Pakistan in England 2010 August 3, 2010

Pakistan and the art of ineptitude

Defeat-courting 19th-century performances
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James Anderson: top class and toothless by turns © Getty Images

The evidence of the last two Pakistan Tests would seem to suggest, incontrovertibly, that England will win this winter’s Ashes by at least 10 matches to nil. Pakistan beat Australia; England beat Pakistan; that is a two-win per Test difference between England and Australia.

Of course, cricket does not always pan out as statistics suggest it should, and trying to divine what might happen in the forthcoming Ashes from this summer’s two series involving Pakistan is a task as futile as trying to predict whether a champion boxer will win his next fight based on how many wasps he swats at a picnic.

England played a good, decisive match, but scored the bulk of their important runs in each innings against some fairly dismal back-up bowling, and were aided by fielding that was borderline appalling (and that borderline was not between appalling and acceptable, but between appalling and catastrophic). Strauss’ team bowled well and caught magnificently, but against a batting line-up that looked as confident in their technique against swing bowling as their ability to play Beethoven’s piano sonatas on an ironing board.

On current form, Pakistan’s batsmen, a poorly conceived salad of proven adequates and total novices, will do well to match in this entire four-Test series, the 708 runs they scored in one innings at The Oval in 1987. They looked vulnerable on paper at the start of their tour, and that assessment now looks like eye-gougingly blind optimism. Obviously, these are not useless batsmen, but they are flawed and inexperienced, and their collective confidence is now more shattered than a stunt motorcyclist’s porcelain piggy bank.

Statistically, it is hard to overstate quite how completely, historically inept, Pakistan were. Following on from almost snatching defeat from three-quarters of the way down the oesophagus of victory at Leeds, their top order put on a 19th-century display, the worst combined match performance by a top five against England since 1907.

Pakistan were six wickets down for 47 and 41 in their two innings, thus becoming only the ninth team in Test history to lose its first six wickets for less than 50 in both innings of a match, and the first since England sank like an impatient Titanic to one of its most humiliating ever defeats in Christchurch in 1983-84. Then, Hadlee, Boock, Cairns and Chatfield double-scuttled a decent-looking England top seven of Fowler, Tavare, Gower, Lamb, Gatting, Randall and Botham, whose performance in that Test was so bad that the Queen was rumoured to be on the point of abdicating.

Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, constantly threatening again, must go to sleep every night dreaming of bowling at their own batsmen. In fact, a leak from within the Pakistan camp has revealed that Aamer has a tour bowling average of 3.5 against his team-mates in the nets, even when using the net as a boundary.

Umar Akmal, after a stellar entry onto the world cricket stage, has had a particularly disappointing summer. His debut series in New Zealand less than a year ago included innings of 75 off 174 balls and 77 off 144, so he clearly is capable of not batting as if he has to simultaneously catch an extremely imminent train, file an overdue tax return, pop back home to check whether he left the refrigerator door open, and avoid turning into a pumpkin if he bats for longer than 15 minutes.

It is hard to imagine a worse match performance than that by Umar’s brother Kamran, a spectacular array of wicketkeeping howlers neatly interlocked with a pair of noughts with the bat, comprising perhaps the worst individual performance in any medium since novelty children’s entertainer Mr Chicken’s dismal effort at playing King Lear, which consisted of a three-hour chicken impression in which he persistently called all of his daughters "Eggie".

It was almost as if the cricketing gods allowed Kamran a couple of excellent catches to dismiss Strauss and Pietersen (who continues to look every inch a man who doesn’t play much cricket any more), solely in order to dash the beleaguered gloveman on the rocks of destiny by making him shell a simple edge by Collingwood. They then further punished him, as his brother’s wasted referral led to Kamran being unable to refer his own obviously-missing-the-stumps lbw dismissal. If Kamran’s Test career had been a racehorse, his owner would by now surely have done the decent thing.

Clearly, there is not just room for improvement for Pakistan’s batsmen; there is a luxury eight-bedroom house for improvement. But they are having to cope not only with the difficulty of unfamiliar conditions – and, as England and Australia have themselves shown this summer, few teams play swing bowling well even with experience – but also with an impolite schedule that is allowing them no time to rebuild their broken techniques and confidence between Tests.

It has led to a bizarre role reversal, in which England are sticking with an unchanged squad, while their visitors have packed off a failing player to county cricket, and summoned up an ageing old star from the county game. How times have changed.

James Anderson was at his intermittently fluidly brilliant best once he started pitching the ball up. He has been promising for seven and a half years now, his occasional top-class outbreaks offset by periods of toothlessness. The winter will show whether he now has the resourcefulness of his England swing predecessor Hoggard, who was less naturally dangerous but developed a range of crafts that made him a successful bowler around the world. The Lancastrian now averages 27 at home and 43 away, whereas Hoggard’s equivalent figures were 30 and 30.

Anderson has never taken 20 wickets in a series before. If Pakistan continue to bat as they did at Trent Bridge, he could bowl underarm for the rest of the series and still be confident of taking another 15 wickets.

On to Edgbaston on Friday, with Pakistan’s one and only trump card, their seam attack, about to go into its fourth back-to-back Test, weighed down by the knowledge that, even if they bowl with their now customary excellence, their fielders and batsmen have an almost unstoppable range of options for contriving to lose games anyway.

For any Confectionery Stall readers in the Edinburgh area wishing to see me doing my “day job”, my new show at the Edinburgh Fringe − Andy Zaltzman Swears To Tell The Truth, Half The Truth, And Everything But The Truth − begins on Friday 6th August, at The Stand on York Place, daily at 4.20pm, until 29th August (except 16th, when I have a day off to think about cricket).

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • waterbuffalo on August 20, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    How inept does Pakistan look now Zaltzman? you need a wicky and a bowler to bail you out, but of course, I do not see an article on how inept the top order of England are, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, mate.

  • Dush Kumar on August 13, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Andy please come to the Adelaide Fringe in 2011!

  • Sayantan on August 12, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    With India's dismal bowling line-up and Pakistan's equally dismal top order batting. Two new teams - one with India's batting line-up + Pakistan's bowlers and the other with the remaining combination should be created. The first team should top the ICC rankings (disputed or not) for both Tests and ODIs and the other should be relegated to World Cricket League Division 5 to make their way back up to qualify for the World cup.

  • Simon on August 12, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    With the recent retirement of players like James Kirtley and Robin Martin-Jenkins what is your best eleven England nearly weres and should have beens?

  • Taimur Khan on August 10, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Read some of the other comments and could not resist a rejoinder. Some are discussing regional bias. Probably. But all biases are removed if domestic performance is used as the primary selection tool for new players especially. We have new batsmen who have score 400 runs in the domestic season, leaving out players who have scored 1400. Same with bowlers. Top wicket takers ignored for favorites. Our under 19 lot won & came 2nd in the last two world cups. How many lads have been allowed to come thru? Ejaz butt is an all in one package, doubling as Chairman, Chief Executive, Chief Selector & now that he is a fixture on ALL tours, Non Playing Captain. His performance in all areas has been as memorable as the nose crunching fiasco against Wes Hall. We are winning in 2020 because bowlers play a bigger role due to run chase exigencies and because batsmen's techniques dont get exposed. In tests we are 4 bowlers against 7 batsmen & fielders from our team plus 11 from the other! Plus Butt!

  • TAIMUR KHAN on August 10, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Great Article! Historically, Pakistan was always a bowling side, even during glory days of Zed, Majid & Javed, we won through Imran, Qadir, Wasim & Waqar. Check the stats. Rarely crossed 250 except on dead pitches and collapsed often. Ask Imran..we play domestic on dead pitches..no pace, swing or seam. Thats why bowlers r good, coz they need to be to take wickets on home pitches. So don't expect miracles in batting. Feilding too, since techniques are made in youth cricket and diving on our hard unwatered grounds will break your bones. We also take favorites (rather than deserving players) on tours with no expectation of playing so dont expect miracles from gul's replacement. Younis is missing due to politics. Yasir has technical flaws driving (read swing victom) and has had little practice. Better to stick to younsters who have steadily improved but bring yousaf in. Man with the iron gloves should bat only. Umer it swings in England! Butt (your guess which one) batted first. Why?

  • JazKokabura on August 10, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Andy, Excellent Article. Humor, Wittiness, Intelligence, in-depth analysis. Perfect Mix.

    Pakistan should what Indian team team has done, keeping old guards Dravid, sachin Laxman and nurturing young talent around, now once Sachin, laxman, dravid will retire Raina, yuvraj, pujara can take over. Pakistan team has immence talent, need of the hour is to nurture them while they are young. Young haider has shown in the second test that he is a good prospect for the future.

  • saad on August 8, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Its high time for Pakistan to start ignoring, even forgetting cricket as a sport.While the whole world plays and cherishes football,we have made cricket the alpha and omega of our sports.its time we started paying attention to other sports, especially football. who knows we could be possessing talent in this game as good as anyone in the world. Sorry, most of the world does not care about cricket, let alone know anything about it !

  • Tanveer Ahmad on August 8, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    First, I do no consider this pakistani team as inexperienced except Azhar Ali and Umar Amin, rest all are pretty experienced and have played a lot of cricket at international level. What Ijaz Ahmad as a coach is doing? I think he is waiting for a batting coach as he is only fielding coach (wow).

    Second, look at management of PCB and its decisions and how much feasible. Some months back, they banned Yousaf and Younas and fined a lot of other players and almost all players are now playing in the same team. shame for decision making authorities. and when Yousaf accepted PCB claims and got retired from cricket. Now PCB asked him to go and play for team. Why just selected retired one, why not selected other choice i.e. Younas.

    Third, Why ICC not shows any concern about such decisions which only destroy cricket. (we say Same in Zimbabwe Cricket some years back and almost same is replicating here in Pakistan).

  • Md. Shahidul Islam on August 7, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    Pakistan needs Jabed Miandad as bating coach. Waqar is perfectly Ok as bowling coach

  • waterbuffalo on August 20, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    How inept does Pakistan look now Zaltzman? you need a wicky and a bowler to bail you out, but of course, I do not see an article on how inept the top order of England are, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, mate.

  • Dush Kumar on August 13, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Andy please come to the Adelaide Fringe in 2011!

  • Sayantan on August 12, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    With India's dismal bowling line-up and Pakistan's equally dismal top order batting. Two new teams - one with India's batting line-up + Pakistan's bowlers and the other with the remaining combination should be created. The first team should top the ICC rankings (disputed or not) for both Tests and ODIs and the other should be relegated to World Cricket League Division 5 to make their way back up to qualify for the World cup.

  • Simon on August 12, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    With the recent retirement of players like James Kirtley and Robin Martin-Jenkins what is your best eleven England nearly weres and should have beens?

  • Taimur Khan on August 10, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Read some of the other comments and could not resist a rejoinder. Some are discussing regional bias. Probably. But all biases are removed if domestic performance is used as the primary selection tool for new players especially. We have new batsmen who have score 400 runs in the domestic season, leaving out players who have scored 1400. Same with bowlers. Top wicket takers ignored for favorites. Our under 19 lot won & came 2nd in the last two world cups. How many lads have been allowed to come thru? Ejaz butt is an all in one package, doubling as Chairman, Chief Executive, Chief Selector & now that he is a fixture on ALL tours, Non Playing Captain. His performance in all areas has been as memorable as the nose crunching fiasco against Wes Hall. We are winning in 2020 because bowlers play a bigger role due to run chase exigencies and because batsmen's techniques dont get exposed. In tests we are 4 bowlers against 7 batsmen & fielders from our team plus 11 from the other! Plus Butt!

  • TAIMUR KHAN on August 10, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Great Article! Historically, Pakistan was always a bowling side, even during glory days of Zed, Majid & Javed, we won through Imran, Qadir, Wasim & Waqar. Check the stats. Rarely crossed 250 except on dead pitches and collapsed often. Ask Imran..we play domestic on dead pitches..no pace, swing or seam. Thats why bowlers r good, coz they need to be to take wickets on home pitches. So don't expect miracles in batting. Feilding too, since techniques are made in youth cricket and diving on our hard unwatered grounds will break your bones. We also take favorites (rather than deserving players) on tours with no expectation of playing so dont expect miracles from gul's replacement. Younis is missing due to politics. Yasir has technical flaws driving (read swing victom) and has had little practice. Better to stick to younsters who have steadily improved but bring yousaf in. Man with the iron gloves should bat only. Umer it swings in England! Butt (your guess which one) batted first. Why?

  • JazKokabura on August 10, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Andy, Excellent Article. Humor, Wittiness, Intelligence, in-depth analysis. Perfect Mix.

    Pakistan should what Indian team team has done, keeping old guards Dravid, sachin Laxman and nurturing young talent around, now once Sachin, laxman, dravid will retire Raina, yuvraj, pujara can take over. Pakistan team has immence talent, need of the hour is to nurture them while they are young. Young haider has shown in the second test that he is a good prospect for the future.

  • saad on August 8, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Its high time for Pakistan to start ignoring, even forgetting cricket as a sport.While the whole world plays and cherishes football,we have made cricket the alpha and omega of our sports.its time we started paying attention to other sports, especially football. who knows we could be possessing talent in this game as good as anyone in the world. Sorry, most of the world does not care about cricket, let alone know anything about it !

  • Tanveer Ahmad on August 8, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    First, I do no consider this pakistani team as inexperienced except Azhar Ali and Umar Amin, rest all are pretty experienced and have played a lot of cricket at international level. What Ijaz Ahmad as a coach is doing? I think he is waiting for a batting coach as he is only fielding coach (wow).

    Second, look at management of PCB and its decisions and how much feasible. Some months back, they banned Yousaf and Younas and fined a lot of other players and almost all players are now playing in the same team. shame for decision making authorities. and when Yousaf accepted PCB claims and got retired from cricket. Now PCB asked him to go and play for team. Why just selected retired one, why not selected other choice i.e. Younas.

    Third, Why ICC not shows any concern about such decisions which only destroy cricket. (we say Same in Zimbabwe Cricket some years back and almost same is replicating here in Pakistan).

  • Md. Shahidul Islam on August 7, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    Pakistan needs Jabed Miandad as bating coach. Waqar is perfectly Ok as bowling coach

  • Ahsan,M on August 7, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Today was the first day of my life when I learned to how to hold bat. With that I am ready to be selected in Pakistan playing eleven.

  • Faisal Zuberi on August 7, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    I think what they are doing in england right now it's just playing gully cricket. They don't have any idea how to play swing, what they did yesterday was played in the hands of england. salman butt made a call for bat first on cloudy morning he said that they are going with positive frame of mind, and first sign of positivity shown by our opener imran farhat who played 24 balls and scored no run and got out that was really positive.. ... i just hope that ijaz butt resign early before it's too late for Pakistan cricket, because he made this team A GULLY team!!!!

  • Rahul on August 7, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    If i were u, i would go bald than have a hairstyle like yours. Nevertheless, outstanding writing as always. Please write daily.

  • nisarg dave on August 7, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    the current Pakistan Cricket team is a freaking joke! Their batsmen are a disgrace to their cricketing history that has produced gems like, Abbas, Miandad, Inzy, Younis and Youhanna. I wonder if bringing Youhanna is a solution to their current woes. Shoaib Akhtar could lend a helping hand to their inexperienced bowling. They are playing worse than Bangladesh at the moment. But, I see great prospects for Amer and Asif.

  • Na on August 6, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    Well written article!! Iam a pakistani but I think Pakistan team deserves criticism. The thing about Umar Akmal was hilarious!!

  • iqbal sayed on August 6, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    The problem with Pakistan cricket is the PCB administration. They cannot see beyond the Punjab and rarely the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Extremely talented cricketers from Karachi and Sindh are intentionally ignored. This kind of discrimination is nothing new. Many outstanding cricketers from Karachi and Sindh including Aftab Baloch,Tasleem Arif, Baasit Ali, Omer Qasim have all been victims of this discriminatory policy and so have recently been Asim Kamal and Faisal Iqbal. This will not end here unless the Punjabi gang is got rid off and all provinces and cricketing regions in Pakistan are represented equally in the PCB administration. I challenge the Cricinfo editorial team to publish my comments if you are truly neutral and unbiased and believe in upholding the right of freedom of expression!

  • khalid khan on August 6, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    hey people wait a moment, this is not Pakistan XI. This is punjab XI...., will get the same results if the team is not diverse...................

  • Saleem Khwaja on August 6, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    How inept a team can be? This (Pakistan) team must be the only one where bowlers have taken all the responsibility of a team playing cricket – literally a 5 man team. I have never known batsmen with zero ability to strike a ball! I wonder why did Shahid Afridi had to go! He at least provided entertainment besides rapid scoring. He is as good a test batsman as any.

  • Ali on August 5, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    I don't really understand whats the woes are for. Its like everyone loses temprament when it comes to Pakistan (cricket team). One match they won bunch of article in praises of the courage they showed in difficult times. One match they lose and there is no ending to the criticism till the next match starts. Even though its painful but its exciting, I am sure they will come back and the same team that look so weak in analysis will go against the odds, everyone knows that. Just like Aussies, I bet even English team fears of what can possibly happen once you are playing Pakistan. As bizzare as it may sound, its the revival of Test Cricket, you make or break records day. Be that by bowling Australia out or rushing yourself to pavillion at even faster pace against England. I know my comment might not be read in this chaos, but atleast a handful would remember what was said before the team started the tour. The opinions should continue though, we all love to be centre of attention

  • Umair on August 5, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Hi Andy, Excellent Article. Humor, Wittiness, Intelligence, in-depth analysis. Perfect Mix. I couldnt agree with you more on Kamran's Analogy and Ammer having a 3.5 avg bit was very funny and imaginative. But I would like you to give our young batsman benefit of the doubt. They have poor techniques but they have shown resolve previously to win against the Aussies. I think all three Azhar Ali, Umar Amin and Umar Akmal are bright prospects, just need to adapt quickly and this tour would do a world of good to their careers. Even our previous greats, i.e Yousuf, Younis, Inzi, etc had ordinary first tours of England till they played county cricket and honed their techniques in English conditions. Im sure the guys mentioned above would do well in future if given a proper run and guys like Yasir Hameed waiting in ranks are also very capable. If we get Asim Kamal back in mix and the two Y's are back, we would have a decent enough pool of test batsman to choose in future.

  • Rashid on August 5, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Thanks, You made me laugh.

  • Shuaib Malik on August 5, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    I wonder y u guys start thinking of ashes ... u still have to play 3 more tests and trust me pakistan has always been unpredictable what if they win next match would you reverse the above equation NO ! so i suggest rather them claiming biased statements one should handle whats on hand first and then think of whats coming next ! no harsh feeling but one should face the reality cheers Shuaib Malik from Pakistan ! Pakistan Zindabad :) and u guys enjoy your deserving win at trent bridge :)

  • Wasif Minhas on August 5, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    Awesome piece of writing, i was rolling on the floor laughing on some points. Well, Pakistan board doesn't seem to have a method, a logic... cricket is about taking the right decisions at right times and then just sticking to them but with such cricket fathers as we have in Pakistan any thing can be expected. I reckon at some stage in the series Ijaz butt the chairman will himself come in to play along with Waqar and Wasim bari. I strongly believe if the raw talent like Umar Akmal, was in English team he would have cemented his place as an established batter but many players have been wasted due to lack of coaching and being put under enormous pressure like the two debutant batsmen of Pak in this series.

  • Yasir Irfat on August 4, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    I don't want to pick some lines as brilliant as whole article was put forward and simplest and lighter war and it is GERAT. But still the piece on Aamir batting average against own batsmen and last paragraph "even if they bowl with their now customary excellence, their fielders and batsmen have an almost unstoppable range of options for contriving to lose games anyway" was brilliant.

  • arun prabhu on August 4, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Brilliant, as ever!!! Your grasp of statistics however (from 1907, no less) reveal that you must be an Indian in disguise. Are you sure you're not Anand Zaveri?

  • Raja Jawad on August 4, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    Good to read... Consistent inconsistency continues... I was expecting something regarding role of Pakistani Bowlers when they come out for batting in contrast to professional teammate batsmen.

  • RM on August 4, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    comments on the article show that Pakistanis have tremendous ability to laugh at themselves, only if they caould bat a bit they would have not needed to go through that.

  • Azim on August 4, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    Hi Mr. Zaltzman,

    Please post the following comments:

    "Too many players are from one region of Pakistan which is racism address that other wise it is simply naive entertainment; I mean every one is naïve including Mr. Andy Zaltzman."

    Earlier you have posted "well written!" this was not my comments. Mr. Zaltzman you can make the difference if you address the racism in Pakistan cricket we see England selects cricketer from all cultures why not Pakistan can do the same after all we in a small cricket community don’t want to see racism is flourishing as we see in the case of Pakistan.

    Thank you Take care Azim

  • S.N.Singh on August 4, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    Zaltman is what a writer shpuld be, "speak the truth"- a moderate. What is said there is exactaly what it is. The Karman brothers made a lot of talk after the Australia series on their attitude. Claiming taht he can make the side as a batsman and not a wicket keeper, and his brother should not be dropped. This left to show what Pakistan Cricket Administration is just like the Pakistan Government, they can't govern their country. This will be like it all the time. (Lawless). The seam bowling in the factor in England especially in the morning seccession for both side. Pointing made a mistake that morning to bat, well that is cricket. To the Pakistani cricketers, let cricket be a sports- man game. This is cricket is all about, it bring peopel and countries together. s.N.Singh USA

  • Atif Khan on August 4, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    How humorous it is to make fun of a struggling team waiting to find its groove. Ahhh the good ol days of watching the W's blow through an english team that resembled a U-15 team and a Pak batting lineup that would put the current aus and eng side to shame back in the 90's seem to have been overlooked completely.

    Thats ok AZ. Our time will come back again. Our bowlers have whizzed through the supposedly strong aus and eng lineups. We just need help on the batting side. Unfortunately we do not have ex-South Africans to help us with that. I wonder; were we playing SA or england?

  • dmqi from Maryland, USA on August 4, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Andy,

    Could you ask the Pak president and the PCB chairman if they read all the comments the sports lovers from all over the world and well wishers of pakistan team. I have a feeling they read, then my question is why they do not take any actions for the improvement? Are they Insane?

  • umair on August 4, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Great article,

    Thanks for telling us how great Aamir is against his own pathetic team mates in the nets.great info.

    Cheers

  • tabrez on August 4, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    well said andy,it was a pathetic display of batsmanship and dropped chances by Akmal, Had Akmal held on to the chances, then Trentbridge would have been a different ball game. What is Imran Farhat doing at the top? i just want you to write about him?

  • ALI MALIK on August 4, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    If I were in Waqars job my aim would be to put the best players in Pakistan together to win every single match. In particular the batting line up concerns me. This line up won't even function in one dayers let alone tests. If you want young players to develop do it properly. Don't throw them in the deep end. If you want them to learn about playing in new conditions, put them in club teams and run some kind of arrangement to get them to play abroad. Don't risk national pride, or ruining our cricketing record. Imran Farhat, Umar Amin, Imran Farhat, Akmal bros, Imran Farhat, S.Malik, seriously a test batting line-up? I've never seen a dodgier player that Imran Farhat in my life. Its as if he is in his dream where he opens for Pakistan and we are in that dream only for us its a nightmare. Seriously, do you see anyone in this line-up making a century, let alone a double-century. You need players like Younis and Yousaf in your test line up. Oh, and change the wkeeper as he loses us games.

  • njr1330 on August 4, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    There is one world-class awsomely talented Pakistani batsman, who could take England on. As it happens, he probably will do, later in the year. His name is Usman Khawaja and he plays for Randwick and Australia A !!

  • Nitin (Indian, Pakistani fan) on August 4, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    Great work, Andy! Now we need one about the Indian bowling "attack"!

  • Raza on August 4, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Not a bad article ... Well actually a a big part of the blame goes on the pakistani selectors and the team management ... I dont understand few things .. "why to pick Kamran Akmal again n again after his dismal show every now n again. Why is Umar amin not being replaced by yasir hameed ? why the cpatain has to persist with danish and shoaib when 6 to 7 wickets had fallen and need of the time was to put pressure on the batsmen and not to take a defensive field and wait for sumthing to happen ...

  • Rahul J on August 4, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    a leak from within the Pakistan camp has revealed that Aamer has a tour bowling average of 3.5 against his team-mates in the nets, even when using the net as a boundary. TOO GOOD!!!!

  • Vishal on August 4, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    being an Indian supporter, i can compare PaK setup with India. India retained ageing old stars Rahul & VVS evenif they now don't play a major role. Pak should retain Yousuf & Younis and build a young squad around them. Give Kamran akmal some rest, their bowling attack is always give more than 100%. For fielding they shold rope in some one like jonty rhodes. Iejaz can't fill in for a fielding coach. Also see if Inzy is available for a pep talk with their batsmen

  • Obaid on August 4, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    We Need andy as the chief whip of Pak team. Well scripted. Andy, Plz do write about the lazy and dull PCB also whose Chairman is joy riding everwhere.

  • teja on August 4, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    i live in england and i am an indian.. a couple of my pakistani friends had been raving about umar akmal as the new boy genius and tendulkar all over again... so when we attended the trentbridge test match i really was looking forward to seeing him in action... now i can say he's not even close to what he was made up to by the media... he was mediocre and his attitude from what i've heard is not some thing to write home about either...steps have to be taken to harness his talent which i can say is being wasted in the presence of a bad influnce in the team... india has a lot of good players who guide the new players comin in...if pakistan can find someone like that..it would help a lot...

  • Ravi on August 4, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Absolutely hilarious !! brilliant article! ... how i wish i would get a chance to be your apprentice !

  • sarwar on August 4, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    it would be an exaggeration to say that england will easily win the upcoming ashes let alone winning it considering the fact that last time around they were thrashed by a huge 5-0.guys, give at least some respect to the aussies,even now they are a team to beat.

  • farhan sufyan on August 4, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    I think too much destroying pak cricket there is always tradition of humalating there senior players. How these youngsters can win a test match against best sides only pak bowlers can make it happen but not all the time they need support from batting side which can be only in case when yo yo is back in side there is not a single who can bat for two sesions in pak team there must be combination of youth and experience. Akmal brother imran shoeb umar should be out from the team they have given enough chance bring yasir razzaq asim kamal younis yousuf sarfaraz in side. And there should be cover for pak bowler sami and mohd irfan are best option available and for god sake stop doing policts now or pak cricket lost in some yrs please use ur heads

  • Rahul Pathak on August 4, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Lovely

    Hope Pakistani team learn from this

  • Sharad on August 4, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Anderson's photo and the caption below it is truly hilarious!!!

    Well written Mr. Zaltzman

  • Anil Yadav on August 4, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Well said. I don't think Pakistan cricket can get worse than this and the only thing I see is they coming back strong bt lifting their game and show to England where they stand.

  • waterbuffalo on August 4, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Mr. Zaltzman, how many tests have Cook, Strauss, Pieterson and Collingwood played? And how many many tests have Amin, azhar ali and Umar Akmal played? If you think beating a bunch of debutants and kids is a worthy achievement,fine, personally, I was always embarrassed to beat kids, all of us were, first you beat Bangladesh, now you beat a bunch of kids, and you want to talk about ineptitude, those boys have never been in England before, it is not like the 70's and 80's when every Pakistani bastman played in English County Cricket, so give me a break, your great English bowlers bowled out a bunch of kids with the help of Hawkeye, that is no achievement at all. Good luck in Australia, try to avoid another whitewash.

  • Ajay R Kamath on August 4, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    Pakistan is making the same error India used to make till we found Dhoni..playing the worse keeper for his supposedly better batting skills, forgetting that his lapses on the field yield far more runs than he scores. It is time the talented Sarfraz takes the gloves, before he is thoroughly demoralised. Umar Akmal has so much talent but he needs a kick up the backside now and then for consistently throwing his wicket away.

  • rashid on August 4, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    agree with all you have written, but the unpredictable nature of the team is such that Pakistan may well go on to win the next match.

  • Fritz The Cat on August 4, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    This article should be compulsory reading (Course 101) for the current Pakistan team. Alas, if they could only "read"....

  • Itchy on August 4, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    I have been trying to work out why Kamran Akmal was restored as the test 'keeper when he was replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed for the third test vs Aus in Australia - then I remembered that this was the Pak cricket team and that logic and team selections don't go hand-in-hand.

  • Saud on August 4, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    Wait till the second test. Remember Pakistan lost the first one to Australia too.

  • Mohammad Anwar Alamgir on August 4, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    The PCB it seems is not doing their homework properly. Team selection for a foreign tour is based on opposition strength and climatic conditions there. The selection of a bunch of inexperienced youngsters who does not have the exposure to English batting conditions is not an intelligent sign. The result-appalling display at Headingly. Mohammad Yousuf should have been included before in the team and Misbahul Haq considered for this particular trip. Whatever advantage the bowlers give Pakistan is lost due to abysmal batting display. How long can Pakistan bear this? The PCB must think and bring out solutions to these problems. Otherwise Pakistan cricket will continue to suffer.The services of Imran Khan should be sought at home to poroperly assess and bring out a longterm strategy to build the Pakistan team again.

  • Vikram on August 4, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Come on Andy....a little generosity wont harm...you could have at least sent me a thank you note for correcting the spellings...could have been my two minutes of fame !!!! but nevertheless i still love you for your wits...

  • Sheikh Danish Mazhar on August 4, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    a ridiculous over confident article.I dnt think England played magnificently well against pakistan.Thanks to eoin morgan and the matt prior,the top order english batsmen who failed big time had a breather.They should also thank kamran akmal for their fate.I think pakistan will come back strongly in remainder of the series.So beware overconfident dreamers.

  • R00ster on August 4, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    brilliant ! brilliant brilliant...

  • Aun on August 4, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    Great article. Very well written. :)

  • farooq on August 4, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Very good article, reminds me pakistan is 10 years behind to what needs to happen.Geoff Boycott pointed our mishaps out on Afridi being a good talent but test cricket not being his mettle, this will spoil his career and PCB should separate test and one day side completely. hisotry repeats itself and the PCB board will never learn, at least waqar and ijaz know what the issue is and will sort it out.

    btw I am in Australia,trust me the aussies here were upset losing to Pakistan,poor Ricky not even winning a test series in England. But once the Ashes start, the crowds here will hammer you verbally in the test and one dayers so be ready for a cruel summer:-). so be prepared for this onslaught as well. Hope the english team have the cruel summer song uploaded in their mp3 players/IPODS

  • Qader Khan on August 4, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    I havent read a better constructed cricketing article on Cricinfo in a long time. Loved it.

  • i2mir2 on August 4, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    the Kamran comment re: the "racehorse" analogy.... I was rolling on the floor laughing my @$$ off!! hilarious and yet so apt!

  • DesiHungama on August 3, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    Andy, big fan of your writings from US. The article was mesmerizing with some chilingrevealing facts. What are your thoughts on Pakistan have to play just the Captain/Wicket Keeper as there premier bats with 9 bowlers?

  • Sheraz on August 3, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    This article is so brilliant and funny but the state of Pakistani batting makes me want to cry. Especially Umar Akmal wasting his talent. Only him and salman butt deserve to be test batsmen. Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik are not good enough.

  • landl47 on August 3, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Great article- the line about Aamer's average against the Pakistan batsmen in the nets was one of the best I have read. The only way Pakistan will win this series is if they select the following team: 1.Salman Butt, captain and WK; 2. Younis Khan 3. Mohammad Yousuf 3. Younis Yousuf 4.Yousuf Khan 5. Mohammad Younis 6 Khan Mohammad 7 Mohammad Mohammad 8 Mohammad Aamer 9. Umar Gulaminakmal 10 Mohammad Asif 11 Asif Aamer. That will give them 8 specialist batsmen, 4 specialist bowlers and an all-rounder (Mohammad Mohammad). Unfortunately, it will also give them a team which can neither field nor run between the wickets, so England will probably make it close.

  • ammar mehmood on August 3, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    well said, and gloriously true

  • Pakistan can't bat ... or do other things on August 3, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    It is a well known established fact that Pakistanis simply cannot bat. Unfortunately what does not help the situation is that Pakistan also does not have the structural framework in place to mitigate or massage out the batting inadequacies of their team. All this is painfully coming to a head as with each tour the Pakistani cricket team is firmly establishing itself at the butt end of the cricketing world's joke.

    Other things Pakistanis cant do: Conduct themselves professionally, Coach/manage or captain a team. How on earth can Pakistanis bowl is beyond me. Maybe the law of probabilities does work. Who knows.

    Pakistan cricket team lost me as a fan long time ago. Now I just chuckle every time the Pakistani cricket establishment sinks to a new level of stupidity and numb nut'ness.

  • dr. jha on August 3, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    awesome piece... loved it totally... but yes.. write off pakistan cricket team at your own peril... they may win the next test by a big margin an look like they are the best players of swing bowling in the world... most entertaining team in the world i dare say ... an bowlers... its amazing how they find such bowlers ... fantastic to watch ... i didnt miss a single day of last three test match , even though am not even remotely associated to either of these three nations playing... awesome cricket to watch..

  • AM on August 3, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    I suggest that Pakistan try fielding a team of 10 bowlers and a wicketkeeper. At least the front line bowlers can get a good rest with all the support bowlers to help them. I don't believe the situation can get any worse than it already is if Pakistan field such a combination. At least no one would be expecting anything from the bowler-batsmen at the top of the order. If they manage to score a few runs by means of a few good whacks, all the better. In fact by playing some unconventional shots they might even upset the game plans of the opposing teams (although I don't think any game plans are necessary to get the present Pakistani batters out).

  • Ali Hussain on August 3, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    Very well written, probably the most hilarious and humorous article ive read this month.. very accurate, entertaining and factual.. everyone one of who believe that the chapters of yousuf and yunis are over must be smoking something because apparently you didn't see the last game against Engalnd and even the one they won against aussies; a mere victory. Salman Butt need to calm down when he says that he has faith in youngsters. I m not against introducing young talent but what pakistan is doing right now with the squad is simply lunatic. Yousuf and yunis must be part of the team if pakistan is at least looking at a draw. Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Danish Kaneria and Kamran Akmal need to just pack their bags and enjoy the vacation until 20/20 or one day starts.

  • Ali Hussain on August 3, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    Very well written, probably the most hilarious and humorous article ive read this month.. very accurate, entertaining and factual.. everyone one of who believe that the chapters of yousuf and yunis are over must be smoking something because apparently you didn't see the last game against Engalnd and even the one they won against aussies; a mere victory. Salman Butt need to calm down when he says that he has faith in youngsters. I m not against introducing young talent but what pakistan is doing right now with the squad is simply lunatic. Yousuf and yunis must be part of the team if pakistan is at least looking at a draw.

  • nayar on August 3, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    you're so funny, keep writing, you're talented and I LOVE YOUR BLOGS !!!

  • A.Ali on August 3, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    Who scored runs against Aamer in the nets? It must be Umar Gul, no one else can bat or they can?

  • Tashfeen Qayyum on August 3, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    Well said but I wish Andy was man enough to say the same about England. Other then the 4 players out of 22 on the field no one performed while batting i.e. 10 Pakistanis and 8 Englishmen. Bowling wise I think both teams were equal. Out of the 4 batsmen, one was Umar Gul and the other three are known. I agree that Azhar Ali and Umar Amin must go, they are not test players. I find strange the comments about Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal, any one can have a bad day including Umpires, so hard luck. Overall it was not as easy to win for England as it seems. Too much over confidence can lead England the Australian way. We are capable of that and with M.Y in, hopefully will get some spine.

  • Shamsi on August 3, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    Hi,

    well written, though teams have performed wrose than this Pakistan team. Righlty said, Pakistani team combination is not the ideal one, even then i guess current squad having better replacements than the players are in palying XI, for eg, Yasir Hameed (having test centuries with his name and more experienced than others), Fawad Alam (most ignored talent in young pakistani squad, he also scored a century in his Debut test) and can bowl left arm ordhodox spin... another thing is Paksitan should have included Abdul Razzaq in the squad which would helped them as a support bowler and can bowl very effectively under current weather in England and we all know about his batting abilities. my one more suggestion to Pakistan Team is, to play with 5-1-5 combination, (even 6 specialist batsmen have not done anything so it wont make any diff) if you add anther seamer into bowling attack, it would give amir and asif better rest between their spells.

  • Shahid on August 3, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    I wish you made little research on pakistan team politics, about the gang in charge, and a bit about how Ijaz Butt runs the show. I promise, even you will find it funny before ur readers do.

  • tanoli on August 3, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Disagreed....if pak lost to England one test (thanks to Akmal), dont forget england lost to Bangla too... Just for the record, Australia is going to slaughter England...and please dont jump to the conclusion, PAK vs Eng series is wide open.....

  • Nadeem Kureshi on August 3, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Masterpiece!

  • Sathishkumar on August 3, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Very nice Mr.Andy.. I always enjoy reading your articles. There is something missing in your article that is about decision to call Yousuf back into pak quad for 2nd test. :-)

  • Ali Shah on August 3, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    absolutely brilliant article. You should write more often Andy. And the part about the leak from the Pakistan camp about M. Amir having an average of 3.5 against his team mates is hilarious....lol

  • nomaan on August 3, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    superb article. liked every word of it. what i would like to know is that who was that genius who suggested pakistan cricket board about sending M.Yousaf as a backup and with such emergency. God knows how much struggle youngsters like Umar amin and Azhar Ali had to do before they reached pakistani team. belive me folks being a student of pakistan cricket for past 15 years its not easy. it is never like 'you perform and your in the team'. youngsters have to do a lot in the ground and off the ground. its jst so unfair with these youngsters. i've got no problem with M.Yousaf. he's a legend but he has lived his life in international cricket. even if he does comes back in the team i'm sure that he'll be no good for pakistan team. person who really needs to be in this team is Younas khan who has atleast 4 years of test cricket left in him and during that time he can make a good batsman out of youngsters like umar amin and azhar. so please stop this changing and chopping let them breath easy

  • Abrar Janjua on August 3, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Glorious Article in fantastic manner.Pakistan batting is a very serious concern and Akmal performance is a making it worse.Pakistan don't have too many option in this particular department.The question is who can replace Kamran Akmal? There are two option No.1 Zulqarnain Haider (first class average 34.58) and with no experience at international level, 2nd Sarfraz ahmed (first class average of 43.34) and experience of just one test.But both them are not attacking batsman like Kamran who can Bat at No. 1 & 2 in ODIs and Twenty20 and had 6 hundreds in Test matches while batting at No 6.Although he doesn't keep great record but PCB and all Captains are compel to keep him in the Team.Until 2003 Pakistan had two good choice in shape of Rahid Latif & Moin Khan.They both knew that if they will not perform they will loose their Place but Kamran is not worry at all because he knows that their is no opponent at this level to challenge his place at permanent basics and its make him careless.

  • Danish Iqbal on August 3, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    i really like the comments about Umar Akmal's batting, he is playing test match like T20. i think he should give more respect to the game and play like a professional. One thing was missing in the article was about Umar Amin's batting, what about him?

  • saurabh on August 3, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Andy, dude, your words hunt down hidden chuckles and chortles in my deepest gut and force them out of my throat. I will have to stop reading your articles at work because of the rude noises I end up making while trying to read silently. And reading your stuff while ingesting any kind of food is dangerous, it should come with a disclaimer. You outdid yourself with the following sentence man! King Lear, Mr Chicken and Kamran Akmal in the same breath! BRAVO!! " It is hard to imagine a worse match performance than that by Umar’s brother Kamran, a spectacular array of wicketkeeping howlers neatly interlocked with a pair of noughts with the bat, comprising perhaps the worst individual performance in any medium since novelty children’s entertainer Mr Chicken’s dismal effort at playing King Lear, which consisted of a three-hour chicken impression in which he persistently called all of his daughters "Eggie". " heeheeheee

  • dufray on August 3, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    As costas and johannes good friends of mine has said, kamran akmal is the definition of pakistani cricket shown by his catch to remove pieterson but then dropping a sitter...that is pakistan are either simply brilliant or simply pathetic!

  • surya on August 3, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    one of the reasons for anderson's "toothless" returns as you call it is that he becomes mediocre when the conditions dont favour him.would he be the same bowler if he bowls for a season in ranji cricket,for example?.I love swing bowlers,especiallly attacking ones but anderson has plenty to prove as a bowler still.thank you for your appreciation of hoggard though.the narrow minded british media(with exceptions though)never seems to have given him the deserved credit,

  • Ali Durrani on August 3, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    Love your articles Andy!!!

    An offer for you.

    A tour of Pakistan as my guest, so you can see and write about Pakistan, and it's love for cricket. How it's played and supported, how cricket mimics so much about Pakistan - it's politics, sectarism, extremism, fanaticism, the class divide, feudalism.

    You can try your hand at bit of "gali" cricket too.

  • Zohaib on August 3, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    There is always a way of saying the truth and you do know it very well AZ.....really good and witty article.....!!!!

    The only problem with Pakistan team is that most of the players have hunger for power and think themselves as Gods and the PCB is worst of all (as they are involved in high level corruption and politics) and becoz of these few people the great cricketing Nation has to suffer....Poor people of Pakistan.....God bless them and give them courage against some dirty POLICTICS!

  • Sowri Rajan on August 3, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Hilarious! I feel sorry for the Pakistani team. If they could set their house in order, they can easily reach the top three. Pakistani inside politics and political interference will always pull them down.

  • Arvind on August 3, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    "In fact, a leak from within the Pakistan camp has revealed that Aamer has a tour bowling average of 3.5 against his team-mates in the nets, even when using the net as a boundary."

    Overall an excellent article, and that line was the most hilarious.

  • abc on August 3, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    Aamer has a tour bowling average of 3.5 against his team-mates in the nets, even when using the net as a boundary.

    I assume he's also playing the street rule of if you snick it your out and not relying on the keeper to catch it!

    too good!

  • Ahmad Saeed on August 3, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    Well, Its a great article, i really like it. But there are things to be taken seriously by the Pakistan team. firstly , no player is bigger than the game of cricket. Akmal bothers may be good players but every one knows how Umar akmal behaved when his brother was asked to rest in a match in Australia. On such an act both the players should have been sent back home by the next flight available. why don't Pakistan team management learns from Australia when they sent back Simonds , when he was in his best form. Example should be set. players should understand that they are playing for the country not for some personal business.

  • Umair on August 3, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    Very well written. I wish others could take a leaf from your book on humor and wit. Keep it up!

  • Shabut on August 3, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    It's very easy to make fun of a losing side but this fun is little far from reality. I wonder if this same England bowling attack would be as effective on Pakistan pictches as they are at home. I bet you they will be as toothless if they have to play their cricket outside of England all the time. The so called top test teams have recently been quite toothless too. The Indian loss against Sri Lanka by 10 wickets was as big if not bigger, and everyone knows how well Australians played against Pakistan and how their batting capitulated, and not to mention their toothless top line quick bowlers.

  • raheel on August 3, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    i really respect the opinions of all my friends but all i know is that my team will comeback stronger in the 2nd test my best wishes r with them nd i believe in ma team. PAK ROCKS!!!

  • aslam khan on August 3, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    Excellent summing up. Serve this article as breakfast to the Pak team management on 6 Aug. Maybe they digest by 11 AM.

  • Vipul on August 3, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Great article again! I was laughing out loud while reading it. At the rate Indian bowling is going downhill, I can soon expect an article that will perhaps tell us when was a more toothless attack fielded by a full-time test-playing team...

  • Muhammad Nauman on August 3, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    Great Article....BUt saying Pakistan team would not win a test match here is wrong bzuz predictng about them is nuthng bt jst foolishness...they may come up in next test match and win by a great margin or simply lose by an innings..they are capable of anything negative or positive =p

  • Imran on August 3, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Asusual a hilarious article by andy,the best blogger for cricket.

  • Irfan Cricket on August 3, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    Look Zaltazman, it doesn't take Einstein or allow any thought of surmisable chat chat here. Noooooooo the tragedy/comedy of Pakistani cricket is nothing new at all. If one has any decent grasp of the country's extremely fragile history since 1947, a complete lack of professionalism in Cricket is no different to it's politicians or army's desire to breathe the daily air of corruption. Cricket is a joy of the whole country, that brought to this world 'reverse swing' and the 'doosra'. So imagination, guile and pure talent is in ready supply. The instability/poverty or lack of any solid infrastructure, corrupted by Imperialism/ filthy megalomaniacs at home, is the reason why the cricket suffers. Who knows how awesome the team could be if Pakistan could develop a solid base of professionalism.

  • Nadeem on August 3, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Lovely article Andy. It actually reveals England's batting problems more making the Ashes a 50:50 series. Pakistan still however, you never know another fluke might just be around the corner.

  • A-L on August 3, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Simply awesome! I particularly enjoyed the paragraph about Umar Akmal. "Umar Akmal, after a stellar entry onto the world ............ if he bats for longer than 15 minutes".

    I was expecting at least one comment about his "lipstick".

    Nonetheless a fascinating article. Keep writing!

  • Mohammad Asad on August 3, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Great job Andy !!!! Thanks for your keen eyed cricket analysis....... Keep it up...........

  • Manx Cat on August 3, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    So True and realistic,we need to regroup as a team and as a nation to avoid such surprises,not only cricket we are facing kind of issues in each sports....Our hockey fadded away for no reason and i fear if same happens with crciket.

    Best of luck team Pakistan...Stay united and be yourself

  • Ahmer on August 3, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I get the feeling that the Aus match was a bit of a red herring. No matter the conditions, how often are you going to bowl a top class test team for 88? Not many. Trent Bridge was certainly a bowlers wicket, yet we couldn't bowl Eng out for less than 200. We all sit here as Armchair fans with what we should want to see happen but some things are blidingly obvious. The feilding isn't going to be changed overnight but the batting line up can be.

    Firstly, there is no point to Shoaib Malik, apart from being a decent fielder he offers nothing; he can't bowl his most dangerous ball nor does he have the temprament to bat for long periods. Secondly, ditto Imran Farhat. Thirdly, bring in Yasir Hameed. Fourthly, don't drop Kaneria in such an acrimonious way. Fifhly, I'm sorry Kamran, I like you, I really do, but you offer no much with the bat and cost us around 150 runs with your keeping. Sixthly, Umar, you're no young Tendulkar, if you miss your brother, you can go home with him. /Rant over

  • shashank on August 3, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    good one andy....not thebest one by u....but we hv been given enough humour by the pakistani batsman.....lol

  • Saad on August 3, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    What an amusing and accurate description of the mindsets of the two teams going into the second test. No doubt, the new batsmen don't have the technique or the temperament to play testing bowlers in extremely testing conditions. By that token, Pakistan should be losing at least another two out of the remaining three matches. Well, however, two obvious reasons do not allow us to be 100% sure of this. One, the outstanding bowling attack (by the way, it would be funny to watch our own batsmen against them). Second, the same batsmen whom we have criticized to no end, their ability to play unlike themselves on a given day. Don't be surprised if Umar Akmal decided to score a century of seventy balls or Azhar Ali stays for a slow century. On a given day, they can play like superstars. Let these guys play and no need to ruin the morale further by inserting the two Y's.

  • Black Ghost on August 3, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    This article is so hillarious, I loved the way Andy wrote, he is very intelligent also his observation is so sharp. I enjoyed it immensely. I am from Pakistan , and I believe every thing he wrote about Pakistan's cricket is perfectly correct. I have feelings that cricketing world has been hurt by Pakistan's poor display in first test. Only bright spot is Mohamad Amir and Mohammad Asif, I guess because of their religious names, Angels were helping them to put the ball at good length. Most Pakistani team may not be able to beat any countries "C" team. One thing everyone failed to notice that Pakistani players have no idea how to play a test matchor defensively. They only know how to play Twent20. Omar Gul was playing Twent20. So if they play like twent20 in next test they probably will win. They should not play any rash shots or try to hit too many sixes. Andy send me your email address I am your fan, I am in USA but when I come to England I would like to get your autograph.

  • MileStone on August 3, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    My 11 from the available lot for the second test match between Pakistan and England will be: 1. Salman Butt 2. Yasir Hameed 3. Younus Khan 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Azhar Ali 6. Shaoib Malik 7. Zulqarnain Haider 8. Mohammad Aamer 9. Umer Gul 10. Mohammad Asif 11. Saeed Ajmal.

    Both Akmal brother needs to be out of the team, if Pakistan wants to win any match during this series.

  • Inty on August 3, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    Excellent piece! Sums up things pretty well! Pakistan batting would do well to score 300 against a club 2nd Eleven!

  • azim on August 3, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    well written!

  • Muhammed Murtaza on August 3, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    LOL , a funny article but somehow inexperienced pakistani batsmen and lack of good fielders will make it easy for englishmen to fluently score runs and give Anderson 15 more wickets for the underarm action :-)

  • Vikram on August 3, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Great job Sire...We all know what a joke Pakistan Cricket is at the moment but no one could tell this joke better than you have. I love your similes as much as your keen eyed analysis of Cricket. Keep doing the good work. Cheers P.S. just a clarification of spelling of esophagus, can you spell it with "A" too?

  • CricMaster on August 3, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    Well Said, Andy!. The only solace for the Pak is, if their bowlers dismiss the oppostion for around 50:) Anything marginally more will be unforgiven. All in all, its Aamer, Asif & Gul v/s England, as simple as that!

  • The Expat on August 3, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    The comparison between Kamran and Mr Chicken was hilarious. I want to see Mr Chicken play Lear, or keep wicket for Pakistan.

  • Zain Adeeb on August 3, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    "If Kamran’s Test career had been a racehorse, his owner would by now surely have done the decent thing." lol ! Just Brilliant!!! Even as a Pakistani fan, this is one of the best articles (not just cricket) I have read in a long long time. Keep them coming Andy

  • Richard Dixon on August 3, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    Thank you for answering the question I posed to the cricinfo staff during the match, viz "Pakistan were six wickets down for 47 and 41 in their two innings, thus becoming only the ninth team in Test history to lose its first six wickets for less than 50 in both innings of a match"

  • Ashish Bardapurkar on August 3, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    As usual, superb one Andy! It'd be great to see more of you than the occasional piece.

  • Pathan on August 3, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Brilliant article. You have said what every Pakistani has been feeling and trying to vent. You have said what every Pakistani supporter has been trying to explain to the English (that we are hopeless). You have said what every Pakistani fan had anticipated on this tour (that we would collapse every time).

    I said that this team will only pass 300 runs once in the 12 test innings that they play here. I will be right.

  • sheraz on August 3, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    Wow...what an article...i loved every single word of it and laughed like hell....awesome piece of writing.I hope we would do better with Yousuf's arrival....fingers crossed though

  • MZH (Pakistani in USA) on August 3, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Andy, I hope you write more regularly during the Pakistan vs. England series. I was reading through the article and my kids were watching me in astonishment as to why I was laughing so much.

    Some of the gems: "... between appalling and catastrophic", "... ability to play Beethoven’s piano sonatas on an ironing board", "... Queen was rumoured to be on the point of abdicating".

  • Zee on August 3, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    very good reading indeed... :)

  • asad on August 3, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    well. i agree with you ...pakistan bowlers are one of toughest bowlers to play.but bowlers can't alone win matches .. kamal brothers are not for test cricket .. only if m.yousaf and yonus can included in team otherwise pakistan can't even win one match against england.

  • Altu on August 3, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    a wonderful article stating the facts in a very beautiful way.

  • Hashim Malik on August 3, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    hilarious!

    The moment Trent Bridge test was over I literally started looking forward to a piece by AZ, as the Pakistanis provided more than enough ammunition.

  • Omar Ahmed on August 3, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    A very witty and humorous but, sadly, highly accurate, assesment of the state of the Pakistan cricket team. Surely they have hit rock bottom and it can't get any worse?

  • abid on August 3, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    well said,the decision to omit younus and yousuf from the squad was a flawed one anyway.Ablend of youth and experience is always required not just a wholesale change.Now you have a very thin middle order whos mothers could make more runs,and no one to guide them on the pitch,wouldnt it have been good to have a yousuf or younis at the other end to guide them...

  • Anonymous on August 3, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    So true - sadly !

  • abbas on August 3, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    LOL... especially @ how good aamr is against his own batmen... Trsut me, even us Pkaistani fans laugh @ our batting and feel sorry 4 the poor batsmen who keep tiring them...

  • Tahir M on August 3, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Bringing in WG Yousef is simply disgracefull. Please stick to original squad.

  • Muazzin on August 3, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    the story of the last test deliciously told. Should Younis and Yousef return, then Pakistan will must at least 100 more runs per innings, through not only those two, but the partnerships they build with the others around them. All that is required is that Pakistan bat adequately (500 runs per match) and field the same. Their bowlers will do the rest. Is there a better pace trio than Asif Aamer and Gul in test cricket? I think they just shade it given their ability to take wickets in a variety of conditions...

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  • Muazzin on August 3, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    the story of the last test deliciously told. Should Younis and Yousef return, then Pakistan will must at least 100 more runs per innings, through not only those two, but the partnerships they build with the others around them. All that is required is that Pakistan bat adequately (500 runs per match) and field the same. Their bowlers will do the rest. Is there a better pace trio than Asif Aamer and Gul in test cricket? I think they just shade it given their ability to take wickets in a variety of conditions...

  • Tahir M on August 3, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Bringing in WG Yousef is simply disgracefull. Please stick to original squad.

  • abbas on August 3, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    LOL... especially @ how good aamr is against his own batmen... Trsut me, even us Pkaistani fans laugh @ our batting and feel sorry 4 the poor batsmen who keep tiring them...

  • Anonymous on August 3, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    So true - sadly !

  • abid on August 3, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    well said,the decision to omit younus and yousuf from the squad was a flawed one anyway.Ablend of youth and experience is always required not just a wholesale change.Now you have a very thin middle order whos mothers could make more runs,and no one to guide them on the pitch,wouldnt it have been good to have a yousuf or younis at the other end to guide them...

  • Omar Ahmed on August 3, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    A very witty and humorous but, sadly, highly accurate, assesment of the state of the Pakistan cricket team. Surely they have hit rock bottom and it can't get any worse?

  • Hashim Malik on August 3, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    hilarious!

    The moment Trent Bridge test was over I literally started looking forward to a piece by AZ, as the Pakistanis provided more than enough ammunition.

  • Altu on August 3, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    a wonderful article stating the facts in a very beautiful way.

  • asad on August 3, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    well. i agree with you ...pakistan bowlers are one of toughest bowlers to play.but bowlers can't alone win matches .. kamal brothers are not for test cricket .. only if m.yousaf and yonus can included in team otherwise pakistan can't even win one match against england.

  • Zee on August 3, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    very good reading indeed... :)