World Cup 2011 March 4, 2011

Surprise but no shocks enliven Pakistan's progress

Until the turn of this century qualifying from the first stage of a World Cup had become a formality for Pakistan
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Until the turn of this century qualifying from the first stage of a World Cup had become a formality for Pakistan. One-day cricket was a successful specialism for Pakistan's cricketers. That same minimum standard was expected in 2003 when Waqar Younis, the current coach, captained his country in South Africa. A listless, over-the-hill team crashed out of the group stages. Redemption was expected in 2007 under the dogged captaincy of Inzamam-ul Haq but nobody could have predicted the climactic events that followed.

Now Pakistan have all but qualified for the second stage of a World Cup tournament for the first time this century, a remarkable statistic. In typical Pakistani fashion, Shahid Afridi's team has progressed rapidly when it might have been expected to falter. We know Pakistan cricket has been an enigma, and it remains one today. One minute we are surprised by the team's apparent consistency, the next shocked that it is stumbling against Canada, rekindling terrible memories of the 2007 decider against Ireland.

Yet this eternal drama never ceases to fascinate. Why would it? Pakistan's cricketers are capable of swinging from exhilarating panache to laughable amateurism in a matter of moments. Canada brought out the worst in the batsmen but the best in the bowlers, although the performance did produce consolation on three fronts.

First, and most importantly, Pakistan have not lost that precious ability to surprise, something that their recent consistency had masked. Second, it is better to stumble now than later in the tournament. The team that wins the World Cup by definition peaks at the right time. Finally, there was a healthy desire to fight for victory, a trait that deserted Pakistan in their whimpering defeats in the past two World Cups.

With current progress, Pakistan have confirmed that they are challengers, nothing more. Defeats of Kenya and Canada don't confer favourite status, but a win over Sri Lanka on home turf does suggest a team is capable of a genuine challenge for the trophy. Indeed, on the evidence of what we have seen so far, few teams can match Pakistan's variety and penetration in bowling.

Three matches remain to turn the current sense of relief into genuine optimism. The team formula isn't quite right, some of the batsmen are yet to find their form, and sloppiness in the field could cost Pakistan a tight match. Wasn't it ever thus?

The half way point of the group stages is a time for Pakistan to be quietly satisfied with their work. The rest of us might wonder how a country that has experienced such upheaval in cricket and in civil society over at least a decade, possesses cricketers of sufficient talent to threaten more prosperous, stable, and privileged powers?

Waqar and Afridi, and their troops, might exasperate us as the competition wears on but they deserve some gratitude from Pakistan's supporters for restoring a little pride and belief after a season of absolute disillusionment.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anand Narasimha on March 10, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Guys, Please don't try and convert the Pakistani team into a clinical and boring one (like South Africa). It's their raw natural talent, unpredictability and mercurial temperament that makes them entertaining! After India I support Pakistan. Watching them play is like watching a soap opera. Imagine the Cricket Team if India and Pakistan weren't divided! My best advise to Afridi and his boys- go out and play freely and fearlessly, with your natural flair....and yes, you do hav fans in India!

  • Shahid on March 10, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    I see a serious problem with our bowling...... I don't think Shoaib is fit and disciplined enough to continue the form that he showed in initial games of this world cup. I just can't understand why we are not giving a chance to Junaid Khan who has been termed as Amir's replacement by experts and who did very well in the warm up game against England.

    Wicket keeping is also a challenge but we should not consider dropping Kamran. Let Umar stand behind the stumps, drop Shehzad and use Kamran as a specialised opener for the rest of the games. Younis must come at one down with Misbah to follow. We need to find space for Junaid Khan in the playing eleven.

    We may consider trying Asad Shqfiq in place of Younis Khan. He is also equally classy and reliable Middle Order batsman and had done quite well in the recent past.

    I can see the following changes required in the playing eleven.....

    1. Replace Younis with Asad 2. Replace Shoaib with Junaid Khan 3. Replace Rehman with Ajmal

  • Vishwa on March 9, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Did I write here just two days back that -- let Pakistan chase anything more than 250 plus, and see how they perform? This is the second time in a row that Pakistan could not score even 200.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on March 8, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    It was coming. Fortunately it came sooner than later. If the masssive defeat has taught Waqar, Afridi & Inty any valuable lessons, they must change plans and the composition of the team to survive against competitive opposition. Another specialist bowler will be the key. The wicket keeping woes need to be addressed. Fielding issues deserve attention. shoaib Akhtar is unfit to perform at this level and it may be argued there ia a case to replace him with the young Khan. There is little time and much to do, if the team can meet the expectations of the fans.

  • khayam zafar on March 8, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    New Zealand today out class Pakistan in every department.At best we were pathetic. Afridi captaincy was below average.Body language was poor and seems like there was no stratgey how we are going to chase this total.Worst Vettori didn't bowl a single over because of injury and we still didn't took any advantage. Just brainless cricket alround. New Zealand expose that pakistan can be beaten by batting first and by keeping wickets in hand.Shoaib Akhtar was very poor and so was Razzak.We need Wahab and Saeed AJmal to take wikets.So my team against Zimbabwe is 1 Hafeez 2 K.Akamal 3 A.Razzak 4 Younis 5 Misbah 6 U.Akmal 7 Afridi 8 Wahab 9 Gul 10 Ajmal 11 Rehman. plenty of wicket taking options in this line up.

  • sohail on March 8, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    Spoke too soon kam, srilanka were easy bait in the conditions - NZ is our shocker.

    Akmals together have cost pak the world cup, the reputation of the side and shoaib - may his career end quickly, as his era has been the worst for the team, and he has played a part too.

    godammned monkeys.

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on March 8, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Before start of this world cup tournament, there are lots of Criticisms & Scandals of Match-fixing, team grouping conspiracy between the players had been weighed on the Pakistan's team shoulder. For this reason, all the officials of Pakistan Cricket management Board should have been become alerted & careful in every match they would compete, especially to selection committee should had decided whose player has his own first class performed quality with dependability for Pakistan Team. Wipe out the root of Kamran Akmal [ 10000% must be kicked out] , Shoaib Akhter[ another below standard 3rd class player+sinner+match fixer] & miserable Younis Khan’s improper batting quality. And it has been proving that can Pakistan beat Zimbabwe [ there is no way to beat the professional Aussies – in these categories of Pak players misery performance] to qualify in the quarter-final stages ???!!!!

  • kamran on March 8, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Wake up call for Pakistan. The good is that they have time to react. Pakistan has to play to their strength(bowling). We are very short in bowling. With two and a half full time bowlers you cannot win world cup. Kamran Akmal should take some rest too. Probably Umar Akmal can keep as good as his brother. Shoaib Akhtar cannot bowl 10 overs with 8 days of rest. His fitness problem is apparent. Wahab and Junaid could be tried in place of Akhtar and Kamran Akmal. Asad Shafiq might as well get a chance in place of Hafeez/Ahmad. Abdul Razak can also bat at no. 4. Selectors/Management/Captain need to react NOW.

  • atheoi on March 8, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    Shahzad's wicket tootally booked one... Atleast he should take lesson's for some acting...:)

  • Raheel Ahmed on March 8, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Thanks to Kamran "Butter Finger" Akmal to confirm my point as he just drop Ross Taylor twice in same over. I just can't blv this man.

  • Anand Narasimha on March 10, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Guys, Please don't try and convert the Pakistani team into a clinical and boring one (like South Africa). It's their raw natural talent, unpredictability and mercurial temperament that makes them entertaining! After India I support Pakistan. Watching them play is like watching a soap opera. Imagine the Cricket Team if India and Pakistan weren't divided! My best advise to Afridi and his boys- go out and play freely and fearlessly, with your natural flair....and yes, you do hav fans in India!

  • Shahid on March 10, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    I see a serious problem with our bowling...... I don't think Shoaib is fit and disciplined enough to continue the form that he showed in initial games of this world cup. I just can't understand why we are not giving a chance to Junaid Khan who has been termed as Amir's replacement by experts and who did very well in the warm up game against England.

    Wicket keeping is also a challenge but we should not consider dropping Kamran. Let Umar stand behind the stumps, drop Shehzad and use Kamran as a specialised opener for the rest of the games. Younis must come at one down with Misbah to follow. We need to find space for Junaid Khan in the playing eleven.

    We may consider trying Asad Shqfiq in place of Younis Khan. He is also equally classy and reliable Middle Order batsman and had done quite well in the recent past.

    I can see the following changes required in the playing eleven.....

    1. Replace Younis with Asad 2. Replace Shoaib with Junaid Khan 3. Replace Rehman with Ajmal

  • Vishwa on March 9, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Did I write here just two days back that -- let Pakistan chase anything more than 250 plus, and see how they perform? This is the second time in a row that Pakistan could not score even 200.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on March 8, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    It was coming. Fortunately it came sooner than later. If the masssive defeat has taught Waqar, Afridi & Inty any valuable lessons, they must change plans and the composition of the team to survive against competitive opposition. Another specialist bowler will be the key. The wicket keeping woes need to be addressed. Fielding issues deserve attention. shoaib Akhtar is unfit to perform at this level and it may be argued there ia a case to replace him with the young Khan. There is little time and much to do, if the team can meet the expectations of the fans.

  • khayam zafar on March 8, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    New Zealand today out class Pakistan in every department.At best we were pathetic. Afridi captaincy was below average.Body language was poor and seems like there was no stratgey how we are going to chase this total.Worst Vettori didn't bowl a single over because of injury and we still didn't took any advantage. Just brainless cricket alround. New Zealand expose that pakistan can be beaten by batting first and by keeping wickets in hand.Shoaib Akhtar was very poor and so was Razzak.We need Wahab and Saeed AJmal to take wikets.So my team against Zimbabwe is 1 Hafeez 2 K.Akamal 3 A.Razzak 4 Younis 5 Misbah 6 U.Akmal 7 Afridi 8 Wahab 9 Gul 10 Ajmal 11 Rehman. plenty of wicket taking options in this line up.

  • sohail on March 8, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    Spoke too soon kam, srilanka were easy bait in the conditions - NZ is our shocker.

    Akmals together have cost pak the world cup, the reputation of the side and shoaib - may his career end quickly, as his era has been the worst for the team, and he has played a part too.

    godammned monkeys.

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on March 8, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Before start of this world cup tournament, there are lots of Criticisms & Scandals of Match-fixing, team grouping conspiracy between the players had been weighed on the Pakistan's team shoulder. For this reason, all the officials of Pakistan Cricket management Board should have been become alerted & careful in every match they would compete, especially to selection committee should had decided whose player has his own first class performed quality with dependability for Pakistan Team. Wipe out the root of Kamran Akmal [ 10000% must be kicked out] , Shoaib Akhter[ another below standard 3rd class player+sinner+match fixer] & miserable Younis Khan’s improper batting quality. And it has been proving that can Pakistan beat Zimbabwe [ there is no way to beat the professional Aussies – in these categories of Pak players misery performance] to qualify in the quarter-final stages ???!!!!

  • kamran on March 8, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Wake up call for Pakistan. The good is that they have time to react. Pakistan has to play to their strength(bowling). We are very short in bowling. With two and a half full time bowlers you cannot win world cup. Kamran Akmal should take some rest too. Probably Umar Akmal can keep as good as his brother. Shoaib Akhtar cannot bowl 10 overs with 8 days of rest. His fitness problem is apparent. Wahab and Junaid could be tried in place of Akhtar and Kamran Akmal. Asad Shafiq might as well get a chance in place of Hafeez/Ahmad. Abdul Razak can also bat at no. 4. Selectors/Management/Captain need to react NOW.

  • atheoi on March 8, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    Shahzad's wicket tootally booked one... Atleast he should take lesson's for some acting...:)

  • Raheel Ahmed on March 8, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Thanks to Kamran "Butter Finger" Akmal to confirm my point as he just drop Ross Taylor twice in same over. I just can't blv this man.

  • Krish on March 8, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Agood bowling attack is vital to win the cup. I see pakistan having a varied & strong bowling attack just like Sri lanka, making it one of the top contenders for the cup

  • Vishwa on March 7, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    @Nadeem Khan: Pakistan could not score even 200 runs against Canada. They have yet to score 300 runs and their batsmen have yet to hit a century in this world-cup of flat-pitches! Their net run-rate is below Sri Lanka and Australia, and not really different from N Zealand. Let Pakistan chase anything more than 250 plus, and see how they perform!

  • kamran qureshi on March 7, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    I think the main problem pakistan is facing right now is how to use Razzak.I think the best way to use him is to send him b/w 35th to 40th over regardless of his batting position and this may mean sending him before Afridi and even before Umer Akmal at times.The only other option is to drop one of the opener and play with two specialist spinners.Otherwise the team is fine.Kamran Akmal should stop coming down the wicket,he can play fine from the crease with all the shot he has.His keeping is below par so far and we can not afford this standard of keeping when we play big teams so he better shape up against Newzealand.I would not drop Hafeez,like Afridi his utility is tremendous whether its bowling,fielding or batting,he will perform.

  • manu patel on March 7, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    ya a nice article, no doubt Pakistan is playing real good cricket then any other team. they have the confidence that i had never seen before. i wish let them show the other players and countries, playing cricket is not just to make money, but it is some thing bigger than that. to bring pride to your county and to your people. i wish them best of luck.

  • fhs on March 7, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    Pak is playing way better than other teams in the tournament (3 of 3). It is time to support them! If the wining is coming form the current combination then let it play. I am sure Shehzad and Hafeez will perform good. I believe they are the futures (not K Akmal). Make the change when needed. No need to follow the script. I am in favor to put Razzaq at #3 when we chase high score game. Or #5 with the batting power play. Go Pakistan!

  • Lateef on March 7, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    Drop Hafeez...open with Kamran and Shahzad and please please bring Ab Razzaq as one down...........pak will be unbeatable.....

  • saqib ijaz malik on March 7, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    dear all some of u are critisizing afridi 11, but remember that no one is perfect. u all know the domestic and the grassroot level of pak cricket. there is no proper training and ground available to our youth. only those with God gifted abilities come forward. so with these conditions how come u could say that all our team should win all matches.

  • Imran on March 7, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    imagine razzaq coming as pinch hitter in the first 15 overs and scoring 60 or 70 runs from 25 or 30 balls....Pak will get such a dream start....

  • M. Haroon Dossani on March 7, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Cricket and specially 50 overs cricket is all about nerves. It is just like Soccer World Cup final in USA when Italy lost because of Roberto Baggio lost his nerves and shot out of the goal against Brazil.

    History is witness that Pakistan lost the matches which were already in their pockets against Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa lately only that Pakistani players could not calm down their nerves.

    So first and foremost importance for team management is to keep the morale of the players high so that they may face any situation confidently.

  • Raheel Ahmed on March 7, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    I don't know what is the logic of bearing with glaring mistakes which Kamran Akmal makes and we are talking about some basic and simple chances here. It is about time that we either drop him or else play him as a batsmen. Plus the use of Razzak baffles me like anything. This is guy who is feared around the world for his consistent big hitting and we are unable to utilize him properly. I blv he is a better hitter than Afridi and Pakistan should send him btw 30-40 overs when a wicket falls and take a power play then. 5 overs of Razzak mayhem can seal the match for us.

    The team is playing with all the spirit n fight and that is what all the Pakistani people want. We don't mind losing if we have given our 100 % on the field and haven't made any stupid mistakes.

    I think a lot of people were not taking Pak team seriously before the WC but a win against SL made some waves. I personally think Pakistan has as much chance of winning this WC as Aus, Sri, Ind and SAF have

  • Abde-Ali Bohra on March 7, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    I believe now Pak team has mature brains, and they will certainly fight for win in every game, and eventually win the world cup inshallah. Iam in 100% agreement with Shabaik comments of introducing a extra bowler (preferrably in the lineup at the expense of Ahmed Shezad. This will provide a very attacking bowling attack. The point to understand is if pitches are bad, even the best batstmen will not be able to score much, then you need attacking wicket taking bowlers, to bowl the opposition out. And if wickets are good, and if opposition bats first, without a quality bowling attack, scores of 300 plus are being made, which are hard to chase. Pak has genuine spinners and fast men, so my suggestion is pls play full strength of bowlers. The team batting order is Open with Hafeez & Kamran Akmal 3 & 4th Younis & Misbah 5 & 6th Umar Akmal & Afridi 7 & 8th Razzak & Umar Gul 9 & 10th Rehman & Saeed Ajmal 11th Shoaib Akhter.

  • Kashif Younus on March 7, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    @Manish: While India barely defends 300+ against Bangladesh, for the sake of their lives could not defend 327 against England and barely crossed the line against Ireland.... Yes, India is in a tougher group.....because they have Bangladesh and Ireland competing for a quarters place.....

    And Yes, Pakistan's needs to prove much about them per the said article...

    Dude, we were written off by pundits, down and out truly before first ball was bowled, but then here we are....the only side with MAXIMUM points....Fromy either group at the half way stage

    When will we start worrying about our own house first.....

  • wajid on March 7, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    yes very good articlas yes pakistan should look his weaknes points specialy opners and fielding i dont understand why imran nazir not playing this side coz he is world class opner rather then hafeez and shahzad specialy shazad is young and unexperince and hafeez is out of form then they must look his main weak point fiedling is to much pooooor. to much worry abot tht and not consisting bating line in canada match bating was not consitant is so aridi and intkhab alam rething agian thnx

  • Irfan Aziz on March 7, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    I think we are too critical about the team. For God's sake let the team play in the same spirit and don't forget that Pak team has suffered a lot in the recent past. Give them some more time & they will prove to be the best. However, I agree that they need an additional bowler in their line up so that they can achieve what the entire nation wants!!

  • iqbal on March 7, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    pak iz going good.they have very good bowing attak.in bating line, they have to make certain changes. to me either afrida or Razzaq should open the inning, i belive it will help the team more than they requide

  • kamran on March 7, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    Well done Pakistan team. For future WC matches against NZ, Aus and QFinals, formula is simple. Pakistan need to score above 250(batting first) and keeping others under 250(bowling first) to be on the winning side. Up till now in bowling Shahid Afridi has picked up half of the wickets with other bowlers supporting him. In batting Pakistan batted first in all three wins that were played in Hambontota and Colombo. In remaining games the only change that can occur is by adding a bowler and cut a batsman. Now selectors and captain has to decide for the playing eleven depending on OPPONENT and WHERE Pakistan is playing that opponent.

  • haha on March 6, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    @ Umair Muzaffar: For automatic qualification for the world cup ICC should require a genuine fast bowler in the team. Cricket is not only the game for the flat track bully batsmen and watta spinners.

    Haha, like pakistan poses any genuine fast bowler?!

  • dr farooq azam on March 6, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Salam to everyone.I think pakistan is capable to win WC if they show that unity which is shown tell yet.and younas misbah and K akmal should know their job as main middle order batsmen and could play tell 50th over.Abdurrazaq is a match wining player and he will proof it again in this WC. Shoaib and gul are the best fast attack in the world with the coach like waqar so what they need is just to show permanent consistency in every match. And I request from the governament of pakistan and PCB to dont make more problems to shahid afridi,s eleven

  • Rohaan on March 6, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    @Manish

    Defeating an extremely talented, and in my opinion, tournament favorite, Sri Lankan team on home soil is no mean feat. If Sri Lanka isn't a "good team", we don't share the same definitions of good. Secondly, I don't see why the double standards would apply to Pakistan when India, too, crashed out of the previous world cup quite early.

  • Ijaz Ahmed on March 6, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Absolutely right Pakistan is an unexpected side and can do anything positive or negative. Therefore, it is my precaution to all WC contenders don't take them easy otherwise can be cause of shock.Pakistan side may out by Zimbabwe or outclass to Australia anything can be happen. They have Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq they are always show one man show. If they both click you have to know about the result. They have ablity to win the match individually. Pakistan Vs England(Abdul Razzaq Performance) and India vs Pakistan ( Afridi's performance) are match winning and historical innings.

  • Saeed Pirzada on March 6, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Real test for Pakistan will be against Aussies in First Round ...

  • Umair Muzaffar on March 6, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    @manish: When Waqar, wasim, Inzamam, Saeed and Aamir were beating every team in the world ... and India was failing every team in the world: would have said the same thing about Indian team?

    So, if this time Pakistan are underdogs ... why push then out to qualify for the WC? Ups and downs come and go ... but biases stay universal.

    For automatic qualification for the world cup ICC should require a genuine fast bowler in the team. Cricket is not only the game for the flat track bully batsmen and watta spinners.

  • shaibak on March 6, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    nice article. i am glad tht pakistan has finally qualified for quarter finals. but pakistan should seriously think abt their mistakes and weak points as this time there is no super eight and all are must win matches after the qualifying round. pakistan does not need ahmad shehzad in my opinion. as these are all batting pitches. we have seen in last few matches that afridi and razzak hardly get a chance to bat. so why not drop ahmad shehzad and use another bowler(can be spinner or fast sensation junaid khan). our team should look something like this:-

    1.Hafeez 2.kamran 3.younis 4.umar akmal 5.misbah 6.razzak 7.afridi 8.rehman 9.umar gul 10.shoaib 11.junaid or ajmal.

  • waterbuffalo on March 6, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    We all know Hafeez is a terrible opener, he is in the team for his off-spin. Apart from YK and Misbah, none of the other batsmen are experienced, this might help us, because Shehzad and Umar are young, I am sure they want to prove they are worthy of places in the side, on the other hand, if the kids can't handle the pressure, there is no way we can beat India in the QF. Then there is bowling. Apart from Afridi, the rest of the bowlers are adequate, but hardly dangerous, Gul, Akhtar, Razzaq and Riaz should get murdered by Australia, India, SA and maybe even England. Assuming Ajmal and Gul play, Razzaq will play along with Riaz or Shoaib, razzaq, shoaib and ajmal can be expected to be expensive against the strong teams, so again, we have problems, my suggestion would be 2 fast bowlers and both spinners and Razzaq, that way you can drop Hafeez if Ajmal and Rehman play. That means Kamran can open with Shehzad and Razzaq can bat 7.

  • Nadeem Khan on March 5, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    @Manish : Pakistan is the first team to qualify in QFs. Don't worry about their credentials. Just read the following observations about so called media hyped champion teams. a. Team India conceded 280+ against BD, and couldn't defend 338 against England. Let them face the Irish challenge tomorrow to open your eyes a little bit more.

    b. England conceded 280+ against Netherlands, 338 against India, 328 against Ireland. Let them work hard for a berth in QFs.

    c. Aussies were in trouble against weak Zimbabweans and would have battled against SL today but rain saved their faces. Let them face Pakistani challenge.

  • AJ on March 5, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    Remember its a formate where you only have to win against minnows to qualify. AND pls throw Hafiz out and play Asad Shafiq at 3. Control your wides Mr. Umar Gul and come on bring those yorkers back. You are totally out of it. Bring RAZAQ between Younis and Misbah. Razzaq comes out to bat when either its 5 ball to end or when pressure is build by giving wicket away for small total. Dont ever try to drop Razaq.

  • Salma, Denmark on March 5, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    Dear Abbasi, there are two ways to look at teams progress. A sentimental approach or a realistic one. Pakistan has won a single match which is something worth writting about. In that match too our late order batting did very little to get it home. Scores of 2,3 and 5 were made in powerplay overs. And in last 10 overs we succuded to score 69. We won by 10 runs and every one knows what result could have been if Malanga was playing that match. We are partying because Pakistan won over Canada, its nothing but a shame. Consider these: (1) More than half of the wickets are taken by Afridi (2) So called super fast bowlers have not done anything considerable. The best is Umar Gul with 4 wickets in 3 matches. He can't bowl a yorker any more. Each and every time he tried a yorker, it went full toss. His bouncers end up on legside and he bowls a wide every over. (3) Hafiz has no reason to be in the side with an average of 21.He is the main reason for our slow run scoring

  • aftab on March 5, 2011, 20:51 GMT

    Normally, I would recommend that Pakistan should watch their match against SL before every match. But the fact remains that 'no Malinga' did play a role. That doesn't help against Ausies quartet. Unless we sit out Hafeez or Shehzad in favor of Riaz. So you have a point since your last posting.

  • Mian Chishti Minhas on March 5, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Abdul Razzaq and Afridi should be openers. Hafeez should be a bowler only!

  • Andy on March 5, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Pakistan must change their opening pair. One of the two openers will have to be dropped - we still have a few matches in which we can experiment with dropping Hafeez (and retaining the stroke playing Shehzad). Hafeez is a utility bowler and not shining as a batsman. The other opener can be Umar Akmal--he should be asked to deliver at that position and he can, as he has the strokes and the straight bat. Razzak should follow and take the attack to the oppossition. Younis, Misbah, Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar to follow. Kamran Akmal should be issued a stern warning to deliver or risk being dropped. Nobody is indispensable as the absence of 3 disgraced players including 2 star bowlers shows. This is NOT the strongest contingent for a World Cup and it can only win if ALL deliver. Remember this boys when you next take the field and never never give us lame excuses for any future irresponsible performance. We want men not pussy cats.

  • Hafeez on March 5, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    Very good article.....we are in fact a BIG threat to all teams.....be prepared for more surprises......could be positive or negative results....who knows...................Get ready!!!! World

  • Assad Raza on March 5, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Pakistan Team main issue seems to Mental Toughness & Lack of Self Belief. They would always go down by oppositions, mediocre bowlers and not the best of the bowlers. This is where they are so prone to open attacks. Look at them at Canadians Hands, like a crumbling sand wall. On the other hand, ours bowlers take wickets through soome genius bowling ( not to say a proper field placing set by captain ) In comparison to this, see Michel Johnson, from Australia What a thinking bowler he is. Hardly you can play any ball from him. And yet would force batsman to make mistake. And this comes from frustration, lack of making runs.

    They should be taken to some Neuro Programming Gurus and have a short course about mental toughness, and self belief.

    God help those who help themselves ( But with Pakista, its the 160 Millions Prayers answered by Allah. Then the teamwork )

  • Roshan on March 5, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Absolutely wonderful! I am Indian and no other country apart from Pakistan itself would love to see Pakistan cricket team doing well. Specially when they are getting stronger the way they are. Its excellent for the game. Would love to see a Ind vs Pak Finals. Its been far too long without a Ind v Pak game. Sheer power of Indian to go with brute force of Pakistani bowling. what a spectacle.

  • H. Shabbir on March 5, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    I think Razzaq should open for Pakistan and use first 10 overs for powerplay at his full advantage. He comes down too low in the order to be effective unless there is an early batting collapse. Why not use him early and get some quick runs on board so that coming batsmen can take their time to settle down and then Umar Akmal and Afridi can take on at latter half of the innings.

  • Zul abbas on March 5, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    pakistan should give chance to shafiq at number three spot

  • USMAN on March 5, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    Pakistan have stumbled in the first stage in the previous two World Cups

  • Malik on March 5, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    Lets pray that there are no more surprises like bowling prefixed no balls etc etc. If they are honest, then Mr Avinash we wish India also reach finals. And what a taste it would bring defeating India in India.

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on March 5, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Assalamulaikum Kamran vhai, before focusing or criticizing the fielding, individual batting performance and all round departmental combined team set-up of current Pakistan squad players, why don’t you point out the poor umpiring [especially culprit & jealous Australian Umpires] & so called funny review system technology that invented by ICC seemingly the exclusion of Pakistan team will be done so early from this world cup tournament ? Why not all kinds of Pakistani national sports media protest about umpiring & complicated review system ?! So, coach Waqar Younis and all the Pakistan players[ Afridi & his troops] with standing cricket officials must should have become alerted, watchful, disciplined & faithful ,fair determined approach to present themselves to the world cricket fans everywhere, whenever they would bowl or bat first in the upcoming crucial important matches. Only the Almighty Allah could help Pakistan cricket team from all kind of miseries.

  • Sa on March 5, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    why Pakistan's NRR shows 1.747 on 05 March 2011. they did not play or played against 150 and 150 overs respectively..!?! should it not be 143 and 125.6 overs respectively..!?!? if i m not wrong...

  • Addi on March 5, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Abdul Razzaq should be batting before Afridi, his batting order is making a mess out of his potential. Saeed ajmal should be added in them team permanently instead of abdur rehman (just don't let him bowl to hussey). u need wicket taking bowlers not an average bowler who can bat, infact saeed can bat a little bit as he showed that against New Zealand. Other then that team is good given the current status of the available players.

  • Jacob Mascarenhas on March 5, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    Pakistan have peaked too early. Will be knocked out in the quarters. Making it to the quarters will be a good result for Pakistan as they are not good enough to be in the final four.

  • Rauf on March 5, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Pakistani team was either half sleeping against Canada or Canada inadvertantly exposed the weak Pakistani batting lineup... atleast in overcast conditions. I tend to think it's later. Take Younis or Misbah out early and Pakistan will struggle to reach 200. That will be very hard to defend against a good team. Good luck to Pak team. Hope to see Pak vs Ind in quarters, semis or final!

  • sib on March 5, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    great article, yes thats true however, the element of unpredictability is still there.anything can be happened anytime. This team can shatter our dreams in an instant but is undoubtedly capable of taking us off quite quickly. Afridi and his crew is doing very well particularly after victory over Sri Lanka. many of them are unexperienced but still got some genuine talent which is enough to become a champ.

  • Saad on March 5, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    well....i am very optimistic of Pakistan's prospects of winning this wc, but i do agree with the fact that Hafeez is undoubtedly the worst openor (apart from imran farhat). It would be better to even replace him with Asad shafiq if the managment doesnt want to add an attacking baller. Akmal and shehzad can open. But Hafiz as an openor, it would hurt Pak badly in the 2nd round. Also, ajmal should be the first preference and not rehman. There is hardly a spiner in the world, who has a the variation ajmal does, and againt big teams, balling would be pakistan,s main strength.

  • Kamran on March 5, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    Well played Pakistan.Razzak look better bowler the wahab riaz in last match. Only change from the first two matches is Saeed ajmal in place of Rehman.Pakistan batting always there problem so they shouldn't take one less batsman. Four wicket takers(Afridi, Saeed ajmal, Gul and shoaib akhter) and two support bowlers (razzak and Hafeez) is the correct combination.

  • dmqi on March 5, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    It is better to be realistic than emotional. There are at least 4 better teams than Pakistan. If Pakistan can maintain the unity in the team and do not drop catches, they have a chance to beat a better team. You do not have any Imran, Miandad, Wasim or Inzamam in this team. Misbah only is playing close to Miandad. The performance of Misbah, Younus Khan, Afridi and Razzaque will decide the outcome to a great extent. The bowlers will make opportunity but who will utilize that, that will remain the question? Semi final win, a 25% possibility, but final a very remote chance. Australia and SA are too good for anyone.

  • Suleman Piracha on March 5, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Afridi should bat at No 8 and send Razzaq at No 7. The rest of the team is good enough. I don't understand why Razzaq is not being used properly and not given a better role in this whole game.His bowling run rate average is much better than Wahab and Umar Gul. He was sent at No. 7 against England and we saw his batting - 10 sixes. Shahid Afridi's main role should be as bowler. Just look at Vettori, he bats and No. 8 or No 9 as Captain because he considers himself a bowler.

  • S khan on March 5, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    when you learn cricket going through clubs,first class and academy training you become professional cricketers and when you learn your cricket on the streets with little if any coaching you become Pakistani cricketers so how do you expect consistency???

  • Saeed on March 5, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    Abdul Razzak should play strictly as a batsman & Wahab Riaz should replace Shehzad , then the team line up should look something like this:-

    1-Afridi, 2-Hafeez, 3-Kamran, 4-Younis, 5-Misbah, 6-Razzak, 7-Umar Akmal, 8-Rehman, 9-Umar Gul, 10-Wahab, 11-Akhtar

  • Muhammad Haroon on March 5, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    InshAllah this time pakistan will win the world cup in spite of first two tournament of this century in which pakistan have not access to next round but this time they are more hunger for victory and inshAllah they will achieve their target.

  • Muzammil Saeed on March 5, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    I will be happy if they make to semis and lose their BUT it does't mean that lose cheaply. At least their should be some fight from the cricketers in the loss just like sri lankans did against Pakistan in the group match (though pakistanis made many mistakes but some fight was shown by the tailenders, we"ll have to admit). One other factor to celebrate is that their are no rifts among the players. I am sure that Pakistan was KICKED OUT of 2003 WC just because their were rifts in players, though I dont need to take names.

  • masood on March 5, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    well said kamran bhai. but gul and shoaib and than afridi,ajmal and rehman makes good attacking bowling but razzaq as a third seamer...???one of the reasons that batting failed was due to canadian medium pace bowlers ball was not coming on the bat and our batsman struggle when the ball doesnot come on bat smoothly because they are stroke players and want to move on with the game..but they will improve...

  • karwan on March 5, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Pakistan are not winning easily except the kenya Match. They normally learn after loosing the game but this time they are learning after winning the game. Good blog

  • shahrukh on March 5, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    thats true pakistan team is far more consistent then before but they still need to improve their fielding standard. only way to improve is to hire specialist fielding coaches and let them work with U15s, U17, U19s teams bcoz we can never improve our fielding unless we make it a habbit..secondly PCB should send batsmen to play county cricket every year and this is the only way to bring consistency in bating. Zaheer Abbas, miandad, inzimam, yousuf, and younus khan are the best examples

  • Dr.Abrar Khan on March 5, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Nice artical and thats the nature of Pakistan Cricket ,they are so unpredictable and tentative as i m a big fan of pak cricket i know pak can lost to canada and at the next day they can beat australia thats what pakistan is known for so so inconsistant and unpredictable i remember they won big matches in 1999 wc and we all know what they did in final though now its easy to get into next round but i think they should be at no.1 or 2 in group A table bcoz at no3 and 4 they will probably have to face India or South Africa so it wont easy to progress into semi and pak should dropp Ahmed shahzad and should open with Kamran and hafeez and also it will make space for Junaid Khan because there is no need of 8 batsman if they will score 7 are enough but the main straingth of pak is their bolling so go for one more seemer best of luck pak

  • Dr.Abrar Khan on March 5, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    thats the nature of Pakistan Cricket ,they are so unpredictable and tentative as i m a big fan of pak cricket i know pak can lost to canada and at the next day they can beat australia thats what pakistan is known for so so unconsistant and unpredictable i remember they won big matches in 1999 wc and we all know what they did in final though now its easy to get into next round but i think they should be at no.1 or 2 in group A table pak should dropp Ahmed shahzad and should open with Kamran and hafeez and also it will make space for Junaid Khan because there is no need of 8 batsman if they will score 7 are enough but the main straingth of pak is their bolling so go for one more seemer best of luck pak because at No.3 and 4 they probably will have to face India Or south Africa and it wont be easy to get into semifinal

  • Hammad Shahid on March 5, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Impressive article.

  • rizwan ramzan on March 5, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Well said Kamran bhai.

    We must bear in mind that the current format of this world cup is such that you might have a 100% record in the initial group stage however comes the knock out stage, one bad performance and all the good work initially done is gone. As a devoted pakistani supporter, i am just so proud to see our pakistani boys playing with focus, planning and most importantly showing passion when representing Pakistan. The only problem we have is our openers struggling on the dead pitches. I believe there is no shortage of talent in our openers, if anything it is a mental problem where both Shezad and Hafeez are being given confusing instructions like occupying your crease and play out the new ball. I pray that Afridi/Waqar - give the openers a license to play their natural game (as both are attacking), this is the best way forward as this is how they played in New Zealand and both openers scored centuries and in quick time. Our prayers are with you Pakistan, play with passion

  • Wasil Hameed on March 5, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Best of Luck Pakistan. Its obvious that when anyone expects a big deal from you then it hurts if you fail to meet those expectations. But what happened was past and we hope that Pakistani team will play for their nation and country rather than themselves. We as a nation should support our team to bring back the lost pride. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • mahmood on March 5, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    I am very confident in my team that they will bring the world cup back home! A lot has been going on in Pakistan in the last decade which some how affected the performance of our team.But under the captaincy of Shahid Khan Afridi Pakistani cricket team will definitely win this World cup.At the end i only want to say one thing BOOM BOOM AFRIDI!!!

  • noor alam chishty on March 5, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    people often call pakistan an unpredictable team but one thing is certain about pakistani criciketers that they are immensely talented and can crash any team if they really play to their full potential although they have lost their best bowling pair but they have shown the world that all the mishaps could not take their morale down they are playing good and they will perform so as the wc progresses no matter who the opponent is they are ready to take anyside and the whole world knows it that they can comeback and this time i m sure they will come back real hard and inshallah they will be the crowned champions. go pakistan go do your best and leave the rest to almighty ALLAH.

  • Yasir Godil on March 5, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    I agree, Afridi and Waqar deserves the credit and support to bring Pakistan back on track. Trust me, no other team would have been performing like this after losing top 3 players just before the WC.

  • farhat jafri on March 5, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    what can I say, K Abbasi is always so accurate in his comments, one can only praise him, I wish he could be the team Pakistan planner of the game, anyway still I am worried, and not very confident about team Pakistan.

  • rajesh on March 5, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    pakistan the best......

  • israelmarwat on March 5, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Pakistan and South africa will be play the final of this world cup,,,And it will be the sensational one..........

  • Asad on March 5, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    a good article no doubt the most consistent thing about pak ix thr inconsistency, but still the rest of the world be rest assure these guys are going to come harder on u in coming wks. top team of gp A will be decided after PAk vs AUS encounter which ix going to be exciting ... Afridi vs LEE and TAIT . and Akhtar taking on Ponting and Watson.and then these two teams will likely play Eng and WI in their quaters. And ultimately PAk . AUs IND. and SA in semis thats it abt this WC. And then it belongs to the team sustaining pessure on that particular day . BUt PAk is going to be a maj threat as they have beaten both Eng and SA in 2 matches. so they have a killing instinct in them but Ind vs Pak is going to be THE MOST EXCITING match.. :) both teams are on equal grounds any 1 can take it .

  • avinash on March 5, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    this is a poor start for pakistan..because they can not be expected to keep winning consistently..there only chance was to barely qualify now..and then try n find their best game in knockout..thats how pakistan has won watever it has...

  • Imran Rafique on March 5, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Yes agreed ofcourse pakistan is such a unpredictable side,but they have got some real match winners they can win for them at their own, to me this time around they are going to do some thing very special for their nation.

  • Kamal Gupta on March 5, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    I have in the past been a huge fan of Pakistan cricket - Imran Khan & Wasim Akram are my all time favorites. The sad truth is that Pakistan has not had even a half decent captain since Imran Khan. And the irony of the sport is that with all the money and glory that is bestowed upon the game's top batsmen, with rules being made to suit the batsmen, with all the pitches you see today giving you the impression that all curators are ex-batsmen; with all of that - the truth is that to win the World Cup, you need a good captain and top notch bowling. Pakistan, along with Australia and South Africa has looked the best team in the tournament so far. Pakistan's most pivotal player is Abdul Razzaq - his all-round performance will lend a tremendous balance to his team. Love him or hate him, Afridi has been leading well from the front. Regardless of the result, their performance against Australia will be a good test of their character and attitude.

  • arshad on March 5, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    sallam alikum.

    no matter what the team combination is Pakistan is always prepared to surprise us.its nice to see that Afridi's squad is back in rithym.hopefully again they will surprise us as a world champion 2011.inshallah

  • Hass Khan on March 5, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Very well written. Pak Team is one that makes cricket so exciting.I am proud of the way they are playing after all that happened.This way PAK cricketers have made a statement to enemies ofcourse :),No matter what you do we will not stop producing the best.Pak nation is behind them no matter they win or loose :)

  • Niaz H. Jafri on March 5, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Very good piece indeed. What we do need right now is the self belief that we can do it ! Come on Team Pakistan you can do it !

  • x on March 5, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Indeed! Well done team :)

  • farrukh on March 5, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    What else should Kamran Akmal do to remind the selectors that he is a big flop.If he drops catches against Tendulkar or Sehwag, which I guess he is planning to do, you know the result.When would this monster of patriotism leave??

  • Ali on March 5, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    That's huge optimism when the performance against Canada deserves none.

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    1) Would we have won against Canada if Afridi was not contributing? All of the other bowlers were basically toothless. Gul and Wahab were most disappointing.

    2) Would we have won against SL if they had had Malinga?

    3) Can this team put together three consecutive wins from the quarterfinals on?

    There is a case for hope, there is a case for prayers, but there isn't yet a case for optimism.

  • hashar muhmood on March 5, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    abbasi you are right .still pakistan have a time to improve fielding. also show consitency in batting and bowling. prepare winning combinatin before quarter final.give chance to junaid khan in next match. afridi friend is shoaib.but this is matter of pakistan give chance to junaid khan you will see difference.prefer abdur rahman to saeed ajmal.because in march more dry wicket in sri lanka and he can turn ball better than ajmal.we have already off spinner muhammad hafeez. in this way we have combination of all types of spinner.

  • Hammad Dilpazir on March 5, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Well Said!! Thanks for expressing the expression of the nation!!!

  • adeel on March 5, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    The difference is the style of captaincy. Pakistan can only win with attacking strategy. Both Inzimam, and Waqar were defensive captain. Having said that there were times, Afridi appear to be defensive during 4th wicket partnership.

    And yes, we are forgetting another important factor: referral system. Without it, Pakistan would have needed Shoaib Akhtar.

  • John on March 5, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    Great article and totally agree with all viewpoints

  • ali_a on March 5, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    Kamran Shahib- I don't think 2003 cricketers were over-the hill. They were defeated because they defeated themsleves by inner fighting between the two camps: Waqar and Inzi/Akram. Too bad the PCB at that point was weak not to straighten them out. Instead, like the two WCs we were given captains who failed in those WC. Inzi scored miserable 19 runs in 2003 only to become Pak team skipper and Malik in 2007 (with only 1000 test runs to his credit). The current team luckily does not seem to have inner fighting, although there is some discontent as apparent from Razaq. Not sure why afridi is not completing his 10 overs/match? Is it because Afrid wants to steal the bowling show? He has done good so far, but I would rather see Razaq given more overs and Aktar a little less. Not sure why Kamran Akmal happens to be keeper of choice (he is pathetic), must have strong connections in PCB or Pak Govt. We're too dependent on Mishbah and Younis, other batsmen including Afridi needs to bat for a chg.

  • Danny on March 4, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    I agree with most of your article, except for the end about the season of "absolute disillusionment" - let's not just jump on the self-pity bandwagon and say all is lost, that we have low expectations for the world cup, just so that we won't be disappointed. We won and drew test series against Australia, S Africa and N Zealand, came within a few boundaries of winning closely-fought ODI series against England and S Africa, both top teams. We defied all expectations despite losing the best T20 bowler in the world to injury, and made the semis of the world t20 for the third consecutive time. (incidentally, we're the only team to be in all semi finals of major tournaments since the 2007 t20)

    And the new talent we have unearthed, as well as the form and re-emergence of Younus and Misbah makes our team almost stronger than it was when Amir was playing, although he will hopefully be back soon. Afridi and Gul are as devastating as ever, and we have a 100% win rate in the WC.

    Credit is due.

  • faisal on March 4, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    I always admire the pakistan cricket rich talent,no one in entire Cricketing nations have given so much to cricket compare to Pakistan, Especially in bowling dept, reverse swing by Srfraz Nawz, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and legacy continues, gugly invented by all time great Abdul Qadir, Dusra invented by Saqlain Mustaq (off spin master) and rest of the world follwed this technique, The display of supper supper fast bowling by Waqar and shoiab Akhtar, no one couldn't beat them. Now we see Pakistani players representing in almost all cricketing nations in their teams. Pak Cricket we love you……………………

    Keep it up pakistan, you have given so much to cricket we love you

  • Karim on March 4, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    Wholly agree that the team formula isn't right. The mantra that your best batsman should be at no. 3 should be followed so Younis should come in then . Having Calamity Kamran at three is inviting failure. Better to drop Hafeez who is not really international class and put in another wicket-taking bowler such as Wahab and get out of the current defensive mindset. That would also allow Umar Akmal, Afridi & Razzaq (criminally underused thus far)to play more overs and have more chances of making an impact.

  • mudaser on March 4, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Good article and the Khans would deliver this time as they have always done. leave everything to Khans

  • Muhammad Ahsan on March 4, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    nice work! congratulations to team Pakistan for their brilliant performance SO FAR.......... it had been a trait of Pakistan cricket to come back surprising everyone well, best of luck for the rest of matches

  • Burhan on March 4, 2011, 21:05 GMT

    I agree with the fact that its amazing that the team can put a side the mess that has been following the team and for that matter all of Pakistan. Besieged by corruption and scandals at all levels, yet these guys continue to shine through. Yes we cn crumble in a heap in the next match but i for one dont care. Im going to be supporting the team.

  • kashif khan on March 4, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    your writing and thoughts about Pakistan cricket are of a TRUE Pakistani supporter, so many articles that i have read of yours are so identical to the perception I have of the drama that is Pakistan cricket!!, and i enjoy every bit of it...thanks KAMRAN ABBASI you rock :)

  • Ammy on March 4, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    Yes, Pakistan and Afridi have done their country proud. Slopiness has been a constant in this worldcup with sides like India, England, Srilanka and Westindies all commiting errors so, we can still let them go away with it. More than victory its the unity being displayed by our side thats so heart warming to see, MashaAllah! With three games won, Pakistan need to give a chance to Junaid Khan and Asad Shafique in the coming three matches to give them some sort of practice. We don't want to lose our main batsmen like Misbah or Younis, or bowlers, like Shoaib and Gul to injuries.

  • Saad on March 4, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    Indeed, Thanks to Afridi and our team...

    I hope he can lead the team to victory. Though I fear that we may have peaked too early, but the fact is we haven't peaked at all. We have yet to face a serious opposition: Sri Lanka did not have Malinga then, otherwise... who knows?

    I think we CAN win the WC, esp if Afridi gives up on his biases and becomes a tad more objective. Misbah & Afridi is an unstoppable combination right now, if they can continue their respective forms, that may be all we need.

  • ABDUL on March 4, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    SHAFIQ IN SHEHZAD OUT!!!!!!!

  • ASIF LODHI on March 4, 2011, 20:13 GMT

    Pakistan has always been unpridictable and inconsistent. Even in a single match Pakistan performance remains inconsitant as we have seen against sri lanka. In this WC body language of pakistani players is exelent especially afridi, shahzad, umar akmal. GOD BLESS PAKISTAN TEAM. Whole nation is with u

  • SALMAN on March 4, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    Hello! My dear kamran abbasi; just don't worry about the game of PAK vs CAN. it is in nature of PAKISTANI CRICKTERS. we should be win that cup INSHALLAH. Because the whole nation prey with them. and this time they do their best.

    SALMAN (Karachi)

  • SALMAN on March 4, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Hello! My dear kamran abbasi; just don't worry about the game of PAK vs CAN. it is in nature of PAKISTANI CRICKTERS. we should be win that cup INSHALLAH. Because the whole country prey with them. and this time they do them best. SALMAN (Karachi)

  • dingdong_pak on March 4, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    yes pak is the most dangerous team of the world..well done pakistan..GO ahead!

  • Nadeem Khan on March 4, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    In Waqar Younis, Pakistan has a genius in their camp. He is a great strategist. In Afridi, Pak has a performing captain who is clean, enthusiastic, energetic and world beater. In Misbah and Younis, Pak has two coolest Miandadisque heads, who are capable of lifting their game at any stage. Former cricketers and so-called pseudo analysts should keep their mouths shut during the WC and try to support the team. The only team to have won THREE OUT OF THREE games is under ungainly criticism. Isn't it attributed to Pak's mental strength and capability that they pulled off game against Canada, after failing in batting. Remember, the ball was seaming, turning, and bouncing on the pitch. What else the criticism mafia want to achieve.

  • Raja Ehsan Ur-Rehman Khan Chattar Mirpur AK on March 4, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    A match winner can single handedly win a match for his team. Pakistan team is blessed with so many match winners that failure of one or two would not halt the march towards victory this time. Match against Canada was not as bad for the team as people might think. It has allowed Pak team to stare in the eyes of defeat which is a good wake up call for the matches ahead. Team will hit the stride soon and peak at the right time. So called favorites are sweating in their pants facing resurgent Pakistan.

  • faraz on March 4, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Not shocking Pakistan performance iam a very big fan of pakistan cricket in the world cup this team is very dangerous important thing is they are playing with unity first thing pakistan want unity. if unity there u can see this performance not in worldcup everytime just one thing pakistan should worry about their opening pair.this pair give good start no problem for them.

  • A. Sarfraz on March 4, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    You cannot consider Pakistan a serious challenger for anything as long as M. Hafeez is one of the openers. His 21 average in ODI speaks for itself. Pakistan management (W. Younis/S. Afridi)wants to play it safe and have a long batting line up. Usually "playing it safe" inevitably leads to defeat against good opposition. It also wastes the talents of A. Razzaq. What they have in M. Hafeez is someone who will occasionally play a good inning against mediocre opposition (recent century against N. Zealand), but will always come up short against the better teams. I have seen it way too often. It appears that the selectors (dumb & dumber) seem to forget every few years why he was dropped in the first place. They seem to go back to the same useless/untalented openers (S. Butt, Imran Farhat, M. Hafeez) time and time again. Hafeez may be the worst opener in ODIs, and I am sure I will be proven correct by the time the World Cup ends.

  • Usman on March 4, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    You are right, that It is the right time to stumble rather than in the next stages of the tournament. 3 games it takes to win the WC after first round. And we are good enough to do this.:)

  • Nadeem Khan on March 4, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Nice article and GREAT LAST PARAGRAPH. A couple of failures by a player, whole lot of old cricketers (for their own vested interests) start shouting on the player. Let players like Ahmad Shahzad, Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Razzaq settle down in this big WC. They are big day players and they will perform on their day.

    Kamran Akmal missed two stumpings (one was impossibly down the legside) and people forgot his brilliant stumping of Samaraveera and his two crucial half centuries. Other day, ENGLAND dropped ten catches against IRELAND, but you will not find such sort of criticism.

    Ahmad Shehzad is potential match winner and it will be big MESS if he is dropped at this stage.

    Razzaq is a big match player and world knows about his talent, specially on indian wickets (look at his ICL records), but...

  • Manish on March 4, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Had pakistan failed to qualify for quaters even in this group then they should be made to qualify for next world cup!! there is no surprise and Pakistan is yet to prove everything written about them in this article. Let them face a good team and we'll see!!

  • m.waqas.arif on March 4, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    atleast they got to know that where are doing mistakes.and avoid them in future matches.

  • Ayesha on March 4, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    i totally agree with you pakistan needs to seriously step it up they cannot make stupid mistakes over and over again.

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  • Ayesha on March 4, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    i totally agree with you pakistan needs to seriously step it up they cannot make stupid mistakes over and over again.

  • m.waqas.arif on March 4, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    atleast they got to know that where are doing mistakes.and avoid them in future matches.

  • Manish on March 4, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Had pakistan failed to qualify for quaters even in this group then they should be made to qualify for next world cup!! there is no surprise and Pakistan is yet to prove everything written about them in this article. Let them face a good team and we'll see!!

  • Nadeem Khan on March 4, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Nice article and GREAT LAST PARAGRAPH. A couple of failures by a player, whole lot of old cricketers (for their own vested interests) start shouting on the player. Let players like Ahmad Shahzad, Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Razzaq settle down in this big WC. They are big day players and they will perform on their day.

    Kamran Akmal missed two stumpings (one was impossibly down the legside) and people forgot his brilliant stumping of Samaraveera and his two crucial half centuries. Other day, ENGLAND dropped ten catches against IRELAND, but you will not find such sort of criticism.

    Ahmad Shehzad is potential match winner and it will be big MESS if he is dropped at this stage.

    Razzaq is a big match player and world knows about his talent, specially on indian wickets (look at his ICL records), but...

  • Usman on March 4, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    You are right, that It is the right time to stumble rather than in the next stages of the tournament. 3 games it takes to win the WC after first round. And we are good enough to do this.:)

  • A. Sarfraz on March 4, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    You cannot consider Pakistan a serious challenger for anything as long as M. Hafeez is one of the openers. His 21 average in ODI speaks for itself. Pakistan management (W. Younis/S. Afridi)wants to play it safe and have a long batting line up. Usually "playing it safe" inevitably leads to defeat against good opposition. It also wastes the talents of A. Razzaq. What they have in M. Hafeez is someone who will occasionally play a good inning against mediocre opposition (recent century against N. Zealand), but will always come up short against the better teams. I have seen it way too often. It appears that the selectors (dumb & dumber) seem to forget every few years why he was dropped in the first place. They seem to go back to the same useless/untalented openers (S. Butt, Imran Farhat, M. Hafeez) time and time again. Hafeez may be the worst opener in ODIs, and I am sure I will be proven correct by the time the World Cup ends.

  • faraz on March 4, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Not shocking Pakistan performance iam a very big fan of pakistan cricket in the world cup this team is very dangerous important thing is they are playing with unity first thing pakistan want unity. if unity there u can see this performance not in worldcup everytime just one thing pakistan should worry about their opening pair.this pair give good start no problem for them.

  • Raja Ehsan Ur-Rehman Khan Chattar Mirpur AK on March 4, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    A match winner can single handedly win a match for his team. Pakistan team is blessed with so many match winners that failure of one or two would not halt the march towards victory this time. Match against Canada was not as bad for the team as people might think. It has allowed Pak team to stare in the eyes of defeat which is a good wake up call for the matches ahead. Team will hit the stride soon and peak at the right time. So called favorites are sweating in their pants facing resurgent Pakistan.

  • Nadeem Khan on March 4, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    In Waqar Younis, Pakistan has a genius in their camp. He is a great strategist. In Afridi, Pak has a performing captain who is clean, enthusiastic, energetic and world beater. In Misbah and Younis, Pak has two coolest Miandadisque heads, who are capable of lifting their game at any stage. Former cricketers and so-called pseudo analysts should keep their mouths shut during the WC and try to support the team. The only team to have won THREE OUT OF THREE games is under ungainly criticism. Isn't it attributed to Pak's mental strength and capability that they pulled off game against Canada, after failing in batting. Remember, the ball was seaming, turning, and bouncing on the pitch. What else the criticism mafia want to achieve.

  • dingdong_pak on March 4, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    yes pak is the most dangerous team of the world..well done pakistan..GO ahead!