2010: Summer of Pakistan August 9, 2010

Haider bright amidst the gloom

Pakistan's replacements provided the only positives from the defeat at Edgbaston
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Pakistan's replacements provided the only positives from the defeat at Edgbaston. Of the two, Zulqarnain Haider was the brighter. Yes, he dropped catches but you might excuse those as debut nerves. He also bagged a golden duck. Nerves again. But despite these setbacks he almost produced an incredible hundred and made himself a major player in a Test match where virtually nothing was expected of him.

It is too early to judge what impact Haider will have on international cricket. At the very least, he should have earned himself the big gloves for the rest of the Test series. This doesn't spell the end for Kamran Akmal. He should still be Pakistan's first choice in limited-overs cricket. And a break from Test cricket might help him resolve the technical problems that have dogged him for nearly five years. It is simply a relief to have choice.

Similarly, Saeed Ajmal made enough of an impact to dislodge Danish Kaneria this summer, which is a graver problem for Kaneria as he is superfluous in other formats. Ajmal has much to prove too but the character he showed at Edgbaston makes him the kind of personality that should be in a Pakistan squad. Unfortunately, Pakistan's ideal long-term solution would be a legspinner or slow left arm bowler to partner the pace attack.

As a consequence, the future looks bright for Raza Hasan but it would be tough to make him the sole spinner for The Oval. If Pakistan select Ajmal and Hasan, the tail will be too long or the fast bowlers too few. This is one of many thorny dilemmas for Pakistan's management, reminding us of the limitations of the touring party chosen by the selectors.

Based on the current squad, and with the Pakistan Cricket Board who knows who might be in the squad in a week's time, here are the questions facing Waqar Younis and Salman Butt:

1. Salman's form has disappeared since he accepted the captaincy. There is no sense in replacing the skipper but how does Salman get back into the groove? A Pakistan captain, epecially a young one, has to lead by example. The cricket board needs to help him here by backing him rather than undermining him. A captain needs to feel secure and in command to be properly effective. Yes, he might make mistakes in selection and strategy but that's the trade-off in choosing a younger man.

2. Despite being the better of the two openers in recent matches, Imran Farhat's form is a chronic issue rather than an acute one. England's opening bowlers have also settled into a perfect rhythm bowling at Pakistan's left-handed openers. Is it worth trying a left-hand and right-hand opening combination? Azhar Ali could do the job. Indeed he plays more like a determined opener than a number three.

3. Pakistan need experience at numbers three and four. Yasir Hameed is unfortunate to have been left on the bench while Pakistan's batting has failed miserably. It must now be time to give him an opportunity, and he could play at number three.

4. Mohammad Yousuf's recall has been controversial but what to do? By the time of the third Test, fatigue will no longer be an issue and although he will be little better prepared, he has to play. Otherwise there was no point in recalling him from retirement and sending him to England.

5. The question of Shoaib Malik's role is a vexed one. He has done little of note in this series but then neither has anybody else. Pakistan's best option has to be pack the team with as much middle-order experience as is available. Which means that whatever the politics, Malik should keep his place. He will also be required as second spinner.

6. Umar Akmal has dissapointed his many fans. The boy has class but he has displayed little temperament. We should not damn him on the basis of this summer. Inzamam-ul Haq had a poor first tour of England, and look how he ended up. Umar has serious talent, he needs some wise heads around him. Perhaps the biggest mistake was making him the elder statesman of the middle order too soon.

7. Azhar Ali and Umar Amin have both found this tour tough. Of the two, Azhar has been the more impressive. They might both have a bright future but this tour was the wrong baptism. Insufficient squad depth means that Azhar should keep his place although it is time for Amin to take a breather.

8. With Umar Gul's injury, Pakistan face a straight choice between Wahab Riaz and Tanvir Ahmed. That's a tough decision as neither has international pedigree. This is where Waqar's skills will be invaluable and he should know which of the two is the better bet. Tanvir also has a strong domestic record to back his case.

9. Almost as much as with their batting, Pakistan lost the match because of their fielding. In fairness they do practice hard, especially slip catching. Catching like batting is all about confidence, little wonder then that both disciplines have collapsed together. A fielding coach, and I don't mean Ijaz Ahmed, is desirable.

10. The solution to Pakistan's dismal form might be more practice or less practice, depending on which sage you ask. But international cricket is a mind game, and the self-inflicted wounds of the past weeks have scrambled the senses of Pakistan's cricketers. Perhaps that explains why the best performers at Edgbaston were untainted by the earlier defeats of the summer?

An ideal management approach is to create a coccooned environment for the players, which protects them from selection dramas while they complete their development as international cricketers. This is especially valid for young cricketers. But that isn't the way of Pakistan cricket. It is a bear pit where only the most combative and the most ruthless survive. The board and the management team need to raise their game otherwise this tour will only get worse.

The performances of Pakistan's cricketers have been ridiculed in the past few days. Their Test status questioned. We should remember that these players hail from a country crippled by conflict, burdended further by a natural disaster affecting 15 million people. Its cricket board is a basket case and has been for years. No international cricket is played within its borders, and the team had barely played a Test match for three years leading up to last winter.

Isn't it still something that we can still marvel at players like Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, and sometimes Umar Akmal?

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • A Well Wisher of Pak Cricket on August 13, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    My Test XI on merit (without favor or bias) that can win a test match in England would be: 1. Salman Butt (captain) 2. Azhar Ali 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yousuf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Fawad Alam (vice captain) 7. Abdul Razzaq (Umar Gul is injured) 8. Zulqarnain Haider 9. Muhammad Aamir 10. Saeed Ajmal 11. Muhammad Asif

  • Badar on August 13, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    The current team doesn't reflect a true Test team; it has players more suited to the limited overs game. Then we have players who are tried and tested and failed repeatedly. We shouldn't bank on the likes of the Akmal Bros and Malik to win games for us in Tests and we must not damage their confidence by pushing them into test teams. PCB must act swiftly and prepare 2 separate teams for Tests and limited overs games. Younis be the captain of Test team and Afridi of the other. Butt should be the vice captain under both and must be groomed to take over in coming years. We must also first get rid of both Ejaz Butt and Yawar Saeed immediately b4 they can further damage our cricket. We must draft players like Asim Kamal who can occupy the crease for a long time and not bash like U.Akmal. Both the Y's are a must for Tests. We must also keep a 2nd line of bowlers who can provide back-up for our main bowlers or we'll soon finish Amir and Asif like Gul. We need fresh PCB mgmt for better results.

  • Guduji71 on August 12, 2010, 23:16 GMT

    I personally don't agree with quota system. I believe we should give player a chance based on their skill & talent. Look at Australia 85%-90% of their players are from New South Wales. We should not talk about Punjab, Sindh, Pakhtoonistan or Baluchistan. We are all Pakistanis and should thing like one unit. Let us give some good healthy comments and think about the bigger picture.

  • Raziullah Qureshi on August 12, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Pakistan has fielding and Batting dilemma at the moment, We know fielding can not be make perfect overnight. This is where Pakistan Team management should have to force Afridi to remain Captain or at least be with team as vice captain because Salamna butt is also not a very good fielder. Now there is no option to talk about that for me it looks like staged, because if Afridi deny captaincy of tests in Pakistan they should have to recall Younus or Yousuf before series and ask them to be captain which Pakistan board did not want to do. Any way keeping in players available in England tour best batting line up will be Imran Farhat Yasir Hameed Salman Butt Muhammad Yousuf Kamran Akmal (as Batsman) Shoaib Malik Zulqarnain Haider (WK) Muhammad Aamir Saeed Ajmal Danish Kaneria Muhammad Asif

    I would like to call Danish as next test is at Oval and typically oval wicket is very batting track and we need bowlers who can bowl 40+ overs

  • PADDLE SWEEP on August 12, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    there are pros and cons :if u play akmal-an experienced campaigner he can blast from GO,if you try some1 new he may struggle or he may succeed.haider's was the second case!!! i cant stand why every1 is cry baby in pakistan when commenting over cricket?unless u dont try some1 out how can u get inzi,wasim,aamer? they may fail ,but if they succeed it will be you who will suddenly start praising them!!!!every1 in pak seems 2 be a selector and put their opinion,instead of standing by their captains and selectors choice!!!get a life,ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY!!!

  • PADDLE SWEEP on August 12, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    there are pros and cons :if u play akmal-an experienced campaigner he can blast from GO,if you try some1 new he may struggle or he may succeed.haider's was the second case!!! i cant stand why every1 is cry baby in pakistan when commenting over cricket?unless u dont try some1 out how can u get inzi,wasim,aamer? they may fail ,but if they succeed it will be you who will suddenly start praising them!!!!every1 in pak seems 2 be a selector and put their opinion,instead of standing by their captains and selectors choice!!!get a life,ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY!!!

  • Ahmer on August 12, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    @ Zain Nadeem

    I am far from a Farhat fan but I'm trying to be a little pragmatic. He seems to be immune from the drop, so the second option is figure out where he might fit in better. Given that I am accused of being his biggest fan despite having said 'he is awful against the moving ball', it shows the lack of regard that he is held amongst most PAK fans. Amusing

    I would also second basically everyone else's opinion that Malik needs to be dropped. I can't figure what he's there for. We have better batsmen, we have better bowlers. He can't bowl his most dangerous ball - which for the record, isn't even very dangerous. And he is an apparent disruptive influence

    As I'm here, am I the only one who thinks Umar Akmal is going for the Tamim Iqbal school of batting?

  • Abdullah Ahmed on August 12, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    @ Usman Malik …

    Shoaib Malik may be acceptable for ODIs/ T20, but definitely a ‘no-no’ for Tests. Anyways, good to see that you have excluded Shoaib Malik from your ‘ideal team’, while for my ideal Test team I would like to see Fawad Alam too.

    @ Abdul Haseeb …

    I fully agree with you, it is much better to have a Pakistan Team rather then a ‘Punjab Eleven’.

    PCB which has now become a Punjab Cricket Board, should think about introducing ‘Quota System’ to give equal chances to players from Karachi/ others cities. India is working successfully with this quota and they ended Mumbai’s monopoly on BCCI. So Pakistan should also learn from their neighbour and do away with ‘Punjab-Only’ criteria.

    What worst could happen? We are loosing anyways, so we might loose as well with at least a full Pakistan Team?

  • DesiHungama on August 12, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    What the heck is goin' on out there? Why is the batting order playing in reverse? Butt and Farhat should be walking out together not walking in? That is bat No. 9 and 10, respectively. What the hell is Shoaib Malik doing playing Cricket on his honeymoon? He is getting stumped and bowled in both places. Why the heck is Butt the chairman living passed Pakistan average age? What the heck is going' on. Somebody tell me...

  • guduji71 on August 12, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    I believe Khurram Manzoor should have been given another chance but Faisal Iqbal, I am sorry to say is not international level player. Look at his average after playing 25 tests below 25 runs per inning. Fowad Alam is not test player either.

  • A Well Wisher of Pak Cricket on August 13, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    My Test XI on merit (without favor or bias) that can win a test match in England would be: 1. Salman Butt (captain) 2. Azhar Ali 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yousuf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Fawad Alam (vice captain) 7. Abdul Razzaq (Umar Gul is injured) 8. Zulqarnain Haider 9. Muhammad Aamir 10. Saeed Ajmal 11. Muhammad Asif

  • Badar on August 13, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    The current team doesn't reflect a true Test team; it has players more suited to the limited overs game. Then we have players who are tried and tested and failed repeatedly. We shouldn't bank on the likes of the Akmal Bros and Malik to win games for us in Tests and we must not damage their confidence by pushing them into test teams. PCB must act swiftly and prepare 2 separate teams for Tests and limited overs games. Younis be the captain of Test team and Afridi of the other. Butt should be the vice captain under both and must be groomed to take over in coming years. We must also first get rid of both Ejaz Butt and Yawar Saeed immediately b4 they can further damage our cricket. We must draft players like Asim Kamal who can occupy the crease for a long time and not bash like U.Akmal. Both the Y's are a must for Tests. We must also keep a 2nd line of bowlers who can provide back-up for our main bowlers or we'll soon finish Amir and Asif like Gul. We need fresh PCB mgmt for better results.

  • Guduji71 on August 12, 2010, 23:16 GMT

    I personally don't agree with quota system. I believe we should give player a chance based on their skill & talent. Look at Australia 85%-90% of their players are from New South Wales. We should not talk about Punjab, Sindh, Pakhtoonistan or Baluchistan. We are all Pakistanis and should thing like one unit. Let us give some good healthy comments and think about the bigger picture.

  • Raziullah Qureshi on August 12, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Pakistan has fielding and Batting dilemma at the moment, We know fielding can not be make perfect overnight. This is where Pakistan Team management should have to force Afridi to remain Captain or at least be with team as vice captain because Salamna butt is also not a very good fielder. Now there is no option to talk about that for me it looks like staged, because if Afridi deny captaincy of tests in Pakistan they should have to recall Younus or Yousuf before series and ask them to be captain which Pakistan board did not want to do. Any way keeping in players available in England tour best batting line up will be Imran Farhat Yasir Hameed Salman Butt Muhammad Yousuf Kamran Akmal (as Batsman) Shoaib Malik Zulqarnain Haider (WK) Muhammad Aamir Saeed Ajmal Danish Kaneria Muhammad Asif

    I would like to call Danish as next test is at Oval and typically oval wicket is very batting track and we need bowlers who can bowl 40+ overs

  • PADDLE SWEEP on August 12, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    there are pros and cons :if u play akmal-an experienced campaigner he can blast from GO,if you try some1 new he may struggle or he may succeed.haider's was the second case!!! i cant stand why every1 is cry baby in pakistan when commenting over cricket?unless u dont try some1 out how can u get inzi,wasim,aamer? they may fail ,but if they succeed it will be you who will suddenly start praising them!!!!every1 in pak seems 2 be a selector and put their opinion,instead of standing by their captains and selectors choice!!!get a life,ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY!!!

  • PADDLE SWEEP on August 12, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    there are pros and cons :if u play akmal-an experienced campaigner he can blast from GO,if you try some1 new he may struggle or he may succeed.haider's was the second case!!! i cant stand why every1 is cry baby in pakistan when commenting over cricket?unless u dont try some1 out how can u get inzi,wasim,aamer? they may fail ,but if they succeed it will be you who will suddenly start praising them!!!!every1 in pak seems 2 be a selector and put their opinion,instead of standing by their captains and selectors choice!!!get a life,ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY!!!

  • Ahmer on August 12, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    @ Zain Nadeem

    I am far from a Farhat fan but I'm trying to be a little pragmatic. He seems to be immune from the drop, so the second option is figure out where he might fit in better. Given that I am accused of being his biggest fan despite having said 'he is awful against the moving ball', it shows the lack of regard that he is held amongst most PAK fans. Amusing

    I would also second basically everyone else's opinion that Malik needs to be dropped. I can't figure what he's there for. We have better batsmen, we have better bowlers. He can't bowl his most dangerous ball - which for the record, isn't even very dangerous. And he is an apparent disruptive influence

    As I'm here, am I the only one who thinks Umar Akmal is going for the Tamim Iqbal school of batting?

  • Abdullah Ahmed on August 12, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    @ Usman Malik …

    Shoaib Malik may be acceptable for ODIs/ T20, but definitely a ‘no-no’ for Tests. Anyways, good to see that you have excluded Shoaib Malik from your ‘ideal team’, while for my ideal Test team I would like to see Fawad Alam too.

    @ Abdul Haseeb …

    I fully agree with you, it is much better to have a Pakistan Team rather then a ‘Punjab Eleven’.

    PCB which has now become a Punjab Cricket Board, should think about introducing ‘Quota System’ to give equal chances to players from Karachi/ others cities. India is working successfully with this quota and they ended Mumbai’s monopoly on BCCI. So Pakistan should also learn from their neighbour and do away with ‘Punjab-Only’ criteria.

    What worst could happen? We are loosing anyways, so we might loose as well with at least a full Pakistan Team?

  • DesiHungama on August 12, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    What the heck is goin' on out there? Why is the batting order playing in reverse? Butt and Farhat should be walking out together not walking in? That is bat No. 9 and 10, respectively. What the hell is Shoaib Malik doing playing Cricket on his honeymoon? He is getting stumped and bowled in both places. Why the heck is Butt the chairman living passed Pakistan average age? What the heck is going' on. Somebody tell me...

  • guduji71 on August 12, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    I believe Khurram Manzoor should have been given another chance but Faisal Iqbal, I am sorry to say is not international level player. Look at his average after playing 25 tests below 25 runs per inning. Fowad Alam is not test player either.

  • Zain Nadeem on August 11, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Mr. Ahmer you sounds like a fan of Imran Farhat. Congratulations by achieving this great honour

    You are the second person I know after Mr. ILYAS (Selector and Father in law of Imran Farhat) who support Imran Farhat.

  • Syed Banoori on August 11, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    Not even @ 11. Him and Imran Nazir(i know he has nothing to do with test) has been given enough chances but they just wasted their talent and let me down. I think they should definitely try Yasir Hameed up in the order..

  • Ahmer on August 11, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    I know it's a far out suggestion but what do people think of Farhat coming lower down the order, say No.5/6? Farhat is pretty awful against the moving ball but is an aggressive batsmen when the pitch is flatter and is also a sweet timer of the ball.

    Of course, it will never happen, but always worth pondering

  • Syed Banoori on August 11, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    How can you defend Butt and shoiab Malick. Butt might be worth giving more chances but Malik? What has he done in last 12 months apart from creating problem and groups in the team. Its time for farhat to go and bring guys like hameed and Fawad Alam. I really hope that Pakistan gets desrtroyed in next two games so we can get rid of that loser named IJAZ BUTT. Nothing will change unless we get rid of him. The guy is incompetent,egocentric and have no clue what is going on. Why do we need a bowling coach(Aaqib javed) when we have Waqar(one of the best of all time) as our head coach. Its ridiculous........

    Neither Yonis nor Yousuf can save Pakistan unless we get rid of IJAZ BUTT, WASIM BARI, SHOIB MALIK....

  • Shafiq Ur Rehman on August 11, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Sir Kamran Abbasi, pakistan dont need opposition their own selcters are enough. one test is good enough to test a players skill that is why it has two innings. any way salman butt should not play as captain but continew as player he cannot hold the presur the team should be like this 1.Kamran akmal 2.Salman butt 3.yousuf (Skipper) 4.Younis Khan if not then(Shoaib Malik) 5.Umer Akmal 6.Abdul Razzaq (Great all rounder can hold the one end) 7.M Amer 8.Zulqurnain Haider 9.Saeed Ajmal 10.M Asif 11.Riaz Wahab

  • salman ayaz on August 11, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    I really feel sorry for the pakistan bowlers.They bowl their heart out and the next moment they are asked to bat and save the team from further humiliation.Already a bowlers job is very demanding and here they have to bat as well.If one looks at the stats of last 2 matches it is the bowlers who have scored more runs than the batsmen.Some serious soul searching is needed and players like Farhat,Shoaib Malik shud be immediately dropped from this team.

  • pgv on August 11, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    like many indians, i also shall be happy to see pakistan team proving their unquestioned talent. ideal combination would be, bhat,ashar ali.yasir ahmed,yousuf, malik,umar akmal,haider, amir,asif,ajmal and tanvir, in that order. catching is a matter of confidence really, though asif's missed catch baffled me as to what he was trying to do. i, for one, look forward to the day when this really mediocre english side is shown its place by pakistan.

  • Adeel Ahmed on August 11, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Sir, Pakistan should rest Muhammad Aamir and Muhammad Asif......... as they are assets and should b used properly....

    My team for third test will be

    Imran Farhat Salman Butt Azhar Ali Muhammad Yousuf Umar Akmal Kamran Akmal Zulqarnain Haider Muhammad Aamir Tanvir Ahmed Saeed Ajmal Wahab Riaz/Raza Hassan

    Should use Kamran Akmal as a specialist batsmen.... he has a good batting record than some of the batsmen

  • Asad Haroon on August 11, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    ok. be realistic and given the "available" players, a better test team should be (and i wish pak ground it too)

    salman butt imran farhat yasir hameed yousuf azhar ali umar akmal z haider abdur Razzaq aamir ajmal asif

  • Khuram on August 11, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    The Team for Me;

    1,Salman Butt 2,Yasir Hameed 3,Imran Farhat 4,Mohd.yousuf 5,Umar Akmal 6,Shoaib Malik 7,Haider 8,Ajmal 9,Aamir 10,Asif 11,Tanvir

    Best of Luck .. Pak

  • Dipankar Sen on August 11, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    Younus Khan should be brought back immediately(it was a terrible mistake to sack him from the captaincy inspite of Pakistan's unexpected triumph in the T 20 W Cup just because of failure in the Champion's trophy)and I wholeheartedly support Mr Muhammad S Khan's suggestion of playing Kamran Akmal just as a batsman.Shoaib Malik has no value in the team at all now. For the record,I am an Indian but probably support the Pakistan cricket team much more than an average Pakistani ,especially when they play a 'gora' team.Am sure Stuart Broad would've got at least one-match suspension if he had been an Asian for throwing the ball& hitting Zulqarnain's shoulder.

  • ATHER on August 11, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    what people are not realizing is that our pacers are breaking down,Umar Gul is the first one,and it won't be to long before Amir follows due to extra burden they have to take. Wahab riaz reason for inclusion is unknown though Tanveer had a good domestic season but both can not compliment the pacer attack instead they surely need mohd sami to back up the pace attach on english wickets. if younis can be bought in with kamral akmal played as opener and bringing yasir hammed in,by resting,farhat,umar amin,azhar ali we can still make the required difference.....

  • Pappu on August 11, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    I think we have to call this team Punjab King's eleven, or Butt super King's

  • the wall on August 10, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    I think I may have missed something, so please anyone explain this to me: a guy who gets his team-mates to swear an oath not to obey the captain Younis Khan is in the team. And add to this two more points, the first: he is scoring no more than 3 runs an innings, the second he is a coward, not shielding the tailenders by taking singles off the first ball of an over. A third is he can't bowl very well either. Can anybody please explain his selection?

  • Faisal Ahmed on August 10, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    IS THIS PAKISTAN'S OR PUNJAB'S TEAM?Sound a racial slur but it is true. I am totally agreed with Iqbal syed.10 out of 11 players belongs to punjab,karachi team is winner of biggest cricket tournament of Pakistan but not a single player from Karachi deserve to be in the nataional side?Players like Umar Akmal, Umer Amin, Azhar,Farhat, Malik etc are keep on getting several chances again and again despite their contant failures but talented players like Fawad Alam who did score 160 odd runs on his test debut last year in Newzealand have been kicked out of team again and again. Khurrum Manzoor who scored 70 odd runs in last innings of last year's Australian tour when no other batsman could corss even 30.And world class players like Yousuf and Younis are out due to dirty politics of PCB, BIG SHAME...It is NOW TIME to make A REAL PAKISTAN'S TEAM not JUST PUNJAB'S TEAM.

  • tariq gul on August 10, 2010, 21:46 GMT

    I think it will be very best to bring back and play Younis Khan,Mohammad Yousuf,Asim kamal and Yasir Hameed.These four are talented batsmen and can play at no 3,4,5,6. It is very sad that PCB always ignored Asim Kamal for no reasons.I really don't understand why ? such a good player at least for test matches. It is also very sad that PCB is not bringing back Younis Khan to team,as he is already there in england playing county. I am not predicting any good results from this team even if mohammed yousuf is there,because alone he cant do anything.He need support from others.

  • tariq gul on August 10, 2010, 21:46 GMT

    I think it will be very best to bring back and play Younis Khan,Mohammad Yousuf,Asim kamal and Yasir Hameed.These four are talented batsmen and can play at no 3,4,5,6. It is very sad that PCB always ignored Asim Kamal for no reasons.I really don't understand why ? such a good player at least for test matches. It is also very sad that PCB is not bringing back Younis Khan to team,as he is already there in england playing county. I am not predicting any good results from this team even if mohammed yousuf is there,because alone he cant do anything.He need support from others.

  • Nadeem Farooq on August 10, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    We don't need players like Asad Shafique, Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal, Hasan Raza, Sarfaraz Ahmed unless they change their name to Asad Malik, Fawad Butt, Faisal Mian, Hasan Raja, Sarfaraz Choudhry.

    Pakistan created only for BUTT's,MIAN's, MALIK's and CHOUDHRY's. We don't need any BHAIA's. I requested all the use less non-punjabis players that they should find some other country to play, because Punjab Eleven is only for Punjabis!!!

    Sada Punjab Sheer hay Dum Laganay kee deer hay!!!

  • iqbal sayed on August 10, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    The PCB(Punjab Cricket Board) is doing a commendable service to Pakistan cricket.Fortunately,the Rajas, the Butts and the Maliks of the Punjab have been given a free hand again and they are having a great time. May God Almighty grant them long life and may the Punjab Cricket team continue with its heroic performances and bring glory to Pakistan cricket. It is creating history,creating great unbeatable records in Test cricket. The cricket fans shall always remember with fondness, the antics of the great Akmals and the Shoaib Maliks off and on the ground. Players like Fawwad Alam,Khurram Manzoor,Faisal Iqbal,Sarfraz Ahmed do not belong to Punjab and should therefore not be considered eligible for selection to represent Pakistan.

  • Nauman on August 10, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    I think we should keep the openers in tact. Imran Farhat no doubt is not a class-act, but he has been better than many that have come and gone. Its high time Yasir Hameed is chosen with Yousuf to strengthen the top order. I would even give Umar Akmal a break, and put Azhar Ali at #5. I think with all the wholesale changes that go on for Pakistan in the middle of tours, I would suggest we somehow bring Abdul Razzaq also in. He probably can be slotted at #6 and can be handy as a bowler (and our fast bowlers really can use some rest during spells). My preferred line-up would be Salman Butt/Imran Farhat Yasir Yousuf Umar Akmal Abdul Razzaq Zulqarnain Aamer Ajmal Asif

  • Muhammad Shoaib Khan on August 10, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    I have a small suggestion may be it is worth playing with two keepers & dropping Shoaib Malik. Bringing in Kamran Akmal as a pure batsman (he's capable enough to play as a pure batsman). Playing Kamran & Zulqarnain togeather will beef up the batting line which is at the moment paper thin. So the line up should look something like this.

    Butt Yasir Hameed Azhar Ali Mohd Yusuf Kamran Akmal Umar Akmal Zulqarnain Haider Mohd Aamir Saeed Ajmal Wahab Riaz/Raza Hasan/Tanvir Ahmad Mohd Asif

  • mkamal on August 10, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    I am little disappointed by your article, Mr. Abbasi. How in the world you justify Shoeb Malik's inclusion in the team?

    Salman Butt does not have enough credential to be captain, who is the single most important component of a successful team. His batting alone says he should rest for the next game, and he does not have even the idea of field placing. This shows the pathetic condition of the PCB and the selectors. You have ignored tested players like Razzaq and yasir Hamid in favor of hopeless and meritless players. Why don't you think that younus has 10 times better ability and experience than Salman? He is left out as he has some personality and is not a sucker. Ask Imran Khan, what type of personality and quality Pak captain has. I bet Afganistan team has better condition. Shame on PCB, selectors and Pak blog writer.

  • Ashfaq Ahmed Khan on August 10, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    The only solution to all these cricketing problems is to remove the BIG BUTT and appoint some patriotic and professional people in PCB. Secondly players like Shoaib malik, Kamran Akmal and Imran farhat should be made to understand that no body is more important than the country and even then if they fail to understand then i am afraid its time to say Good bye to them.

  • KICK THE BUTTS on August 10, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    i m no OCTOPOUS PAUL, yet, on 1st day of the 6 test series, i had predicted this squad wont score 300 in a inning,i have been proved right till now at end of 4 test READ ALL THE COMMENTS OF PAKI FANS ALMOST EVERY1 WANTS MOYO,Y.K ,YASIR HAMEED, paki fans wont mind pak loosing if seniors r playing ALL THOSE MORONS like ijaz butt/waqar younis/salman butt who wants to build a new team of the future n so called NEW ERA, take all ur kid batsmen as a paki A team to any swinging/bouncing country for 3/4 years, cuz these "talented batsmen" even gave 6 wicket spinner swann and 5 to part time aussy spinner north i was a salman butt fan till he became the luckiest captain ever,he even had d guts to speak against senior like MOYO TOO MUCH CRICKET IS PLAYED NOWADAZ,EVEN IF TEAMS DONT PLAY IN PAK,so there has to b 2 different teams proof is the akmal bros, they were tired of consistently playing good same happened with gul last year

  • yasir on August 10, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    Hi i could,nt understand pakistani team try new players before with australia they didnot play well i suggest next two match these player 1.salman but.2yasirhameed.3zulqarnain haider.4mohammadyousaf.5kamranakmal.6mohammadamir.7mohamadasif. 8saeedajmal.9umargulorwahab riaz.10umarakmal.11shoaibmalik this teams is good for nextr two matches if stiil need then call younas khan

  • Faisal Akhtar on August 10, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    Folks, where are the players from Karachi?? Does Pakistan only consist of one province?? Surely there is some talent not being picked to play from Karachi..

    Secondly, it is time to drop Umar Akmal. He needs time to re-think his talent and wasted opportunities. Maybe he will realize that he has a gift that needs to be utilized.

  • Junaid on August 10, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Khalid Latif, Yasir Hameed, Asim kamal and Fawaad Alam should be in team instead of Imran Farhat(parchi), Salman butt, Umar Amin and dirty Shoaib Malik,.,, and Younis inplace of Azher Ali then we'll have a best team for test including Asif, Amir, Ajmal amd Zulqarnain.... PCB is really biased in case of Yunus Khan and Fawad Alam.. we all Pakistani shud protest against PCB to make our team stronger..

  • omar qasim on August 10, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    Pakistan cricket team have no player from Karachi.Isn't a shame.City that produces the likes of miandad,hanif mohammad,and so many other great players is side lined.Once the favourtism been left out there will be dramatic change in our performance.Asad ali who scored highest runs in quaid-e-azam trophy and fawad alam who scored 100 in his first test are side lined .Its seems as there is a open discrimination as far as karachi players are concerned.Isn't it.R they r not good as umar amin or azhar ali or akmal brothers or shoib malik or farhat or Butt.

  • Manjeet on August 10, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    Well I have been a silent reader of this blog, but hey Mike you hit the nail. Any boards who cannot themselves respect their own decisions like bans and overturn them at will as if it is some joke certainly are setting a bad example for youngsters. No wonder the Akmals and others hardly seem to take any warning or disciplinary rules laid down by PCB seriously because they know thay are so good that sooner or later they will get what they want and PCB will twist their own rules and regulations to accommodate them. Compare it to other boards like SA who banned Cronje and Gibs served his gull sentence and even Warne served his full 1 year ban despite team needing him or take the case of Indians who did not take back ICL players once they were banned even if the team missed a couple of good players. But In Pakistan bans ,rules and discipline is there to be twisted according to need and not to implement discipline but at same time just to show world we are disciplined an act of implementi

  • Mike Maynard from Bristol on August 10, 2010, 17:06 GMT

    A team which has players who retire when they want and return when they want does not earn respect nor deserves it. A team where the board puts a life ban only to overturn it quickly at the slightest need shows lack of discipline and lack of respect for decision and that reflects in team as well. A team where the supposedly brightest and talented star is made captain for a series and he chickens out abandoning the team midway in crisis ,does not evoke respect but rather sympathy. Batters have shown lack of discipline , determination , application and probbly lack of talent in each innings. Only bowlers have bowled well and that too because condition are so heavily in favor, the moment conditions improved, bowlers looked ordinary and both openers just played with authority and ease to achieve victory.. A win over Aus in 2nd test made fans feel they can now beat England 4-0 ignoring all shortcomings and piece of luck by Ponting offered by batting first, a rare huge error of judgment

  • Marlo on August 10, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    Butt has performed in 5 consective tests against Australia. He is a improved batsman. Englishmen have sorted him out and getting his wicket through the same act. A rather fullish (between good length and full pitch) straight ball cutting to off very close to his body. His should fix his technique and play it forward with full stretch of his front foot. He is trying to play it on back foot and that is his misery. Most of the pakistani batsmen have problem with stretches there front foot. They always come half forward and lose their wicket.... is there no one to tell them this

  • ZAIN SYED on August 10, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    In my opinion, Chacha Mama's selection committee should resign and hand over their job to Father in law's selection committee. By doing this Mr. ILYAS would become the head of selectors and Imran Farhat would be the captain of CHOOPAYA ELEVEN.

    Jiye Punjabism!!!

  • FK13 on August 10, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    A lot of the comments below reflect the fickleness of Pak's support base - people calling for a radical overhaul of the team inc the sacking of Butt are demonstrating their lack of understanding of test cricket. As Holding said during the 2nd test, 'no person is the perfect captain when he starts and nor will he be when he finishes' so all they can try is to improve. Given all the drama that occurred before the tests against Aus & Eng, I think the Pak team should be credited for their achievements too. They bowled Aus out for 88 and have constantly troubled the English batsmen in their own back yard. Obviously, the fielding and batting have been poor and a lot of improvements can be made on that front, but the players should be encouraged to improve and not discouraged by fair-weather supporters. Batting in swinging conditions is not easy as shown by Eng and Aus who have superior line ups on paper so you would hope this exp will help the young Pak batsmen in the future. Keep the faith!

  • Saddam Rasool on August 10, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    Pakistan, by nature, plays better when they are aggressive. We have been losing so many matches lately because of defensive mind set. This test match was the worst example. Pakistan, in last decade or so, has never played a game with such a slow run rate in tests. The only player who was reasonable in batting slow was Aamir, but the rest were pathetic in their approach.

    We must change our mind set and start attacking as this approach will take them no where and there may be more losses in store.

  • Tanveer on August 10, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Does anyone has any idea why Pakistan is persisting with these bunch of jokers ... sorry, failed batsmen? A quick comparison (England Series) of the top 6 batsmen with the last 5 batsmen tells a sorry story of our "young and talented" batsmen.

    Top Six Batsmen:

    In 24 innings (0 not out) they have scored 250 runs at an embarrassing average of 10.41

    Last Five Batsmen:

    In 18 innings (4 not out) they have scored 324 runs at a decent average of 23.14

    Will Pakistan persist with these good-for-nothing youngsters and highly political and nepotists - Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat? Or will it bring Yousuf back and give chances to Fawad Alam and Yasir Hameed?

    .... and there is no cure for catching. No matter how much you train a donkey, it can never gain horse skills.

  • Usman Khan on August 10, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    What's even the point for us to fume and complain here about PCB's antics? It's not like they're ever gonna read any of this. And even if they do, they're shameless enough to just ignore what the public cries for and continue on their merry way because in the end they will still do what THEY want, whatever fits their politics. Pakitanis as a people are so helpless because there's nothing they can ever do to change anything, not in terms of how the nation is run, and not in terms of something much smaller, like the way the cricket team is run. In the end PCB will pick who they want to pick, pay who they want to pay, and fire whoever they want to fire. So we all might as well just sit back and enjoy the show.

  • Akbar on August 10, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    why not recall Abul Razzaq to streanthen the bowling and middle order. Give shoaib malik little longer honey moon, i think his mind is not in the game.

  • Sherry USA on August 10, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    Well I strongly believe pcb did some thing better after many years,they dropped kamran akmal. Haider did a great job and his outstanding 88 kept his place in test, t20 and odi. I think pcb should also give him a chance in t20 and replace kamran with imran nazir. For now we should worry abt test since t20 is far. There is no point of keeping azhar, malik, akmal and amin in the team. Replace them with razzaq, yasir hameed, yousuf and fawad alam. Butt has lost his batting style and his confidence since he became captain. Good luck pakistan and i think in the near future haider will take akmals place.

  • Saalim Akbar on August 10, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Whatever is the scenario, I don't see any reason why Yousef should be brought be back in this sqaud.

  • ahmed jawad on August 10, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    In my view, a team is not a test team, if it does not make 600 runs in 2 innings. Sadly being a Pakistani and a fan, its not happening

  • Syed Naqvi on August 10, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    I have been reading all comments, wonderful brains but sadly powerless to enforce changes and like them I myself feel helpless looking at follies of PCB and touring party as a whole. One thing I don't understand why no bobody mentions Razzaq? Can't he fit in place of a waste of a space like Malik, we will have a backup pacer ideal to english conditions and agreat attacking batsman. Yusuf, Yunus and Yasir Hameed(3 Ys) should be in team in place of Umar Amin,Imran Furhat, Azhar Ali.Salman Butt should drop himself and give a chance to youngster like Umar amin(who has good technique) or Azhar Ali(good temprament) or fawad Alam.Umar Akmal should retain his place and we need batting coack with proper technique rather than Ijaz Ahmed who does not know what batting technique is all about. May be Inzi would be good choice.All other from second test against england shold stay and if Umar gul is injured then call Shoaib.God bless Pakistan and all the people who wrote comments here.i love you all

  • Tahir Khan on August 10, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    Dr.Abbasi,

    I am a diehard Pakistani cricket fan who was born and raised in Canada. It hurts me so much to see the unprofessionalism with the PCB which I guess is just the symptom of a very problematic country. Sports organizations are run so much differently here and it very disheartening to see that Pakistan cricket, which can be a world power in no time, is being held back by unprofessional thieving crooks in suits calling themselves the 'administration'.

    I implore you to continue to speak up against this mockery of an administration and until these people are gone far away from Pakistan cricket. I would like to also ask you to please enlighten us on why Younis Khan is being black listed and not allowed to play when he was the one players revolted against, and his ban was over turned and not to mention he has an impeccable record AND IS IN ENGLAND RIGHT NOW. I would love for you to find answers for us because this is perplexing to say the least. Continue the great work!!!

  • Wasim on August 10, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    This is has to be the most untalented team in the history of Pakistan. We always say there is so much talent in Pakistan but do people even know what talent means? Anyone who considers Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal talented are either living in lala land or are blinded by their regional prejudice.

  • Masaood Yunus on August 10, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    Strange that you missed out on Younis Khan. Not only he is the best player to play Tests right now, He is also the most athletic and animated character in the field. I wonder why your article donesn't feature him at all ! Ysufu probably has only a year or so cricket left but Younis can still run a few more years. Hopefully you will be partial about him and show respect to one of the rare Good Men in Pakistan.

  • Mohammad Asad on August 10, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA.....

    I do agree partially with you Mr. K. Abbasi... Pak should get rid of Malik ASAP. He is not a test player at all and not a good player in foreign soil. He is ok in sub-continent condition...He is a trouble maker ( I mean dirty politics )...

    It's good to keep away K. Akmal from test....He is ok in short format....

    Good to see Z. Haider - young middle orders should take a lesson "how does he applied himself against Eng. bowlers & Eng. condition"......Good Luck !!! Haider ...

  • Shazad on August 10, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    Everything has been on decline in Pakistan due to favoring a particular race. If we look beyond, there was a good combination of players from Karachi , Lahore and other parts of Pakistan. Since Butt saheb is there we can see cricket is following hockey.

  • fhs on August 10, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Our #1 issue of all time is the 'poor fielding'. Regardless of whom you select (include Imran and Miandad in the present team), we will loose the matches if we keep dropping the catches like we do now. We must fix the issue as a high priority. Ask ourselves a simple question -- for how long we will rely only our batting and bowling skills to win the games (but not by feeling). I feel sorry for the Pakistani bowlers (quality bowlers really) to see the drop catches on their own bowling all the time.

    I love Mr. Abbasi's articles and can not believe he missed this critical area of 'fielding'. Advise otherwise.

  • Abdul Haseeb on August 10, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    It is time to come with a Pakistani cricket team and do away with Punjab cricket eleven.

  • bacha jammoora on August 10, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    WaBu team (coach/captain) as name suggest ends with Boo, shown their characters again. I can't undestand Waqar who was a brave/aggressive bowler has become such a defensive/coward coach Manic decison to bat when condtions were totally favouring bowling and you have decent bowlers who deserve these conditions to bowl Bu did not learn what happen to Austrailia at Headingly. Part of captaincy is being intelligent/reflectiv and learning from others' mistakes as well, if you learn only after being punished/beaten then it will take ages to just teach Bu to become a good captin.

    Selection of team was beyond sanity and only defaulted player showed fight, as captain and coach as already accepted defeat and they did not put negative and scary thoughts in their mind, again showing what impact a bad coach and captain can have.

    Conflict/disaster?? Zulqarnain Haider can have excuses for this but not others -these are again lame excuses of inability and supporting wrong bunch of peaople.

  • Khalil on August 10, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    Yasir Hameed is ruined by the selectors. I remember,he used to open with Farhat & scored prolificly but was not given chances like Farhart despite a better record against the pace. He seems a more accomplished batsman than any of your present lot except Butt. His record is comparable to Salman by virtue of his avg in both ODI,s & Tests. I don,t know why Malik is in the team. Drop Kaneria once & for all. When it matters he has always failed. If he has taken 7 wickets by conceeding 200 runs,in a dead match means, he is good for nothing. Encourage the younger Akmal to perform without the influence of his brother. He has bright future. The 2 young batsmen in Azhar & Amin,seems to be atleast playing this series if they don,t improve,it,s the end of the road for them. Bowlers doesn,t need any major overhaul even after losing Gul. Even Yousaf seems to be a liability. Give more powers to the captain & play atleast 1 all rounder at 6. Continue giving chances to youngsters.

  • amjad on August 10, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    THE BASIC REASON Of loss the match pakistan poor selection on pcb.

    shoiab malik reteirment annonce and he join the tennis.

    MY PLAYIN X1 Test team is.

    salman butt Tofeeq Umer younus khan Mohammad yousuf Asim kamal yasir hameed Zulqarnain haidar Mohammad AAMER Tanveer Ahmad Saeed Ajmal Mohammad Asif This is Test team.

  • Hassan Farooqi on August 10, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    "Salman's form has disappeared since he accepted the captaincy". Did Salman ever had a "form"? Are you referring to the pre-captaincy "surge" of run as his overall form?

  • Reza on August 10, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    It's fairly clear that the Best Pakistani test sides have all included the majority of players who have experienced county cricket in England. If he ball is moving around you need to be on the front foot - Bhutt didn't move his feet in his last innings irrspective of the delivery. Swing does cause an issue but the additional pace of England has also caused problems. PCB setup compares to new Cricket setup in new country only utilising certain players due to contacts etc. The way forward - mentally toughen these guys up by practice matches bowling from 20yds at pace. Fielding - Overseas Coach backed all the way !!!!!! Like any top outfit practice in similar conditions prior to a test series - Australia soon learnt this and eradicated their weaknesses.

  • Javaid Abbasi on August 10, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    All of the first six batsmen in our team are becoming a liability and a burden on the Pakistan team. Salman Butt is the captain but he does not even deserve a place in the team. His poor fielding, and now his poor batting, is a true burden on the team. It is totally unacceptable to have him in the team just based on his poor fielding. He drops simple catches like its no big deal. Unless he makes a hundred in every test - to compensate his poor fielding - he is a total discouragement to the team's moral. He needs to be dropped and as should Farhat and Malik. In their places should come Younis as captain, Yousuf and Yaseer Hamid. The openers should be Azhar and Hamid. The PCB needs to get tough with discipline. If any player is found to be disruptive to the team's morale - like Malik was - they should be immediately kicked out and not reinstated in the team again. Only then can the team discipline and morale can return; the PCB has become a laughing stock at the handling of their affairs.

  • Atif on August 10, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Amazing Pakistani writers and nation, you are amazing. Despite politics SHOAIB MALIK with pathetic credentials should be retained but we can't recall Younis Khan. Amazing Mr Abbassi. In Pakistan whoever suffers should take the boot not just from PCB but also from the so called writers. You guys are worse than PCB because you are opinion makers.

  • Ajnabi Khan on August 10, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    Excellent points, here are a few more thoughts: 1. The Chairmen of the Board, and the Management Teams should have specific accountabilities to achieve tangible results. It is not acceptable to just keep on shuffling talented 20-30 year olds and blaming them for all the problems. Think through why the failures. 3. The PCB needs to develop a sound strategy to develop cricket at all levels. Test matches, ODIs and 20-20s are incidental occurrences; good performance will come about when a winning strategy is developed and implemented. The present Ad-Hoc approach to manage cricket can only result in “ A Flash in the Pan”. 4. It is not good enough to select players, then dump them at the top level competition; and, expect them to just take charge. Currently, there is no structured process in place to mentor and groom them. I am afraid that if this is not well thought out, the likes of Zulqurnain, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asif, Aamir; and others will just be wasted away. It will be a sad state of affairs to lose such a tremendous talent. 5. The strategy should include some things that are fundamental to success, for example, (a) Instill a professional approach amongst players (fight till the end, be alert and anticipate when fielding, always be ready to deliver your best, demonstrate self-discipline; etc) (b) Ensure a culture of maintaining top notch fitness for players. The Physical Training coach’s report is revealing. Chicken curry tastes good, but!!! (c) Mandatory participation in practice sessions; and, with a positive attitude. Non-participation or bad attitude should have consequences. (d)Develop a culture of providing support down the chain to Manager, Captain and players, rather than govern through fear of being shunted away at the slightest hint of not being a match winner; or not going along with the boss’s whims. PCB Chairman, Management; etc need to understand that they are hired to develop cricket and support those on the front-line; they are not there to satisfy their egos. (b) Develop a strategy to deal with those who are out of form, help these talented players regroup and rejoin the team or retire with dignity. This is all good on paper. Unfortunately, in practice, it is tough to tell the Emperor that you are naked. So, maybe, I will just re-adjust my expectations, and enjoy the Flash in the pan!!! My heart goes out to all the young players!! Well done.

  • Shuaib S on August 10, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    Umar Akmal should be nowhere near this test team. This was also proven in the final test against Australia when cool heads were needed in both innings and young Akmal, with all his impetuousness, decided to attack the Australian bowlers.

    The boy is out to needless hoicks too many times to be a test player.

  • anees razzak on August 10, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    Time to bring back younis and hameed for malik and farhat! thats the best solution!!

  • Ejaz on August 10, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    I can't understand players like Amin and Azhar get selected over the players who have scored 1000+ runs in 2009/10 domestic season (http://stats.cricinfo.com/pakdomestic-09/engine/records/batting/highest_career_batting_average.html?class=4;host=7;id=2009/10;type=season)

    Aamer Sajjad (Avg 68+) and Naveed Yasin (Avg 64+ with six 100+ scores) should be in the team.

    We must select players with 5-6 years domestic experience for test team. County experience should be a plus.

  • Arshad on August 10, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    Dont understand why younus was banned at first place. Because he was not present during that ill fated test series in australia. He just played in one days. In fact yousuf only asked for his selection. Why should pakistani nation be punished for individual likes and dislikes of ijaz butt? Is he so powerful?is he bigger than nation? Why cant he be thrown out- i know team has lost so often in past few years and by huge margins, that they have got used to losing now. It doesn't matter to them

  • Usman Malik on August 10, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    @ Abdullah Ahmed

    I may have the same last name as Shoaib Malik but that is not the reason for picking him. I am picking my team from the roster on the Test Squad which has been selected by the selectors.

    Sohaib Malik has a lot of talent but it's been going to waste for the last little while. I have seen him play some remarkable innings but than i have seen this guy get out in some awful ways and playing some ugly looking shots.

    I agree with Kamran Abbasi we need to be constructive here rather than bash each other and the team.

    Ideally I would like to see the following squad:

    1.Yasir Hameed / Nasir Jamshaid 2.Salman Butt 3.Mohammad Hafeez / Khurram Manzoor 4.Younis Khan 5.Mohammad Yousaf 6.Umar Akmal 7.Abdul Razzaq (All Rounder) 8.Zulkarnain Haider (Wicket Keeper) 9.Mohammad Amir 10.Saeed Ajmal / Irfan 11Mohammd Asif 12.Sohaib Akhtar (He is still a game breaker and has a couple of good years left in him)

    Top 3 batsman need to know how to play str8.

  • Shahid Rafique Sheikh on August 10, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    The problem as i see it is the mental weakness and the man running PCB. Get rid of him and give it all to Rameez Raja, as surely Imran Khan is never going to do this job. As for the team they should have had Younis as well as Yousaf. This was a serious tour and should have been taken as such, we should have sent our best middle order there and not poor amins and azhars, its not really thier fault,this was a wrong place to start them. Salman Butt is the captain and we should let him do the job for a few years atleast, he got the job too early but now that he has got it he will get better with time. Also lets not forget he got us a win against Australia which none of his more able predecessors of the last 15 years could. And as for the other Mr. Butt may be he should realise his own shortcomings and call it a day, as i understand it he was not a good cricketer himself and cant appear to be mananaging cricketers too well either, just stay at home and support Pakistan Cricket.

  • Ali Muhammad on August 10, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I am astonished that the Pakistani selectors chose shoaib malik due to his experience. Hello! have you seen his rubbish performances ever since the New Zealand tour late last year. If Malik's experience is the case then why not bring back Misbah(hey at least he has a better average then malik at least!).

    For the next test bring back Yusuf,Younis and Hameed. All other great teams are still palying with Ponting,Tendulkar and Smith so why should we be left out??. Give Zulqarnain the gloves long-term for Test matches so that he can cement himself a place in the team and grow as a player. Keep Azhar but please drop Amin and Farhat!.

  • Mansoor on August 10, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    First of all, while I realize some players are playing below potential, I think that most people on this forum are displaying the exact "knee-jerk" reaction that the PCB has in the past year or so. There should always be a changing of guard process between experience and new faces and we can see with both WI and PAK that when you completely introduce a new squad then the results are a hit or a miss. Still I think that Pakistan should stick with the current squad +/- a few people. Try Yasir Hameed, try Hasan Raza, give shoaib a rest and let Yousuf play for the next two matches. Lastly, I think that Pakistan desperately need an all rounder. There are only two people that I think can fit this role right now, Mohd. Aamir or Shoaib Malik. The latter is having issues with both batting and bowling so may be there needs to be a serious effort to also SLOWLY develop Aamir's batting.It's sad and unfair to ask an 18 year old of so much. I hope that Insha'Allah he can stay strong and healthy!!

  • Imran M on August 10, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    I ask myself why I still follow the blogs and take any interest. Its the hope that things will change and players will be selected purely on ability and not political backing and favouritism. Unfortunately the state of the country is not going to allow that and the corruption has finally submerged the cricket team also. Any neutral observer can see that the PCB is a joke and the current Pakistan batting line up is useless. Lets see if any of these talented youngsters get a county contract in England or get to play in domestic Australian/South African cricket. Only Younis & Yousuf have played for county teams in England, I think that says it all. Facts are facts, no outsider respects the Pakistani batsman, but our board,management,captain,coach,ex-players keep saying they are young. Malik,Farhat,Butt,K Akmal are not young but in their late twenties, check out Butt's grey hair (25 yrs old, my foot). They are failing because they don't have the technique and not due to inexperience/youth

  • BILAL MIAN on August 10, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    Many pakistani are so fickle minded and have no knowledge of the game. Salman butt was the best performing batsman in test series down under on aussie soil and here again against australia on englishsoil he emerged as the best performing batsman in the series with average of 53.00 approx. I have never been and still am not fan of farhat with his inconsistency as an opener and generally poor slip catcher. However he did in the second test play a match winning and career reviving innings against the aussies. Even though he has made few test hundreds in the past but that innings of 67 was his career best knock as it came on a wicket with seaming and swinging conditions against a go od australian pace attack.

    Opening pair of butt and farhat have shared 3 century and 8 fifty stands. Since pakistan's last famous opening pair of anwar and sohail, butt and farhat have been the most successful pair in tests compared to the 20 plus different combinations tried in the last 10 years to date. YES they failed miserably in the two tests against england to date but i believe they were up against some terrific bowling under overcast conditions. In the last innings farhat was out to a unplayable ball from off spinner swann and likewise butt out to a brilliant outswinger pitched outside leg from anderson. Bottomline is you have to continue playing the pair for stability and continuity. Changes need to be made in the middle order which has seen batsmen depart to pavillion then passengers waiting to depart from platform to the next available train ! . Hameed deserves to be picked alongwith yousaf for next two tests. Keep azhar ali at 5 and umar akmal at 6. Tanvir ahmed with his strong fc performances should be picked too as replacement for gul.

  • Ray on August 10, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    Why do we have to live with Shoaib Malik. Fawad has played 3 tests and ahs a century on test debut against SL in SL - and that is when all the big players did not want to open! Why not Yasir Hamid - Farhat scored no runs thus far, except his two knocks over 50 where he was dropped by the opposition. Otherwise he wouldn't have scored over 20 runs, as always. Please drop this useless player - his father in law should asked to stay away from PCB so as to not influence the selection. If Asim Kamal is still playing and performing, try him again - 12 matches 8 scores of over 50 - now that's a record to be proud of.

  • Dr. Syed Erfan Asif on August 10, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    Dear Bilal Mian, I second to each and every word you wrote. In urdu there is a famous verse of Ghalib Mai ne yeh jana ke goya yeh bhi mere dil main hai

    Kamran, for some reason, is either a little confused, naive or may be, pardon me saying, biased. Please be courageous and raise voice in favour of the two Ys, Asim Kamal before his skills are finally rusted and Fawad Alam, a genuine test player rather then a ODI one, and get rif of the most cunning, shrude and greatest manipulator of Paksitan cricket Mr. Shoaib Malik.

  • Kamran Abbasi on August 10, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Thank you for all your comments.

    There have been plenty of blogs about the failings of the PCB and the poor selection for this tour. But the point of this blog is to try and come up with the best options from the squad that is currently available.

    I have my opinions, you have yours. We may agree, we may differ. You may want to argue against the points I've made or raise related issues to consider. But we should have a constructive discussion. Abuse of officials, players, or bloggers is unacceptable.

    Join the debate but don't destroy it.

  • Dr. Syed Erfan Asif on August 10, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    Dear Kamran, I am amaized at your analysis of the players and the selection of players for the rest of the series (and probably for the future as well). You are talking in favour of players like Farhat, Shoaib, Azhar Ali and look so reluctant to even raise your voice in favour of Younis Khan, the second highest run getter in the current team of Pakistan. How naive, you are not talking of Asim Kamal, yet you don't forget recommending Imran Nazeer who had been tested so many times. You dont talk of Fawad Alam who hit a 100 on his debut, but you are not tired of seeing Umer Akmal who immediately after his debut test has become a SUPER DUPER star. You look quite annoyed at Yousuf's inclusion in the team, why? cause he is the highet rungetter in the current team. Why the hell Ponting, Tendulkar, Dravid, Hussey are still playing. Why their boards are not discarding them yet? Whats wrong with our nation man?.

  • UMERSA on August 10, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    I think YUNUS is paying the price for not bowing his head towards the chairman and so called self imposed godfather of cricket board. All have witnessed what he has done to IRFAN and many more like him. Why Mr Ejaz Butt does not want to step down as a chairman? Doesn't he have a decency and courage to accept his failure? He is the most stubborn and senseless administrator ever in the history of PCB. He should retire and bring some intelligence and working brain in the PCB administration. If not for the country’s sake but at least for GOD sake Step down!!!

  • Waqas on August 10, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Our bowlers deserve all the credit they can get especially when they have to put up with poor fielding. Our batsmen are unprofessional and ove rated as test quality. No way! They are of below average quality and many do not even know the basics of where to stand when the ball is swinging. If you notice many of them seem totally confused when they bat. IT is strange how in Pakistan PCB board consists of ex players who hardly played any test cricket and our greats such as Zaheer Abbas, Maddassar Nazar, Rameez Raja, Safraz Nawaz, Rashid Latif, Moin Khan, Inzi, Javed Miandad are not any where in the picture

  • Abdullah Ahmed on August 10, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    @ Usmal Malik ...

    I guess you have kept Shoaib Malik in your selected team only because he is a 'Malik' like yourself ;)

    Frankly speaking, Imran Farhat or Azhar Ali are much better than Shoaib Malik, who in spite of being a so-called senior is totally useless and a bad-influence on the team.

    Shoaib Malik can't play Test cricket, he should now play cricket with "tennis" balls.

  • Khalid Rabbani on August 10, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    Dear Abbasi,

    I am baffled by what you suggested here. Sir open your eyes and see what these guys are capable of.

    Salman Butt - This fellow should not be in the team let alone a captain. There are technically far better players then this good for nothing captain. He hit his peak (that too below 50 avrg)while playing with Aussies recently and we considered him our saviour.

    Imran Farhat - Never been a batsman never will be, we have been experimenting with him for past few years, while Yasir is on the sideline.

    Azhar Ali - Average 40 in FC and we consider him a number 3 for supposedly a major team like ours. Not at all, we need to find someone like Ponting as number 3 and I am sure Faisal Iqbal and Asim Kamal both averaging 50+ in FC can do the job. Malik - Yousaf can take his place any day of the week. Umar Amin - I have yet to find out who he is related to. Akmals - they are beter left outside then in the team. You have a forum so better use it for good purpose.

  • BILAL MIAN on August 10, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    Asalaam alikum wr wb Kamran abbassi, I am fond of reading your articles at 'PAK SPIN' as you generally make good analysis on pakistan with a lot of deep insights like osman samiuddin. However for the first time i find you are a bit confused and not sure about certain individuals and aspects. Why are not blatantly vocal on the cases of younis and yousaf ? They were never really culprits to start apart from yousaf's public mudslingly match with chupe rustam malik. All younis ever wanted was for other senior players to perform consistently to hold their places in the team but mafia in PCB thought otherwise by getting their corrupt man the team manager yawar saeed to encourage groupism in the team. They have allowed shoaib malik to comeback in the team when every credible source coming from ex chief selector abdul qadir and other individuals be it former and present cricketers along with ex team official have confirmed malik playing dirty politician's games. He was proven to be creating groups and undermining skippers younis khan and later mohammed yousaf. Cunning shoaib malik has strong connections which saw his 1 year ban to overturn faster than wood catches fire. Yet honest worthy batsmen of test average of 50 plus find themselves outside of the team, is that justice for you kamran ? What crime have fawad, manzoor, asim kamal and hassan raza done to not get continous opportunities compared to azhar, amin, malik and misbah ? Salman butt is the right choice as captain.

  • Faheem Habib on August 10, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    According to current team, in next match Muhammad Yousaf and yasir hameed must play in place of umer Amin and Umer Akmal............

  • Sekhon on August 10, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    Here I announce 3 types of teams,Pakistan should take. Please Mr. Kamran Abbasi forward this list to PCB selectors and Prime Minister of Pakistan. And i guess we should give Ijaz Butt a fair-well. There is problem with him. He don't want team to progress further. This will be the ideal teams.Thanks

    Test Team 1. Salman Butt 2. Yasir Hameed 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Azhar Ali/Misbah-ul-Haq 6. Umar Amin/Shoaib Malik 7. Zulkarnain Haider 8. Mohammad Aamir 9. Saeed Ajmal 10.Mohammad Irfan(6'10") 11.Mohammad Asif

    One day team 1. Salman Butt 2. Ahmed Shehzad/Imran Nazir 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Umar Akmal 5. Shahid Afridi 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Abdul Razzaq 8. Umar Gul 9. Mohammad Aamir 10.Saeed Ajmal 11.Mohammad Irfan/ Asif

    20-20 team 1. Salman Butt 2. Ahmed Shehzad/Imran Nazir 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Umar Akmal 5. Shahid Afridi 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Abdul Razzaq/ Yasir Arafat 8. Umar Gul 9. Mohammad Aamir 10.Saeed Ajmal 11.Mohammad Irfan/ Asif

  • MJN on August 10, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Why can we not get Younis Khan Back? The batting talent + esperience is invaluble. I am sure he has has 'learnt' his lesson., not to mess with the incompetent PCB and Ijaz Butt! With the two Y's in my team would look like this. This is our best chance to at least redeem some pride:

    1. Salman Butt 2. Azhar Ali 3. Yasir Hameed 4. Younis Khan 5. Umar Akmal 6. Mohammed yousaf 7. Zulqurnain Haider 8. Mohammed Amir 9. Umar Gul/tanvir/Riaz 10.Saeed Ajmal 11.Mohammad Asif

  • Shubhang on August 10, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    @omar cheema

    You seriously missed this sentence in the last paragraph?

    "We should remember that these players hail from a country crippled by conflict, burdended further by a natural disaster..."

    Try not to be so cussed.

  • Asad on August 10, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    I agree to some extent with suresh's comments. I think talent, temperament and character should all be examined when selecting a player. We've had a bunch of talented players in recent times who have lacked character: shoaib akhtar and M. Asif being the recent examples. The problem with this selection criteria is that you can only lead by example. A corrupt and inept cricket board can not talk about character when it isn't clean to begin with. I guess, the problem is even more deep-rooted than that.... We, as Pakistanis, know where the problems lie. We need to start showing more integrity and honesty towards our country....

  • Aurangzaib Khan on August 10, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    I always believe that it is the organisational structure within which its operative operates that makes the real difference. I am referring to the manner in which PCB has been run which is anything but satisgactory.The way things has shaped up during the past one year i.e scandals after scandal, players conduct etc, I will only point my fingure towards the PCB. If they get their act together then the same players will perform differently as afterall it's not the technical ability alone which matters but the mental strenght that helps in performing especially in the longer format of this sport.

  • H.KHAN on August 10, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    WE CAN WRITE ALL DAY, SCRATCH OUR HEADS ALL NIGHT..ARGUE, AND DEFEND PLAYERS ...BUT IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE SIMPLE THING..THE PCB IS ATOTAL WATSE, SHAMBELS, USELESS, PATHETIC, A BUNCH OF LAZY ARMCHAIR FAT BELLY PEOPLE, A WATSE OF TIME, KILLING THE FANS, I WOULD LIKE TO ADD MUCH MORE, BUT HAVE TO KEEP THE EMAIL CLEAN...BUT I THINK WE AL ARE THINKING THE SAME...

  • Nabeel Khalid on August 10, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    I totally agree with you sir, a country facing terrorism, natural disasters and corruption what do you expect more? and I strongly believe it has more to do with boards and bureaucracy then players itself, a single individual who himself is selected by a the most corrupt person in the world is running the show whole my himself, so what miracles do you expect? Do anyone in this world can imagine this guy as a chairman, which many believes can't decided what to eat in break fast by himself, who is hired by his patron just to suck out the money to his accounts from the board. I believe its high time for a revolution, where elected people should run the show, and not any one single individual no matter how good he is, but a team of people with adequate knowledge, experience and expertise, so no single bureaucrat can make the Pakistani cricket a circus. The players cannot develop a character and self belief until the are generated through any system, like we see in Australia and India.

  • nauman on August 10, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Replying to bohurupi's comment: "They should be replaced with the ones who are lot more competent."

    The new guys Azhar and Umer were chosen because of their performances in the Domestic cricket. What is the other way to hunt talent? The thing is our talent is raised on dead batting tracks.

    PCB doesn't have much choice here. We have to live with Malik as middle order batsman. What a shame.

  • SAnjeev on August 10, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    i was impressed by the new keeper, i mean he scored 88 runs and well if he had caught strauss in the second innings things might have different then england would have been 17/2, gul is the highest run scorer for pakistan if am not wrong and it is amazing if gul, azmal, aamir can bat for long why cant the pakistan top order, something to look at

  • Wazirabadi on August 10, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Like all Pakistani's i too support my team, irrespective of the results. Let’s be fair to the players, they are unprepared or should i say undercooked. I blame the PCB and the management team. Let’s not talk about what happened in the 2nd test but take our minds back to ICC Championship semifinal in South Africa against NZ. Unfortunately, idiots like Dasti (guy carry's a fake degree) and the likes of Yawar Saeed undermined Younis Khan and forced him to resigned. PCB did nothing, after that incident, it’s been total anarchy and a case of blind leading the blinds. Butt is too lenient as a Captain, when Imran Farhat dropped an easy catch in the slips, he went to hug him, I felt like smashing my TV. In the 80’s, I remember Ramiz Raja dropping a catch off Imran Khan bowling in one of the ODI, you could hear Khan screams in Lahore. I don’t want to repeat what he said. Solution is simple, there should be penalties imposed on players for dropping catches and misfielding.

  • omar cheema on August 10, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    @suresh shukla

    what is this conflict you were refering to? i dont see any mention of a conflict in the article. i think you were about the national disaster. please check your facts.

  • AAKASH on August 10, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    1 SALAMA BUTT 2 YASIR HAMEED 3 KAMRAN AKMAL/YOUNIS 4 M.YOUSUF 5 U.AKMAL 6 FAWAD ALAM/RAZZAQ 7 HAIDER 8 RAZZAQ/IRFAN 9 AAMIR 10 AJMAL 11 ASIF

  • Usman Malik on August 10, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Selection Criteria does PCB have one? Where are the likes of Khurram Manzoor, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Shehzad Ahmad, Taufeeq Umar as the potential openers. Misbha ul-Haq, Hassan Raza, Faisal Iqbal, as the Middle Order potential.

    It would be interesting to see how many caps has Pakistan given out since 2003 (departure of core 90s team).

    Azhar Ali in my opinion not ready for Internation Cricket. Umar Amin I would stick with him and give him chance in 50 over edition.

    My Starting Line UP for 3rd Test Match:

    1.Salman Butt 2.Yasir Hameed 3.Sohaib Malik 4.Mohammad Yousaf 5.Umar Akmal 6.Umar Amin 7.Zulkarnain Haider 8.M Amir 9.Saeed Ajmal 10.Wahab Riaz 11.M Asif

  • H S on August 10, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    Enough of Shoaib Malik already,when hes out of srts with the bat we look at his bowling, but the reality is he is below par in both departments. If you need an all rounder, bring back sohail tanvir, or Hammad from the u-19 side, or fawad alam(maybe he can improve his bowling). Also Farhat scored 2 50s but both times he got reprieves earlier on in his innings, uncharacteristic of both Aus and England.His technique is still below avg. Bring in Yasir hameed, he is a much better player, butt, azhar,hameed, yusuf,akmal,shoaib,zuli,ajmal,asif,amir,pacer3.

  • Mohammad Aamer on August 10, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Do u rlly wanna see a true example of detremination??? a true example of never-givin-up??? a true example of a patriot who keeps trying hard 4 the country??? Than look no further than the bowlers of Pakistan... It's them who have alwayz tried hard everytym despite not getting any support from their batsmen nor from the... fielders... I have 2 admit that even i wud have given uo by now had i been them but they r truely gr8 fyters... I salute the A-Trio and Umar Gul and ofcourse Zulqarnain!!!

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on August 10, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    We read, as usual, your article with a lot of interest. Sometimes you are right and we agree with you but at times we do not agree. You have summed up with the available resources but I am at a fix that at the present moment, all over the world particularly playing nation are lacking a genuine all rounder. I hope you will put light in your next article. Why Gul is injured, but because there is not back up genuince balling alrounder. Keeping in view of the conditions in England Mr. Abdul Razzaq would have been much much better than any of these current batsmen but sorry to say that he was not selected. He would have been much handy besides his batting ability but this biased situation is making trouble for the team and the records is clear as we can seen. Seriously, we were used to see good alrounder like Imran, Kapil, Botham, Hadlee and this is a demanding situation for every team. They are playing 4 bowlers but there is no bowling alrounder. Let us hope for the best and they search f

  • nauman on August 10, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    I believe that Azhar Ali and Umer Amin should be given chance to play in the remaining 2 matches. They are new and playing against a very good side and in very testing environment.

    About fielding: Well, the poor fielding doesn't come as a surprise to me. Its been a problem for some time and frankly I don't see it getting better. PCB can hire Jonty or Ijaz but this won't change a thing. Fielding is learned at grass root level.

    To all PAK fans: don't expect fielding and catching improvements. Frankly I think Paki bowlers also don't expect support from their fielding.

    God bless our Cricket.

  • shaz Hussain on August 10, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Younus Khan has been horribly out of form and like Salman Butt was much worse as captain. In the whole playing 11 only a handful of players deserve or show any pride in playing for PAKISTAN. We are a country of 180 Million.

    There is so much talent in Pakistan. Please give a chance to the deserving players and encourage those with the talent. Not these pathetic fools who have no passion or desire and do not even no the rules of the game.

  • Baz on August 10, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Great article! What bothers me about Pakistan is the batsmen who look shaky and keep poking at deliveries outside off stump tentatively, the bowlers always feel they are in with a chance. Please drop farhat who is technically flawed, sohaib malik mediocre with the bat and ball, umar amin bring him after a few years. Open with Azhar and Salman, play fawad alam/yasir at 3, Yousaf at 4, umar akmal at 5. Kineria has played far too many tests in the recent past based on previous reputation, cant get a top order batsman out, get a a couple of tailenders for about 150 runs.

  • samee on August 10, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    The problem with Pak batsmen, especially the top order is that they boost the confidence of otherwise mediocre bowling by being over defensive or under estimate the quality attack with untimely aggression. They need to learn to hit the ball by its merit which salman butt did in one of his recent innings. For that they need to play simple cricket not a preconcieved bookish cricket no matter what the heck people talk about them or the pressure of place in the team.

  • Rahim Khan on August 10, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    EVERY Person has his own ideas, I THINK IT IS TIME TO SACK MALIK, KAMRAN AKMAL, AND SALMAN BUTT.

    THEY ARE NOT CONSISTENT PERFORMERS.

    In fact Shoaib Mirza and Akmal brothers are the suckers of Pak cricket, and they should no longer be given a chance again. they should be fired and they should be dragged into the court and should be asked openly about their politics in the game.

    WE WANT NO POLITICS IN THE GAME. YOUNIS KHAN SHOULD BE BACK SOON. WE NEED YOUNIS KHAN AND YOUSUF PLAYING AGAIN.

  • Karwan Khursheed on August 10, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    Imran Farhat and Mallik should be dropped and we should brink Yaseer Hammed and Razzak. There is no place is for MAllik now we could have dropped but also but fortunately he has become captain. Removing him will make a mockery of PCB. Why Imran Farhat has been selected again and again in spite of his poor batting peromance. Pakistan has lot of talent but politics and corruption has spoiled the Game. PCB has bunch of ignorant selctor thats why they always select "Rotten Tomatoes" because they themself are ROTTEN TOMATO and they should be thrown in this flood.

    hmm ..

    What has happend to our top order batsmen. They can not score even 50 run without lossing the wicket. I think we shoudl send Aamir , Ajmal and Haider to open. I am fed up with this so called Top order batsmen they should be placed after Asif.

    In this Situation My pak 11 team is Amir Umar Gul Ajmal Yousuf Haider Yasser HAmid Rzaak Umar Akmal Asif Azhar ali Salman butt This is the best order to play in Eng

  • arshad on August 10, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    well some things are so obvious..perhaps not so for pcb boss, team think-tank and more importantly pcb patron.following are the batting averages of pakistani top order in 4 tests played so far in english summer :- farhat-25.1 azhar :21.5, umar akmal:12.1,umar amin :13.2,malik :14.8 and of course salaman butt: 28.6 (12.3 as capatain) the sum average is 19.2 per batsman per inning..these are bare facts and they tell the whole story. Especially when u consider averages of two umars; amin and akmal, it tells a dismal story.No matter how much politics have the two veterans;yosuf & younis been playing i cant fathom that both of them have been kept out of team so far..just because ijaz butt feels younis didnt apologize to him ( for unknown crimes)he simply kept him out of team.besides younis is a great slip catcher.is personal ego of ijaz butt more important than national pride?? of course salman butt feels insecure about his captaincy so he wants to avoid them also.Dr Arshad srinagar india

  • M.SAAD KHAN LODHI on August 10, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    PAKISTAN SQUAD SHOULD BE LIKE THIS. 1-SALMAN BUTT 2-ABDUL RAZZAK 3-MOHAMMAD YOUSUF 4-YASIR HAMEED 5-UMAR AKMAL 6-SHOAIB MALIK 7-SAEED AJMAL 8-MOHAMMAD AAMIR 9-MOHAMMAD ASIF 10-SOHAIL TANVIR

    ACORDING TO ME THIS A STRONG SQUAD AND CAN WIN MATCHES.THE BATTING ORDER MUST REMAIN SAME AS NUMBERED ABOVE......BY .M. SAAD KHAN LODHI.

  • Milan on August 10, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    I believe PCB should bring Abdul Razaaq for 3rd Test instead of Shoaib Malik who has been useless so far. Razaaq will strengthen the batting at No. 6 and he will swing the bowl in english condition. Hameed should replace Imran Farhat. Ajhar Ali should keep his place. Yousuf will replace Amin. I think Mohd. Sami also should join the squad. My XI will be 1.Butt 2.Hameed 3.Azhar 4.Yousuf 5.Umar Akmal 6.Razaaq 7.Haider 8.Amir 9.Sami 10.Ajmal 11.Asif

  • ali on August 10, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    in extension to ayasha's comments ,, that Mr Butt is trying to bring back more retired player into playing team then y dont he go to Mr Hanif Mohammed and javed Miandad they are still alive ,

  • Sathish Reddy on August 10, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    It was heartening to note the fight shown by Zul Haider. More so because he was fighting personal demons in the form of a debut test, a rampaging English side and the turmoil of his father in coma. Poetic justice was denied when he fell before his century. But a miserable show from a miserable team. I dont agree with all the chopping and changing that is being proposed. The guys are under pressure to perform to keep their places. Now, that is a different kind of pressure. The pressure of a difficult opposition, conditions , press,not being enough, this additional pressure of the guillotine is unnecessary. Having said that, it is also true that adversity makes men. There are no men in the Pakistan team. Apart from Ajmal and Zul, all the others either dont have it in them or just dont want to fight. It is a sad exhibition from a country which used to show spunk if little else in the days gone by.

  • sohail on August 10, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Surprised !!!!Abassi is in favour of Malik further inclusion in team.. its only Malik's polictical influence that he is in team. He is neither a perfect batsman nor a perfect bowleer. Lets try a find perfect replacement instead of giving so many chances to NULL qualities player.... Same goes with Farhat.. IS HE REALLY A GOOD BATSMAN???? BIG QUESTION 99% people belive that Imran Nazir is much better option then FARHAT. .. THINK THINK THINK RAZZAQ Should be in TEST SQUAD..

  • basheer on August 10, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    first these new guys are get experineced by playing with small teams like bangladesh, afganistan , ireland, kenya, zimbabawe. they have got their confidence, then they should try with big teams.

    What happened tp pak. team . 70, 81 all out . very shame their is no players to play in test cricket? very pitiable. Bangladesh is better than England. otherwise they have to play county cricket with international players.

  • Umair Khalid on August 10, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    PCB and the players, there are all a bunch of losers. The best solution is to stop playing test cricket for a while. Pakistani players are not good enough for test cricket,

  • niraj on August 10, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    I am from Nepal and a great fan of Pakistan cricket. But I have not understand the PCB . There are very talented batsmen in Pakistan. I have seen Yasir Hameed batting brilliantly when he was playing for Pakistan. Where is Asif Kamal? He will be the first choice for the middle order. He will be the wall for the Pakistan team, if he gets opportunity for the team, the condition of team will be different. So I am requesting PCB to call Hameed and Kamal immediately to Pakistan team.

  • SAZ on August 10, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    If you can't score a big hundred, I can live with thank If you can't bag a five wicket haul, I can also live with that Batting & bowling at test level need temperament, skill, & confidence that develops over a period of time. But if you can't catch the damn ball, than I have a problem. Specially if you are dropping catches that Geoffry Boycott's mom would catch from sitting on her chair.

  • Adnan on August 10, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Pakistan team should be:

    A. Ali, S. Butt (C), Y. Hameed, M. Yousaf, U. Amin, Zulqarnain, M. Amir, U. Gul, S. Ajmal, M. Asif

    Akmals should be given a "rest" whereas S. Malik should be released to enjoy his marital life and take up tennis and maybe play mixed doubles in Wimbledon!!!

  • Noman Aziz on August 10, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    Dear Kamran plz forward my request to PCB. "We have failed to find a batsman of any class for a decade in our under 25 year old crop. We should look for players who are over 25, who have been in the domestic circuit for over 7-8 years" PCB should start organising more international tours for domestic teams(Pak A, under 19,Pak B) and let them play with their counterparts. The idea of grooming players at international level doesn't seem to be working! Once a mediocre player, always remains a mediocre player - no form of training/experience can change that!

  • DINESH on August 10, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    Bowling 150k does not mean that he is a strike bowler. In that event SHAUN TAIT and Shoaib Akthar would have become the leading wicket takers in the world. After seeing the 2nd innings of the 2nd test it proves that Pakistan batsmen have the capability of scoring 300 + runs in a bowling track. Even Eng could score only 251 in the 1st innings. They have world class bowling attack. But when you drop catches frequently, the out of form batsman like Pietersen can score more runs. Like Indian players Pak players are also dropping catches. Pak cricket adminstrators should employ a better fileding coach for the team. The positive point in this match is at last pakistan could find an alternate wicket keeper batsman and a spin bowler. Another thing is please do not drop Azhar Ali or Amin in the place of Mohd. Yousuf. Drop Shoaib Malik. His batting can be at the most compared with the batting of Harbhajan Singh. In his place Danish Kaneria can be selected and he can score at least 15 runs.

  • Syed Muhammad Naqvi on August 10, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Haider reminds me the innings of Asif Iqbal in which he saved the innings defeat and made his first Century along with Intikhab Alam....

  • farrukh on August 10, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    It is very obvious that Ramiz Raja and Kamran Abbasi dont see any fault in any of players from Punjab.They fail over and over again against a little bit of quality bowling and flourish in sub-continent.Miandad, Zaheer Abbas,Hanif Mohammad, Mushtaq Mohammad, Mohsin Khan,Asif Iqbal were all from Karachi.There is a deliberate attempt to keep Karachi and NWFP players out of team e.g sarfaraz ahmed (WK)and Yunus Khan.I think non-Punjabi players should seek options to play for UAE, Canada or Bangladesh, just like South Africans play for England

  • Punjab da Sher on August 10, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Pakistan has a good bowling line-up, we all know that. But the batting is pathetic. We need to look and learn from India. A good mix of experience and youth. We cannot just let Amin and Akmal without guidance. But I guess we will never learn and maybe we don't want to learn from India. Look at where India is in the world today and look at where we are. That is a very good reflection of our cricket teams as well.

  • Jazkokabura on August 10, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    I agree with Kamran's article. Pakistan should do 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. Pak team need a batting consultant can pick any of their great batsman who are now retired. They can do positive pep talk with this young inexperienced pak team on swinging english conditions. They can also rope in for someone like Jonty for fielding when they tour abroad. You must not rotate captains like you are playing a game of musical chairs. The team has got talent, going through a rebuilding phase have faith in them

  • Usman on August 10, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    The 75 comments are proof of the fact that how many players are disturbed with the selection. If Pakistan team would have lost with their best players then nobody would have been so sad but the problem is that unlike other teams we do not have our best players. I strongly condemn the selection of Azhar Ali and Umar Amin. There were many better young batsmen than these two (Azhar Ali Aamer Sajjad Naved Yasin). And also this is not a tour to introduce new players. Yasir Hameed Mohammad Yousuf Younis Khan Fawad Alam (he has not been given proper chances in test 168 on debut better than Amin) should come in place of Azhar Malik Umar Akmal and Umar Amin. Umar Akmal is a talented batsmen (in all formats) but he shouldn't be playing in two next tests. His inexperience is only his problem. So any one disagrees with my selection?

  • Atiq bajwa on August 10, 2010, 4:52 GMT

    Imran Farhat and Salman Butt both have played more then 30 test matches both have 3 hundreds each. Malik 2 hundreds and Umar Akmal 1 hundred. Total 6 test and 70 first class hundreds for all team that played last test match. England top 5 batsmens have 58 test and 144 first class hundreds all together. Yes pakistani player have more talent but any one of them got temprament to play long innings. I know Malik is THE PLAYER LOT OF PEOPLE LOVE TO HATE but he was the only player who showed just a bit of way to play the way it should be done. I feel its more confidence then technique all these batsmen are under pressure and none of them rae sure of their place in team except Butt but after becoming captain he also suffering from pressure. And bring back yaousaf is reat idea but only if help and guide younger players how to build and inning, I still bet these all batsmen can get big scores but they need more time.

  • tanvir on August 10, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Well tailored essay. But I really don't know what the PCB is doing with shoaib malik????? And where is Younis Khan?????? Pls get rid of cowards and bring in some courageous lads who can withstand the english bowling cannons. Otherwise dont play test cricket. Better retire like another loser(Afridi) and announce that:" From now on, Pakistan will only play T20, cos the team doesnt have the temperament to play test cricket.". And if u choose to play test cricket, play like men. Dont show your back like timid bunch of losers.

  • Kukkoo on August 10, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    8. And yes, Tanvir Ahmed qualifies over wahab Riaz by a margin of at least one kilometer 9. I really commend Aamir who proved himself in all versions of the game

    Have a nice day folks …

  • Kukkoo on August 10, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    3. Yousuf/Younis may be gambled at #3, albeit none of them has delivered anything prolific in any version of the game from the time immemorial 4. There is least harm in trying talented lefthander Naved Yasin at #4 whilst so many mediocre youngsters are being tried all-over, especially considering his fabulous performance with bat in domestic season 5. The simple answer about Shoaib Malik’s role is “that he couldn’t get a chance to play his ‘role’, while his role as a player is next to none”. Indubitably, Fawad Alam with his performance, both at domestic and international level, is bound to replace him 6. Umar Akmal has disappointed and is likely to continue it for the next five years (given his politically infested mind) like his bro K. Akmal. 7. Man of Crises” Asim Kamal is the unanimous choice at #6. What a shame that he performed in 9 out of 11 tests he played and had still been dropped brutally for God knows what evil reasons. Continued ...

  • Syed Muhammad Azmat Shah on August 10, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Kamran Sahib...even babies in our country would say no to Shoab Malik's place in the test team and a seasoned writer like yourself is favouring his test place.If others havent done anything but we can expect them atleast to launch somewhere,somehow but at least Shoab Malik wont.He has been trialed a thousand times but has failed as ever.Would you call this experience?experience of getting failed when Pakistan needs him?.He is not a test batsman by any strech of standards.I would suggest you to EDIT your post regarding Shoab Malik ...For GOD's sake Kamran Sahib.....

  • Jani on August 10, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    I agree with GopalaKrishna. I do want Malik out of any form of cricket. The guy hasn't performed at all and even when Pakistan won the Test against Australia I don't see him celebrating with the same enthusiasm. He seemed distant when walking down with rest of the team, the body language suggests some serious undercurrents of conflict from the guy. Bring the YY's back. Let Malik and Imran Farhat go.

  • Kukkoo on August 10, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    1. While there is no sense in replacing skipper, there is an obvious sense to replace S. Butt, namely, that he doesn’t deserve his place in the team as a player. He for sure is the least-performing in the current underperforming lot and until it is conclusive that his appointment as captain is divine, and can not be repealed under any circumstances, his very presence in the team is questionable. In such a condition he may continue leading as non-playing captain as often happens in many other type of games. 2. Although, Farhat in his aggravation (as opener and fielder) truly compliments Butt, Hameed is no better a choice either. His performance (after sole happening of pair of centuries against Bangladesh) fails to proclaim his talent despite having countless chances. The two most apt choices for opening slots are Taufeeq Umar and Asad shafique (Leading domestic scorer) Continued ...

  • mo on August 10, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    Well the selection should be on the basis of talent not who you know, this team more look like a Punjab Eleven then Pakistan eleven!!!!!!!!!

  • Vishwajit on August 10, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    @mudasir: Good team composition. But, no spinners??

  • Umer Khan on August 10, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    Dear I am agree with you on some how but if you notice last many test we are on losing track not because of bowling and batting, only and purely because of fielding, If we bowl out on 250 or less then we also did the same or can do the same if we accept the catches. As recently first inning where Englad was on 140 for 2 after missing the 5 chances and 4 x belong to peterson. Same we did in Srilanka, Austrailia and in England. Also Team need immidiate 3 x changes. I wish, I will be the coach. Amin, Shoaib and Imran farhat should be rested and in the replacement Yasir Hameed, Yousef and Kamran Akmal should be in the team. Kamran Akmal can play as a batsment same in command which Sangakara is doing. Shoaib has enogh chances and the position he is batting that is the key position for any team and he don't deserve more chances. I wish I can pass this team to cricket managment like waqar and butt!!!!!!

  • Jayanth on August 10, 2010, 4:05 GMT

    I would like Pakistan tour management to look at the team composition slightly differently. For starters, create places for Yasir Hameed and Md. Yousuf. Apart from this, see if you can have Kamran Akmal in as a batsman. Surely, he can replace any of the middle order batsmen. I believe that Umar Akmal is better off being sandwiched between more experienced batters who can hand hold him - which is very critical at this phase of his career wherein he is equivalent of an adolescent kid. Some minor tweakings here and there will surely help boost the confidence and performance of the team. All the best Pakistan - the world needs a team with flair!

  • Zainul on August 10, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    Let's hope Haider can survive the england bowling and their inclination to kill him (Broad is likely to have another throw at him to see if he can throw hard enough to maim the poor guy) I know pakistan can perform better in the balance tests (at least their batting) it is not a matter of condition of the pitch but the condition of their mind set, Let's face if the pakistani bowling is as good as if not better than their english counterparts, it is only a question of the batting performing in the first innings........Well done Ajmal you are the future champion in the making.

  • Majid Iqbal on August 10, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    Positive for me, Yousaf is coming back.He should not be dropped at any stage but he was in past.So,now let him take the responsiblity to play well and help youngsters. Bring Younas Khan also ASAP and let these two players take the pressure.Because side and captain both are young and inexperince.Both Ys are good players,good team men so they will help young capatin even in captaincy,specially Younas would be good adviser although for me he is still the best captain.But I will ot suggest any further change in captaincy. In absence of Younas team should be 1-Salman 2-Farhat 3-Yasir 4-Yousaf 5-UmerAkmal 6-Kamran(when Malik can play with two 100 why not KA with six 100) 7-Haider 8-Amir 9-Ajmal 10-Asif 11- Wahab or Dansih For future 3-Younas and 6-Amin or Razzaq. Feilding practice with lot of hard work.New board without bossing.Board who can give respect to great players and solve their issues.Unlike hockey we can still save cricket,otherwise hamari dastan tuk na ho gaee dastano mein.

  • krishnan on August 10, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    I m Indian PCB seems to defy logic and pakistan needs their 2 experienced batsman in younis and yousuf to complement their bowling. Nothing can replace experience and the team should be a blend of youth and experience. Further PCB should change captains so often

  • Asif Zaidi on August 10, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Pakistan team is too talented but the thing is Pakistan cricket board(PCB)is very disorganized. Lack of education among Pakistani players is also contributing towards this bad situation. Two captains of Pakistan , Imran Khan and Abdul Hafeez Kardar were from Oxbridge and look at their handling of players. Look at Shahid Afridi and how he cant control his aggression.

    The thing is PCB has to be radically organized otherwise this state of Pakistan cricket will continue.

  • Saleem Hatoum on August 10, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    Why in the world Younis Khan's name is not mentioned? There is something seriously wrong with PCB, I mean real serious problem which is terminal. Wahab Riaz and Tanvir Ahmed??? who are these individuals beside being Homosapien. Some help with their first-class cricket record will help especially. Anyone heard the name Sami the only 100% genuine fast-bowler Pakistan has. So the $64 question: How did these terminal PCB people left the ban on Malik and Afridi but kept the ban on Younis and Rana Naveed?

  • Adnan Baig on August 10, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    Might as well bring back Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan.

  • Salma on August 10, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    My TEAM: Got all the best batsmen in here

    Aamer Azhar Gul Said Ajmal Zulqarnain Yousef Tanvir Asif Wahab Kaneria Raza Hasan

  • ariff faizal on August 10, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    Kamran, I cant understand why you have nothing good to say about Yusuf. How about Hasan Raza in place of Malik. At least we can give and excuse he is new.. he may also surprise us with a few more runs. I also feel we should get Yunus and Razzak. Razzak would be a good replacement for Gul.

  • MG hashmi (AUSTRALIA on August 10, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    I think the whole pakistani squad suffered from one extreme to other means they have been playing only shorter formats of international cricket now with all the newcomers they haven't find themselves in the test format so we shouldn't criticize them instead give them a huge support and backing them on their poor performance so atleast they will try to build up a better team for the future but Z.Haider,Azhar Ali and Umar Amin they will be the good potential for future.Now with the captaincy i think we should keep Salman Butt for the long time coz he going through with a very tough learning process and as they all go through with this hard time with out the threat of being throw out from the taem they will be the best team in the world!

  • ahmed on August 10, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    @bohurupi

    They don't even have clue playing spin bowling. Look at the figure of Swann's bowling in the 2nd inning.

  • Adnan on August 10, 2010, 1:05 GMT

    Iam utterly dissapointed with your article. With the intention to sulk I instantly entered pak spin. There is no mention of the fact that Salman butt Imran farhat have board members backing them. Pakistan has become an affair of freinds and family. PAKISTAN has has much batting talent as bowling. Yet the son of wealthy or some far distant relative as board meber

  • Ubaid Rahman on August 10, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    I always wonder how can there be so much politics in pakistan cricket. I mean in a country with so much population who are die-hard cricket followers, how come people's voice are not made heard? Why cannot ALL the pakistan supporters stage a walkout from the stadium if proper players are not played in the match? Why cannot the senior retired cricketers (the honest ones) raise their voices against all the favoritism and factionalism? Why cant people like Osman Samiuddin and Kamran Abbasi be more sarcastic about PCB and their circus? Why?

  • MJ on August 10, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    Hello Kamran , it's both shame and shocker you Paki folkes still recommended Kamran Akamal for ODIs and Sohaib Malik a spot for remaining test matches? What do expect: A better loss, mess( most likely), a win ( forget it!), Nothing can be more annoying and irritating to watch goofy Kamran play cricket. My 7-year -old , plays for Miranda Magpies in Sydney, was laguhing watching Kamran keep the ball and mentioning "I could have done way better than that goofy guy with gloves"!

    Really interesting Pak Spin.

    MJ Sydney , Australia

  • Yousuf Zaman on August 10, 2010, 0:57 GMT

    Please do not do this...Being a good Journalist Please do not scarifies the truth .Have a clear vision ,do not succumb to Ijaz Butt line of Politics. The Pakistan team should comprise of the best talents available repeat available.

    Imran Farhat,Umar Amin,Wahab Riaz or even Azhar Ali does not belong to the best available cricketer. Azhar Ali has talent but no temperament.Can not stand to the pressure. Trur Haider has done a great job but Sarfraz remains the bset keeper in the country. Asim Kamal never failed, Has showed the promise ,talent and temperament on every chance he got. Right Now Sami is the Fastest and the fittest pace Bowler in the World ,has almost won Sydney test for the country. Younis Khan and MO YO are among the best batsmen in the world.

    Records show that Asad Shafiq is the better batsman than Azhar and Umar Amin and Imran.

    Baul ke lab Azad hain likh ke qalam .....

    Fight for the right . fight against safarish even it is from the top shoemakers.

  • Humanoid on August 10, 2010, 0:45 GMT

    Well if one had to test then Umar Amin should have been dropped right after the Aussie tests! His prime role is batting not bowling! Pakistan had enough bowling until Gul got injured and Wahab or Tanvir can fill that gap since they would be raring to go to make an impact to consolidate their spot!

    This leaves us to a team where they should have given batting some push, in the form of Hameed, if he had failed then they could have gotten Amin back in the 3rd test! Give the bloke a chance!

    I prefer this combo in the third test! Farhat and Butt to open(or Hameed with butt) Yousaf Hameed(or Farhat) Azhar (or Umar) Shoiab Umar Akmal( or Azhar) Zulkarnain Amir Ajmal Asif

    Here Hameed and Shoiab can both bowl even Farhat can bowl (remember Imran using Ijaz? in 1992) If Shoiab does not perform then i will recall Razzak to come into the side!

    And let this team play!!!!!

  • Hope on August 10, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    Salman Butt, Akmal brothers and Shoaib Malik are the real trouble makers and should be seriously dealt with as they still continue to hurt the team through their politics. Don't get me wrong these afore mentioned players do have talent but their dirty games are seriously hurting the Pakistani team. Any win under the leadership of an incompetent chairman would be a miracle.

  • bohurupi on August 10, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    Pakistani top order appear to have no clue playing to English swing bowling. Most of them needed some 30-40 balls to open their account(very short account, though!). Too much defensive batting is certainly not the solution, as was evident from all the latest batting debacles. This way, the batting side invites all the stress and pressure right onto them and provide undue advantage to the bowlers and/or the fielding side. The batsmen should just be able to well-time their shots along with the movement of the ball and keep ticking the scoreboard. Yes I know, easier said than done but then that's what the top order is there for. If they have to learn those techniques yet, then they don't belong there. They should be replaced with the ones who are lot more competent. I believe, there are plenty of budding talents out there and given appropriate training and opportunity, can do the job lot better!

  • jith on August 10, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    yasir hameed needs to return and same with yousuf...why was sami dropped for this tour? he performed well in australia and the 20/20WC and now hes gone..he wud be a good replacement for gul and he can bowl 150k

  • mudasir on August 10, 2010, 0:08 GMT

    salman butt kamran akmal younis khan Mohd Yousuf Misbah ul haq umar akmal Abdul razack Mohd Amir umar gul Mohd sami Mohd asif

    No place for non sense players ...all the above players are match winner and can perform against all teams

  • amir on August 9, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    drop imran farhat and bring yasir hameed.drop shoaib malik and bring yonis khan.and finally drop omar amin and bring abdul razaq or yasir arafat.then they can beat england.bring yousaf is a jok who is same like shoaib malik has dirty politics

  • SKP on August 9, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    Nice Write up Mr.KA. The skipper should get in Yasir Hamid and M.Yousuf for IF and U. Amin. Persist with S.Malik in the team so that it would be easier to discard, i mean banish, him later since he is bound to fail. The team should put up atleast 250 every innings to give the bowlers something to work at. Feel sorry for Asif and Aamer.

  • Pier Wasif on August 9, 2010, 23:30 GMT

    my friend we know how pathetic PCB is but i do not know who is behind them, i will request the Cricket Loving People of pakistan they have to take the law in their hand and revolt against this shameless sick inexperience unqualified bunch of thugs, i mean PCB it is time for these cronies to be kicked out of the cricket affairs of Pakistan, they have done enough damages to the reputation of Pakistan. this cricket team is bunch monkeys the are worst then any test cricket team in the world beside our bowlers we have absolutely nothing.

  • Kash on August 9, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    Hi

    The PCB has no man management skills. It still operates illogically and it will unfortunately never change. There is just no faith in players, you don't perform and you are dropped. The whole saga is very disappointing to watch. I think there should be three specialists, one for bowling, one for fielding and one for batting. I agree with Salman butt that individual players need to take more responsibility and work harder at their game. It is also mind boggling that Younis Khan is not in the team and he is playing county cricket.

    We have seen enough of the new players; the following team should be selected for the 3rd test.

    Kamran Akmal - as a batsman only Salman butt Yasir Hameed M.Yousuf Umar Akmal Shoaib Malik Z.Haider Saeed Ajmal M.Aamir M.Tanvir or Riaz M.Asif

  • Shafiq Hamid (Kuwait) on August 9, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    From the comments the focus seems to have become ‘play the 2 Y’s or not?” – Come on guys you can’t choose a woman, date her, get married and without giving it a chance to work, suddenly decide it was a wrong choice and start looking at alternatives! It’s unfair if you don’t give it time.

    Selection was done – decisions on the captain and squad finalised for the English series. You play England and get slaughtered - Change your captain and start looking at players that were not selected in the first place.

    Recipe for disaster!

    Afridi gone – Salam in! Now Salman isn’t really working out and the key batting positions of 3 and 4 is in trouble – So let’s send for players that were not originally considered.

    You make your best decisions – deliberate every aspect before announcing the final squad. Flying in new players can only mean the selection processes and management screwed up (no surprises there!)

    Completely wrong and it will come to bite us in the Butt!

  • farrukh on August 9, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    Every one in the team and on bench have loads of talent but many, or too many one would say, have no prep for being in big shoes. This is the only problem in the team. Take, for instant, the keeper’s matter. If Kamran comes back with his form behind stumps, Haider will be forgotten until we have same problem again. He should be kept in squad and prepare him or some one younger for future. In for game series, he should play one game so he knows we have not left him. Same with batting Ali and Amean are filled with natural talent but work load is so much that they are not playing freely to their abilities. This is where Imran and Waseem were outstanding. Smooth transition between players. Any how here is what I think should be the 11 men called for and selected for next game.

    1. Butt 2. Hameed 3. Malik 4. Yousaf 5. Umar Akmal 6. Fawad 7. Razaq 8. Haider/Kamran 9. Amer 10. Ajmal 11. Asif

  • Adnan on August 9, 2010, 22:48 GMT

    Nice article, though i disagree on Malik. Malik is not a test player, and should not have been part of the test team. I dont know why Younis Khan is not invited, but replacing Farhat with Hameed is a very good idea.

    Pak should also consider, using 5 bowlers that they are running their greatest assets into ground. With one less batsmen, we could loose, but at least we will have a healthy front line bowler. we already lost one blower in last match.

  • shah on August 9, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    i am amazed by ppl on this forum. Everyone is National Selection Committee in its own right and yet dont really have a clue what they are talking about. Drop him, get him, blah blah blah. Its a young team who just beat australia. leave them alone and take your poky noses somewhere else.

  • Imran on August 9, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    Salman Butt - Pain in the pakistan's Butt, dropping catches, Batting first after winning important toss, providing catching practice to the opposite side.

  • HAseeb Ahmed on August 9, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    And no mention at all of Younis Khan? Why? The team is fallign apart. Politics needs to be put aside along with Ijaz Butt. Younis needs to be back. And what of Misbah? And Bazid Khan?

  • Dr. Khan on August 9, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    I agree with some of the points you make. However I do not get how the team is supposed to accommodate the openers, Yasir, Yousuf, Malik, Umar Akmal, Ali, the keeper, and the bowlers.

  • HappYIndiaN on August 9, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Pakistan is going down. Soon nobody will play cricket with Pak team. I am happy Pak lost. Keep up this good work . Hope they lose their next test too.

  • usman arshad khan niazi on August 9, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    the way it is going i think pakistan should play 11 specialist bowlers(or maybe one keeper:P)... they would cross 200 and then defend it like tigers... lolz... i think that is the best way to go now seeing how good our openers and middle order batsmen are who know nothing about staying at the crease... and if they try to stay they look worst than the tailenders.... 30 ball ducks are not what a top order batsman should be putting on the scoreboard... pitty us... the country where no decision will be right as no one cares about the country but their own pockets... true for the pcb management and also for ones who put them there... true for the players also...

  • SAZ on August 9, 2010, 21:52 GMT

    Here is my team for next test and also batting order

    Salman Butt Azhar Ali Yasir Hameed M. Yousuf Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Z. Haider M. Aamir Saeed Ajmal M. Tanvir M. Asif

  • Raza on August 9, 2010, 21:48 GMT

    "Isn't it still something that we can still marvel at players like Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, and sometimes Umar Akmal?"

    It's just so fustrating when I think "what the pak team could have been rite now" without all these continous external factors (selection, political turmoil, natural disasters..)

    Sometimes the advantage of bringing up young players in home series back in pakistan can never be overestimated. Unfortunately many of these youngsters have been tossed into lions den rather easing them through the comforts of a home series. if only..........

  • Nadeem Husain on August 9, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    Kamran I agree with your excellent analysis of the Pak team and your suggestions. The only point I disagree is the retaining of Shoaib Malik. His experience has done no good for the team for the Aussie series as well as this series. His reputation of being political has been recorded by every resposible person during last witner season. His presence has not done any good for the team so far and I do not expect same in future. We have some experienced batsment like Faisal Iqbal, Fawad Alam. PCB can give a shot to them.

  • Faisal Jaan on August 9, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    Great article Kamran bhai. But I beg to differ on the case of Malik. He should be dumped now. Enough is enough. Ideal thing would be, to bring back Younis and Fawad ALAM somehow. Tanvir Ahmad had a wonderful domestic season and has got every right to play in the third test. Wahab Riaz's selection is a mystery. Pakistan needed an allrounder and even Razzak could be handful. Hammad Azam was not given any chance during world T20 which is strange.

  • Imran on August 9, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    Completely disagree with you.The biggest culprits are two nickers Imran Farhat and Salman Butt. Nickers term used by Great Bill Lowery during Pakistan tour to Australia. Shoiab Malik is pathetic and should not in the team. Salman Butt has faulty batting technique and can not be selected in any test team as opener. Even Bengladash has better openers than these nickers. Both of these pakistani openers are good for slip catching practice and should be utilized for catching practice only.

  • ibrahim on August 9, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    Good encouraging write up!!!

  • GopalaKrishna Sataluri on August 9, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, One thing want to mention here. When this team was sent to play in England against Australia and England there were no expectations of the team to win both the series. It is too early to call this team as bad as it was.I think Salman is doing good as Captain and he needs time to settle down as one of Pak's Premier opening batsman and Captain. To be fair with him I think this team is behind him.I previously commented on you previous blog that this team has to be persisted with without any bad elements in it be induced by PCB. So looking at how they fought back in 2nd test I expect Pak to win one test match atleast of this england series and they have done more than expected when they shared honors with Australia.I think we outsiders and PCB don't meddle with this team and Captain and bring back old warriors who did very less to Pakistan Cricket.I mean MY and YK.I wish they drop Shoaib M and Kamran A for good of test cricket.They are not test material.

  • Yasser on August 9, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    Why would a left arm spinner or a leg spinner be an ideal long-term solution? Our best spinner over the last decade and a half has been an off-spinner in Saqlain Mushtaq. The best spin bowler in the world currently is Graeme Swann. It is hard to fathom why you get space on this website. Previously, you had written (something that Rameez Raja also says) that bringing back Younis and Yousuf would be a backward step. It seems that our team is in a constant state of re-building after every world cup and every 2 years in between, when pundits like yourself want heads to roll after a dismal performance. There is no substitute for experience and Pakistan needs to pick their best players. You cannot throw lambs like Azhar Ali and Umar Amin to the wolves. One needs to only look at India. Maybe it is time for you to stop airing your opinions as I feel you are doing more harm than good to Pakistan cricket.

  • chohdrysandhu on August 9, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    All the solutions presented in by the writer are agreeable to me except a couple of things. 1. Shifting Azhar Ali to opening position. Salman Butt is as much a poor choice as a captain of the Test team as Afridi was a few weeks ago. Since we have to stick with him for a while, he needs someone on the other side who is a senior player as his fellow opener. In order for me to tolerate seeing Shoaib Malik in the Test team at all, he must open with Salman Butt. 2. Omar Akmal needs to be at no.3. Yasir Hameed at 4, Yousaf at 5, Azhar Ali at 6 and the rest is ok.

    After this tour, PCB must do what it does best, sack Salman Butt as the Test Captain of Pakistan Cricket team, keep him as captain of the ODI team though.

    A new test captain is required. Why not Umar Akmal! This will teach him a lesson or two that he must not throw his wicket away cheaply! He is talented, he is agressive, he is a good cricketer! Do what India and South Africa did!

  • Aqeel.A.Khan on August 9, 2010, 21:19 GMT

    Why do we try to find pros and cons before and after each series where as no one talk about our cricketing system.I am sick of reading all these news about new finds and failures and so on future.For example take the new keeper Z.Haider,he palyed a lucky innings and his batting technique will soon be exploited and mind you we need his wicket keeping much more than his batting.So were the new and old batters who are having good averages at home courtesy bad cricket system.We have won matches with outstanding performances individually but collectively very few.It will be like this for ever unless and untill we have cricketing system like Australia,England,South Africa to name few.Just to give an idea about fielding which is not only catching but diving to save runs,throwing with power and accuracy,and our grounds discourages it,a technical flaw in the system.Not only good batting and bowling should guarantees one place in a team but a fielding certificate a pre-requsite.

  • Ahsan on August 9, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    Considering you are a Salman Butt die hard :) ... and agreeing that after years of having him as excess baggage in the team he has recently/occasionally performed ... but rest assure he is not going anywhere ... he didn't when any player on an international teams would have or should have had ... what to talk of now ... one Butt backing the other Butt ... n thats how Pakistan Cricket will eventually sink ... I would never be able to appreciate S Butt unless every teenager in Pakistani team is given as huge and as long lasting chance as he had for having an uncle or God knows what and even then it will be sad for Pakistan Cricket ... long live Butts or I should say "Butts Khappay"

  • Bashir Khan on August 9, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    You mention that Umar Akmal needs wise heads around him. This is precisely why the omissions of the two Y's was always an absolute travesty. To all those who glibly commented that this young team needed to be left to get on with it and grow together, I would ask whether they know of any other cricketing nation that would let such a young, inexperienced batting side into the lions den of twin series against 2 of the top sides in the world in conditions that favour seam and swing? This isn't being wise after the event. Anyone with any interest in Pakistan cricket understood the foolishness of such a tactic and feared the batting debacle that has played out this summer. All the batsmen, not just Akmal, would have benefited from the presence of the two Y's. Indeed, it comes to something when the 3 senior-most batsmen in the side in terms of experience (Butt, Farhat, and Malik) don't average more than 35 in Test cricket and can hardly be said to have cemented their own places in the team!

  • Shafiq Hamid on August 9, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    Agree with almost all your conclusions. If one looks at the catches that were dropped by Pakistan - not sure if a fielding coach would be of much help. My grandmother holding a cup of tea in one hand would still have caught any one of those!

    Nothing at this stage is going to help Pakistan going down 4-0 - this series should be seen as something they can build on. Ajmal and Haider are the only positives from this test match. Amir is going to be the key for Pakiatan for many years to come. He is real talent!

    Salman has much to learn (including how to catch) - test match is all about strategy and he doesnt strike me as a chess lover - more like ludo!

    Pakistan main problem is going to be getting the right cool (and wise) heads saying the right kind of things in the chnaging room to this youg team.

  • Hammad on August 9, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    This probably is the most balanced and well thought articles of yours i have ever read

  • aqeel on August 9, 2010, 20:58 GMT

    Its disapointing ,you never mention Younus once in the blog as he is still 32 and can offer much more than Yousuf whose made of contradictions..once Yousuf said cricket in Ramadan is a sin and now he forgot everything..

    about Malik you did not seems to be critical as one should be considering him the main culpret in the whole episode.

  • Shaz on August 9, 2010, 20:57 GMT

    You wrote - "We should remember that these players hail from a country crippled by conflict, burdended further by a natural disaster affecting 15 million people."

    Although it is true but not for the cricket team. PCB expenses are sky rocketed in last few years. Corruption like any other department is all over the PCB. Team selection is questionable. There are many many reasons to fail but none has to do with conflicts or natural disasters. These are just lame excuses and nothing else. Aren't we paying millions to team?

    If Ajmal and Gul can score a half century, there are some serious issues with team selection and proves the point that no 1 to 7 has no talent. I can not believe that this is the best batting talent Pakistan has to offer.

    Why can't you see this simple fact that no 8, 9, 10 and 11 are playing just like regular batsman on same pitch where no 1 to 7 constantly fail to bat. Nothing to do with conflicts or natural disaster or may be our 8-11 came from some other country?

  • Zahid Ashrafi on August 9, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    Kamran, while domestic issues such as terrorism and natural disaster are issue but real pronlem Pakistan faces is nepotism and elitism i.e. Players mindset that they are too good to dive or scamper. I remember someone writing elsewhere on this cricinfo page that Kamran Akmal jogging five laps on the ground as a punishment. This is how we think in our culture. I remember reading story about king dying of over weight didn't workout because it was not dignified. I am not saying Pakistan never had good fielders but ones we had were very few such as Miandad and Ejaz Ahmed. Imran khan himself who was a great captain and alrounder was a pathetic fielder. Professionalism is the only way a team can perform at their.

  • Emm on August 9, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    I dont agree with your point of Shoaib Malik - he hasnt done anything for years now... Get Younis Khan back and replace him or Fawad if he is not forthcoming.

  • TrueCricketLover23 on August 9, 2010, 20:40 GMT

    Dear Mr. Kamran Abbasi, After reading your this article and previous articles I have observed that you are seriously damaging Pakistan Cricket. You are supporting those cricketers in Pakistan team to whom you like and discouraging other cricketers to whom you dislike. Objection No. 1: whey you didn’t write in favor of Mohammed Yousuf when he lost against Australia in Australian as a Caption what you are now writing in favor of Salman But…“Safarshi Captian”. Objection No. 2: Why are you still supporting the main trouble maker in Pakistan Team like Shoaib Malik who doesn’t has test temperament, may be you are supporting him because his wife name is “Sania Mirza” and you are willing to have a photo session with her. Allah is Great who has justified and brought the Classy Batsman Mohammed Yousuf back in Pakistan Team with his grace even you are still writing against him and even the “Safarshi Captian” didn’t want to bring him in the team…Allah (SWT) is great and you will see him becoming Pakistan Cricket Team Captain again…InShaAllah. ,

  • Nadeem Farooq on August 9, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    Don't call this team as Pakistan Team. CALL IT PUNJAB ELEVEN.

  • Behroz on August 9, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    Very very good article and that is why i never miss ur articles now about pak team i think they should go with umar and azhar and ofcourse bring M.yousuf in place of S.Malik because S.Malik hasn,t done anything special in his test career so why don,t we stick with these young guns couse they have talent and about Y.Hameed his case also like Malik i still think youngsters should be ahead of Malik and Hameed.

  • imran patel (die_hard paki fan) on August 9, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    The problem wit pakistan is that they dont undrstand the criteria 4 international players for example farhat scored 1 century after 10 failings they believe he's doing very well same goes wit malik, akmal, azhar ali i mean u can check their technic or at least their career average all under 30 which top team in da world has frontline batsman wit average below 40 only minnows like bang, zim pakistan used 2 b force wit players like anwar, inzi, yusuf, yunus, miadad all of them averaged more dan 45-50 if any batsman failed 2 make a hundred for more than 10 games wud b dropped no matter how big on the other hand these players score 50 after every 10 games bt nobody can think of droppin them coz they so called seniors wat a jok? Seniors wit ave of 23 akmal saab anyways my best possible team 1. Khuram manzoor(55)2. Ahmed shehzad(48)3. Younis khan(53)4. Fawad alam(58)5. Mhd. Yousuf(56)6. Umar akmal 7. Sarfaraz ahmed 8. Mhd amir 9. Saeed ajmal 10. Wahab riaz 11. Mhd asif Reserved players butt, hameed, sharyar gani, naved yasin, raza hasan, umar gul

  • iceman on August 9, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    butt will come back strong, no doubt about that. there is no need to change captain and coach, give them atleast a year to give some results they have started their work on pakistan team from scratch. if they would have not dropped too many catches then nobody would have criticised that much. pakistan have all type of players they just need some support from senior players and coaches to correct their technique.

  • Haseeb on August 9, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    I cannot understand what is it that you have against Mohammed Yousuf. You never give him credit and are now accepting him grudgingly. I don't see a reason why you would support dropping top two batsmen for a long and important overseas tour. Yousuf and Younus can literally walk into any team with their record, average and experience. Yes Pakistan has lost before with them in the team but come on the last four tests without them have seen borrible batting from top and middle order of pakistan. This is not the way to treat your top class batsmen nor is there any sense in packing the team with inexperiece and untested kids all at once. Hope sanity prevails with PCB management and folks like you.

  • Irfan on August 9, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    Based on the overall performance of the players who have played so far. I believe Pakistan should play the below 11:

    Salman Butt Azhar Ali Yasir Hameed M. Yousuf Umar Akmal Shoaib Malik Z. Haider M. Amer Saeed Ajmal Tanveer Ahmed M. Asif

  • anwar yunus on August 9, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbasi - Salam, For Pakistan batting following options should be taken right from start of England tour: Inclusion of Yousuf was essential in the middle order alongwith Yunus ? why and how bukies has managed to keep them out from Pakistan's England bound squads?do you have any reply why you have so far failed to write a column in favour ofthese two stalwart ofPakistan?In my fair opnion great in-justice has been given to young talented Fawad Alam <> you can well remember that this young chap has scored 168 against Sri Lanka in test match but after that PCB and certain PCB lobby has played a key role in espoiling his carrier reason which any common man can judge is that he belong to Karachi and PCB does not like to see any palyer in the Pakistan team from any province except from PUNJAB-currently out 11 players who played 2nd test 10 are from Punjab?Why?? why Shoaib Akhtar is outof test team he is a match winner?? After wrecking Aussies in Australia why Sami is dropped?

  • Adnan on August 9, 2010, 20:09 GMT

    literally, No words for Pakistani team... No one knows what is up in their minds.. Unpredictability is only predictable from Pakistan cricket.... but i still love them, they are playing for Pakistan !!!

  • Bosco Martyres on August 9, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    Right on Kamran. With all the tragedies facing Pakistan, I say bravo to the team for performing the way they did. I hope that Haider and Ajmal's batting will give confidence to the top order batsmen. I agree with you that perhaps Salman should drop to # 3. Here is my suggested batting line-up 1. Imran Farhat 2 Azhar Ali 3 Salman Butt 4 Mohd Yousuf 5. Shoaib Malik 6 Umar Akmal 7 Zulkarnin Haider + 3 fast bowlers and spinner I am confident the team will fare much better in the next test, having shrugged off their fears of playing in England.

  • ManHOOS on August 9, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    pakistani players dont have the ability to face swing due to poor balls available at domestic level balls with no seam movement nothing even my little brother can go there n make 100

  • Asher on August 9, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Well I do agree that the right batting and bowling mix is needed, but at the same time I think that Shoaib Mailk and Umar Akmal should both be much more suitable in one days and 20/20 rather then test. I think Razzaq at this time will be handy as he has got a nice mix of decent bowling and a somewhat test batting.

  • Tanoli on August 9, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    I totally disagree about playing Malik. He has no idea how to play test cricket. Let Ajmal bowl alone. Imran Farhat is better choice for opening, I would let Malik and Amin sit out and bring Yousaf and Yasir....I deally, I would let farhat go only if Yonis is called in (there is serious possibility)....My pick would be...Butt, Azhar, Yonis, Yosaf, Yasir, U Akmal, Haider, Aamer, Asif, Ajmal/Husan, Tanveer... Also, the fielding thing is more damaging then batting, had we taken all the chances in first inning, enlgand would have been gone below 100....We need to make them (pak players) realize that there is something called "professionalism"....if you dont have that you are nothing....Guess what? they have nothing. But it has to be fixed....nothing is impossible, someone have to tell these guys (so called young guys , 20 yrs but acting like 120)....Ijaz butt has not shame, no life, no vision...man u r in 70...please give up and do something else...may be run a pizza shop...

  • Martin Hook on August 9, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    Talk about setting low expectations! If this is how your esteemed journalist think then the team is doomed. This is a country that has won world cups and has given WI tough times at their best. English team is not even the best in the world: they are not India or SA as they have too many struggling players in their rank. Excuses for poor performance rarely work. If everyone stuck by Akmal then Haider would not have been found.

  • Majid on August 9, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    Mr Abbasi great article,problem with Pak Cricket is that a joker is running the board and he can not make any right decision,interferes with selection and is arrogant.Why would u select so many young players on seeming pitches, why not have a mix of youth and experience.Why not give some of these youngsters chance against Sth Africa in relatively home like conditions.Kneria plays bad in one test match they send him away, what about Kami who has droped catches on his bowling and other bowlers,he still stays.Yes youth should be given run, look Umar Amin 9 innings so far including 1 days, should ve scored in at least one, what about Akmal brothers.The team is full of youth,Yousuf and Younis will only strengthen them.Shahid the other is already out of the equation. The only way to bring up a clean test team is to dump Akmal & Shoaib forthwith

  • jhonny on August 9, 2010, 19:40 GMT

    Here, I would like to make a point that.. thought, its fine to invest in young talent but at the same time its necessary that young players have experienced players in sidelines, because its only experienced players that will help young players to blossom. Umar Akmal, Azar needs likes of Yousuf, to build their innings around him, to lern from him. As Yousuf and Younis build partnerships with Inzi and became good test players under his shadow... like Inzi learned form Minandad, like Wasim and Waqar learned from Imran, like Aamir for instance, he is playing under shadow of Asif, Akhtar, Gul... which is good.

    So point is that no matter how much talented someone is, in test cricket they need real-time guidance from experienced partner, on the ground. And so far, in last 4 test matches, Pakistan, unfortunately have not provided this mandatory option to its young batsmen. For me this thing is a commonsense, may be for PCB its not that common :P

  • Ziaul on August 9, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    Dear Kamran Bhai, Congrats on your serious and sincere observations about the current Pak Team and also for not mentioning the name of YK (who is a classic example of politics and marginalization of the PCB), as the concentration should be more on the resources available with them. Actually all the previous great players in Pak were flourished in the shadow of other sr great players. Lets take the example of Inzi who was guided by Miandad, Imran (during initial year) and to certain extent by SMalik and in turn he was responsible for the flourishment of MoYo and YK. Now the PCB shud use the experience of these 2 to guide the youngsters. 3 youngsters including 2 debutants on a tough tour of Eng is not the right way. Ideally top 6 shud have been Butt, Farhat/Hameed, YK, MoYo, U Akmal, Azhar/Amin so that the later 2 young ones have able guidance of 2 great batsmen and play under their shadow for 2 years. Look where these 2 will be after 2 years. I m n Indian but also follow Pak cricket.

  • drmjalamgir on August 9, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    Kamran, again a confusing article,shows the dialima of our country,excuses at the end of our defeats. Salman is trying to master it and learning from you guys. What's the relationship of floods to the poor performance of our batters?. The choice between Whab & Tanwir obviously should be Tanwir,got a selection in the squad on basis of performance. Except Yasir hamid & Tanvir every body belongs to Punjab and most of them from Lahore. The management is trying to restrict Pak cricket only to a specefic area of the country. Rest of country is lacking talent or they dont play cricket. Is it not politics and groupism? I wonder you still find reasons for shoaib malik to play test,probably,you are also a hidden fan of mirza or there is some other stron influence.

  • younis on August 9, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    bowling was great asusual....if pak fielders held their catches result might be diffrenet

  • asad on August 9, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    I don't share your views on the pitiful performance of Pakistan Mr Abassi,by resorting to those excuses of why the players have underperformed is an admission of failure by everyone concern.It was refreshing to see Haider and Ajmal perform the way they did but,their performances just showed up the incompetence of the frontline batsmen.The PCB needs to make wholesale changes to the batting line up.Butt,Farhat,Amin,Ali,Malik,and Akmal needs to be replaced,they have failed time and time again.Younis,Yousef,Misbab,Hameed,Fawad,should replaced them,although I was never much of a Misbah fan,I thinh under the circumstances his experience would be needed.They could still persist with one of the younger batsmen namely,Akmal or Ali but the changes must be made to prevent further embarrassment.The bowlers are first class and they are the ones who have stood out for Pakistan.

  • ali_a on August 9, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, your bias towards both Y's is quite obvious. What Pak cricket is suffering right now is just a consequence of this. Repeatedly I've said that no other team will dump their senior players saying they're bygone era and go with all young team. While, we're blaming the selectors, lets also blame the "short-cut" and NOT "boom boom" Afridi. After all these players were hand-picked by him with selectors. Your bias towards Malik is also obvious. Take a look at Malik's test record from the NZ tour and compare against Yousuf - who is more deserving, I rest my case! Look at these numbers: in 4 Tests Pakistan have played on this trip, their batsmen have notched up seven half-centuries. England already have two centuries and four men sharing five fifties. Not a single Pakistani has yet reached three figures. Bring back Younis as Captain and save any pride that Pak has left or keep experimenting with youth captains and make "young and inexp.." execuses in front of the world- take your

  • jhonny on August 9, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    well said Mr. Abbasi

  • Mansoor on August 9, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Yasir Hameed has to play, as he is probably the best batsman outside Yousuf.

    The bowlers have been let down badly. Imagine if you are Mohammad Amir. You bowl your heart out and next thing you are padded up either because the team is 5 wickets down or you are down as nightwatchman. If I was Amir, I would be saying I can bat, send in Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik as nightwatchman to protect me as I will get more runs than them, put together!

  • Yassar on August 9, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    Pakistan's problems for this tour began the day the squad was announced. We are all aware that Pakistan cricket is goign through a tough period but it shouldn't be compounded via silly selections and team politics. There is no doubt both Yousuf and Younis should be in the team. Farhat needs to be dropped, he simply is not good enough. They should open with Butt and Hameed. Have Azhar Ali (ideally Younis if it can be resolved) at 3. Followed by Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Malik and then the Keeper. This followed by Amir, Gul when fit and Ajmal and Asif. Though i do feel if Malik does not contribute soon then after this tour give one of the other youngsters a go.

    But in my opinion Yousuf and Younis are a must in the test team for Pakistan to progress. Youngsters have to have people to learn off. How much more would Umar Akmal, Amin, and Azha Ali learn if they batted out in the middle alongside a Yousuf or a Younis. As Mastercard would say Priceless

  • Imran Zia on August 9, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should not keep his place! We need Yasir Arafat straight away to fill in the allrounder slot or the fifth bowler! Whatever we do we cannot fill Younis Khan's shoes. There should be a movement for the reinstatement of younis khan same like we had for the chief justice. Also it is hard to understand why we dont have a cricketers association. Perhaps rashid latif should take an initiative in this regard. Also we have explained to everybody why we dont get enough test matches.

  • Rohit on August 9, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    Those who are questioning Pakistan's test status are out of their mind. A full strength Pakistani side (i.e. with Younis and Yousuf) is as good as any other international side. As a cricket fan who enjoyed following the Pakistan's cricket team in the 90s, what I would really like to see is an aggressive side. I would prefer an Ijaz Ahmed,Basit Ali over the likes of Azhar Ali, Umar Amin. It was fairly disgusting to watch batsmen score ducks in 32 balls. It's time to bring Imran Nazir back.

  • ahmad on August 9, 2010, 19:10 GMT

    Shoaib Malik has no place in any pakistan team, let alone the test side, he should be dropped for bringing in Yousaf, not amin or azhar. This captain-coach pairing has dropped the experience above all else mantra, lets see whether they can also drop malik in the same fashion they did akmal.

  • Aleem Zubair on August 9, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    I can't understand what makes them select Imran Farhat time and again but I can't see them dropping him now. On such a crucial tour, our bench strength in batting was Yasir Hameed. wah!

  • Hassan on August 9, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    I also agree with Kamran keeping his place in limited overs because to me he is still a much better batsman and Haider still has much to prove but am really pleased that ATLAST we have another choice :-)

  • Hassan on August 9, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    very very nicely composed article. I see Umar Akmal having a bright future ahead and I seriously doubt the patriotism of past players like Aamir Sohail , Sikandar Bakth , Sarfraz Ahmed and even Javed Miandad because they are only busy in making money either from TV channels or having positions in the board. Azhar Ali and Umar Amin are also a bit unlucky to be tested on probably the most difficult conditions around where the Aus team can get out at 88 and the English themselves are also finding it difficult to stick around ( if it wasnt for missed chances ) Kaneria is crap. His performances are only on wickets which clearly assist him or when the pitch is full of cracks ( 3rd or 4th innings)I haven't got the stats but if someone can workout his stats for us then we can prove my hypothesis about Kaneria's bowling difference in first and last innings of test matches. I suspect Pakistan performing better in the remaining because I suspect better batting conditions in the remaining matches

  • taimur ali on August 9, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Great kamran.... All is ok but you are presnting the case of shoaib malik by his experience.If he could be in the team due to his experience then why not Younis Khan, at least he far far fa better player then shoaib malik. who you trying to fool you may be a writer and observer of pakistan cricket but i have also observe Pakistan cricke since 1988. Shoain Malik is in the team just because of his background in pakistan Ans i do believe he even may not make his way into bangladesh or zimbabwe, required, he must not have any refrences there

  • Saira Khan...London on August 9, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    I don't understand why yousaf is called to join the team. Yesterday he was a trouble maker and today he is the darling, what the hell going on in pakistan cricket, where is the dignity and discipline. We all know he is greedy man, who left India to play IPL and created mess for Pakistan, we all know he is a hypocrate and munafiq, master of dirty politics, are he and malik are buddy buddy now? no way, how can both play with unity? PCB is a joke and Mr.Butt is a Joker, I think it is a very poor dicision made by the PCB, O one more thing, I heard now Ejab Butt "the headmaster" is planning to bring other ex-crickets from their retirement...how foolish and humiliating this is, shame on you PCB...Are we a cry baby?

  • Omar Hussain on August 9, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    Your column is based on the squad for the Tests but i am sure you know this squad is chosen from favouritism rather than talent.With seasoned players like Hameed,Razaq and to a lesser degree Fawad plus openers of better class in Shahzaib,Latif etc than Farahat messers. I.Butt and Y. Saeed had to chose him,Umar Amin and Azahar.For Allah's sake drop these cowards before the English fast bowlers seriously maim them fo life.The besy way to combat a fast bowler is to hook and pull him as Zulqarnin and gutsy Ajmal showed them.Front line batsmen who cannot hook or pull but keep going under chest high balls have no futre at Test level.It was sickening the way Farhat was hit and how the others were jumping like cats on hot bricks.Gul's injury is a seious blow and he will be very badly missed.Yousuf will probably do his best,at least i pray he forgives and forget the idiots at the helm of PCB.Haider and our plucky tail-enders showed that the English bowlers are ordinary and can be easily rattled

  • Fida Hussain on August 9, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    My point is when they can call Yusuf then whats wrong with the legend Younis, i think its all politics in our cricket team.They are ruining pakistan resources like everyone do,ALAS!.

  • Ejaz Ahmed on August 9, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Mr. Abbassi it is clear that you do not know what you are talking about. How can you continute to defend Salman Butt. What part of his game are you impressed with. Is it is fielding (drop catch after drop catch)? Is it is running between the wickets ("lazy runner" according to Mohammad Yousuf)? Is it is batting (32 average in test cricket and five straight dismissal for under ten runs). It is absolute torture watching him play. You should be way more critical of the PCB. How can PCB keep bring back players like Farhat and Hameed who have failed miserably time after time? In history of Pakistan cricket, only four batsmen have averaged over 50. Two of them (Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khah) are still active but were ignored by the PCB for political reasons and incompetence. Honestly, as a Pakistan cricket fan for forty years, it is heart breaking. We should not have to put up with the likes of Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, and Azhar Ali, and Shoaib Malik. UNTALENTED AND USELESS.

  • shafiq ashraf on August 9, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Although bitterly disappointed by the outcome at least we had Sundays play to remember, Haider & Ajmal's display was a welcome tonic; as well as Amir played I wish he had played a few more shots. Otherwise Pakitan cricket is in turmoil due to the idiocy of our Board or should I say Chairman. We could have had a more than decent team on dispaly yet we ignore our two most successful batsmen and pick the likes of Farhat & Malik. What did Fawad Alam do to be treated so dispicably?

  • tarka on August 9, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Can't understand why we need the poor experience of Shoaib Malik. Shouldn't have been selected in the first place. On what basis someone could justify Malik's place by dropping some youngsters. His average is poor and what he showed in the last few matches is the worst of all. He needs to be shownt he door like Kamran Akmal atleast for now.

  • nasir on August 9, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    i think its time pakistan selectors look at themselves before blaming the team, who have shown very little passion if any, the likes of shoaib malik, umar akmal and kamran akmals have deserve to go. I don't think shoaib malik should be given any more chances in the team as bowler or batter, he just needs to go completely and as the akmals brothers the need to be given time off. Bring fresh talent and they could do a better job then some of the ones that are there, as for waqar and ijaz ahmed, get a fielding coach who knows what they doing on the pitch rather then talking s**t of it.

  • Yusaf Khan on August 9, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    I really think we need to bring in both Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf into the batting line up. It just doesn't make any sense to not play these batsmen (great records in England and test average north of 50). I think we need to rest all three (Imran farhat, Azhar ali and Umar Amin) for the next three matches and bring in Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf. Enough is enough - time for experimentation is over. We have a chance to level the test series if we bring in the above three batsmen.

  • suresh shukla on August 9, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    Sir,I agree that ,as you said the country is crippled by conflict, curruption in board etc. which imapacts the team's performance. But I still feel that pakistan has too much talent to perform like this in tests. I somehow feel, that apart from anything else the problem is inside the general mentality of people there. How come players join groups within the team and get involved in petty politics even before they establish themselves. If a talented player like Umar Akmal makes more news for bad reasons than for his game (and that too so early in his career) then you cant say its because of the corruption in cricket board. I mean whatever happens his main focus should be on his game.If its not then problem lies in his character more than anywhere else. Pakistan can still win the next match as they do have talent which can click at any time. But even then, petty politics of such huge extent within a sports team is really a horrible thing to see.

  • Farrukh Arif on August 9, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    Good Questions. I think the team playing at the moment is Pakistan A (other than Aamir Asif and Gul).The questions about test status are not valid. Teams around the world rebuild themselves and that takes time.Like Indian team went through a rebuilding phase under Dhoni,they had advantage of rebuilding at their home.People should look into the fact that if we would have been playing at home,then these new faces would have debut there.That would have been advantage for them like some players of India had. But Players like Umer and Aamir (even Azhar Ali and Zulqarnain) will be worth in the future since they are going through the phase of their career which many of world player go through after they have enough playing experience in their favours.I think Malik should realise himself that he does not have a test character.I mean he is not bigger than Afridi who honestly accepted his weakness.Next test,play with 2 spinners.Rest Aamir as weaking bowling may make batsman responive.

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  • Farrukh Arif on August 9, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    Good Questions. I think the team playing at the moment is Pakistan A (other than Aamir Asif and Gul).The questions about test status are not valid. Teams around the world rebuild themselves and that takes time.Like Indian team went through a rebuilding phase under Dhoni,they had advantage of rebuilding at their home.People should look into the fact that if we would have been playing at home,then these new faces would have debut there.That would have been advantage for them like some players of India had. But Players like Umer and Aamir (even Azhar Ali and Zulqarnain) will be worth in the future since they are going through the phase of their career which many of world player go through after they have enough playing experience in their favours.I think Malik should realise himself that he does not have a test character.I mean he is not bigger than Afridi who honestly accepted his weakness.Next test,play with 2 spinners.Rest Aamir as weaking bowling may make batsman responive.

  • suresh shukla on August 9, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    Sir,I agree that ,as you said the country is crippled by conflict, curruption in board etc. which imapacts the team's performance. But I still feel that pakistan has too much talent to perform like this in tests. I somehow feel, that apart from anything else the problem is inside the general mentality of people there. How come players join groups within the team and get involved in petty politics even before they establish themselves. If a talented player like Umar Akmal makes more news for bad reasons than for his game (and that too so early in his career) then you cant say its because of the corruption in cricket board. I mean whatever happens his main focus should be on his game.If its not then problem lies in his character more than anywhere else. Pakistan can still win the next match as they do have talent which can click at any time. But even then, petty politics of such huge extent within a sports team is really a horrible thing to see.

  • Yusaf Khan on August 9, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    I really think we need to bring in both Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf into the batting line up. It just doesn't make any sense to not play these batsmen (great records in England and test average north of 50). I think we need to rest all three (Imran farhat, Azhar ali and Umar Amin) for the next three matches and bring in Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf. Enough is enough - time for experimentation is over. We have a chance to level the test series if we bring in the above three batsmen.

  • nasir on August 9, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    i think its time pakistan selectors look at themselves before blaming the team, who have shown very little passion if any, the likes of shoaib malik, umar akmal and kamran akmals have deserve to go. I don't think shoaib malik should be given any more chances in the team as bowler or batter, he just needs to go completely and as the akmals brothers the need to be given time off. Bring fresh talent and they could do a better job then some of the ones that are there, as for waqar and ijaz ahmed, get a fielding coach who knows what they doing on the pitch rather then talking s**t of it.

  • tarka on August 9, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Can't understand why we need the poor experience of Shoaib Malik. Shouldn't have been selected in the first place. On what basis someone could justify Malik's place by dropping some youngsters. His average is poor and what he showed in the last few matches is the worst of all. He needs to be shownt he door like Kamran Akmal atleast for now.

  • shafiq ashraf on August 9, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Although bitterly disappointed by the outcome at least we had Sundays play to remember, Haider & Ajmal's display was a welcome tonic; as well as Amir played I wish he had played a few more shots. Otherwise Pakitan cricket is in turmoil due to the idiocy of our Board or should I say Chairman. We could have had a more than decent team on dispaly yet we ignore our two most successful batsmen and pick the likes of Farhat & Malik. What did Fawad Alam do to be treated so dispicably?

  • Ejaz Ahmed on August 9, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Mr. Abbassi it is clear that you do not know what you are talking about. How can you continute to defend Salman Butt. What part of his game are you impressed with. Is it is fielding (drop catch after drop catch)? Is it is running between the wickets ("lazy runner" according to Mohammad Yousuf)? Is it is batting (32 average in test cricket and five straight dismissal for under ten runs). It is absolute torture watching him play. You should be way more critical of the PCB. How can PCB keep bring back players like Farhat and Hameed who have failed miserably time after time? In history of Pakistan cricket, only four batsmen have averaged over 50. Two of them (Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khah) are still active but were ignored by the PCB for political reasons and incompetence. Honestly, as a Pakistan cricket fan for forty years, it is heart breaking. We should not have to put up with the likes of Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, and Azhar Ali, and Shoaib Malik. UNTALENTED AND USELESS.

  • Fida Hussain on August 9, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    My point is when they can call Yusuf then whats wrong with the legend Younis, i think its all politics in our cricket team.They are ruining pakistan resources like everyone do,ALAS!.

  • Omar Hussain on August 9, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    Your column is based on the squad for the Tests but i am sure you know this squad is chosen from favouritism rather than talent.With seasoned players like Hameed,Razaq and to a lesser degree Fawad plus openers of better class in Shahzaib,Latif etc than Farahat messers. I.Butt and Y. Saeed had to chose him,Umar Amin and Azahar.For Allah's sake drop these cowards before the English fast bowlers seriously maim them fo life.The besy way to combat a fast bowler is to hook and pull him as Zulqarnin and gutsy Ajmal showed them.Front line batsmen who cannot hook or pull but keep going under chest high balls have no futre at Test level.It was sickening the way Farhat was hit and how the others were jumping like cats on hot bricks.Gul's injury is a seious blow and he will be very badly missed.Yousuf will probably do his best,at least i pray he forgives and forget the idiots at the helm of PCB.Haider and our plucky tail-enders showed that the English bowlers are ordinary and can be easily rattled

  • Saira Khan...London on August 9, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    I don't understand why yousaf is called to join the team. Yesterday he was a trouble maker and today he is the darling, what the hell going on in pakistan cricket, where is the dignity and discipline. We all know he is greedy man, who left India to play IPL and created mess for Pakistan, we all know he is a hypocrate and munafiq, master of dirty politics, are he and malik are buddy buddy now? no way, how can both play with unity? PCB is a joke and Mr.Butt is a Joker, I think it is a very poor dicision made by the PCB, O one more thing, I heard now Ejab Butt "the headmaster" is planning to bring other ex-crickets from their retirement...how foolish and humiliating this is, shame on you PCB...Are we a cry baby?