoaib Malik should come on the place of Kaneria. Becasue he can ball and bat also.

  • blueballs on July 16, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    Today is another day. Holding my breath only slightly. Hope they go down with a fight atleast if they don't win.

  • Nusrat on July 16, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    All those questioning Afridi's innings should realize that he adopted the best approach under the circumstances. He could have made only twenty by staying in and trying to defend for another half an hour. He chose other wise- that is wise keeping his temperament in view. Things could be different had he added another fifty odd runs. There were more chances for that.

  • jay on July 16, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    To stand anychance Butt & Ali need a solid start and add another 100 runs or a sizeable partnership. Batting line up should be as follows : Kamran Akmal (more orthodox than his bro), Umar Akmal (still only 20), Afridi, Amin (cant face the new ball),Aamer,Gul,Danish,Asif.

  • thrinax on July 16, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    100 comments and I didn't see one on the other strange thing about this test. Both sides are playing two debutantes with only one lead up game. As a Australian I just can not see the point of having two people debut at three and four in conditions they are unfamiliar with with out any practice games. I realise the crowded schedule is the reason given but if both boards were serious they would have at least allowed a couple of lead up games.

    As for Afridi as a captain you need a aggressive captain when playing Australia if the captain lets Australia gain control or win the mind games you will lose. Afridi is a passionate competitor who should be respected as such.

  • Yaser Khan on July 16, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Hello to everyone...!!!

    I just wanted to raise one point here.i have read all the comments but not a single person stated that we should give this team a bit of time rather then criticizing them.For GOD Sake this is the new team under the new leadership.we should learn from our mistakes.AFRIDI needs the backing of our prayers and our emotional support.But we are giving him a tough time .Let me tell you all I am a PAKISTANI guy and i love to see my team winning.So please come up with some good suggestions and give them atleast 3-4 matches to prove themselves.Cant you see the improvment in the temprament of UMER GUL who was useless in test matches .Now he is striking almost with every ball.See how Kamran akmal is diving and catching in the field.How salman butt is performing???There is a improvment in the field.They just need our support.Please send a Message to PAKI Team that whole nation is supporting you guys.So dont worry about anything JUST Perfom Well.BEST OF LUCK PAKI TEAM (Y)

  • faisal on July 16, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    hi everybody i read all the comments and mr Abbasi aswell i am just wondering why dont we just sit and think pakistan hardly played any test cricket and we are gettin these 2 youngters in a team on merit basses and they know they got whole series behind them to prove themself so let do dua and see if aussies can do it so can we aouth african new comer J P Dumminy done them so why cant our boyz can do it i only gonna say one thing about I farhat he is not a batsman thats for sure he shouldnt be playin any form of cricket at all and all my wishes and duas are with my team even its unexperiance and still learnin and still givin a hard time to world best test cricket team thats more then enough just think in year or so same pakistan team will be trashin them that for sure so keep ur fingers cross and inshallah we will pull this one out i got that feelin

  • emran xaman on July 16, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Since a past few years it has alomost become a fashion to criticize every thing related to Shoaib Akhtar, PCB and Pakistan Cricket.

    But here we must render a due credit to Pakistan team mangement for showing enough courage to give chance to two new batsmen rather than keep putting their money of old and indolent horses like Shoaib Malick. Hope the youngsters will grow in stature with time and will serve Pakistan best in future. Debuting new players on tough tours is not a bad thing at all but handpicking the right choices on pure merit basis and suitability to condition with reasonable mental toughness is the key. And this is the domain where Pakistan lacks and suffer in the recent past.

    Imran Farhat appear too incompetent and limited when it comes to footwork, shot selection and playing swinging deliveries. But so is with the other oepeners tried by Pakistan in the recent past; like shoaib malick, khurram manzoor, khalid latif. They all seems to have some kind of mental block

  • Adeel on July 16, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    Agreed, Imran Farhat should never have been selected. He was not worth selection in any format as far as I am concerned as you had better choices available in all three formats, Yaser Hameed, Nasir Jamshed, Taufeeq Umar, Imran Nazir.

    You have raised all points, however though one very important element is missed. What about making a conscious effort from all batsmen for taking singles, twos etc. Even tailenders can attemp this. Importance of running between the wicket and rotating of strike is a know to all, when will our team realise it?

  • Hafsa on July 16, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    I'm surprised with the understanding of seasoned fans and followers of Cricket.

    If Pakistan Team has made mistakes then may be Ponting's team made many mistakes by letting Pak score 114/1 or is it just Cricket.

    Their tail-enders scored when the weather suited them.

    As for the Skipper Afridi, do not forget he is playing after 4 years, that too as a Captain, that too at Lords and that too against Worl'd top side. So the pressure factor is too high and the conditions weren't suiting his bowling. He had to go through this initial phase of settling in such a game. Nothing is wrong with his bowling. Human afterall!

    Best of Luck Pak Team...just put up a good show..!:)

  • naqshab on July 16, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    bring in shoaib mailk in place of imran farhat and may be saeed ajmal for kaneria..ajmal has been bowling very well..he has the confidence going with him too n he has been a constant feature of the national side.so that becomes an added advantage...may b they cud have had Abdul Razzak in place of one of the 2 debutants..to say the least pakistan team surely need to make some changes before the second test otherwise they will get crushed..

  • GUL MUHAMMAD KHAN on July 16, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    I m so surprised that whyyyyy afridi was so defensive at paine who play his 1st test and hilfi which is only a bowler.and they add 100+ runs and make a huge total to chase. farhat is not a that kind of player to select any kind of international level.so please insert malik or razzaq in the team who also bat well and a lot of temprament and experience of test cricket. i have suggession for afridi be coooooool and dont throw ur wicket like this when u r in the ground ur pressure is enough for the oposition.soooo keep on the wicket we dont need ur score we only need ur pressure.

  • Faheem on July 16, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Pakistani team seriously lack batting experience in this tour, and the team selection and batting order have made the situation even worse. The ideal combination in the circumstances will be: 1. Yasir Hameed should be given a chance in place of Imran Farhat. 2. Shoaib Malik should be brought in at No.3 three (in place of one of the debutants). 3. Umar Akmal at No.4 4. The other debutant at No.5

    As far as bowling is concerned, it is nice to see that, after a long time, Pakistan is playing with the four best bowling options (with no M.Sami).

  • Najam Saeed on July 16, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Imran Farhat has no place in the team. His careless and hopeless performance puts Pakistan on the backfoot very early in the innings everytime barring the exceptions. Why don't the captain and coach stand up against such below par player and put their foot down. Imaran Farhat is a bad news and should be taken out immediately. He is not only hurting the team but also robbing other deserving players from their legitimate inclusion in the team. Too bad that nepotism and favoritism wins in the end in Pakistani team - shamelessly! Like so many others, I am very disappointed.

  • Salman Ilyas on July 16, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Lets not forget Khalid Latif, Khurram Manzoor and Shahzaib Hassan as specialist openers tried out by Pakistan. We need to rely only 2 specialist openers. Imran Farhat was also culprit of dropping catches while NZ tour no one even talks about him.

  • Salman Ilyas on July 16, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    I don't know what selectors are doing...They are senseless..There are 2 batsmen who tops the domestic circuit made above 1000 runs in calendar year and they didn't make it and end up with pathetic Imran Farhar. Sajjad and Yasin why didn't they get a chance in this tour. I m very disappointed by Selectors for no reason they keep selecting 4 or 5 openers in squad. we have tested Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Ather Shehzad as Specialist and Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Fawad Alam as makeshifts. We have great talent of Players waiting in the ranks Hammad Azam , Azeem Ghuman, Muhammad Irfan..Why they didn't pick Hammad for this tour he is an all rounder and Middle order batsmen and Medium pacer..Can any of the PCB official justified the selection of Imran Farhat or the team that is touring..

  • plsn on July 16, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    If they resume thinking that they are opening the inning, and start playing carefully, there is no reason for them not to win. There is loads of talent in nos. 3 to 7. A half-century each at least will drive a nail into the Aussie coffin. Do it Pakistan (Land of the Pure - I know this because of Pakeezah, the immortal movie with Meena Kumari and Raj Kumar!).

  • ShAkY on July 16, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Well they can play Shoaib Malik in place of Kaneria as he leaks to many runs for his couple of wickets and those are of bowlers. This will strengthen the batting specially the middle order & Afridi & Malik can bowl spin as in English conditions faster bowlers will grab most of the wickets. Afridi & Malik can give a good support to their faster bowlers and can take as many wickets as Kaneria.

  • Gohar on July 16, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Kamran, Fortune favours the brave... So lets go in with a big heart and let your fate decide the day. Its not understandable How ben hilf survive our lethal weapons, i think his fifty odd runs will be the difference!!

  • mzrafiq on July 16, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    I think Yousuf and Younis must have accompanied the squad. PCB as always mistreating senior players. Youngsters need some training and Yousuf as world agrees is the best in test format. Imran Farhat's selection in a test is like having 10 players in the team.

  • Farrukh Al Majeed on July 16, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    Pakistan is doing same mistakes as tay did in aus series,i dont see any change in team's planning & strategy,thay give easy runs not presurize the batsmen.yasir hameed is better choice in opening.Mr Farhat ddnt time the strokes even one time.Impossible to chase 440 runs may be paki batsmen will do better but thay cant chase mammoth target.

  • Asher Majid on July 16, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    Salam, if someone had said any thing in favor of Imran Farhat, he is a fool, he is the only opener has been given more chances then any body else and he FAILED and FAILED., and tell me one thing his name is in all formats of the game (TEST, ONE DAY OR T20), disgusting...Yasir Hameed on the other hand is more reliable he has better technique and temperament, he scored some good runs in a side match and was very shocking that he was not in the team eleven...Mr Ijaz Butt and all the selectors should work honestly when it comes to selection (atleast)...i hope that in second test Yasir Hameed and Shoaib Malik will be back in the team.....

  • vinay on July 16, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Hey..i smell a victory..its going to be sunny..2 days..no overcast conditions..come on dont be so hopeless..going without thinking world record chae n all..it just required to stay at crease with natural game..Oz attack does not seem to be that feraing..so Pakis get your firecrackers ready to burst..Zardari should declare a natopnal holioday after win..England will wear a never before greeny..inshaallah..sorry..players have to do it..with grace of allmighty..hey kamran bhai pls reward me for the best posted comment..

  • Rehan Ahmad Qureshi on July 16, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    1. Azhar Ali and Umar Amin making tets debut against AUSTRALIA in ENGLAND conditions as nos. 3 and 4; I am afraid they will also end up their careers (like many, almost 60%) playing only 1-5 test matches for Pakistan. 2. There is no place of Imran Farhat even in first 30 probables of Pakistan Cricket team. 3. With dismal Pakistan's batting line-up, they should come to the crease with mindset of scoring runs quickly rather than on staying the wicket. This team usualyy gets all-out in 50 overs ODIs so don't expect them to stay for 120-150 overs. Instead if they play 80 overs with 4-4.5 RPO, we'll have some better scroecard and more margin for the bowlers as well.

  • Farrukh Arif on July 16, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    very well done. Still i am hopeful that at least we can make a good match of this. I still think Afridi has done well as a captain. I think one should acknowledge that he is playing for his country. He could have easily joined some domestic league for heavy monetary benefits instead of playing 30 days of test cricket. I mean how many of the other batsman (other than Younis & Yousuf) are able to represent Pakistan who are around for selection. He has got 4 of 5 centuries at test match level how many of his critics (in this blog) have made? its easy to criticize while not being in position. And mind it that those centuries were very good proper test centuries specially the one i rememebered he made against India in India and another in Westindies in Westindies in both cases team was in a some sort of difficulty. He has done well as a captain has made 31 runs (may make more) and have taken a wicket. Best of luck Pakistan!

  • Raja on July 16, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    Am an Indian, but love to watch the pakistanis play.Anybody considered the option of playing shoaib Akhtar in place of Danish Kaneria??The way the conditions are in england, there will never be much chance for Kaneria to do much.Instead having Amir,Asif,Gul and Akhtar would be a dream fast bowling attack in today's scenario.

  • Junaid on July 16, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    there can be only one leader, more will create more dirty politics as what already happened due to which we lost Yousuf, Yonus and Malik. No doubt at all studying at three formats of game T20, one day and tests Afridi is the best choice, we need to give him and Waqar some time to experiment and grow from it, if they are sincere we will improve. Even though we know there are few sifarshi players we have to play with it as there always were and will be you change the management they will have there favoritism.

    I am sure we will improve with every experience have confidence in Afridi and Waqar, they are hunting new talent, and please even with senior players like Yousuf, Yonus and Malik we haven't won any test with Australia for a long time.

    Stop criticizing and lets support our team.

  • LillianThomson on July 16, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    Pakistan continue to over-estimate the value of a specialist spinner (which is much reduced on modern wickets) while they also neglect to stiffen their batting or to include into the wind stock bowlers for Test cricket to keep their shock bowlers fresh.

    Their attacking bowlers should be a rotation of Aamer, Umar and Asif, with Afridi and Razzaq as the spinner and fourth seamer.

    This would massively strengthen the batting, with Razzaq at six, Kamran Akmal at seven and Afridi at eight.

    If you then play Hameed as Butt's opening partner and Younus Khan at three with Umar Akmal at four you have a really strong Test line-up.

  • Samad Melbourne on July 16, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Its time for another tsunami in Pakistan cricket board and selectors camp. Its time to dig up again the old guards, some one needs to get fired yet again and that would be from the descending list Waqar, Afridi, Debutants, I wonder if other than IK any Paki greats left the cricket on a bright uncontroversial note!!!!

  • plsn on July 16, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Look at it from a positive angle. Azhar is exposed to the so called "best [bowling(?!)] team" in the world at present.AND AT LORD'S - THE MECCA(?) OF CRICKET!! He has already dug in. If he can continue in this vein, he will do his confidence a world of good. And then, no other bowling combination can deter him against other countries. As I wished,this could the Baptism-By-Fire - something like Sachin vs Imran, Sarfraz(?), Wasim, etc.(although the present set of aussies are, by no strectch of imagination, anywhere near the Paki legends).

  • Farhan on July 16, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Yasir Hameed must be played - he has performed well in ALL his recent international appearances. Please do not advocate Shoaib Malik's inclusion, he is the one who has brought the team to such shambles.

    We need someone quiet like Hameed who minds his own business - which is to accumulate runs.

  • Ashok Sridharan on July 16, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    The Pakistan team and their fans have been let down by the PCB and the selectors. Discarding stalwarts like Younis and Yousuf and replacing them with debutants on such a difficult tour is inexplicable and inexcusable. Fans should be proud of the fact that their team still competes despite the kind of letdowns that no side should ever have to put up with.

  • plsn on July 16, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    I am an Indian. Pakistan did not have a Gavaskar but they had Zaheer and Miandad. Youngsters do not have to look to Sachins and Laras for inspiration. Azhar Ali is such a raw talent. What are those senior guys doing for Pakistan? Gavaskar nurtured Sachin's talents. Why are Miandad and Zaheer (Abbas) not being utilized by the BCCP? Is Pakistan not losing great talents just because of their callous attitude? Why are the many critics keeping mum about this blatant transgression by BCCP? You don't have to look beyond your borders to create legends! Do it Pakistan. ( I hope Azhar Ali will do the trick at Lord's). Good luck Afridi!

  • Kaiser Mukhtar on July 16, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    come on guys, someone had said b4 the start of series that Pak cannot get 20 Auss wkts but u see we did get them out. Of course it was frustrating to see tails wagging and scoring more than their batters, but still game is on, If some of the team batters hold their nerves, world records are made to be broken. Lets hope for the best. Farhat is a wrong choice to open, should be someone else like Fawad Alam ,,, ????? ,,,,,

  • Faheem Khan on July 16, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    I am absolutely not agree with you but one or may be two because Kamran, Pakistan needs good batsman from long time and for this purpose they have to use the new talent at their on playing spot. It is my believe if the batsman comes with their own performance then no matter they will prove their self in any condition. I am very hopeful with Azhar Ali and Umar Amin both are very talented. In my opinion Pakistan should use Abdul Razaq, he is a dark horse for every event cricket kile Mudassir Nazar. Australia using their opener batsman and he got 5 wickets and I hope in this kind of wicket may be in second he will be again more wicket taker. In the world cup Razaq played opener and one down number already. Imran Khan suggest to promote Razaq in this kind of wickets. Pakistan should use four bowlers but include Razaq with the replacement of any these three bowlers because if he will get chance he can also prove himself a very good bowler like Mudasir Nazar. For Batting, Pakistan need pray

  • Asad Hussain from NJ USA on July 16, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    There is no hope With PCB and Butt Saab. He's busy shopping and exploring the world on country's money.. He is the one who has caused us many defeats and stars like Yousuf, Younus, Inzi and he'll continue to do so till some one grabs him and bring him to senses. It is only a dream but it will never happen to.

    Back to cricket, if you don't have enough batting then play an extra full time bowler. A genuine bolwer not a part timer like Afridi. I till day don't see room for Afridi in tests and there are others like him but look at the averages and numbers it is sad that we pay so much in central contracts and match fee and we are yet to see a match winner and a consistent performance. It will only happen when selection and decision are made based on professionalism not personal liking and dislikings...

  • atif on July 16, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    The basic problem with the team make up is that the test team captain Afridi will continue to struggle to keep his place. We all appreciate his energy and enthusiasm , but the simple fact is that he never was and never will be a test player. Even he knows that! I am afraid, that fatigue in the test arena will only hamper his performance in the ODI and T20 ( formats in which he is a superstar and indespensable). Only solution is that younis khan come back as number 3 and perhaphs salman butt is made the new captain.

  • sridhar on July 16, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    I do not know too much about Pak cricket, except its frequent attempts to self-destruct, aided and abetted by its administrators. Pakistan had its moments in the game and can still shock Australia if the sun continues to shine as it did yesterday . I think Pakistan had Austalia worried for long periods but somehow Australia seemed to get out of difficult conditions thanks to its resilience and also because Pakistan seemed to lose focus at crucial times, Pakistan can still salvage pride and maybe even win a test , for these conditions are tailor made for Pakistan. But Pakistan seems to have a lot of talent, and I am sure players like Imran Farhat have outlived their usefulness. He gifted his wicket yesterday and Pakistan lost some of their momentum. The weather holds the key, if it is cloudy, Pakistan can forget it. If the sun shines today, things may be a lot more interesting. Ramanujam Sridhar

  • Syed Basit on July 16, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    Good news is, the weather forecast for tomorrow is partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain. Let's just hope there's not a single cloud in the sky tomorrow morning, I want this so called "weak" Pakistani team captained by a man who's playing his first test in four years, against arguably the best test team in tough conditions to WIN THIS GAME CHASING DOWN A RECORD TARGET.

    Wouldn't that be great you guys? A wicket-less first session will be fantastic, then the Aussies will panic.

    Oh and yes, please get rid of Imran Farhat. Bring in a new face for all I care, just start building a team from scratch. I might have to disagree with you guys on the whole 3rd and 4th batting slots taken up by two debutants. It's okay, it shows confidence in their ability, something which many one off cricketers didnt get from their seniors.

  • DesiHungama on July 16, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    I only learned one lesson and that is never to read your article or more like it read into your articles on the first day of a Test match.

  • Gautam on July 16, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    Mr Abbasi,

    You speak rubbish. Cricket is not played through a bunch of bullet points. Stop being an academic. A young team can make mistakes, its part of growth. Let your team grow. Your team or your fans arent going to benefit from inane observations. Applaud the spirit in which they played, the unity they showed. These young guys are in alien conditions facing the world's best. Get behind them. Afridi, preserved Umar probably because he can get his debutants to see off the new ball, its an idea !! I admire the team approached the game, their bowling, fielding etc. Maybe if some of you experts had something decent to say, and had more people get behind them. They might actually win this test match.

  • Topatha on July 16, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    Waqar their coach seems a weak strategist, even in the bowling domain from the recent performance indicating weak balling and field strategy and results against AUS in Sydney test, T20 World Cup semi-final, and then again on Day#3 when PAK team could not "close-out" the AUS innings with relatively weak tail-enders adding up 100+ runs. Surprised to hear the coach and captain saying what a wonderful performance from Hussey and that under the circumstances it was fine for PAK to loose the semi-final. Coach and captain get the blame of not having attacking fields and attacking bowling to kill the opponent when the opportunity is there. Winning captains and bowlers who knew how to terminate tail-enders without giving away extra runs were Imran Khan, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Dennis Lillee, Andy Roberts, and Malcolm Marshall. These bowlers, all being strike bowlers, successes were correlated with attacking captains, safe hands behind the wicket, and attacking field placement strategies.

  • shak90 on July 16, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    200 total is expected, more will be a bonus. Afridi can bring life and thrill of 20/20 into test cricket to give it a new look by slogging. At least expectators will be entertained for few minutes. Good Luck Pakistan

  • shak on July 16, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    I think since we have made a mockery of the game anyway, without learning any lessons from Australia tour, we have room for some more experiments. We should bring Ijaz Dumm Butthead as an opener to pair with smart Salman Butt. Then opologize to Australia for daring to play with them. PCB may wanna hand over fines to some more players to teach them a lesson. Make Shoib Malik team captain and Sania Mirza vice captain so the team can get some more media coverage, she can play cricket if Imran Farhat can, may be with a racket. Just imagine.

  • SAFWAN SAFDAR on July 16, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    Agreed Farhat does not desrve a place even in A team.Playing Shoaib Malik as an opener,How??? He has refused several times to play as an opener and at one down.Sooner or later NO 3 & 4 positions have to be filled by youngsters so let it be now.Yusuf is waiting and hoping for the team to fail miserably so that he can dictate his term.Younis khan keeps on resigning from captaincy on trivial matters. SO LESSON LEARNT IS PLAY WITHOUT SHOAIB,YUSUF AND YOUNIS.

  • Usman Afridi on July 16, 2010, 1:59 GMT

    for the next game.

    IN:

    Yasir Hameed for Imran Farhat

    and

    Shoaib Malik for Umar Amin

    maybe Saeed Ajmal for Kaneria (depending on the wicket because Ajmal is more of a wickettaker)

  • Toptha on July 16, 2010, 1:55 GMT

    Agree with John Thiel's July 15th entry. Afridi is a weak test cricket player, let alone captaining a test team. He's T20 player, and we have a major risk of double test series whitewash against AUS and ENG due to PCB fielding sub-par players. #3 is a agaping hole. We need Younis Khan back into the team for his solid batsmanship, ability to create partnerships, and winning attitude. With a 50+ test average, highest test cricket runs after Yousaf in last 5 years, including a triple century in 2009, a safe fielder (probably one of the best fielders), and a great strategist in the field we must get him back. Current PCB Chairman is not qualified to continue, has been a damage factor in the Pakistan Cricket if you look at the overall results which have been a direct correlation in him dictating selectorial matters, and it is surprising that in Pakistan people are looking the other way when PCB makes Younis into an ego issue after the ban was over-turned by the legal entity.

  • cricksecular on July 16, 2010, 1:37 GMT

    Happy that Butt stays and this is his oppurtunity to come on the record book and stand out of the national hero. If he stays and wins this he is a real hero. HE MUST STAY AND WIN NO OTHER OPTION. AND SAME MESSAGE TO EVERYONE IN THE TEAM, PLAY LIKE YOU ARE IN A WAR.

  • Sohail Ahmed on July 16, 2010, 1:35 GMT

    Very Good article. But I don’t know why our cricketers never learned from past the same mistakes happening again and again. Same mistakes in field placement same mistakes in selections same mistake on crease. Against Australia our batsmen do the bating like they just started their career I can’t believe Umer Akmal and Kamran Akmal how they gave their wicket to Watson. I don’t think so Watson is kind of bowler to take five wickets. Every time the rival’s players made records against us. Also if Australian tailenders can add 150 runs why our tailenders didn’t show up any resistance they practise with Asif , Aamer and Umer Gul. They come and go like they never hold cricket bat before. See the dismissals of Aamer and Umer.

    Also I don’t know what Yousuf and Younus did wrong. Why PCB needs apologies from them. Where is the charge sheet against Yousuf. The main person who did all of this he is in team (Shoaib Malik).If Yousuf did not win series in Australia just tell me how many times Pa

  • cricksecular on July 16, 2010, 1:35 GMT

    First Test: Coaches and captain very clearly instruct from Butt till tail that the whole country is praying and watching to stop Aussies and start winning Test matches. Let Butt and Ali stay maximum possible not making any uncomfortable last minutes shots, etc. Send Umar/Kamran if wicket falls at no.4,no.5 because recently Kamran has good rappot with Butt and opened well; also he can control his brother-they need to understand psychology matters sometimes. Amer should be sent to stay on if things not goes well and keep Amin and Afridi for later rescue if needed. All tailenders must be instructed to stay. Its all about what Butt/Ali does tomorrow, these two are the key as 1 wicket will lead to all out which we don't want to dream.

    Second Test: Enough is enough. Butt,Kamran,Yasir,Ali,Umar,Malik,Afridi,Amin,Amer,Asif,Gul (no need of Kaneria for the time being once Younis and/or Yousuf returned we can have special spinner) time of the hour needed is more batstmen.

  • Ihtisham Hassan on July 16, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    You bring young players to polish them and build a future, It would have been wiser to play one debutant and put him lower in the order and Malik Should have batted at no 3 and followed by Umar Akmal, Regarding point no 5 "No" we cannot have only three specialist bowlers we need 4 as minimum

  • cricksecular on July 16, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    First Test: Coaches and captain very clearly instruct from Butt till tail that the whole country is praying and watching to stop Aussies and start winning Test matches. Let Butt and Ali stay maximum possible not making any uncomfortable last minutes shots, etc. Send Umar/Kamran if wicket falls at no.4,no.5 because recently Kamran has good rappot with Butt and opened well; also he can control his brother-they need to understand psychology matters sometimes. Amer should be sent to stay on if things not goes well and keep Amin and Afridi for later rescue if needed. All tailenders must be instructed to stay. Its all about what Butt/Ali does tomorrow, these two are the key as 1 wicket will lead to all out which we don't want to dream.

    Second Test: Enough is enough. Butt,Kamran,Yasir,Ali,Umar,Malik,Afridi,Amin,Amer,Asif,Gul (no need of Kaneria for the time being once Younis and/or Yousuf returned we can have special spinner) time of the hour needed is more batstmen.

  • Matee Naqvee on July 16, 2010, 1:27 GMT

    After reading your column, I am of the view that Pakistan should make a couple of changes by bringing in Yasir Hameed as an opener in place of Imran Farhat and Shoib Malik in place of Danish Kaneria. Thus there would be an extra batsman and a fifth bowler in the form of off-spin variety of Shoib Malik.

  • shahab on July 16, 2010, 0:52 GMT

    Pakistan must play their natural game, they need to get more on the front foot, play square and drive. Chasing down the target can be done if paksitan only target the bad balls, any ball on middle and leg should be put away and those that are fuller on the on side. However,for the first hour there will be help for the seemers, the slips will be heavy with four or five catchers. therefor avoid playiong shots. Key men to target will be Bollinger, Watson ( was successful due to conditions) and Smith, Auss will play Smith heavly in the afternoon, taking him out will cause punter to switch to Bollinger who can be driven. Pak must also look for cheeky singles, converting one into two etc, but here they need to pick the feilders. Umar Akmal needs to be promoted to No.3 with Butt as Anchor follwed by Afirdi, this will cause panic if they start to get going.

  • Usman Afridi on July 16, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    for the next game.

    IN:

    Yasir Hameed for Imran Farhat

    and

    Shoaib Malik for Umar Amin

    maybe Saeed Ajmal for Kaneria (depending on the wicket because Ajmal is more of a wickettaker)

  • haroon on July 16, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    Mr. Tanoli(M. Ilyas) would probably like to explain why he thinks Farhat is better than Hameed or Malik?Both Malik and hameed have better averages, have more experiences, have more class and overall much better players. Not to mention, most of Farhat runs are scored in the subcontinent and against weaker side, when we used to play mostly BD and ZM. I know ppl are asking for Akmal to open, hes a good ODI batsmen but you need a proper batsmen to open in top class test cricket.Hameed and Asim Kamal are worthy choices.Also, only one of the younger players should have been including and shoaib malik included.Afridi is not a test bowler.Kaneria after 10 yrs doesnt seem to understand what building pressure means.Your 5 good deliveries dont mean anything if you gift a sitter atleast once an over.Afridi does it atleast twice and he doesnt have Kanerias variety even. we are lacking batting depth, we used to have quicks and spinners who cud bat well, thats not the case anymore...

  • Tanveer on July 16, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    I wish Pakistani Cricket officials are reading all comments given by us. Specially some of the Stupid Selectors sitting in PCB who just made this Department like Politics. There we get Politicians with Fake Degrees and here we see Players with Fake Talent. :D

  • Nas on July 16, 2010, 0:12 GMT

    Good article Kamraan.

    One point, Afridi is neither a test quality batsman, or bowler. This team is playing specialist batsmen, bowlers, a keeper AND a specialist captain (Even his credentials are questionable).

    Salman Butt has looks like a solid batsman. Give hime time.

    Umar Akmal needs to take on the responsibility and move to pos 3. Pakistan team and management need to accept that he will fail many times, but he will gain valuable experience and hopefully grow into a world class test batsman. Give him 3 years in the position.

    There is no quick solution, and sacking players/coaches/officials will is not the "silver bullet" that many on this forum think it is.

    Nas

  • Jonathan on July 16, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    Pakistan really needs some professional individual to run PCB.

    It's really unrealistic to expect Farhat to be an opener while the guy has only mediocre talent for at the most ODI if any.

    Why there are not guys like Yasir Hameed or Asim Kamal not playing test for Pakistan is totally waste to time & talent.

    Umar Akmal being the best thing happened to Pakistan lately has to be #3 or #4 batsman.

    Two minnows on debut against Aus: Where is the thinking hat of selectors!

    Having both Yasir Hamid & Shoaib Malik with team but not playing test is asking for an ass kick.

    Sorry but we should not expect anything good from Pak camp, no matter how much talent Pakistan oozes until they get a professional setup.

  • adeel on July 16, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    just pray 4 pakistan na thing ales .. v no that pakistan can du any thing any time .

  • Kaazi Saab on July 15, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    For the love of God and everything else that is holy, can we PLEASE STOP SELECTING IMRAN FARHAT!!! He is a terrible opener (if not a batsmen in general) and does not deserve a spot on the team (let alone an opening spot) while real talent like Yasir Hameed sits on the bench. GET RID OF HIM. Anyone who cares to disagree, simply look at Farhat's track record..

  • Haneef Khan on July 15, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    Wonder Why Imran Farhat Is Still being Preferred Over Others In Pakistan there is a long Line of Talented Opners Like Nasir Jamsheed , Imran Nazir , Ahmed Shezad , Khurram Manzoor ,Yasir Hameed , taufeeq Umar , et c etc et c etc

  • sumair on July 15, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    Tomorrow pakistan batting collapse is inevitable. you cant win test match with 2 debutant against Australia. i thought yousuf was bad captain but now afridi showing those same demorolizing tactics against aussies by setting defensive field for Australian debutant time piene that allowed him to settle and score freely.i was watching and believe me it was frustrating watching them.umar gul and asif were wasting their deliverers and not telling afridi to attack batsmen either.i think afridi did not saw what ponting and helfenhaus were thinking when he got azhar ali by that attacking field that worked.afridi should learn quickly otherwise Pakistan not going anywhere and will lose badly again.

  • john on July 15, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    I think Afridi, who thinks he is an Imran Khan is not. He is destroying Razzak career. Under the circimstances, he could have played as no 3 or 4 batsman. But I have a feeling Afridi feels a threats here. If you see the One dayers, Razzak was bowling well, he provided wickets and had ecomonical figures, yet his overs were not utilized and moreover has been sent at number 7/8 to bat. He is a striaght and experienced clean hitter. I think Injustice is being done to this great cricketer

  • Daniel on July 15, 2010, 23:34 GMT

    From a New Zealander's point of view, they are the team I enjoy watching most (apart from my national side).

    Firstly, you always need 4 bowlers in a test side. If your top 5 batsman cannot get you a decent score, then having one more alrounder will not make any difference. The New Zealand team has long suffered from a lack of successful opening batsman. Our best players in the top two spots have always been very slow scorers, players who don't give away their wicket easily. I like what I see of Ali. He showed a lot of guts and determination yesterday.

    Umar needs to come in at number 3. He is one of the most talented and potentially great batsman in world cricket. No matter how many times he fails (because he is a young man, so he will fail), Pakistan need to just stick with him and show him faith in that position.

    Afridi has the makings of a great captain. He is inspirational and that is what is needed at top level. And Waqar has makings of a great couch. Have patience Pakistan!

  • cricket lover on July 15, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Nice article. fully agreed. but will they learn, NOOOO!!! few points to note:

    1) why waqar sends someone on the boundary rope to give some advise to his bowlers when they are struggling, like don't bowl short to tail enders, ball yorkers. Gul can switch on T20 mode and start bowling those. It seems waqar doesn't know how to communicate to his players. 2) Imran Farhat - a complete failure and waste. why his daddy in law in selection? he would be captain if it was up to his daddy in law. its like he has a gun to his head when he is batting. cowering and sacared. kick him out full stop. 3)tell malik, if he wants to play in test , opening is the only slot for him that way he knows his place and role. like langer and katich did. both knew and told that there is no other spot so either take it or leave it. they took it and took it well. and now watson too...there is no place for him in the middle order, so he opens. same with malik, open the batting or go home

  • S Malik on July 15, 2010, 23:28 GMT

    First of all I would say Heloo to everyone::: i think Pakistan not playing bad at all as compare to aus...we bowled out 150 and what aus did 250 that's it::: aus got 4,5 betsman average above 50 they didn't make runs so it's mean pak not doing bad at all :::::: we don't have a betsman averaging like over 50 but still doing Well which is good for Pakistan future we got two new guys Insallah they will play better & better Soon Just Wait And Watch:::::: Sailm Malik

  • Muhammad Saeed,Canada on July 15, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    I would like to ask the selctors about the justification of selecting Shahid Afridi for the test team; because he was made captain by the PCB.Like Imran Khan the captain is required to lead from the front.The way he batted is clear that he is unable to make a difference between test cricket & one day game.He did not show any responsibility.And his bowling is not so good to be prefered over quality spinners like Saeed Ajmal.But he is there because he is captain.The salaried selectors don't have courage to make sections on pure merit.

  • Fazal- from Canada on July 15, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    All the comments so far have been based on our typical sub -continental mentality-point fingers at everyone for the failure. Why can't we just sit back and let our players do what they are trained to do.... play cricket and win the game!!!!!!!!! It is very easy to be a critic-and believe me that there is not talent required to be one, but to go out in the field and participate based on one's talent is commendable. So just back and concentrate as one big family to cheer our boys so that they can win this game. I am very confident that they can achieve this, but they need out support and well wishes at the moment and not our criticism. They have started well and inshahallah victory will be ours

  • Sadiq (Toronto) on July 15, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    Agreed Farhat should be dropped and Yasir should be given another chance. Left and Right hand opening pair will give aussie bowlers some problems. Malik should also be given another chance and bat #3 Umar Akmal #4, Azhar Ali #5, Kamran Akmal/Afridi #6/7. Umer Amin needs more grooming. Bowling attack is fine but our bowlers should also concentrate on batting rather than throwing their wickets away (learn from Ausssies tail). Good luck for tomorrow. Insha Allah Pakistan will win!!

  • Muzammil on July 15, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    Sack Ejaz BUTT, He is a disgrace to cricket and the country. Malcom Speed was so right about him when he mentioned that he was a "bufoon". Drop Furhat and bring back M Yousuf and Younis in this team..... Afridi has no place in the test team and should be asked to play limited overs cricket only, Salman Butt should be appointed the test captain.....

  • IQBAL HAKIM on July 15, 2010, 23:02 GMT

    Even India gave their first match debuts for Ganguly and Dravid at Lords in the same test and they became legends so let us pray Azhar and Amin also click in a big way.

  • Sadiq (Toronto) on July 15, 2010, 23:02 GMT

    Agreed Farhat should be dropped and Yasir should be given another chance. Left and Right hand opening pair will give aussie bowlers some problems. Malik should also be given another chance and bat #3 Umar Akmal #4, Azhar Ali #5, Kamran Akmal/Afridi #6/7. Umer Amin needs more grooming. Bowling attack is fine but our bowlers should also concentrate on batting rather than throwing their wickets away (learn from Ausssies tail). Good luck for tomorrow. Insha Allah Pakistan will win!!

  • ali abis on July 15, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    Very well-written, the most frustating moment for the paki fanz was when hilfenhaus reached his fifty while his previous best was 20, I think some senior players like afridi and both akmals should understand situation and bat in top middle order...Some field-setting and bowling changes were probably because afridi is captaining in his 1st test.

  • K M on July 15, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    Well this test series is simply a joke. Afridi who does not deserves to be in the team is captaining the team. Sifarishi Imran Farhat has made his way to the test team.

    solution is to kick out imran farhat and afridi should captain the team being as a 12th man

  • Shahid on July 15, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Afridi needs to improve his bowling. It was of a very low standard in this test. He must bat like a reliable batsman. He should let the ball role on ground while batting. At the moment he is not a bat nor is he a bowler suited to tests. he is in the team only as a captain. As long as Afridi stays as captain, we are forced to play with 5 batsmen, a keeper and afridi.

  • Sadiq (Toronto) on July 15, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    Agreed Farhat should be dropped and Yasir should be given another chance. Left and Right hand opening pair will give aussie bowlers some problems. Malik should also be given another chance and bat #3 Umar Akmal #4, Azhar Ali #5, Kamran Akmal/Afridi #6/7. Umer Amin needs more grooming. Bowling attack is fine but our bowlers should also concentrate on batting rather than throwing their wickets away (learn from Ausssies tail). Good luck for tomorrow. Insha Allah Pakistan will win!!

  • M . Faisal Jameel on July 15, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    i have two points 1- pak test cricket is almost dead they are (coach&cap) are trying to remake it. our bowlng attack is very good better than aussies. weakness is batting. n i watching it getting better n better. i am watching farhat is going out permanently.

    2- pls dont critsice ameen n azher. pls keep patience. i a watching yuvraj n dravid n both them. ( u wll remember my this point in couple of months lnshallah ) howlong u will rely on these 2(yonus , yusuf) they have played their cricket....

    its tme fornew ones

  • Shahid on July 15, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    3 POINTS AS PER PRIORITY;

    1) Azhar Ali should open with Salman Butt and Yaser Hamid should follow them at 3. Umar Akmal needs to come at 4 and not above. You play your best player at 3 when you have better players to follow but when you only have one then you give him the best covering possible. Sending Umar Akmal at 3 and losing his wicket to new ball will demoralize the whole lot. You need at least three umar Akmals to send one at no. 3.

    2) One of the major problems with our bowlling attack is that when they are not getting wickets and a partnership between opposition players is settled, bowlers lose their drive. They start bowling bad balls and energy level becomes very low. Look at Gul, Asif, Aamers line and length while bowling to Pain and Hilfenhaus. This is captains major job to get the best out of players when going gets tough.

    3)Afridi may have succeded to score 30 but he should learn to play rolling shots and take singles. No one hit every ball for 6. FOOLISH.....

  • Mudassar Rana on July 15, 2010, 22:32 GMT

    good fightback by butt and azhar. there is no place for farhat in pakistan never mind the cricket team! he is absolute rubbish - he doesnt have the grace to admit it. yasir hameed should come in for him but should bat one down. kamran akmal should open. umar amin dropped in favour of razzak. If we do this we can still bring in an extra middle order batsman like asim kamal or a bowler like anwar ali or even shoaib akhtar. there should be a big protest amongst fans to have ijaz butt go mohammad ilyas go so that farhat can go. until you have honourable leadership then everything is left to luck.

  • Anwar on July 15, 2010, 22:19 GMT

    Dr Abbassi its quite strange to find out that you dont know why Imran Farhat is in the team. And incase you do know the reason but too afraid to write it you better stop writing. Pakistan is already full of cowards

  • MI on July 15, 2010, 22:12 GMT

    Afridi is so for proving to be a mature captain, and overall body language of the team has also improved. . .

  • sharpdesigner on July 15, 2010, 22:12 GMT

    btw, I am very amused how in one day the "Perception" of "Afridi being the ONE who can lead the TEST TEAM" changed in to the following question "SHOULD HE BE IN THE TEAM!"

    :)

  • Ali on July 15, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    plz take Imran Farhat out, even a blind person can see that he is not good batsman for test or one day cricket, plz bring some guys from under 19 & groom them, no more hand picked guys who know someone in selection board,

  • BALOCH on July 15, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    GOOD GOING BOYS !! INSHALLAH PAK TEAM WILL COME UP WITH MIRACLE.. PAK WILL CRASH AUSSIES AND ACCORDINGLY PAKISTAN WILL BE THE HISTORY MAKERS FOR TEST MATCHES IN LORD'S I AGREE WITH TAUSEEF THAT, OMAR AMIN SHOULD OPEN THE INNINGS WITH SALMAN BUTT..

    SEE YA GUYS IN LONDON.. !! PAKISTAN ZINDABAAD..

  • ILYAS ANWAR on July 15, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    The current series in England should be utilized to discover the true potential of ALL the selected players in order to REBUILD a solid team for the future.In the next Test,lets play Butt and Azhar as openers,Yaser Hamid at 3 and promote Umar Akmal to 4 and Umar Amin at 5 with Kamran at 6.Let us give the new players ample opportunity to show us where they belong.Our primary goal should be to rebuild and hence lets forget the older players(Yousef and Younis). Shoeb Malik is good as the 12th man for the time being while he is enjoying the honeymoon period with wife Sania Mirza.

  • Saiful Ansari on July 15, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    The forecast for tomorrow after 10:00 AM is cloudy/windy. Even under sunny skies the Aussies are capable of running through the frail Pak batting & repeat the feat of first innings. Cloudy conditions will make it harder for the batsmen. Butt & Azhar need to stay the course. Pak batsmen will require a super human effort to challenge the 300+ deficit. They have two days and very small asking rate. As long as the batsmen do not gift their wickets like Imran Farhat, Pak can achieve this record chase. Self belief is the key to get to the mountain top against all odds. It will be an interesting contest tomorrow.

  • WASIM ASIF on July 15, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    Farhat will play untill his father in law is in PCB & Ijaz Butt is chairman. Umer Amin is not international standred player, He should be replaced by Shoaib malik as an opner with Butt and yasir hamid at No.3.Azhar amin should go in middle order at No.5.

  • Ace on July 15, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    Malik as an opener ( lol ) what a Joke!!! Surly , We will see him Dancing On the LORD's Pitch......He can Do everything But TO play a TEST CRICKET is out of the Equation......Salsa Will be Palyed If HE OPENS!!!

  • rauf on July 15, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    I just cant explain how much I hate Imran Farhat !!! He's wasting the openers spot for Pak....

  • shahzad on July 15, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    @Tauseef Please please do not aske I.Farhat to take responsibility who is proven failure over the last 10 years. Just pay some "LANAAT" on his father in law, Ilyas, one the selectors

  • Atif on July 15, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    I was really surprised to see Imran Fahrat in test side, especially when he had been failed to impress in the side matches. Yaser Hameed deserves that place. It is ok to play two debutantes, but it was not compulsory to give them two consecutive positions in the batting order. Butt played well in the first innings too, but I wished he should also learn to play with tail, like how to protect them and how to maximize the benefit, you need to avail every possible opportunity, and get every possible run in the test cricket.

  • Arfan on July 15, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    to repleace the useless farhat, shoaib malik is hopeles against fast bowlers nevermind fast swing bowlers, johnson and co will eat him up. Kamran is simpley not good enough to open in tests maybe in t20 but not in tetst. Maybe Yaisr hameed. But i would go with Fawad Alam all the way. The kid has such a good attitude and has a positive frame of mind depsite all the injustice in his exclusion from the test team. He can be just as effective as Katich.

  • Aniruddha on July 15, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    Where is Mohammed Yousuf??? He is by far the best batsman Pakistan has ever produced. The team lacks the experience of maybe the great Inzy or Younus Khan. If these players would have played in this test series, Aussies would have left rubbing their asses in pain

  • Tariq Ashfaq Dubai on July 15, 2010, 21:16 GMT

    Dear Kamran

    Imran Farhat is not even an average player. Why we need him any ways. Play Yasir Hameed and Drop Imran as soon as possible. We also need to send him back to Pakistan back to his inlaws.

    Otherwise team is looking good and even if they loose, they should make a reasonable total.

  • Tauseef on July 15, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    Very well written column and some very thoughtful postings, thanks. I believe Umar Akmal is also in-experienced and needs time to develop confidence. If he is our best bet in the batting line up, then Pakistan has the best chance with him cushioned down the order where he is currently playing.

    Best part for Azhar and Umar Amin is that they know that they are the only option for th Aussie and English test seasons and if they could knock a couple of 50 odd scores and a score each cloe to 100 or above, this will be fantastic for them and for Pakistan. The rest of the players, including Farhat and down to Kamran Akmal need to take responsibility on their shoulders to score in each and every innings. If they all score 30's and there is odd 50 and 100, we will always score clode to 350. If we do that, we need to bring our bowling strength into action to win any test match if luck prevails.

  • ILYAS ANWAR on July 15, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    One definite conclusion is that Imran Farhat is NOT good enough to play for Pakistan.Azhar Ali opens for KRL and has shown potential and may be considered and groomed to become Butt's partner.

  • Shane on July 15, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    Nice really Nice Mr.K Abbasi.

    I agreed with your four points but not with final one. Mr. Farhat should be out and I feel either Azhar or Kamran should do the open along with butt and use Azhar/Kamran/Amin at number three position according to left right hand combination and situation of the game. I think Mr. Afridi is not suitable captain for Test Cricket. But if we don't have any choice then we need a good bowling alrounder who can bat as well and Mr. Afridi has to play as a specialist bowler. Drop Danish as I have not seen any match winning performance from long long time. Today we couldn't bowl out tail cheeply. I wonder this is lack of aggression.For tail it is very simple to give them easy runs. So definatly they will slog and play frustrating shot but afridi was other way around. As Pakistan unperdictable so they can be close of the target and may not reach 200. Good luck Pakistan atleast we are fighting.

  • Fazlullah Khan on July 15, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    I have read all the comments that have been given above. There are some that are good and positive too. Well I am totally disagree with the position of Umar Akmal to be up at 3 because if you taken a special batsman for that position like Azhar and Amin they have been playing at 3 & 4 in the domestic i think so. So there is no need of playing umar Akmal at n 3 he is also new and in the learning position and this tour is a learning tour for Pak so if lost the match doesn't matter but to see how we Pak play in the ground and best thing is now about them that they are playing as a unit.

  • Bilal Naqvi on July 15, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    Well said, Mr. Abbasi. Imran Farhat does not deserve a place even in the A team. The kind of backing he has from his father-in-law, I'm surprised his brother Humayon Farhat is not in the team yet. For opener's slot we have Yasir Hameed and also for God Sake's Fawad Alam. The kid scored a century on debut less than a year ago. Bring him in. and Please no Shoaib Malik. The guy does not deserve to be in a team after what eh pulled, no matter what PCB says, we all know what he pulled off. Need Younis Khan in the team. Afridi is the right choice for the captain, even though he is not a good test player. Hopefully he develops himself into one.

  • Kukkoo on July 15, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    @ Point#2 ...HA HA HA HA ... Are you kidding me? Everybody else in town knows precisely why he is in team, perhaps except you!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA ....

  • Jani_nasir on July 15, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    I was surprised when Malik wasn't playing the test. I agree that Umar should play up the order, but isn't Waqar and Afridi making that decision for him? Also Kamran bhai what do you think about Muhammad Irfan. Do you think he should get a shot at international cricket? I would like to hear your views on him.

  • Humayun Khan Afridi on July 15, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Agree with the writer. Shahid Afridi should try to come up the order if he wants to play his usual irresponsible shots. May be think of opening the inning, why not guys ? You cant have an irresponsible person like Afridi as the finisher. You need someone like Hussey , compare Hussey to Afridi. I dont even know who can be the Hussey of Pakistan in the current line up. Afridi, Malik, Kamran all irresponsible. dont know about Azhar Ali , may be instead of concentrating on no. 3 position only , pakistan should also think about someone who can finish like Hussey does for Australia, in all three formats ? Who is our finisher ? Hussey has finished closed and won so many matches for Australia. Is Opening and No. 3 our only problem ? Why have we never thought of a finisher? Like we use to have Miandad, coming at no. 3 but always thinking of finishing.... May be we should think of brining Azhari ali or Umar Amin as the finisher, cause none of the oldies have the temporament.get over yoyo now.

  • Nadeem on July 15, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Point 1 is spot on. Its always the case in pakistan cricket, batsmen make their name by scoring runs early on in their career and shy away form the key positions later, especialy 3, leaving other uncapable batsmen to fill the void, and in the case,what can only be described as sacrificed,while more talented batsmen come into bat with less varnish on the ball. Faisal Iqbal said he was subjected to this in an interveiw on the tour, Amin yesterday and azhar ali. remember shoaib malik used to come in at 3 and was pretty sucessful until he slowly got enough respect from the team players to move down the order. Mohammed Yousuf also done it. While other top teams have their best batsmen play in 3 and 4 our best players only play for their own stats. Only one word really, cowardly, nothing else. The only batsmen who didnt do this act was younis khan. He was such a great batsmen for pakistan and always bats at 3. so much for being loyal. stupid ijaz butt - bufoon.

  • PaKiLoVeR <3 on July 15, 2010, 21:00 GMT

    Inshallah pakistan will win! the only problem is that butt needs a better opening partner and u.akmal needs to be batting at number 3. and the debudants should be batting at 8 and below! but besides that pakistan are marlvelous with the ball but lil unsteady with the bat hope butt can give pakistan a big score... pakistan needs to play with patience n allah will help them inshallah <3 :D

  • John Thiel on July 15, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    Pakistan produces the most exciting cricketers in the world, yet their cricket is shambles. Here are a few things to do:

    1. Sack the Chairman of the PCB. He's an embarrassment to your country and to cricket in general. Hire a professional CEO; perhaps a foreigner.

    2. The way Afridi batted in the first innings smacked of desperation and a lack of application. Afridi can't hold his place in the test XI therefore he can't be captain. Select an XI and then pick a captain

    3. Get rid of Farhat. Promote Akmal, the elder, to open the innings, If he refuses sack him

    4. Akmal, the younger, needs to come in at the fall of the first wicket. If he refuses see item 3

    Here's an Englishman's Pakistan team:

    Butt, Akmal, Akmal, Khan, Ali, Amin, Malik, Aamir, Gul, Kaneria, Asif

  • Iqbal on July 15, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    If there is a choice (which I doubt due to politics), then Yasir Hameed should open with Butt. Umar should come in at no.3 and Shahid Afridi should follow at no.4 to set a trend of seniors taking responsibility. Azhar seems to be nice addition but Amin is yet to make his mark on me. Even in the one-dayers he didn't quite come good. So I would rather include Shoaib Malik (Although I don't like him) in his spot. He can strengthen the bowling and fielding department. Folks who are talking about promoting Kamran Akmal, please realize that Kamran has to keep as well. After keeping for however many overs if you ask him to join the opening slot, that would be asking for trouble in my opinion. Even Gilly used to come at 5 or 6. But again who am I kidding. We really don't have a chice here. Pakistan being Pakistan will play their merry way and lose the test inside of 4 days. How on earth can you not take your best batsman on England tour? Younis is being missed here.

  • Qadi on July 15, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    Yes Kamran I agree with your points that those are the key positions in any format of cricket & in Test Cricket It is matter the most as it is the spine of your batting. somebody in the current seniors players should have to step up but I regret to say that our senior batsmen might have some fear in thier minds. I think Afridi is not a Captain Choice for the Test Side besides he will win the game for Pakistan! Let's again hope for the best. Never Lose Hope.

  • sharpdesigner on July 15, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    Malik has strong political back and his disputes with Yousuf and Younus often revolved around his batting position in the side. He has mentioned it in press conference that he will never play as opener or one down player.

    I hope Imran Farhat's dismissal in the second innings is enough for the inclusion of Yasir Hameed in next match.

    Why every one here forgot about "Asim Kamal" and how he was sidelined! He was a pure victim of favorism[Misbah's place]

    Amin and Azhar has been put on the Slaughter[3rd,4th pos] just because PCB wants them to FAIL and PCB then have "reasons" to have Malik in the TEAM. Frankly speaking, I clearly see inclusion of Malik in place of either of the 2[Most probably Amin] in next match.

    Afridi can't be a Test Bowler nor a Test Batsman. If they want him to be Test captain , make him "12th Man" and have him in the field to give instructions[lolz]

    I don't know when will Kaneria learn to threaten the "top" order and become a Main Strike Bowler

  • ash on July 15, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    What I noted about Australia is that they play cricket like you would play chess. Ricky Pointing knows the pitch isn't going to break so what does he do? He brings on his quicks round the wicket to create alot of rough following their follow through hence helping the spin on 4th and 5th day. He is not concerned about taking wickets on the first day of pakistan second innings, he knows his bowlers will take wickets on the 4th and 5th day with the help of abit of cheating. But i must admit i like the way he thinks, could never imagine Afridi doing the same without getting caught. Anyway insofar as the batting is concerned, Imran Farhat will stay and so will Danish who is currently being investigated for match fixing at the expense of Yasir Hameed and Saeed Ajmal!!!

  • Mobeen Zahid on July 15, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    It really isn't that impossible to win it. They only need 300 something to win and tomorrow is a new day so they'll start fresh. All that is required is patience, perseverance and positivity. Its just a matter of application and belief, there's ample time and the pitch has eased out. If they stick to the simple basics of batting, playing each ball on its merit which obviously takes a LOT of concentration, they should do it. Luck is always needed, but it only comes to those who try. Best of luck boys, you've played well enough in the circumstances.

    P.S. Yasir Hameed should open with Butt for sure, and Malik (as much maligned as he is) will bring some experience to the middle order. One of the two debutants along with them. Exerience is very important for a middle order. BUt, wishing the best of luck to Azhar and Umar Amin, they look good enough technically, hope they can shine when the hour beckons!

  • khurram on July 15, 2010, 20:40 GMT

    after reading all the comment i think one thing should be clear to everyone that imran farhat is worthless,i donot understand why is he playing.where is hassan raza,i think he is wat better then imran.i think its a good thing to play youngsters but one should realize that,with pakistan domestic structure and level at which they play you cannot judge a player. as far as afridi well i think anyone who knows just a tiny bit about cricket will tell there is no place for afridi in test.But plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz get rid of ijaz butt plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz i beg to whoever handles the PCB.plz plz get rid of that guy he is stupid and know nothig. plz we cannot loose players like younis khan,mohammad yousuf,just because of people like ejaz butt.rest i think the in stead of arguing who is in or out, lets just pray that pakistan will win, bring

  • Saiful Ansari on July 15, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    On the third day, the tail of the Aussies batted confidently to extend the lead by 100+ runs. They virtually assured their team success in this test. Aussies are in the driving seat and favorites to win tomorrow. Imran Farhat got out from a nothing delivery & proved again, he does not have the temperament to play test cricket. Barring some resistance from Butt, Azhar,Umer Amin & the Akmal brothers the outcome of this game is going the Aussie way. Weather may also play a part. But even if the weather holds on Pak batsmen need to get their act together & play out of their skins to give themselves a sniff of victory at Lords. Records are for breaking & if Pakistan cant chase 440 in the next two days, some other team will do so in the future at Lords. Afridi cant be in the team only to lead, unless he can perform with the Bat & ball. He needs to change his approach & switch to test cricket mode. Only a skipper who leads by example will have followers to help him win games.

  • tanoli on July 15, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    When things go wrong, everyone panics. Relax and understand the nature of the game....Farhat is far better than Yasir and or Malik...Imagine, if we play Malik and/or yasir and they got out on duck? Everyone would be asking hard questions, why they are there? We have tried Malik many times...he failed...So as yasir hameed. Abbasi, you failed to acknowledge that in the second inning pak played fantastic cricket 114/1 is surely very good position. Why not send Azhar at number 3? if you wanna play international cricket you must be ready to face best pace attack on the planet at any position, let them fail, there is always success after each failure provided you learn from your mistakes. There are some issues on PCB side but overall, it's very encouraging and brave decision to send young team on the field. We must take risks.

    Afridi is captain, Waqar is coach, these young guys are playing at this stage because of their support. At the end of the day, they are calling the shots.

  • Asad on July 15, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Point 1 - Agree. Point 2 - Partially agree. Why bring Yasir Hameed at all. Yet another player who has failed to show that he can make it at this level. Farhat playing international cricket is a joke. Point 5 - Afridi as a 4th bowler, absolutely not. He is too much of a risk and unless he sorts out his batting he is a liability in this side. His captaincy is sadly lacking.

  • saeed on July 15, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    I can't really make sense of this notion of "Senior" player and "Junior" player. I think a player can be considered senior based on the challenges and responsiblities he can take. Most of our (so called) senior players try to come late in batting just to make sure that the ball is easy for them to bat. Yet they call themselves senior. And, for Opener Imran Farhat, I guess Fans of Pakistani Cricket must be going through their own frustrating test to continue watching this guy. I'm sure even Kenya won't select him as a batsman. I was very impressed with Azhar Ali's confidence and the ability to read the ball. I don't know how well he is going to do in this test, but certainly he's got the technique and style to look like "Inzamam or Miandad".

  • Omer on July 15, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    1- Bring Younis Khan back ASAP as without him this team can not win a single test 2- Drop Imran Farhat for all 3- Play one dubatant in a test match and make him bat at 5 4- Afridi to bat at 6 and with some responsibility

  • salik(pakistan) on July 15, 2010, 20:19 GMT

    even if we dont end up making history tomorrow(which is almost impossible) i.e. chasing 440.. i need the boys to fight for it till the end and not falling one after the other like they usually do... the first 10 overs will be crucial ... if butt and azhar survive that who knows if TOMMOROWS GONNA BE A GOOD GOOD NIGHT!!!! AND to WIN Butt needs to be there till the 5th wicket and go for some 150 and a century from any of the akmals..azhar ali will go out early i think so will umar amin becuz of the pressure..i dont expect afridi to score any more than 30 or 40 ... but in the end its just about the day and no one can know whts gonna happen (EXCEPT PAUL THE OCTOPUS maybe:P)

  • Rashid Zaman on July 15, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    Kamran you have made some excellent points. But I think the PCB have no sense whatsoever! They are playing Australia in typical English conditions and they have for the most stupid ideology left their (worlds) 2 top batsmen(Yousef & Younis) @ home and then to make things even more stupid they stick in two debutants these people are paid money for making such stupid decisions? The mind boggles. Yes I know the Aussies are sticking in a youngster but they are playing Pakistan and minus their deadly duo! Ijaz Butthead what a joker now he's handing the fines imposed on the Akmals/Afridi and Malik back to them? what thats great for discipline. I think Salman Butt is playing some excellent cricket and Umar Akmal is a fabulous find the bowlers have bowled their heart out but the rest, well you summed it up!

  • Danish on July 15, 2010, 20:16 GMT

    I agree that when the opposition is a team like Australia, and u are playing at Lord's it was very unwise to have two batsmen on debut. Malik, despite his controversies or even Misbah, would have been a better choice becaz they have both played tests and have some experience, even if they aren't the best choices. Also Yasir Hameed should have played instead of Farhat. I think that even though Yousuf and Younis are in a tangle with the PCB, they should have realized that we were playing tests against two tough opponents, and they should have come back into the team.

  • sid on July 15, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    I think playing Afridi as the 4th bowler would be a mistake. I actually feel that he should open the innings with Salman Bhat and that way they can get better balance in the side. I know Afridi can get out any moment, but I see him from in the Shewag mold where if he plays the first hour, team will have 100 on the board and it will demoralize the bowling attacks.

  • Kausar on July 15, 2010, 20:14 GMT

    I have no clue why Abdul Razak is out from test series, whereas he is very experienced and been match winner at many occasion, Imran Farhat is totally out of form no reason to be in XI, atleast till he recover. Karman Akmal is wasted by keeping him in tail order, I believed he would be the best choice for opening partner with Butt follow with Umar, Ali, Afridi has to be responsible and come at 5th position than Amin and so on….. in present Pakistan XI.

  • abdul jabbar khan on July 15, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    I am very happy to see Afridi Boom Boom is leading the team. He will prove to be a very good captain pakistan ever had ofcouse after Imran Khan. Give him little time to proove it. Yasir and Malik should be Included in the team to strengthen the batting side in the present condition and players Yes ofcourse I would like to see Mohd. Yousuf to come back to the side will be a strong side. Now I am expecting Pakistan to clear 300 mark which itself is a great achievement. I know the tail enders dont have any batting skill. Afridi should come in after this wicket is down. Yasir should be given the chance who made 177 on debut with lots of potential in him. He should come in at number 3 not open and Malik should open with Salman who is going to come close to century or maybe 170 I pray for the second. Akmal brothers should show some resistence and play the game. In the end I wish Pakis my best of luck and pray for them. They should just put their head down and just try to keep the wickets.

  • Kausar on July 15, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    I have no clue why Abdul Razak is out from test series, whereas he is very experienced and been match winner at many occasion, Imran Farhat is totally out of form no reason to be in XI, atleast till he recover. Karman Akmal is wasted by keeping him in tail order, I believed he would be the best choice for opening partner with Butt follow with Umar, Ali, Afridi has to be responsible and come at 5th position than Amin and so on….. in present Pakistan XI.

  • Loyal Pakistani on July 15, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    Good article, I always think Umar should be promoted to number 3, number 5 is too low in the order. And yes Pakistan have a 10% chance of winning this match, after all it is 10 players against 11, I do not count Imran Farhat in the team on his skills, but his Mrs's skills. So I am afraid for the next couple of years we will have to play with 10 player team becuase he will score no more than 24 runs, that is even if he is lucky.

  • Badar on July 15, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    I think Pakistan team's performance was not bad apart from first inning batting, which was result of their poor selection of shots. Secondly Pakistan should move on with out Younis and Yousuf and bring some new talent(like Azhar and Umar ameen) and give them some time to settle and eventually they will start performing.

  • Badar on July 15, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    I think Pakistan team's performance was not bad apart from first inning batting, which was result of their poor selection of shots. Secondly Pakistan should move on with out Younis and Yousuf and bring some new talent(like Azhar and Umar ameen) and give them some time to settle and eventually they will start performing.

  • IQBAL HAKIM on July 15, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    You don't pick 2 youngsters to play at 3 & 4 positions when you have the talented Akmal Brothers and Afridi.I remember Afridi getting a quick hundred against India and wiping out the 100+ first inning lead as an opener.Frankly speaking Afridi should open as he can demoralise the bowlers like Sehwag very quickly. As a leader he should show the way believe me he is a very good batsman and should not bat at number 7. I have a gut feeling that Butt, Azhar and Umar Amin are going to play very well on day 4. I do see a place for veteran Mohd Yusuf in future

  • tauqir nisar on July 15, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    A person with little acumen can think better about batting order but these "socalled genious" on tour would not understand what stretgy means,specially when your opponent is so strong.Waqar Younis was the worst captain of pakistan cricket history and who is the mentor of Afrisdi.What do you expect from these two who hardly use their brain.Drastic change in batting order would only lift our morale and can give us a bit hope in this dismal scenario and in an uphill task front of them.Umer akmal,kamran Akmal,Umar Amin,Shahid Afrida,may be the onlysequence where we can snif positivity for us.

  • Sami on July 15, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    It's a pity that no one talks about fawad alam getting a chance at number 4 as he deserves. He has the highest first class average in the history of Pakistan cricket, with minimum of 30 matches criteria. He is being a victim of biased selection policy as he is from karachi and not from punjab. he scored in most tour matches, and everytime he came out to bat, either Pakistan tail was already exposed or he batted as an opener or at one down. Wow, really tells me why we lost half of our country in 1971. Pity!!

  • Adnan on July 15, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    why does butt gets praised so much? the guy is averaging 32 n people talk about him like he is lara or hayden give me a break

  • Yaqoot Mir on July 15, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    Ideally this is a line up that Pakistan should have gone with:

    1 Salman Butt (Iffy but no choice better than Farhat) 2 Yasir Hameed (experience and patience) 3 Umar Akmal (genuinely the best batsmen in the Pak team) 4 Azhar Ali ( only one youngster should have started NOT 2) 5 Shahid Afridi (genuine alrounder per Picth conditions) 6 Shoaib Malik (genuine alrounder per pitch conditions) 7 M. Amir (all-rounder in the making-like Wasim Akram) 8 Umer Gul (needs to bad with conviction) 9 Danish Kaneria (sitting duck with bat but genuine spinner) 10 M. Asif (makes it in regardless of his batting too good)

    Gives Pakistan 5 batsmen with 4 genuine and 2 alrounders at 1/2 batsman each.

    Gives Pakistan 6 Bowlers uncluding Afridi and Shoaib Malik who can both more than take wickets field well and motivate, Shoaib is a trouble maker but again pakistan has no choice.

    Comments welcome!

  • Wajahat on July 15, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    Younis Khan has played most of his cricket at No. 3 lately. Yes Inzimam and yousuf came in the late middle order. I would love to know the statistics of how many of Inzamam's runs have come while batting in top 4 as compared to Miandad.

  • Jag Gaikwad on July 15, 2010, 19:58 GMT

    I used to love to watch Pakistan play to win, may be they need to see blue in yellow /white ! All the best !

  • sherry on July 15, 2010, 19:58 GMT

    You can not try new comers against worlds best team, umer amin showed poor inning against sri lanka in asia cup, then why in the hell he played against India. IF misbah is out of touch it takes few games for a player like him to get back like msbah the fom comes after couple of games. take out stupid umer out of the team

  • sherry on July 15, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    I agree with Mr Kamran, on the other side its hard for us to judge afridi. He is an agressive captain but some times make such big mistakes that can change the game around. I hope and pray that pak win but aus can change the game aound within couple of good overs. If stupid ijaz butt ha issues against yousuf and younis then where is misbah. Misbah is a classic player and we need him in this situation. Why waqar younis dropped yasir hamid, malik and razzaq. Umer amin is a waste of talent so as azhar. Pak dont deserve to win this match I think afridi and waqar has gone insane. Drop waqar and ijaz and bring back some aggressive coach.

  • EverybodyLovesSachin on July 15, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    No 1, 3 and 5 are the basics of test Cricket.. Lesson Learned?

  • Sohail on July 15, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Yeah pakistan did lack in some areas , but the major concern is that they should bat well ... i am afraid of if they loose this game the people in pakistan specially the former pakistan player will get a chance to earn with some stupid comments against players on media. well i agree that with some things that , when u have yasir hameed . who has scored 50 in a warm up match ...he should be playing ...and the other problem waqar yunas should have put only 1 player to debut his test career... but i still love my team and they are the best in the world ... the time is not helping but it will come eventually ...pakistan Zindabaad!!!

  • Faisal on July 15, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Interesting points raised: you cant play afridi and four bowlers....either afridi develops as a genuine all-rounder or he doesnt get to be in the test team. I am shocked at the optimism of seasoned pundits that somehow success in the hit-and-giggle t20 can translate in to success in test form. In this test the captain is a non-performer...and no his captaincy is not all that flash - even the ultra-defensive/defeatist yousuf managed to get australia out for 120 odd in Sydney. On the openers...Taufeeq Umar is Pakistan's best opener statistically...unlike Yasir Hameed's inflated average based on feasting on bangladeshi bowling....Taufeeq build this by performing against SA in SA..has a better record against them then the missing melodramatic middle order....ahem..greats

  • Wasim Abbas on July 15, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    "Is it possible to play Afridi and four bowlers? The tail becomes too long. Should Afridi always be the fourth bowler?" YES BUT then we have to include shoaib malik into the team , because shoaib malik and afridi combine to form the forth bowler and gives much wanted depth and experience to the batting .

  • saggs on July 15, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Afridi as a captain in Tests hmmmm. The way he played in first innings i thought is it a twenty twenty or a test match.After playing with the likes of Yousuf,Inzamam's,Younis he never learned how to hold a bat in Test Matches..Yes he is a better captain but he is not a bowler not even a batsman when it comes to Test matches. So i wonder how long he can survive with his quick 20s and 30s and bowling few overs.What pakistan needs are youngsters like Salman Butt, and i am sure the likes of Azhar and some others can do that but they need some time to get there..I'm sure if somehow pakistan looses this series and Afridi's contribution with either bat or ball is nil. He would be replaced by some better test player may be Salman Butt who knows?

  • twitter.com/falaky on July 15, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Constructive analysis and couldn't agree more with your thoughts. Guys like Osman Samiuddin should learn to present the positive side of the picture, even in grim and rusty periods of Pakistan cricket. Imran Farhat is simply riding on with his luck, although we need performances from people who are desperate to make their mark again. I too think, Malik and Yasir Hameed is a fair choice to start with, if not the best. For No3, I would love to see one , among the Akmal brothers. I think there is not much juice in the wicket and hopefully conditions will remain same in coming days. The only thing which pisses me off and will be tested, is our Batsmen temperament. All of sudden, they started to throw bat allover and feel like they are blowing the joint. Hopefully, they will stick to their captain and coach's plan. Let see how it goes! May Allah help their cause, inshAllah

  • Aftab khan on July 15, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    yes mr abbassi i told you middle order bats not up to for lord pressure yousaf yousaf please

  • Faisal Jaan on July 15, 2010, 19:40 GMT

    @usman sheikh: I completely agree with you.Kamran bhai wrote it before that there is no reward for dignity of Younis. Its a shame that the man who scored a tripple century only a year ago, is not playing while a bunch of mediocre players are playing in the team. SHAME SHAME SHAME to MR EJAZ BUTT. He has no RIGHT to play with country for his own little EGO.

  • Wasim Abbas on July 15, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Spot on Kamran. yasir should be included as an opener and umer akmal should come one down. and i think saeed ajmal is much better option tha kaneria as he can dislodge the tail enders quickly and wouldn't be as expensive as kaneria. Mohammad Amer should also concentrate a bit on his batting as can be decent enough all rounder he certainly has the talent.

  • Sami on July 15, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    For once, I would like Pak bowlers learn how to hold a bat - while Aussie bowlers add 100s, ours end up with a cumulative score of 20-25 which, when you consider all the no-balls, actually ends up in negative territory..

    Its awesome to see Amir and Asif and Gul clicking and taking wickets - it would be great to see them add to the score and not just fold.. batting practice for all.. Why not add Razzaq - another seamer who can actually bat.. just thinking out loud...

  • Surkh Malang on July 15, 2010, 19:36 GMT

    Imran Farhat Parchee needs to go to temprament school. Youngsters look promising. Danish Kaneria should be dropped, he bowls too many loose deliveries. Bowling 2 bad balls every over and 4 good balls does not sustain pressure. Danish is not a wicket taking bowler.

  • Kaazi Saab on July 15, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    For the love of God and everything else that is holy, can we PLEASE STOP SELECTING IMRAN FARHAT!!! He is a terrible opener (if not a batsmen in general) and does not deserve a spot on the team (let alone an opening spot) while real talent like Yasir Hameed sits on the bench. GET RID OF HIM. Anyone who cares to disagree, simply look at Farhat's track record..

  • Tazz on July 15, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    Bring back Muhammad Waseem, he is experienced, got sound technique and in form. He had a good first class seasn 2009-10 averaging 50+.

  • Shahzad on July 15, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    Absolutely spot on .... but i see a thin chance for Pakistan to win any test match.. they might fight.. and bowling is better then aussies BUT its sad the batting lineup is non WINNING !!

    if sun doesnt come out on friday.. pak will fight ... if clouds come ... pak wont survice more then 2 sessions ..

  • Syed Afsar Hussain on July 15, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    agree wid you, Afridi should play with four fast bowlers..

  • Abid on July 15, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    O man O man up and down day both team. It could have been best got PAK if they had limit them to under 300 but gave Credit to Ausse low order they did good job stay on field and provide handy run. Over all Pak openers provide good stand. As long as team keeps building partnership with their head down than Pak team can reach to a victory line. It may not easy but it can be down. It is time to take care of business. Good luck PAK team.

  • PIER WASIF on July 15, 2010, 19:28 GMT

    Kamran, i do not understand the logic behind playing the debut in 3&4 & playing Imran Farhat and keeping Yasir Hameed out, could you make me understand. I do not know who is guiding the Captain & and the coach for such a stupid idea ithink they should know better. pier

  • Shafiq Rahman on July 15, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    Afridi does not belong in a test side. He is a one day bowler and batsmen. He is gutsy but guts do not by themsleves translate into wise decisions. He was bowling with the new ball when he had two very distiguished pacers that he could use.

  • Murtaza Moiz on July 15, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    rightly said Mr. Abbasi, later in the Aussie inning I also felt lack of energy in Pakistani players.

  • azhar malik on July 15, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    i think if pakistani bastman reached 350 to 375 Thats a big chase for them .Because there is no experience at all in the team,evev Coach.but it be a miracle if PAKISTAN WON THIS TEST MATCH. And if pakistan won,Thats a new begening of pakistan cricket after IMRAN KHAN won the LORD,s TEST in 1982-83.

  • Mozzam on July 15, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    Let us make it simple. You cannot win a test match against a pretty good bowling attack with only one batsman averaging above 40 in the top six. Pakistan is a very exciting team when it comes to limited overs cricket more particularly in T20 which suits their style. And what about the world class bowling attack conceding 120 odd runs to get the last two wickets. PCB really needs to think out deeply and take a wise decision that will benefit the country's cricket fortune in the test arena. Going by the contribution and lack of sense while batting shown by Afridi, he does not even seem to be good enough to be in the team. He needs to be told that there is a vast difference in the way you approach T20 and Test cricket. As far as the match goes, it is an absolutely hopeless situation for Pakistan, unless a certain Mr.Paul thinks otherwise or it rains cats and dogs for the next couple of days.

  • Atif Butt on July 15, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    It all depends Mr Abbasi what your expectations are. My expectations are building a new team and not winning and I am seeing quite a bit success. These two test matches will help a great deal building a good side for future. I just request everyone to be patient and dont criticise needlessly. Only point of criticism is why Imran Farhat cause he has already been given enough chances. Probably a big "Paawa" behind him.

  • Leena Khan on July 15, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    Pakistan's biggest issue in this Test seems to have been the difficulty in removing the Australian tailenders. The 30-odd runs the 10th wicket put on in the Aussie First innings and of course the over 100-odd runs put on by the 9th and 10th wickets have hurt. On both occasions the pressure valves were released as it were, and Australia got back in rather nicely. Unless Pakistan can do a better job of mopping up the tail in the rest of the Test matches this summer, they are likely to squander more chances.

  • qaisar qadeer on July 15, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    very well written aritcle, i like the last option where you have mentioned Afridi as 4th bowler, that will be interesting to see because it brings shoib Malik in which will be part time offie as well.yasir hameed should get to open and bring omer akmal as number 4. lastly, good luck to Pakistan, still on learning curve but please show some patience andplay session by session.

  • Shafiq on July 15, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    I never understand why Pakistani batting line performs better under pressure and more importantly they create a pressure situation for themselves by failing in the first innings and when they are left with huge task in the second innings, they perform better but still lose. This has been the story during all the series last year starting from Sri Lanka and it continues even today. Can't they show same reesponsibility in the first innings as well?

  • Adil on July 15, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    Good analysis Kamran. Indeed there is a lot for Pakistan team management to think. Those sloppy period where they let the match slip away are becoming too consistent and too painful. Inability to quickly claim tail wickets is becoming a demon for our otherwise outstanding bowling. Waqar himself know how to do it and should transfer his knowledge. And as you pointed out, playing Azhar and U. Amin at nos 3 and 4 despite having Kamran and Umar Akmal in the side is beyond any logic and reasoning.

  • aamar on July 15, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    from what i have salman butt has only been the shining light who can bat abit and he is pakistan most improved player i have always liked him how come shahid afridi didnt bowl as many overs during the first wasnt it the great pair of wasim and waqar who would go all out one end and mushy on the other end and afridi seems to be in the same position as shoaib malik was captain what is his role in the team also i think they should give the younger guys a chance im all for that but they need experiance maybe someone like younis or yusuf but the way they have been treated do you really blame them and australia have got all 4 bowlers who can bat abit why dont our tailenders try to improve there batting not score loads of run but maybe occupy the crease like hoggard lets hope salaman and co fight it out cause they have 2 days and its either gonna be a pakistan win or a aussie win come on guys at least go down fighting

  • usman sheikh on July 15, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    SACK IJAZ BUTT RIGHT NOW.... I literally mean right now...why on earth is he expecting apology from younis khan. Younis khan has done nothing wrong. I know its not gonna happen because ijaz butt only care abt himself and doesnt give a damn abt pakisatn cricket. Bring back younis khan and yousaf RIGHTTTT NOWWWWWWWWWWWW AND kick imran farhat out RIGHT NOWWWWWWWWWW and sack ijaz butt RIGHTTTTT NOWWWWWWWWWWWWW

  • Adnan Abdullah on July 15, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    Salam Sir, i Really respect ur point of views, but there is 1 point in which i personally dont agree with u, and that is point #2. In that u said that pak shuld search best partner for Salman Butt, Farhat has always looked like a batsman who might succeed in Pakistan but will require a healthy dose of luck outside, as he received in New Zealand.......... but i think that After Saeed Anwar and Amir sohail pak did not managed to make a get a best pair of openers, and the reason 4 that is all the openers were not given fair chance to show their skills, or to overcome the expectations, which are being over due from them...kindly give Farhat a fair chance. I vil like to remind u his innings of 100 against new zealand in their country last year, & also a stand of 100 between him and Butt in sydney test, which pak lost and after wards that test become a disastorous test in pak team hisotry... waiting for ur comments,,, thnx REGARDS....!!!

  • Imran on July 15, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    You ask, is it possible to play Afridi and four bowlers? That's what happening in this test. Afridi needs to take responsibility for his batting. A few more inning of 20-30 odd and he'll find himself giving up the captaincy cap to Butt (who has been a revelation over the past year or so).

    If the weather holds, there is every chance that Pakistan can come close to winning this test. Considering some of the recent high scores at the ground with sun shining through, they should win handily. Having said that it all comes down to that concept which is foreign to Pakistan team, temperament. The fashion in which Farhat threw his wicket away speaks to that. Pakistan needs someone to anchor the innings in a fashion no too dissimilar to that of Shoaib Muhammad of yore who batted as if time was his slave.

  • Aziz Shariff on July 15, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    I definitely think that the "PARCHEE", Imran Farhat should be out of the next test. Even Hilfanhaus played better than Mr. Farhat. With the new as well as the old ball and he came in at No. 10, yes, No. 10. That, shamefully tells you the quality of the Pakistani opener. Anyway, I think, Shoaib Malik would be a dead duck in English conditions if asked to open. Ideal combination should be Butt and Kamran Akmal, the left handed Umar Amin if Butt gets out or Azhar Ali if Akmal gets out to come at No. 3 and vice versa for No. 4. Then Umar Akmal followed by Shoaib Malik to strengthen the middle order (though fractionally, but that's the best we have on the tour. As far as Yasir Hameed, faulty technique specially in swinging English conditions, will be exploited badly. Unlike the Pakistan team, Ausssies do their homework about scouting the players.

  • Faisal Mahmood on July 15, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    Pakistan batting order should be liked this: 1:Salman Butt 2:Imran Farhat 3:Umar Akmal 4:Azhar Ali 5:Kamran Akmal 6:Umar Amin 7:Shahid Afridi and so on.... These are the combination of juniors and seniors

  • Talha on July 15, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    I agree somewhat with Kamaran, No.3 and 4 positions should go for the best batsman of the team. Shoaib Malik is the choice mentioned but he's also shying to go up. At the time of Bob Woolmer, he started his best form by playing at No.3. I don't know why he afraid off. Strongly suggesting that batting order should be the Captains's and Coach's decision. Players should think for the country not become selfish.

  • Faisal Mahmood on July 15, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    Actually, Pakistan batting order are following that: 1:Salman Butt 2:Imran Farhat 3:Umar Akmal 4:Azhar Ali 5:Kamran Akmal 6:Umar Amin 7:Shahid Afridi and so on.... so these are the combination of juniors and seniors

  • Javed (from Toronto) on July 15, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    Who are you telling to learn the lessions? Have we ever learnt any lesson from our defeats? This is the whole point we don't learn from our mistakes.

    Giving two players their first chance againt the Australians under English conditions, just because they performed well in the domestic cricket!!! Yes. Pakistan's domestic cricket!!! Same pressure, right. Hit me!!! Unfair to these players.

    Every game has a defining moment and this time it was the 8th and the 9th wicket partnership for the Australians. Whatever hope Pakistan had, evaporated with the 100+ runs added by the last two Australian batsmen. Chasing 350 sounds much better than a world record 440. Yeah, right. The Australians will create the world record by beating a single team for the most consecutive times.

  • Mushtaq on July 15, 2010, 19:10 GMT

    i totally agree with kamran the five points that he has made they all make sense. one thing Pakistan needs is a experience batter in the middle order this is because to win a match you need to score big in the first innings and also Danish kaneria is rubbish don't play him get Abdul razzaq instead better with the bowl and also the bat

  • amir hasan on July 15, 2010, 19:10 GMT

    Hi.In my opinion Salman butt is set as a opener in 1 day and in test cricket .Kamran Akmal is best partner which Pakistan need and for the next match Yasir Hameed or Shoaib Malik 1 in both should play because i dont think so Umar amin can handle middle order or he can play come as opener , Imran Farhat always disappointed Pakistan Imran Farhat should be rested.for the future Pakistan should give change to Azhar Ali and Umar Amen fir next 5 tests .Yasir hameed should play to because he is 1 of the experience player and he can play good role in middle order and Shahid Afridi should learn from Australia tail enders and should advice Pakistan tail enders to play good.whenever they play they always scared from other bowlers and this thing give make the other bowler morale up .SO dont scare .On friday all Pakistani players should stay on the crease and dont play risky shots.I wish Pakistan will win this match.

  • usman sheikh on July 15, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    What on earth is wrong with our selectors.I think kamran abbasi shied away from making a controversial statement. Let me help kamran abbasi by stating reason for imran farhat inclusion. Imran farhat father in law is a member of pakistan powerful selection committee so dont be surprised if he ends up playing 100 tests at an average of 10 and 500 oneday at an average of 3 in his career. Expect a call from some one higher up in the board to afirdi for imran farhat inclusion in the next test match.

  • Kabby on July 15, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Well said Kamran! Indeed Pakistan got to consider options for a better opening partner for Butt and Malik is definitely a good choice. I wish the young guns learn quickly and provide a better middle order support for the upcoming tasks. Good luck guyz....

  • Abuzar khan on July 15, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    absolutely right about the forth bowler i think pakistan should had come out with shoaib malik instead of kaneria which would have strengthened the batting department late in the innings , moreover there would have been a leg spin and off spin combination .Secondly as stated above farhat! a big question mark to me?? although he did good on the flat pitch late in the inning but really a lose shot in the end lack of temperament ! I think yasir hammid should have been included instead and importantly afridi should be more confident about his bowling he should go out as the bowler,the runs he make should be a bonus for pakistan although he is been good with his batting .i really like the aggression he showed in the field and while batting.Today pakistan gave 100 extra runs but they came out strong later ,lets hope for the best for tomorrow.i hope they make the highest chase EVER!!! and and and Good luck to the young exciting talent they both are impressive thus should be confident.

  • Daniel on July 15, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    The 5th was not a lesson, it was a question.

    My main question is, why keep Afridi in tests? He obviously isn't a test batsman, and he's not consistent enough to bowl. Bring Younis Khan back and make him captain.

  • usman on July 15, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    i agree no place for imran farhat. they should play session by session good luck pakistan

  • Rafique Nizam on July 15, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Agee that Afridi has to helped & guided by Waqar. He is new in the Job. He will learn. Umar Akmal should Bat higher in the batting order. Surprised that Shoaib Malik was not in the 11 --- he would have been a useful addition to the bowling squad not least strengthening the fielding too.

    Rafique

  • Yasir Saeed on July 15, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Farhat is in the team ONLY because his father in law Ilyas is a selector. Farhat has dont nothing since his debut almost 10 years ago to warrant a place in the Pakistani side on merit.

    To partner Salman Butt, Pakistan have the following worthy options:

    1. Yasir Hameed: Good technique. Does not have the tendency to give slip practice like Farhat does. Yasir also has a way better temperament than Farhat.

    2. Azhar Ali: Azhar shows a good technique and is a fighter. He can open with Salman allowing for Yasir or Malik to slot in as an additional batsman.

    3. Kamran Akmal: Kamran has a good technique and temperamant. He opens already in ODI and T20 on a regular basis and can do the job at test level, which will allow us to play an extra batter

  • Ali Khan, S on July 15, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    I especially agree with the point no. 2. For inexplicable reasons (may be because Imran's father in law, Mohd Ilyas is one of the selectors..) Imran Farhat ,who lacks technique and class, is made the opening partner by CHOICE! Yasir Hameed must be in as an opener, no doubt about this. Yasir has fairly better technique and lot of CLASS.

  • Shantyman (Des Plaines) on July 15, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    What can we take from performances by Azhar Ali and Butt? I'm very much reassured by this young bloke's performance because he kept Pakis in the hunt and found a young talented test crickter in the place of pathetic Younis Khan. I still think that we can use Mohammad Yousuf's services and let Umar Amin sit and watch him or give him a chance against a less worth team to groom his skills. For once, my cus. Mogly's guy (butt) shown his tempermant to stand tall in the wilderness. In addition, we might have to try Mohammad Irfan so we might can find the deadly combo that we have lost pairing with Amir. Afridi seems to be learning alot in this new arena, but i think that we can use the skills of "speed Akhtar" to boost our bowling squad.

  • arsul on July 15, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    KAMRAN,BHAI GREAT THOUGHT,S,AS A GREAT WRITER YOU WRITING VERY GOOD STUFF,BUT NEW YOUNG BOY,S NEED TIME TO GET THROUGH,BOTH ARE AZHAR ALI,AND UMER AMIN ARE VERY TACKNICKLE PLAYER,S WITH EVERY SINGLE DAY THEY GOING TO GROWE UP,INSHAALAH,

  • Shariq Sheikh on July 15, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    Amen.

    Let me forward this on to Vicky :)

  • Sajjad on July 15, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    1.Umar Akmal needs to be pushed up the order and given maximum responsibility. On several occasions, he's been asked to bat out with the tail and pakistan has ended up on the loosing side despite his efforts 2. Imran Farhat is a pathetic choice to be in the playing XI or even the squad itself. Yasir Hameed would have been a much better choice and also did well in the warm up game while Imran Farhat failed in that one too and the shot he played against a 'harmless' Steven Smith proved a lot. 3. They must always have a PLAN B like australia do for i.e. field settings for a particular batsmen and not jus depending on the bowler to do a miracle.

  • Umair Muzaffar on July 15, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    KA,

    I believe that only a really hot weather 30C or hotter can dry an life out of the pitch and can help Pakistani batsmen stay on the crease. that may be the ony option if Pakistan has to win. But since the weather is forecasted to be cloudy therefore chances of a Pakistani win are almost non-existant.

    Now, what positive can we take from this game? If the debutants can play some nice shots and middle the bat and get soem runs under their belt then the next match can be played with better confidence.

    As of the end of day 3, azhar ali has played well ... Salman is doing what the Akmals need to repeat. Hopefully Umar Amin can also catch a break ... let us hope.

    As for strategy ... drop Imran Farhat and bring back Shoaib Malik as an openner and let him be there for a few innings.

    Umair

  • WASEEM SAJID on July 15, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    A very well writen column Kamran.

    I dont understand why our seniors are not ready to standout and take responsibilties rather than hiding themselves behind the young faces and ask them to go up the order and score. Even Micheal Holding were saying today that Players like yousaf, Younis and Inzi didnt even tryied once to become opener when pakistan were and are suffering for an opener.

    Any way Best of luck PAKISTAN as i prefer Pakistan over faces

  • Muhammad Khan on July 15, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    Focus,,,! Focus hard, I am sure if they concentrate they can win. They absolutely can.

  • Bilal on July 15, 2010, 18:47 GMT

    "Is it possible to play Afridi and four bowlers? The tail becomes too long. Should Afridi always be the fourth bowler?"

    No he shouldn't. It would be incredibly suicidal to take out any of our 3 quicks(Aamer, Asif, Gul) from the starting line-up and he is simply not good enough to take over from Danish Kaneria as our leading spin bowler. Afridi's bowling style suits the limited over game where the batsmen are planning to take the bowler on but can you really imagine Afridi spinning his way through an Australian or English batting line-up on the 4th-5th day of a test match? No. Kaneria has that ability. If you best top 7 batsmen aren't good enough to get you a good score, one more won't make much of a difference.

  • Willy on July 15, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    Very perspective comments. I have been following the test closely and has been encouraged by the semblance of fight that Pakistan is showing. A good team mostly, but maddening to watch. Management needs to realign Afridi's focus while batting. He is really the best bet to lead them at the moment - just watch the zip he generates in the field. But, but this is a big but, if he continues to play the way he did in the first innings, in no time he will be branded a joker playing pajama cricket. It is really sad, considering the talent he has. Hope Waqar is able to turn things around a bit.

  • Anman on July 15, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran! Pakistan needs some experienced players as well as trying to use the new batsman. Why not have Malik open with Butt. That will give us the option of an extra bowler as well. I really don't get the fact that Razzaq, Akhtar etc are not even in the counting 14 test players even though they came along on this trip. Seems like they want to loose this series. Best of luck to newcomers. Azhar is showing some nerves today.

  • Salman on July 15, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Imran Farhat will be the test choice opener until his father in law retires from the selection panel. He will be getting preferences over quality players like Yasir Hameed until then. And we cannot revive the Pakistan cricket until the dictatorship ends in PCB. long Live Pakistan

  • Inty on July 15, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Farhat is in because of his inlaws! It's a disgrace that a man with such mediocre talent and technique play 30 odd tests!

    Anyone but Farhat as opener!

  • Gulab on July 15, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi You have really raised an issue. This is non sense that two new players are put at position which are really challenging. One of the senior may be Kamran Akmal or even Umar Akmal should be at number 3 and may be Afridi himself at number 4. I know these two youngsters (Azhar and Amin) has potential and this test and series is a best opportunity for them to make a permanant place in the team. I wish both players to get atleast 50 in the second inning to have confidence for further tour. I just hope that the new players to establish in the team and we get rid of the old political stuff like Shoaib Malik, Misbah etc.

  • Naveed on July 15, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    Amen to that!

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  • Naveed on July 15, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    Amen to that!

  • Gulab on July 15, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi You have really raised an issue. This is non sense that two new players are put at position which are really challenging. One of the senior may be Kamran Akmal or even Umar Akmal should be at number 3 and may be Afridi himself at number 4. I know these two youngsters (Azhar and Amin) has potential and this test and series is a best opportunity for them to make a permanant place in the team. I wish both players to get atleast 50 in the second inning to have confidence for further tour. I just hope that the new players to establish in the team and we get rid of the old political stuff like Shoaib Malik, Misbah etc.

  • Inty on July 15, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Farhat is in because of his inlaws! It's a disgrace that a man with such mediocre talent and technique play 30 odd tests!

    Anyone but Farhat as opener!

  • Salman on July 15, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Imran Farhat will be the test choice opener until his father in law retires from the selection panel. He will be getting preferences over quality players like Yasir Hameed until then. And we cannot revive the Pakistan cricket until the dictatorship ends in PCB. long Live Pakistan

  • Anman on July 15, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran! Pakistan needs some experienced players as well as trying to use the new batsman. Why not have Malik open with Butt. That will give us the option of an extra bowler as well. I really don't get the fact that Razzaq, Akhtar etc are not even in the counting 14 test players even though they came along on this trip. Seems like they want to loose this series. Best of luck to newcomers. Azhar is showing some nerves today.

  • Willy on July 15, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    Very perspective comments. I have been following the test closely and has been encouraged by the semblance of fight that Pakistan is showing. A good team mostly, but maddening to watch. Management needs to realign Afridi's focus while batting. He is really the best bet to lead them at the moment - just watch the zip he generates in the field. But, but this is a big but, if he continues to play the way he did in the first innings, in no time he will be branded a joker playing pajama cricket. It is really sad, considering the talent he has. Hope Waqar is able to turn things around a bit.

  • Bilal on July 15, 2010, 18:47 GMT

    "Is it possible to play Afridi and four bowlers? The tail becomes too long. Should Afridi always be the fourth bowler?"

    No he shouldn't. It would be incredibly suicidal to take out any of our 3 quicks(Aamer, Asif, Gul) from the starting line-up and he is simply not good enough to take over from Danish Kaneria as our leading spin bowler. Afridi's bowling style suits the limited over game where the batsmen are planning to take the bowler on but can you really imagine Afridi spinning his way through an Australian or English batting line-up on the 4th-5th day of a test match? No. Kaneria has that ability. If you best top 7 batsmen aren't good enough to get you a good score, one more won't make much of a difference.

  • Muhammad Khan on July 15, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    Focus,,,! Focus hard, I am sure if they concentrate they can win. They absolutely can.

  • WASEEM SAJID on July 15, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    A very well writen column Kamran.

    I dont understand why our seniors are not ready to standout and take responsibilties rather than hiding themselves behind the young faces and ask them to go up the order and score. Even Micheal Holding were saying today that Players like yousaf, Younis and Inzi didnt even tryied once to become opener when pakistan were and are suffering for an opener.

    Any way Best of luck PAKISTAN as i prefer Pakistan over faces

  • Umair Muzaffar on July 15, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    KA,

    I believe that only a really hot weather 30C or hotter can dry an life out of the pitch and can help Pakistani batsmen stay on the crease. that may be the ony option if Pakistan has to win. But since the weather is forecasted to be cloudy therefore chances of a Pakistani win are almost non-existant.

    Now, what positive can we take from this game? If the debutants can play some nice shots and middle the bat and get soem runs under their belt then the next match can be played with better confidence.

    As of the end of day 3, azhar ali has played well ... Salman is doing what the Akmals need to repeat. Hopefully Umar Amin can also catch a break ... let us hope.

    As for strategy ... drop Imran Farhat and bring back Shoaib Malik as an openner and let him be there for a few innings.

    Umair