Pakistan in Bangladesh 2011 December 22, 2011

Pakistan emerge from swampy lowlands

Undefeated in a Test series in 2011, Pakistan are condemned for a slow, unadventurous version of cricket that renders any success hollow
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Dissatisfied in defeat, no more content in victory, sports fans can be a miserable bunch. Shakib Al Hasan, a Bangladeshi no less, sits atop the world Test rankings for allrounders but fans and pundits call for his country to be demoted from the top tier of international cricket. Undefeated in a Test series in 2011, Pakistan are condemned for a slow, unadventurous version of cricket that renders any success hollow.

Pakistan's predicament is happier than Bangladesh's, discussing the manner of victory always is. But Pakistan were only a heartbeat away from the plight of Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, even West Indies, the strugglers in the swampy lowlands of international cricket. Only a heartbeat away, that is, until an unfamiliar attritional methodology took hold. Pakistan cricket needed a way out of the quagmire, by any means necessary, and the players found it.

The rescue mission to help today's weaker cricket nations swim belongs to the ICC--and it must be a mission of support and inclusion, not hectoring and threats of expulsion. A deeper challenge faces international cricket, a challenge to become a truly global sport with many participating nations, instead of a cartel bossed over by the superficial agendas of the cricket world's most powerful nations.

Power in cricket resides with the cricket boards that control the game's revenues, then by those that control the media, and finally by those that boast the best teams. Possess all three and you rule the world. Under these circumstances Pakistan's only route to influence lies in the ability of its players. If by 2030 Pakistan's population reaches a projected 300 million and they live in peace--a distant dream, perhaps--will the dynamics of power change?

For now, results are the only way to be taken seriously. On that count Misbah-ul-Haq's team have over-delivered. Does it matter how they have done it? To my mind, it matters little. Pakistan cricket was a shipwreck waiting for a Viking burial. There was only one way to go and that was down to the depths of obscurity with the wailing of legends for a death song.

Critics will argue that West Indies, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh don't pose much threat. Sri Lanka are a spent force without Muttiah Muralitharan. But even such straightforward adversaries have confounded Pakistan's best players for a decade or more. On the other hand, New Zealand are troubling Australia and South Africa are challenging for top spot; Pakistan have matched both in the last 15 months.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. These are early steps on the road to recovery. Pakistan have played to their strengths (their bowling attack) and within their limitations (the pace of their batting). Simply put, Pakistan have wicket-taking bowlers and defensive batsmen, a formula that has succeeded thus far. Asking this batting line-up to score at four an over would be suicidal. The answer is to integrate more adventurous blades, an opportunity missed with Umar Akmal's exclusion for the Bangladesh series.

Long-term success in any top-level sport begins first with learning how not to lose. Pakistan's great team of the 1980s boasted Mudassar Nazar as its opening batsman, the scorer of the slowest century in Test cricket. The next step is learning how to win from different positions. The final milestone is domination. Team Misbah are finishing stage one, and the England series will be a proper examination of their progress.

This attritional fare might feel alien to us, but it sure beats perpetual humiliation.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rashid on January 15, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    Agree mostly with kamran j, but I think Misbah might be able to put the age behind him like Tendulkar.

    M Hafeez Azhar Ali M Yousuf[A very strong and sound batsman in all condition should not be lost to Pak politocs] Younus[Captain]/Misbah if still fit[Captain] Umar Akmal/? Asad shafiq Junaid Umar Gul Riaz/? Afridi With Amir World cup will be won with Yousuf who can give some run to defend]/Yasir Shah[Three Spinner option]

  • fhs on January 6, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    Agreed - the credit goes to Misbah. He is the best! Yes - he is 'risk free' (no aggression which people need to be understand) but it is for the right reason. He is fair and his plan is to take team to top 3 and I can see he is getting there. We just need to fully support him and make sure to support him regardless of results in the upcoming Eng vs. Pak series! Thank you!

  • kamran j on January 5, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    Imran, at present team is about to face no. 1 test cricket. Recent series against Zimbabye, Srilanka and Bangladesh have changed team's approach to play and execute in a test match. THe outcome is impressive also. This change plan has come from coaching and captain where players are executing it. Not a bad job altogether, and team is in good standing to face England.

    As far as Next woridcup eleven how about this M Hafeez (cap. and allrounder) ? Azhar Ali Yonius (may be) Umar Akmal Asad Shafiq Shahid Afridi (all rounder) M Riaz (all rounder) Saeed Ajmal Junaid Asad Cheema/Umar Gul/M Amir

  • Imran on January 3, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    wasn't it a golden opportunity for Pak to try new blood against the weak Bangladeshi team like Anwar Ali, Raza Hasan, Rameez Raja jr, Awais Zia, Sharjeel khan, M.Talha, Sadaf......instead of Imran Farhat, Yunis Khan, M Hafeez, Umar Gul, Syed Ajmal and see how talented they are.....?? so any of them showing promise could have have been inducted into this aging Pak unit......who can you see among the current players playing for Pak in the next world cup...?? Any answers please......

  • rana teki tofi wala on December 31, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Hi guys you have to wait before you make a final word Because pakistan a one team can give game to any team in world So wait and see I hope pak get bowlers like of amir and saif. If we had amir and saif in this team we will sit #1 but be Pakistani happy new year to pakistan and to all you thank you support your watan pakistan zind bad

  • Hussain on December 31, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    The only thing which distiguishes Eng from SA, is that they are not fearful of defeats.When SA think of a defeat,they choke. While Eng has some of the worst performances against all test playing nations. Eng during its early days ENG was a force but not now. But still don,t take them lightly. Pak has to perform better than what they did against SA in UAE, keeping the present form of the brits. But one thing is for sure that despite winning the Ashes they are no match to AUS even if they are down & out in the present cricket scenario.

  • Abdur Rahman on December 28, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    This is the better squad against M.Hafeez, I.Farhath/Y.Hameed, Azhar Ali, Y, Khan, M.Haq(C), A.Shafiq, U.Akmal(WK), U.Gul, W.Riaz, M.Thalha/A.Rehman and S.Ajmal! Abdur Rahman from Sri Lanka!

    Thank you!

  • aftab on December 27, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Spot on! Finally, you got it! :) It's a good time for predictions. Mine are the following. (1) Umar Gul will be sidelined as Test bowler as a result or during this series. (2) England will create an "Imran Khan" in Pakistani squad just like Australia did in 1976(?) owing to their bowlers' extra ordinary dismissive attitude of team Pakistan. (3) Misbah will shine yet again. And this is not a prediction - Swann will turn against Test Cricket.

  • pakvseng on December 27, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    The England series will be an examination of what we have achieved during this year Misbah has brought confidence into the team.

  • Rashid on December 26, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    If Misbah is really smart he will push for inclusion of [please fill out the blank] the great batsman in Pakistan history thus make Pakistan unbeatable.After all the humiliation if any batsman or bowler who has some smell of match fixing should be out.Well Shoib M and Kamran Akmal are gone from Pakistan make sense.Umar Akmal should be strictly controlled other wise a second Amir case will pop up soon.Junaid has a good future so is Umar A if he is under control.

  • Rashid on January 15, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    Agree mostly with kamran j, but I think Misbah might be able to put the age behind him like Tendulkar.

    M Hafeez Azhar Ali M Yousuf[A very strong and sound batsman in all condition should not be lost to Pak politocs] Younus[Captain]/Misbah if still fit[Captain] Umar Akmal/? Asad shafiq Junaid Umar Gul Riaz/? Afridi With Amir World cup will be won with Yousuf who can give some run to defend]/Yasir Shah[Three Spinner option]

  • fhs on January 6, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    Agreed - the credit goes to Misbah. He is the best! Yes - he is 'risk free' (no aggression which people need to be understand) but it is for the right reason. He is fair and his plan is to take team to top 3 and I can see he is getting there. We just need to fully support him and make sure to support him regardless of results in the upcoming Eng vs. Pak series! Thank you!

  • kamran j on January 5, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    Imran, at present team is about to face no. 1 test cricket. Recent series against Zimbabye, Srilanka and Bangladesh have changed team's approach to play and execute in a test match. THe outcome is impressive also. This change plan has come from coaching and captain where players are executing it. Not a bad job altogether, and team is in good standing to face England.

    As far as Next woridcup eleven how about this M Hafeez (cap. and allrounder) ? Azhar Ali Yonius (may be) Umar Akmal Asad Shafiq Shahid Afridi (all rounder) M Riaz (all rounder) Saeed Ajmal Junaid Asad Cheema/Umar Gul/M Amir

  • Imran on January 3, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    wasn't it a golden opportunity for Pak to try new blood against the weak Bangladeshi team like Anwar Ali, Raza Hasan, Rameez Raja jr, Awais Zia, Sharjeel khan, M.Talha, Sadaf......instead of Imran Farhat, Yunis Khan, M Hafeez, Umar Gul, Syed Ajmal and see how talented they are.....?? so any of them showing promise could have have been inducted into this aging Pak unit......who can you see among the current players playing for Pak in the next world cup...?? Any answers please......

  • rana teki tofi wala on December 31, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Hi guys you have to wait before you make a final word Because pakistan a one team can give game to any team in world So wait and see I hope pak get bowlers like of amir and saif. If we had amir and saif in this team we will sit #1 but be Pakistani happy new year to pakistan and to all you thank you support your watan pakistan zind bad

  • Hussain on December 31, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    The only thing which distiguishes Eng from SA, is that they are not fearful of defeats.When SA think of a defeat,they choke. While Eng has some of the worst performances against all test playing nations. Eng during its early days ENG was a force but not now. But still don,t take them lightly. Pak has to perform better than what they did against SA in UAE, keeping the present form of the brits. But one thing is for sure that despite winning the Ashes they are no match to AUS even if they are down & out in the present cricket scenario.

  • Abdur Rahman on December 28, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    This is the better squad against M.Hafeez, I.Farhath/Y.Hameed, Azhar Ali, Y, Khan, M.Haq(C), A.Shafiq, U.Akmal(WK), U.Gul, W.Riaz, M.Thalha/A.Rehman and S.Ajmal! Abdur Rahman from Sri Lanka!

    Thank you!

  • aftab on December 27, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Spot on! Finally, you got it! :) It's a good time for predictions. Mine are the following. (1) Umar Gul will be sidelined as Test bowler as a result or during this series. (2) England will create an "Imran Khan" in Pakistani squad just like Australia did in 1976(?) owing to their bowlers' extra ordinary dismissive attitude of team Pakistan. (3) Misbah will shine yet again. And this is not a prediction - Swann will turn against Test Cricket.

  • pakvseng on December 27, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    The England series will be an examination of what we have achieved during this year Misbah has brought confidence into the team.

  • Rashid on December 26, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    If Misbah is really smart he will push for inclusion of [please fill out the blank] the great batsman in Pakistan history thus make Pakistan unbeatable.After all the humiliation if any batsman or bowler who has some smell of match fixing should be out.Well Shoib M and Kamran Akmal are gone from Pakistan make sense.Umar Akmal should be strictly controlled other wise a second Amir case will pop up soon.Junaid has a good future so is Umar A if he is under control.

  • pakvseng on December 26, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Wish u all the best for the england series!! keep it up!!

  • shakoor on December 25, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    i sm surprised noone has brought up a simple fact. wicket keeping has improved greatly and on-ground fielding--while miles from Austalian standards--is a bit more reliable.

    Net result, we do not have to get 26 or 28 batsmen out in 2 innings and match the score added due to 4 to 6 extra chances missed. This has helped the batting line up cope with marginally less pressure.

    Remember 2006-kamran dropping jaquis kallis who won the test match or 2008 debacle against Aussies.

    These are all incremental improvements that lead to higher confidence and reduce team frustration with individuals. Results are a self evident.

    I look forward to seeing more boring cricket from pakistan.

    absolutely keep it up (or perhaps rather keep it slow) -----

  • malik on December 25, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Thank you pakistan

  • kamran j on December 24, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Well said Mashood. When it comes to consistency I have never seen Pakistan playing as a team(no controversies) for three consecutive series since Imran Khan era. We did play couple of under power teams, but it all made us to be able to stand before No. 1 test cricket. We have all the right to be optimistic for England series. Pakistan team has above average bowling, very good fielding and average batting. If our batsman can spend a day and half on crease for which there could not be a better time and place then Pakistan will not lose the matches. With home field advantage I should say Pakistan is favorite.

  • Mashood on December 24, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    For Pakistan to be a top team the formulae was always straightforward; minimal player infighting and a supportive board, we didn't have either for the most part of the 2000s and were largely rubbish, which is rough really because we've had some very talented players in the previous decade like Younis, Yousuf, Shoaib, Asif, Kaneria etc. The fact that this team is doing well is simply because of the two factors materializing, temperament and talent is not something Pakistan lack, hopefully Misbah's, and to smaller degree Afridi's, legacy will be carried on after he retires, with all his flaws and limitations Misbah has done something greater hyped captains than himself never could, build a functioning, dedicated team

  • saeed on December 24, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    long ago Aussie introduced the concept of fast scoring in test cricket intially it did wonder later this attitude caused the downfall of Mighty Aussie now they can't defend and bat patiently they lost Hobart Test due this sole reason, Pakistan now learned under Misbah how to bat in test, if you occupy crease for lengthy period not runs will flow but also tire the oppositions would love to have comments from all.

  • Ejaz on December 24, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    I love pakistani team InshaAllah our team will be successful against England .GOOD LUCK PAKISTANI TEAM

  • landl47 on December 24, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Pakistan in the last year have played in the way that would allow them to win against teams of lesser quality. All credit to Pakistan for that. The question now is whether they can step up against a side of a much higher standard than their recent opposition. I'll tell you now, if Pakistan play against England the way they played against Bangladesh in the last test, they'll lose every game. Their batsmen will need to be more positive, their bowlers more attacking and their catching and fielding much better to compete with England. England's 2011 test record is played 9, won 7, lost 0, drawn 2 and 5 of the wins have been by an innings. If Pakistan can give England a good contest, that will be something to build on- and more than Australia, Sri Lanka and India managed in 2011.

  • ISHRAT JUNAID on December 24, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Mr. Kamran - i think you could have written a better article according to your better quality of reporting. The wordings used in this article seems that someone has dictated the whole article. Anyhow, you are a competent writer, please come out with something positive and NOT circling around. Thank you.

  • Umar on December 24, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    Ijaz Butt era harmed Pakistani cricket more than anything else. Spot fixing scandal was helpful as it cleaned Pakistan cricket. I hope now the only way for Pakistan is going up the rankings ladder. I don't mind low run rate as long as Pakistan is winning.

  • sali on December 23, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    I think Pak team has recovered very quickly after the damage of England trip and spot fixing. However, the present bowling line will be exposed against the England, Aus, SA or Indian batting line up. They need a stricking bowler beside hot and cold Ajmal or Gul. Amir would have really changed the look of this team. Well, lets hope Cheema can develop into next Amir.

  • avis on December 23, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    Misbah is not the best captain, too defensive, but is the best among the avaialble players we have. Pakistan has limited back up players in batting, not many exciting batsmen palying in domestic FC circuit. Fast bowling is a different story, a lot more young fastmen are competing for any availablity, including Ali Imran, Imran khan, Talha,Sadaf, Khalil and Anwar Ali, to name a few. This blog is not to discuss politics but there is a very good possibility our own Imran Khan might be in power in 12-18 months. Many positive things can be expected from him, including better law and order situation, better terms with India and above all return of international cricket to Pakistan and I'm sure he will also be instrumental in improving the infra structure of Pakistan cricket. Lets keep the hope alive.

  • John Pereira OK/USA on December 23, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    Well done boys, way to go we are very proud of you guys.

  • atif on December 23, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    Misbah greatest strength has been the consistency he has brought to the team and his ability to get the basics right ... something that every winning team should have. I do not agree with Umar Akmal inclusion. In test cricket you have to make the other team earn your wicket. Counterattacking cricket all looks good but our team needs grinders and fighters not another flamoboyant 20-30 run player. Akmal has not shown any sign that he is willing to play a long inninings. For me Pakistan's success will depend a lot on our openers Taufeeq umar and Muhammad Hafeez. If they give us a solid base every time then we will have a close series. Englands batsamn are no bunnies in the subcontinental conditions and they have Swann- after a long while I can hardly wait for Pakistan test series to start !

  • have_patience on December 23, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    We are spoiled by ODIs and T20's blazingly-fast run rates and can't bear with Pakistan's slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach in tests. Well tough luck guys, pick your choice -- either have flamboyant flashes of the past pak-batsmen and loose the matches (as they did) or show some sabr, watch how pak-team plan for the victory and achieve it so that you can enjoy it till the last moment.

    History (read Sachin T.) has shown that personal records have rarely contributed to the team's victories. History (read WI of Clive Loyd years) has also shown that it was always a team effort, no individual was ever credited for heroics, that resulted in CONSISTENT victories over many many years against all the teams.

    We need not derail our current rise to victories for ANY reason, slow-rate or not, defensive captaincy or not, we must support our team's efforts however meager they be and not look fashionable by bashing them.

    There is plenty of room to improve, but be positive and constructive :)

  • getsetgopk on December 23, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    The cartel will never let go of the power they possess frankly no one does, ICC brags about expansion but in reality how one cricket board enforced their will on DRS on the rest of world tells a complete story of how things work on the inside. More international teams means more cartel bosses and a much larger market but less hold on power. It will remain like this for sometime, cricket will lose in the long run. Today people dont watch test cricket, tomorrow they will stop watching ODI's and then someday even T20. You cant kill the goose.

  • Alam on December 23, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    @Khan I don't think this is flawed analysis. I will take Pakistan sometime to truly go back to their aggressive nature. The best way as Kamran mentions is to first strengthen once defense. Once you have solid defense at test level you can build on from there. Pakistan for a change are following a process/system and are successful. They should continue to build on it.

  • Adil on December 23, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Kamran, what a nice way to put together the success folrmula of Pakistan in ove sentence, Wicket taking bowling and defensive batting. And you almost philosophical insight over dynamics of power in cricket and ICC's role, or lack of it, in ensuring the expansion of the game is so true. A very good article, cant agree more.

  • kamran j on December 23, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Misbah and Mohsin are doing a great job for Pakistan Test cricket by playing to the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Batting lineup needs to score runs for the bowlers to have runs to bowl at. Even if team score below 3 runs per over, but can stay on the crease for 140 overs will give bowlers chance to bowl the other team out with some lead. We need to remember that we don't have W's Shoaib, M. Amir/Asif in the bowling line up any more. So, in Test cricket Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are better option over Omar Akmal and company.

  • Zulfiqar Ahmed on December 23, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    Those critics who are questioninq the manners towards victory of Pak team are actually in a state of disbelief that how a such depleted bunch of players have rejuvenated their zest and overcame their opponents so consistently over the last 15 months which has never been their trade mark - really bitter pill to swallow for bad wishers.

  • Imran Zia on December 23, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    I think Misbah Ul Haq does not get the credit he deserves. One fails to understand why he was not made captain earlier while he was touted to be the captain when Younis Khan stepped down. If this had been done we would have escaped all the misery and embarrassment and would have saved one of the brightest talent from pakistan. never the less he is a sensible person and is the stabilizing factor in the team and his performance with the bat is superb.

  • Faseeh ur Rehman on December 23, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    Excellently done Mr. Kamran Abbasi. Some of the lines used in the articles truly reflect the mood and the current sense of cricket in Pakistan. Not from the jaws of defeat but the jaws of death. Misbah ul Haq and his partners have somehow started to put the pakistan cricket team back on to the path from where they can think, "Aaright, there is an understanding with the formula which leads to victory from the jaws of defeat." Although we never had any mindset in cricket which used to say that it is fine to win yet play dull cricket. But it is time that we change it and play it(the cricket) hard and down. Gritt the runs and dig out the wickets. No more flamboyant inswingers with no accuracy and no more wild shots which are aiming for antartica. Just do what it takes to win a test match, rest will follow. Get the pakistani players in love with test cricket again. ODIs and T20s are in the blood.

  • Shiraz Mahmood on December 23, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Agreed. A win is a win is a win.

  • Haroon on December 23, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Great article. It was so frustrating to read cricinfo comments on people bashing Pakistani batsmen for playing slowly, and comparing it with our past teams which included Yousaf, Inzamam and Saeed Anwar etc. What they don't remember is that the same GREAT team was whitewashed by Aussies in every single test series, they were chucked out of World cups 2003 and 2007 in the first rounds. They might have been good entertainers, but is this what we want ? I personally would take a win happily no matter where it comes from rather than a typical Pakistani flamboyance followed by a collapse and a loss. This Pakistan team is the best I've watched for a long time, I hope they carry on the same way.

  • Usman on December 23, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Awesome article once again Kamran, hope to see these type of nice and thought provoking articles from your side in the future also.

  • Ali Abbasi on December 23, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    At times, the cricket in the Bangladesh series was eye-wateringly dull and best watched on the cricinfo iphone app. Having said that, it was absolutely paramount for Pakistan to regroup and consolidate after Summer 2010. The rebuilding process after every disaster is cumbersome and frustrating. The trouble is that over the past two decades, we have witnessed the gross underachievement of the golden era of Pakistan cricket and have become accustomed to the natural brilliance of the likes of wasim/waqar/inzamam etc. That has been replaced for the reliable but rather dull. But I totally concur with the author, like the austerity budget, this period is a necessary pain and if this means persistently dull cricket in return for consistent victories, then Team Misbah has my full blessing.

  • Tariq Razi on December 23, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    i feel that with this new brand of cricket, we can fight like close equals with the English test team in its current form. We should not forget that the English are a full strength team at their best, both in self-belief but also competency based attitude to the game.

    We should not demand absolute victory but rather a hard-fought battle amongst equals. This team will stand toe-to-toe and exchange punches with the English on any day. It will give its honest best within the realms of its inherent limitations and we cannot ask for more than that. Historically, our teams have always been brittle with infighting characterised with rare honest performances.

    Let this team rise from the ashes of its selfish greed, political infighting, unethical behaviour, total disregard for professionalism, croniism, and absolute absolute lack of national pride. Let the boys rally under the banner of one-united team and scrape for results. The road to self-vindication is a long and winding one at best.

  • Tariq Razi on December 23, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    I am surprised that it has taken you an entire month and Pakistan's complete tour (One-day-200- and test matches) to consider it worth writing about Pakistan cricket.

    Now that you have finally moved out of extended phase of constant Misbah bashing, it is time to also realise that test teams "don't have to" have an attacking batting line up that scores at above four an over to win test matches. This is a deep-rooted fallacy amongst a lot of people which is based on the more than decade old model introduced by the Aussies.

    Attritional cricket still has a place in the Test Match arena. Just because Team Misbah does not adhere to the populist and more attractive (given) modus operandi does not mean that it will not get results. Pakistan in the last 14 odd years has been all about flash, marginal consistency, and occasional success.

    Team Misbah functions like a team with batsmen heeding the Captain and Coach's guidelines and delivering as a unit.

  • Amer Hussain on December 23, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    A win is a win is a win....Hats off to the boys, its about time that there was some cheer for the Pak fan and thanks to Ajmal, Hafeez, Misbah and Gul, there is a smile on my face and anticipation for a hard fought England series..

  • khan on December 23, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    a flawed analysis! pakistan should have experimented against BD.It was an opponent which has never troubled Pakistan.Now its the series against england and Pakistan must realise that unlike the previous teams, it will be attacked.So it must learn to counter attack but it never adopted the aggresive approach against BD. Experts like Rameez raja and Zaheer abbas have voiced their concern about defensive captaincy of misbah. I dont think England will be beaten by playing the waiting game. Instead such approach may backfire!

  • Malik on December 23, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    I don't understand the criticism of Pakistan based on scoring rate. Pakistan's strength lies in it's bowling attack. Known more for it pacers however spin department has been equally blessed with talent. Now Pakistan's eternal bane has always been it's batting. Fast scoring model of batting can be achieved by a batting unit of the highest quality. Which Pakistan seldom ever had. But luckily you don't need to score 350 runs a day to succeed in test matches. 250 a day can make you a champion side. if you regularly score 350+ and have a world class bowling attack. And a world class bowling attack Pakistan seems to have, most of the time. Misbah is a genius to have rediscovered the formula of success. Batting slow in a test is after all the classical cricket style. The way it was played for a Century or so.

  • Aurangzeb Rao on December 23, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Dont have much hope to pass through the biased indian moderators. But since its a Pakistani post, i might get some space...

    Kamran, adventurous blades are not the need of test cricket. Its a dying sport here in Asia, and Pakistan keeps both the parties interested till Day 5, making it fun to watch, eventually they have won most the games. I say they have a good chance over England.

  • Manzoor Raza on December 23, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    We really have a very short memory. We really forgot the recent past when we had a bunch of players with enviable strike rates in our TEST TEAM which was one reason of losing the tests. Test, ODIs and T20 are different format games and have different requirements. Pakistan is on the right path after so long and we should stick with it

  • Waqas on December 23, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    I totally agree with kamran abbasi for Pakistan you batsman who can stay on wicket that is what Younis,Misbah,Toufeeq and Azhar have done and the result is that they produced best results in last 14 years.

  • Karim Javed on December 23, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Pakistan is emerging as Australia of year 1999 to 2007. And world will see this, If you will closely checkout the domestic structure of Pakistan Cricket then you will definitely find some interesting bowlers and batsmen too. Pakistan have very strong backup players and they are getting shine more nowadays. People are continuously criticizing Pakistan of being slow in their run rate, If team Pakistan is performing slow then deduct days from test cricket. Then it should be a 4 day test, is that OK. No, because there are some nations who can't finish test matches in 5 days then how could it possible to finish in 4 days. Checking out Indian domestic structure every match consist of 3 to 4 Hundreds and more than 500 runs in every match, Is this really batting at their best or this is enough of making flat pitches, or their bowlers sucks big time (pardon my language). I personally don't prefer watching test matches played on Indian pitches because every one knows that 70% of chance is a Draw

  • Nabeel on December 23, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    1. The First part of your article in my opinion undermines the achivement of Pakistan Team in recent times. When we talk about a team, I do understand that the administration plays an important part, but to talk about all negatives when your team is doing good (may I add against all odds) is being pessimistic. 2. Even when the WI, Bangladesh, Zim are taken lightly by teams bigger teams, and even in their most troubled times Pakistan have never been taken lightly by any team, for just one reason, their bowling talent. Batsman can draw test matches, to win them you need bowlers, good aggressive and that is one area where Pakistan can boast of abundance. 3. As you mentioned that it is sticking to your strength. And I hope Pakistan follows the same approach against England as well. If they beat the World no.1 side, they will have the confidence to move to step two - winning from different posistions. Right now, they should stick to step 1 though.

  • Javed on December 23, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Well, I believe Misbah and his men have been very smart in the way they have gone about in their batting approach this year. This is not the powerhouse batting line of the late 1990s that we onced to have. Or even the Australians once used to have. Hafeez, Taufiq, Azhar, Younis, with greatest respect to their prowess as a batsmen, are not Saeed Anwars, Inzis, Hayden, M Waugh or even Gilchrist.

    There have been non chalant complains from many quarters with respect to their approach in batting as far as Test Matches go. Including our beloved current Ramiz Raza, a mediocre batsman at best in his own heydays. All of which I believe is quite unfair. Simply because Pak batsmen have never been known for their patience on the crease, and their larger than life flamboyancy have also lost us many a matches in the past.

    Considering all that, this newly found nirvana of the Paki batsmen is a refreshing change, and needs to be applauded rather than discouraged.

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  • Javed on December 23, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Well, I believe Misbah and his men have been very smart in the way they have gone about in their batting approach this year. This is not the powerhouse batting line of the late 1990s that we onced to have. Or even the Australians once used to have. Hafeez, Taufiq, Azhar, Younis, with greatest respect to their prowess as a batsmen, are not Saeed Anwars, Inzis, Hayden, M Waugh or even Gilchrist.

    There have been non chalant complains from many quarters with respect to their approach in batting as far as Test Matches go. Including our beloved current Ramiz Raza, a mediocre batsman at best in his own heydays. All of which I believe is quite unfair. Simply because Pak batsmen have never been known for their patience on the crease, and their larger than life flamboyancy have also lost us many a matches in the past.

    Considering all that, this newly found nirvana of the Paki batsmen is a refreshing change, and needs to be applauded rather than discouraged.

  • Nabeel on December 23, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    1. The First part of your article in my opinion undermines the achivement of Pakistan Team in recent times. When we talk about a team, I do understand that the administration plays an important part, but to talk about all negatives when your team is doing good (may I add against all odds) is being pessimistic. 2. Even when the WI, Bangladesh, Zim are taken lightly by teams bigger teams, and even in their most troubled times Pakistan have never been taken lightly by any team, for just one reason, their bowling talent. Batsman can draw test matches, to win them you need bowlers, good aggressive and that is one area where Pakistan can boast of abundance. 3. As you mentioned that it is sticking to your strength. And I hope Pakistan follows the same approach against England as well. If they beat the World no.1 side, they will have the confidence to move to step two - winning from different posistions. Right now, they should stick to step 1 though.

  • Karim Javed on December 23, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Pakistan is emerging as Australia of year 1999 to 2007. And world will see this, If you will closely checkout the domestic structure of Pakistan Cricket then you will definitely find some interesting bowlers and batsmen too. Pakistan have very strong backup players and they are getting shine more nowadays. People are continuously criticizing Pakistan of being slow in their run rate, If team Pakistan is performing slow then deduct days from test cricket. Then it should be a 4 day test, is that OK. No, because there are some nations who can't finish test matches in 5 days then how could it possible to finish in 4 days. Checking out Indian domestic structure every match consist of 3 to 4 Hundreds and more than 500 runs in every match, Is this really batting at their best or this is enough of making flat pitches, or their bowlers sucks big time (pardon my language). I personally don't prefer watching test matches played on Indian pitches because every one knows that 70% of chance is a Draw

  • Waqas on December 23, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    I totally agree with kamran abbasi for Pakistan you batsman who can stay on wicket that is what Younis,Misbah,Toufeeq and Azhar have done and the result is that they produced best results in last 14 years.

  • Manzoor Raza on December 23, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    We really have a very short memory. We really forgot the recent past when we had a bunch of players with enviable strike rates in our TEST TEAM which was one reason of losing the tests. Test, ODIs and T20 are different format games and have different requirements. Pakistan is on the right path after so long and we should stick with it

  • Aurangzeb Rao on December 23, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Dont have much hope to pass through the biased indian moderators. But since its a Pakistani post, i might get some space...

    Kamran, adventurous blades are not the need of test cricket. Its a dying sport here in Asia, and Pakistan keeps both the parties interested till Day 5, making it fun to watch, eventually they have won most the games. I say they have a good chance over England.

  • Malik on December 23, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    I don't understand the criticism of Pakistan based on scoring rate. Pakistan's strength lies in it's bowling attack. Known more for it pacers however spin department has been equally blessed with talent. Now Pakistan's eternal bane has always been it's batting. Fast scoring model of batting can be achieved by a batting unit of the highest quality. Which Pakistan seldom ever had. But luckily you don't need to score 350 runs a day to succeed in test matches. 250 a day can make you a champion side. if you regularly score 350+ and have a world class bowling attack. And a world class bowling attack Pakistan seems to have, most of the time. Misbah is a genius to have rediscovered the formula of success. Batting slow in a test is after all the classical cricket style. The way it was played for a Century or so.

  • khan on December 23, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    a flawed analysis! pakistan should have experimented against BD.It was an opponent which has never troubled Pakistan.Now its the series against england and Pakistan must realise that unlike the previous teams, it will be attacked.So it must learn to counter attack but it never adopted the aggresive approach against BD. Experts like Rameez raja and Zaheer abbas have voiced their concern about defensive captaincy of misbah. I dont think England will be beaten by playing the waiting game. Instead such approach may backfire!

  • Amer Hussain on December 23, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    A win is a win is a win....Hats off to the boys, its about time that there was some cheer for the Pak fan and thanks to Ajmal, Hafeez, Misbah and Gul, there is a smile on my face and anticipation for a hard fought England series..

  • Tariq Razi on December 23, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    I am surprised that it has taken you an entire month and Pakistan's complete tour (One-day-200- and test matches) to consider it worth writing about Pakistan cricket.

    Now that you have finally moved out of extended phase of constant Misbah bashing, it is time to also realise that test teams "don't have to" have an attacking batting line up that scores at above four an over to win test matches. This is a deep-rooted fallacy amongst a lot of people which is based on the more than decade old model introduced by the Aussies.

    Attritional cricket still has a place in the Test Match arena. Just because Team Misbah does not adhere to the populist and more attractive (given) modus operandi does not mean that it will not get results. Pakistan in the last 14 odd years has been all about flash, marginal consistency, and occasional success.

    Team Misbah functions like a team with batsmen heeding the Captain and Coach's guidelines and delivering as a unit.