Pakistan cricket January 13, 2011

Test cricket, a wiser priority

Test wins for Pakistan are rare pleasures. The last time they enjoyed two in succession was in 2005, and the wins were five months apart
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Test wins for Pakistan are rare pleasures. The last time they enjoyed two in succession was in 2005, and the wins were five months apart. The last time Pakistan won back to back Tests in a series was against Bangladesh in 2003. Four wins in the last twenty Tests speaks for itself.

Pakistan fans are long-suffering but never patient. Each twist and turn is dissected in microscopic detail. But despite innumerable setbacks, the only event to diminish their passion for cricket has been the demoralising spot-fixing drama of this last year.

Now, out of the wreckage of the scandal, Pakistan's current team has emerged with surprising resilience. A seemingly decimated and dishevelled national squad has produced a creditworthy drawn series against South Africa followed by a rapid destruction of New Zealand in the first Test in Hamilton. Win or lose the final Test, Pakistan will only have lost one of their last four Test series -- and that loss was possibly in the most traumatic series in Pakistan's history.

In these difficult times, Pakistan's Test statistics are worth pondering. For all the focus on limited-over internationals, and everybody's assumption that the shorter form is Pakistan's natural game, perhaps Test cricket offers a better route to salvation. Shahid Afridi's preference for the shorter formats is understandable but is that best for Pakistan cricket?

A strong Test team offers a much firmer foundation for success in all formats, while players who excel at Twenty20 cricket often offer little in Test cricket. When Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup it was with attacking Test-style bowling. When Pakistan were a strong Test team in the 1980s and 1990s, they were also strong challengers for each World Cup.

The benefit of one-day cricket for Pakistan, in recent years in particular, is that it has helped gloss over the deficiencies in technique and temperament that can be exposed at Test level. As such T20 and ODI cricket have become the measures of success; Test cricket a neglected form.

Yet the preference for one-day cricket is damaging the resurrection of Pakistan cricket and a strong Test team should be the Pakistan Cricket Board's top priority, above winning the next World Cup or T20 World Championship. Yes, we should want success in those tournaments but as a by-product of a strong Test team, not at the expense of it.

With the third best win/loss ratio in Test cricket, Pakistan have a record to be proud of, defend, and build upon -- and that despite the calamity of the last decade. This statistic alone places Pakistan above India and South Africa in the all-time list, although some way behind Australia and England.

The recent consolidation in Test cricket -- consolidation is all it is as wins have been few -- might be brief but it suddenly exists. Pakistan aren't a great side, they aren't even yet a good side, but they have shown some resilience and a splash of potential. Whether this attitude has emerged in response to the adversity of last summer or thanks to the absence of bad influences, will only emerge in time. Still, it should remind Pakistan's administrators and cricketers where their priorities should lie.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricket_fan on January 23, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    My comments are related to recent one-dayer and therfore out of the context of this article. Speculations of giving worldcup captaincy to Misbah may seem to be a better choice since Afridi has not shown any extra ordinary captaincy skills let alone his performance, while Misbah goes in contract in both. However, the temprament and cricket sense that Miandad had displayed is lacking and none of the current batsmen comes even close. Misbah while playing sound let the tail under expose and after taking power play showed no patience for playing till 50 overs. While trying to make most out of power play he showed his limited stroke play capability, mostly on side and favourably midwicket. Exposing all 3 stumps to play a leg glance, while plenty of overs were left, was kind of unasked for. We need to have strong self confidence that we severly lack in our team. Yusuf Pathan's century against SA is a classic example, taking the team from 8/119 to 9/219. Can not we display that positivity?

  • Saiful Ansari. Leesburg, USA on January 23, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Afridi should step down as Captain as his personal performance while Captaining the side has been at best 2nd rated. Misbah should replace Afridi as the new ODI Captain. Captaincy is about taking pressure and playing well when the rest of the team wobbles. It is also about playing with a plan according to the situation. Afridi lacks both. Pakistan is certainly not among the favorites for WC, but a good leader might just give the team an outside chance of getting to the round of last four. After the 9 wicket loss in their first ODI game against NZ, it will be hard for the boys to clinch a ODI series win in NZ, unless the team can come back hard... a feat not beyond the reach of team Pakistan. Many of us also know that our boys bloom late. Wake up tigers. It is time to pounce and grab glory.

  • ARSHAD KHAN on January 23, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    i enjoy reading your article,i would add further that we have never lacked talent our problem has been poltics in team and we need to create better mental toughness,too many times we have lost tight games when pressure has been on to go win games,we need coaches right from first class cricket to develop this its not going to happen overnight but if we start to build tough mind at young age then in test cricket they will able to handle better when there tight situation games,i agree with you if you make test cricket as priority then naturally these players will be alright in one day cricket.

  • aftab on January 22, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Keeping my fingers crossed about Waqar Younis' response to PCB's demonic enquiry. Hoping he will simply neglect the woeful board and respond nicely to it. That is, to PCB out of the way to Cup.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on January 22, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    1st ODI something Pakistan must forget about. It was clearly a one sided affair. NZ will win by a mile. There goes the hopes of many rooting for Pak for a good showing in WC.

  • fahad abbasi on January 21, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    i agree with kamran abbasi this team always keep on coming back and has the potential of rising from the ashes.

  • Hammad Qadir on January 21, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    I completely agree with Kamran's analysis here. We have shown resilliance but we are not nearly as good a side as the fans would like us to be. The loss of Amir and Asif has been davastating. I could see, in these two, the most devastating pair in world cricket, especially in the test arena. But, as the story goes, it was too good to be true.

    This only means that we have room for more young players to come in and claim a stop. Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Wahab Riaz have done that pretty well uptill now.

    But the bottom line is, as Kamran rightly pointed, test cricket is the actual test of a cricketer's ability. Test is where a batsmen's technique is found out, where a fast bowler is challenged to innovate. If we can build a solid tets foundation, we can do every so well in the shorter versions.

    My only complain with the current selection is the absence of Fawad Alam from the test side. I think, and he has shown against Sri lanka, that he can be a solid middle order bastman.

  • tanvir on January 21, 2011, 0:28 GMT

    There are still much work,effort and job to do to become a good temporament test team which we can see only when Pak team win or draw seires with Aus,Eng,SA at their home ground. that will be real exam and perfect judgement of players.anyway best of luck but there are so many holes are still there to fill them.i hope coaches know all these mistakes made by players during match.for example selection of short by younis in last inning before tea and same style of many other Pak batsmans.

  • Ahmad Yusuf on January 20, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Does anyone know how to find that test win/loss ratio? i am not fully convinced that Pak has a better all time record than India and South Africa. @hitesh joshi Good comment. i agree with u. Well said mr Nadim Khan.

  • S Basu on January 20, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Dear Dr Abbasi

    I've read many an article written by you & usually found myself nodding in agreement. Never written in though - usually too busy. Have you ever considered chucking the day-job & taking this up full time? Perhaps even enter Pak cricket administration - you guys could use some sensible people at the top. So could India for that matter. I'll never forget your hilarious pseudo-scientific statistical analysis of Indo-Pak cricket published in the BMJ years ago. I even downloaded a copy to show to my disbelieving friends. Do you remember the supposition you floated - that Tendulkars World cup six off Akhtar may again change the balance of power? Right again.

    cheers & keep up the good work.

  • Cricket_fan on January 23, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    My comments are related to recent one-dayer and therfore out of the context of this article. Speculations of giving worldcup captaincy to Misbah may seem to be a better choice since Afridi has not shown any extra ordinary captaincy skills let alone his performance, while Misbah goes in contract in both. However, the temprament and cricket sense that Miandad had displayed is lacking and none of the current batsmen comes even close. Misbah while playing sound let the tail under expose and after taking power play showed no patience for playing till 50 overs. While trying to make most out of power play he showed his limited stroke play capability, mostly on side and favourably midwicket. Exposing all 3 stumps to play a leg glance, while plenty of overs were left, was kind of unasked for. We need to have strong self confidence that we severly lack in our team. Yusuf Pathan's century against SA is a classic example, taking the team from 8/119 to 9/219. Can not we display that positivity?

  • Saiful Ansari. Leesburg, USA on January 23, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Afridi should step down as Captain as his personal performance while Captaining the side has been at best 2nd rated. Misbah should replace Afridi as the new ODI Captain. Captaincy is about taking pressure and playing well when the rest of the team wobbles. It is also about playing with a plan according to the situation. Afridi lacks both. Pakistan is certainly not among the favorites for WC, but a good leader might just give the team an outside chance of getting to the round of last four. After the 9 wicket loss in their first ODI game against NZ, it will be hard for the boys to clinch a ODI series win in NZ, unless the team can come back hard... a feat not beyond the reach of team Pakistan. Many of us also know that our boys bloom late. Wake up tigers. It is time to pounce and grab glory.

  • ARSHAD KHAN on January 23, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    i enjoy reading your article,i would add further that we have never lacked talent our problem has been poltics in team and we need to create better mental toughness,too many times we have lost tight games when pressure has been on to go win games,we need coaches right from first class cricket to develop this its not going to happen overnight but if we start to build tough mind at young age then in test cricket they will able to handle better when there tight situation games,i agree with you if you make test cricket as priority then naturally these players will be alright in one day cricket.

  • aftab on January 22, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Keeping my fingers crossed about Waqar Younis' response to PCB's demonic enquiry. Hoping he will simply neglect the woeful board and respond nicely to it. That is, to PCB out of the way to Cup.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on January 22, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    1st ODI something Pakistan must forget about. It was clearly a one sided affair. NZ will win by a mile. There goes the hopes of many rooting for Pak for a good showing in WC.

  • fahad abbasi on January 21, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    i agree with kamran abbasi this team always keep on coming back and has the potential of rising from the ashes.

  • Hammad Qadir on January 21, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    I completely agree with Kamran's analysis here. We have shown resilliance but we are not nearly as good a side as the fans would like us to be. The loss of Amir and Asif has been davastating. I could see, in these two, the most devastating pair in world cricket, especially in the test arena. But, as the story goes, it was too good to be true.

    This only means that we have room for more young players to come in and claim a stop. Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Wahab Riaz have done that pretty well uptill now.

    But the bottom line is, as Kamran rightly pointed, test cricket is the actual test of a cricketer's ability. Test is where a batsmen's technique is found out, where a fast bowler is challenged to innovate. If we can build a solid tets foundation, we can do every so well in the shorter versions.

    My only complain with the current selection is the absence of Fawad Alam from the test side. I think, and he has shown against Sri lanka, that he can be a solid middle order bastman.

  • tanvir on January 21, 2011, 0:28 GMT

    There are still much work,effort and job to do to become a good temporament test team which we can see only when Pak team win or draw seires with Aus,Eng,SA at their home ground. that will be real exam and perfect judgement of players.anyway best of luck but there are so many holes are still there to fill them.i hope coaches know all these mistakes made by players during match.for example selection of short by younis in last inning before tea and same style of many other Pak batsmans.

  • Ahmad Yusuf on January 20, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Does anyone know how to find that test win/loss ratio? i am not fully convinced that Pak has a better all time record than India and South Africa. @hitesh joshi Good comment. i agree with u. Well said mr Nadim Khan.

  • S Basu on January 20, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Dear Dr Abbasi

    I've read many an article written by you & usually found myself nodding in agreement. Never written in though - usually too busy. Have you ever considered chucking the day-job & taking this up full time? Perhaps even enter Pak cricket administration - you guys could use some sensible people at the top. So could India for that matter. I'll never forget your hilarious pseudo-scientific statistical analysis of Indo-Pak cricket published in the BMJ years ago. I even downloaded a copy to show to my disbelieving friends. Do you remember the supposition you floated - that Tendulkars World cup six off Akhtar may again change the balance of power? Right again.

    cheers & keep up the good work.

  • Basharat Rasool on January 20, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    Pakistan has the habit of giving surprises. History told us, they surprise everyone with the natural talent. When the odds don't favour them, they play like a injured tiger to get their lost pride. May be it is 1992 World Cup or 2009 T20 world cup. In both the events, we came out from the barrel. Even the analysts who made predictions had failed to understand, how that happened. I make advice to all the analysts, don't make the predictions before the World Cup 2011 begins. Indian commentators or former & current Indian players & even public or their advertising agencies all realising that they are the lone contenders to win this world cup. Remember friends, there are 14 teams playing in the tournament, not india alone, and the is huge mountain to climb before they hold that trophy and team Pakistan is not so weak they don't win this tournament. Remember Cornered Tigers of 1992 & 2009. In both the occasions they are not favourites but they still won those tournaments due to their unity.

  • Khair on January 20, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    I would only like to add along with many thougtful posts here, that discipline and integrity must be maintained at all costs. I am glad to hear that the PCB did not hesitate to put the coach on notice for making comments to the media. Players and officials who work for the team must not air their criticisms openly to the media; that is to be done internally. They can make general comments but not specific comments about the team. It causes disruption and disunity within the team and the only people who benefit are the media because they get a story.

  • Rukhman on January 20, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Congrats to Misbah & Co for series win after 4 years. Securing the series win was much more important then wining the 2nd test. Kaushik’s cycle theory is correct too. In case of Pakistan, achievement cycle (Great, good, bad, worse) turns much faster then as compared to other cricket playing countries. Perhaps this is the reason why performance of Pakistan team is the most un predictable. If by chance Amir gets some favorable decision from ICC and somehow Shoaib Malik gets into the good books of PCB, current Pak ODI team might complete another achievement cycle(Great one) in the coming world Cup. Best of luck to Pak team and others too.

  • Zainab on January 19, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    Well it is awesome to see pakistan right on track again. I felt very happy for them like the rest of the people, but could'nt they perform better like this in the past. I just wnat to say good luck in world cup beacsue they need it.

  • Hitesh Joshi on January 19, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Pakistan selectors must get their act right. Azhar Ali is clicking, dont drop him after a few matches. Younis Khan is the backbone of their batting and Misbah has potential to provide strong support. Umar Akmal, when he comes back, can be a problem child for the opposition, even though he has been more of a problem for the team lately. Young gun will hopefully mature soon. Mohd Hafeez may have vital role to play in the WC. Things are not awfully bad, but the selectors will have to consider the team environment in making decisions. Kamran Akmal, Mohd. Amir and Salman Butt should be allowed only if they are really clean, and show the door to Mohd. Asif forever. Show the players that no matter how promising their potential is, keeping Pak cricket clean is better in the long run than anything else. That is not only better for Pak, but also for world cricket. Solve domestic problems and bring cricket back to Pakistan. Play some good test cricket. Come to India and lets play good cricket!

  • Salman on January 18, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Thanks alot for such a wonderful article. Great job, it really made me proud. Keep it up.

  • morfi on January 18, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    As usual, Kamran, Spot ON! The PCB should hire you as an advisor!! I would only wish to see Pakistan play more test cricket. I hate only 2-test series and the fact that we play only against NZ, West Indies more often. PCB shd coordiante more test match tours after the wolrd cup against Sri lanka, South Africa etc.

    Also, I wish PCB has some sense and does not change captains for at least 2 years. Misbah shd be gievn a good term of 1-2 yrs regardless of the results of the series including the present one. Aridi shd continue his work with the limited overs side as long as he can hold fort. Lastly, the T20 team shd be very different. Younis, Yousuf, Asad Shafiq, Misbah, Tanvir Ahmed shd all stop palying T20s and concentrate on test and odi. And PCB shd groom bowlers for test cricket, bowlers like Asif who are exceptional at that form, and dont play T20.

  • Aditya on January 18, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    I agree with you completely. Test cricket is the ultimate. Also, the priority among the administrators should be to work as hard as possible with the concerned organizations to improve the security situation in Pakistan, so that at some point it becomes possible for them to play a home series again. To improve Pakistan's Test record this is very important.

  • Meety on January 17, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Also bad luck re: Misbah & his 99, he deserved a ton. I also thought that Younis was unlucky to be given out. That led to a collapse.

  • Meety on January 17, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    Good article. I think World Cricket is better when Pakistan is competitive. This side (with the inclusion of MoYo), could really compete against any side anywhere & win. Don't know how long Misbah will play - he's 36yo, but he is doing a good job. Hopefully Aamir may get leniancy, & re-joins the side, this would give good striking power to the attack with Gul & Wahib.

  • Asif on January 16, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    Asak, There is no doubt that test cricket is very important and mizbah is doing a good job as a captain but it doesn't mean that Afridi is doing bad in the shorter formats as a captain. The Pcb and the detractors of Afridi should know that he is the one who developed fighting spirit and unity in the team.I think he did a great job against england and south africa by fighting till the end and with a little bit of luck pak would have won both the series.He was the highest run getter and the wicket taker in 2010 for pak in one days.Pcb should immediately appoint afridi captain for the world cup also and my suggestion to mizbah is he should follow the example of laxman and dravid and play only tests.The pcb should not pay any attention to Zaheer Abbas,Amir Sohail and other detractors of afridi who have been criticizing him for the last ten years and their job is always to critisize others. Finally after agreeing that test cricket is the real cricket one cannot neglect the short formats of the game which are very interesting, draw more crowds and has globalised the game and in terms of popularity have become more important than test cricket.It is a very fast paced game and u need a dynamic Afridi to lead the team and as the great imran said if afridi clicks pak has a realistic chance of winning it.

  • aftab on January 16, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Spot on, and thanks for the ratio thingy! We already see from the new players' attitude that they recognize it's not easy to find a place in Pak 11. That's good enough for the team to keep its place in World. WC is sure going to Pakistan. If I understood Indian politics visa vis Pakistan, India has always tried to welcome Pakistani public heroes to show that Indians give them the respect they deserve. However, India's execution of its ability to shun Pakistani crickers has thrown cold water on its hardwork done on Pakistani singers...for example.

  • MURAD JAN on January 16, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    ALL THE BEST PAKISTAN WE ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU,,,,,,,,,MURAD JAN MOSCOW

  • Syed J Ahmed on January 16, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    Test Cricket is Real Cricket. Pakistani's shouldn't shy away from Test Cricket saying it is not our natural game. I actually find Pakistan test Cricket more entertaining than their T20 because you just never know what you'll get. I think the recent series of Odi and Test cricket has silenced all critics who said t20 is a better format. Pakistan sould focus on Test cricket and it is nice to see players like Azhar Ali play senseble and patient cricet.

  • Anila on January 15, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    KAMRAN I want to mention something which some thing not relating to the subject here. I have seen pakistan's last 8 test matches and one thing which I note all the time is that no pakistani player can return throw a ball to fall with one meter of bating crease. They are so poor at it that the wicket keeper has to normally move a many steps to sides to collect the ball. What the hell for have we got trainers and coaches who cash their pays in dollars.

  • Owais on January 15, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    Nadeem Khan - very good analysis. I wish PCB and the great Butt was actually some moveable object....

  • Nadeem Khan on January 15, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    Well said Mr. Kaushik...

  • Shahid, Denmark on January 15, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    3rd. best win/loss ratio?? outstanding statistics, never knew that. Pakistan be much better if there was a professional management running the PCB.

  • Rashid Hussain on January 14, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    I agree with you. There is need of skillful cricketers. Imran Khan always emphasised on genuine bowlers and genuine batesmen. Thats why Pakistan won the world cup in 1992. Present Pakistani team now starting well under the captainship of Misbah ul Haq. First they drew series against South Africa now beated New Zealand at their homeland. Only need to eridicate politics from Pakistan cricket.

  • Shahid on January 14, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    Pakistan should take lot of heart from the recent performances. Just consider the following 4 encouragement Pakistani bowling attack gave tough times to English and Australian batsmen in England & once we get our first string bowling attack bak, v'll be serious contenders to the #1,2 sides altho not on paper & much of that owing to our inconsistency, and lack of interest in winning the dead rubbers. Ian Chappel said once "you need to have a great bowling attack to be a great side." -Pakistani batting has shown a lot of promise against South Africa and here in New Zealand and combined with the best bowling attack (if we get Asif,Amir bak) we are looking at a bright future. -Another encouraging aspect has been the fielding. In recent games in New Zealand, fielding has improved a lot. -In test cricket, captaincy of Misbah ul Haq has been encouraging and he should captain for 3-4 years provided his form stays what it is right now. In the meanwhile v should groom a test captain 4 future

  • Mohammed Khan on January 14, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Good Comments, but we must give credit to where it is due.....Misbahul Haq's captaincy has been inspirational since he has lead the side,Pakistan would have won the last test series in New Zealand had Younis Khan been in the side. Similarly we missed Yousuf , Younis and Misbah in the England test series. You cannot expect to win against a tough opposition like England with batting novices like Umar Amin,Umar Akmal and Azhar Ali. Salman Butt's defensive captaincy did not help matters as well....

  • Afzel M. Khan on January 14, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Absolutely right on the mark, Mr. Kamran! Problem is for commercial & security reasons lately PCB even with different administrations at the helm remained indifferent to this format of the game which resulted in diminishing results. Who else from the top test nations playing more two test series than Pakistan? No player can attain any stature unless proving himself in this format. If Pakistan's current crop is regarded less then we only need to look at the amount of tests Pakistan is getting to play these days.

  • Mohammad Imran Hyder on January 14, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    100% with the writting, even if you exlude the last 5 years from Pakistan's cricketing history in which culprits emerged, Pakistan win loss ratio would be far more superior.

    current team may not have world class names and icons but yes they have the atitute and atleast an ability to play fair irrespective of losing or winning matches and that is what a game of cricket requires.

  • Kamran Khan on January 14, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    I agree with the gist of your article, test cricket should definitely be the priority. There is one factual error. It's not quite as long since we won back to back tests. You've forgotten we beat the West Indies 3-0 at home in late 2006.

  • Kaushik Datta on January 14, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Dear Mr Kamran Abbasi,

    This is Kaushik Datta, am an Indian and a follower of Pakistani Cricket and do admire your crickters.I have also been following your blog for a long time.I must say you write really well and impartially too. But I do read between the lines too of what you say and convey.There has always been a hidden (somewhat)attempt in your words to drag India into the equation, some sort of implicit comaparison, some sort of casual disregard for Indian cricket.Everything in life is a cycle ! West Indies,Australia,Pakistan had a great team once, India has one now.And yes, a good/great team does not form overnight.Years of hard work, perseverance, patience..etc you can make all the virtues. So, irrespective of which part of the cycle a country is in (Great,Good,Bad) we should respect and acknowledge the achievements of others and the fact the cycle will come back for everyone. Don't you feel so ? :) - Kaushik

  • mohsin jamal on January 14, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    I dont agree with the following line in the second para:

    "...the only event to diminish their passion for cricket has been the demoralising spot-fixing drama of this last year."

    I think and believe: "passion for cricket doesnot diminish!"

    ...rest is very good.

  • Malik Kazim on January 14, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    We will hav 2 praise the gutts of Misbah who has converted sum disturbed individuals into a real fighting force.........nice 2 see Pak on top of Ind & Saf

  • EAMiran on January 14, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    At last a kind word about test cricket. The emphasis on ODI and T20 cricket has destroyed Pakistan's cricketing standards in general. Mickey mouse cricketers have been raised to test level in the last decade when they have clearly not reached the required standards. World Cups, whether ODI or T20, are used to measure Pakistan's success and not Test wins. This sort of thinking must be eradicated.

  • harshvardhan on January 14, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Last back to back test win against bangladesh way way way back in 2003 ,8 years well that sums up the state of pakistan cricket enough said

  • Adil on January 14, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    Rightly said, test cricket is the direction to go. A good test team can produce good results in any formats, but like you said, hit and miss stars of T20 are normally good for nothing.

  • sak on January 13, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    Pak should not consider losing as an option from such a position. Expecting a seaming wicket in Wellington,Pak should plan to win or draw the match at least, to win the series. A series win after an eventful 2010 will be a big boost for our cricket. We have a coach, who has all the experience of playing in NZ. He should guide the young side. Same grit & determination is required from our players as was shown against SA in Abu Dhabi & 1st test in Hamilton.

  • Umair Dar on January 13, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    I agree 100%. We need to get back to basics and focus on a strong, resilient test team that makes the most of available resources. If the likes of Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Hafeez and maybe even Ahmed Shahzad can develop good test match technique and patience, under the guidance of Younis Khan/Misbah, then they will naturally excel at limited overs cricket too.

    Same goes for the likes of Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul etc. in the bowling dept.

    The players are there, the talent is there, what we need is focus and application - and a world class allrounder would help the balance.. something tells me there's a lot more to Wahab, Umar Gul and Abdur Rehman's batting skills - they could have the makings of a very frustrating tail, something we really need to consistently get the 350+ scores in test cricket.

  • Mohammad Asad on January 13, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA ........................................... It's good to see 'Pak team are organizing' ...................... They have almost overcome the last year crisis .................. PCB must have to play a fair role ................................ All the best !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bobstar on January 13, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    That was very well written, Kamran.

  • Ali Shah on January 13, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    spot on Kamran........test cricket is the real test and test cricket is real cricket.

  • Nadeem Khan on January 13, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    v. England tour: We could win first 2 tests, had the PCB allowed Younis and Yousaf instead of young U. Amin and A. Ali. Poor selection is to be blamed here.

    In general: the selection is always done under malign influences. Just notice:

    a. Fawad alam should be playing in tests but he is playing in T20s. Sohail Tanvir is opposite. :)

    b. Rana Naved is good enough to play in ODIs and T20s but he is out of side.

    c. Imran Nazir, Shazaib must play in T20s but they are not considered at all.

    One positive thing is that PCB has selected best available lot of players for WC. May be, step in right direction.

  • Nadeem Khan on January 13, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    I'm glad to see this blog. Thanks for highlighting that the win/loss of Pakistan is 3rd best among test playing nations. I still believe that Pakistan could do better in their last few test series since they won the T20 in England. Here is a little piece of analysis.

    i. Pak fought well in Champions trophy. Beaten India, lost to a below-avg NZ side in semis but politics and mismanagement led the fall of Younis.

    ii. Test series in SL came down to chasing a modest total of 150 odd runs in the final match which we lost due to familiar batting collapse against Herath. May be some malign influence started from there.

    iii. Australia tour was disaster, specially after Sydney test. But I would say that PCB played major role in that collapse by not allowing younis in tests. Bad selection.

    iv. Asia cup: same story. Came close to beating India and SL and let it slip away. But Afridi, the right man for job, was chosen as captain.

  • Adeel Hasan on January 13, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    In complete agreement! Very Insightful piece of writing!

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  • Adeel Hasan on January 13, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    In complete agreement! Very Insightful piece of writing!

  • Nadeem Khan on January 13, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    I'm glad to see this blog. Thanks for highlighting that the win/loss of Pakistan is 3rd best among test playing nations. I still believe that Pakistan could do better in their last few test series since they won the T20 in England. Here is a little piece of analysis.

    i. Pak fought well in Champions trophy. Beaten India, lost to a below-avg NZ side in semis but politics and mismanagement led the fall of Younis.

    ii. Test series in SL came down to chasing a modest total of 150 odd runs in the final match which we lost due to familiar batting collapse against Herath. May be some malign influence started from there.

    iii. Australia tour was disaster, specially after Sydney test. But I would say that PCB played major role in that collapse by not allowing younis in tests. Bad selection.

    iv. Asia cup: same story. Came close to beating India and SL and let it slip away. But Afridi, the right man for job, was chosen as captain.

  • Nadeem Khan on January 13, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    v. England tour: We could win first 2 tests, had the PCB allowed Younis and Yousaf instead of young U. Amin and A. Ali. Poor selection is to be blamed here.

    In general: the selection is always done under malign influences. Just notice:

    a. Fawad alam should be playing in tests but he is playing in T20s. Sohail Tanvir is opposite. :)

    b. Rana Naved is good enough to play in ODIs and T20s but he is out of side.

    c. Imran Nazir, Shazaib must play in T20s but they are not considered at all.

    One positive thing is that PCB has selected best available lot of players for WC. May be, step in right direction.

  • Ali Shah on January 13, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    spot on Kamran........test cricket is the real test and test cricket is real cricket.

  • bobstar on January 13, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    That was very well written, Kamran.

  • Mohammad Asad on January 13, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA ........................................... It's good to see 'Pak team are organizing' ...................... They have almost overcome the last year crisis .................. PCB must have to play a fair role ................................ All the best !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Umair Dar on January 13, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    I agree 100%. We need to get back to basics and focus on a strong, resilient test team that makes the most of available resources. If the likes of Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Hafeez and maybe even Ahmed Shahzad can develop good test match technique and patience, under the guidance of Younis Khan/Misbah, then they will naturally excel at limited overs cricket too.

    Same goes for the likes of Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul etc. in the bowling dept.

    The players are there, the talent is there, what we need is focus and application - and a world class allrounder would help the balance.. something tells me there's a lot more to Wahab, Umar Gul and Abdur Rehman's batting skills - they could have the makings of a very frustrating tail, something we really need to consistently get the 350+ scores in test cricket.

  • sak on January 13, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    Pak should not consider losing as an option from such a position. Expecting a seaming wicket in Wellington,Pak should plan to win or draw the match at least, to win the series. A series win after an eventful 2010 will be a big boost for our cricket. We have a coach, who has all the experience of playing in NZ. He should guide the young side. Same grit & determination is required from our players as was shown against SA in Abu Dhabi & 1st test in Hamilton.

  • Adil on January 14, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    Rightly said, test cricket is the direction to go. A good test team can produce good results in any formats, but like you said, hit and miss stars of T20 are normally good for nothing.

  • harshvardhan on January 14, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Last back to back test win against bangladesh way way way back in 2003 ,8 years well that sums up the state of pakistan cricket enough said