Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2012 July 12, 2012

A defeat tinged with optimism

Any match is merely a stepping stone on the long and winding road to the summit of international cricket
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Any match is merely a stepping stone on the long and winding road to the summit of international cricket. Several teams attempt the climb; some ascend, others stumble, but only one can raise its flag at the pinnacle. A genuine team effort is no guarantee of success although it is essential. There is scope for individual heroics but weak links must be few or non-existent; the journey must offer avenues for development of inexperienced team members and smooth over inevitable variations in performance.

When an inexperienced player beginning his personal journey at international level nears a milestone that might help him more than his country, what do you do? Is it tough love, or will a little love now make him tougher later? These were the questions circling Asad Shafiq's approach to a second Test century. Was it right to allow him to reach a personal landmark that would narrow Pakistan's chances of drawing a low-key Test series?

In truth, the odds were stacked in Shafiq's favour. Pakistan were ahead but not by enough. They were a spin bowler light on a wicket too placid for Pakistan's pacers. Only weight of runs would exert enough pressure on Sri Lanka's batsmen to crack under the interrogation of the best spin bowler to play in Sri Lanka since Murali's retirement. Even if the arguments for a declaration had been more powerful, it would still have been right to enable another hundred in Test cricket for Pakistan's promising middle-order batsman.

Misbah-ul Haq, as often is the way in Test cricket, called that one correctly. His return, after missing the first Test in Galle, had already refocused Pakistan's efforts in the series, and underlined the captain's importance to his team's competitiveness.

But it was youth that triumphed here for Pakistan. Azhar Ali and Shafiq topped the batting averages, a healthy development for Pakistan's middle order. Junaid Khan did the same with the bowling, excelling despite Umar Gul's drop in form. Even Adnan Akmal showed rare spunk for a modern Pakistan wicketkeeper.

As disappointing as a Test defeat is, especially with the level of performance in the first Test, Pakistan's recovery is a good omen. Sri Lanka will be happy but doubtful of their superiority over this Pakistan side, which is testament enough.

Above all, any series that sees several young players make a strong case to help the team on the next stage of the climb is at least a mini triumph. Better still that these seem to be players with the temperament for Test cricket's challenges.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Valinda on September 8, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    Great insight. Reilveed I'm on the same side as you.

  • Faridoon on August 22, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi,

    Hope you are well. I can only assume that you've taken ill since we've not heard from you in over a month.

    It is highly unlikely that there's nothing happening in Pak Cricket worth blogging about, for that is never the case.

    Take care and get well soon.

  • SN Qazi on August 18, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    In Pakistan cricket the Selectors play a game of musical chairs. Once the players have not performed for long they are dropped for a game or two . A youngster may be given a chance but he has to perform in every innings from the first chance given . If there is even one lapse of performance out they have to go andthe not having performed so called senior p Ayers are brought back again .thisis whathasbeenhaening with continuing fallbacks for players such adImranNazir.ShoaibMa IkandKamran Akmal . Pakistanis not groomingnewtalentat all .

  • Shamshad Ali Khan on August 15, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is a really bad choice for the ODIs Team . However , I would rate Kamran Akmal,s selection as being even worse . He would easily qualify for the title of the world,s worst wicket keeper . Why he keeps on being selected is an unsolved mystery of Pakistan cricket . Y

  • Javed Hasan on August 13, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Pakistan has announced its ODIs Team to play Australia in UAE . The very surprising inclusion Is Shoaib Malik who hasn't performed in the last three years . However , strangely enough he always manages to retain his place.

  • zafar Abbasi on August 5, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    No doubt team Pakistan has talent,as usual,what about captaincy as Misbah has limited time to play?

  • arh on July 27, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    Laxman, Dravid,Ganguly gone.Tendulkar,Veero playing off & on.Probably Indian cricket is reverting to 1 or 2 super stars in a team era. No body matched the charisma of super stardom in their time.Its left to Kohli/Gambir. Indian cricket was very rich in the presence of above super stars.All of them averaged over or just below 50 in both the formats.Even Dhoni is not much behind them. The coming lot doesn,t seem to be matching the talent of their predecessors,courtesy T20 cricket. Revival of Pak/India cricket is eagerly awaited because of its competitiveness & will surely improve the quality of cricket on both the sides.

  • khalil on July 27, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    Sure ! Amla has all the ingredients of a great batsman.He has performed on seaming as well as turning wickets but Mohummad Yousaf was more stylish & a better stroke player than Amla. Yousaf deserved an innings of his life like the 1 Amla played.

  • akb on July 25, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    311* against the top team in the world. Where is Dean Jones ? What does he say about this innings ?

  • Javed Hasan on July 25, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    In the Newspapers there were some comments a few days back by Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younus that Sami should not have been selected because his form has not been consistent . At least Shoaib Akhtar was honest enough to also add that when he was playing with Sami he could see how often the wicket keeper would drop catches on Sami's bowling . Now, that same wicket keeper , is being selected again . Another thing , former players like Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younuas do not speak about the very poor performance in recent years of players such as Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik . The real problem is that the PCB does not regularly publish the statistics at the end of each series and for each year so that there should be spotlight on who is performing and who is not .

  • Valinda on September 8, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    Great insight. Reilveed I'm on the same side as you.

  • Faridoon on August 22, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi,

    Hope you are well. I can only assume that you've taken ill since we've not heard from you in over a month.

    It is highly unlikely that there's nothing happening in Pak Cricket worth blogging about, for that is never the case.

    Take care and get well soon.

  • SN Qazi on August 18, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    In Pakistan cricket the Selectors play a game of musical chairs. Once the players have not performed for long they are dropped for a game or two . A youngster may be given a chance but he has to perform in every innings from the first chance given . If there is even one lapse of performance out they have to go andthe not having performed so called senior p Ayers are brought back again .thisis whathasbeenhaening with continuing fallbacks for players such adImranNazir.ShoaibMa IkandKamran Akmal . Pakistanis not groomingnewtalentat all .

  • Shamshad Ali Khan on August 15, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is a really bad choice for the ODIs Team . However , I would rate Kamran Akmal,s selection as being even worse . He would easily qualify for the title of the world,s worst wicket keeper . Why he keeps on being selected is an unsolved mystery of Pakistan cricket . Y

  • Javed Hasan on August 13, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Pakistan has announced its ODIs Team to play Australia in UAE . The very surprising inclusion Is Shoaib Malik who hasn't performed in the last three years . However , strangely enough he always manages to retain his place.

  • zafar Abbasi on August 5, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    No doubt team Pakistan has talent,as usual,what about captaincy as Misbah has limited time to play?

  • arh on July 27, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    Laxman, Dravid,Ganguly gone.Tendulkar,Veero playing off & on.Probably Indian cricket is reverting to 1 or 2 super stars in a team era. No body matched the charisma of super stardom in their time.Its left to Kohli/Gambir. Indian cricket was very rich in the presence of above super stars.All of them averaged over or just below 50 in both the formats.Even Dhoni is not much behind them. The coming lot doesn,t seem to be matching the talent of their predecessors,courtesy T20 cricket. Revival of Pak/India cricket is eagerly awaited because of its competitiveness & will surely improve the quality of cricket on both the sides.

  • khalil on July 27, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    Sure ! Amla has all the ingredients of a great batsman.He has performed on seaming as well as turning wickets but Mohummad Yousaf was more stylish & a better stroke player than Amla. Yousaf deserved an innings of his life like the 1 Amla played.

  • akb on July 25, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    311* against the top team in the world. Where is Dean Jones ? What does he say about this innings ?

  • Javed Hasan on July 25, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    In the Newspapers there were some comments a few days back by Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younus that Sami should not have been selected because his form has not been consistent . At least Shoaib Akhtar was honest enough to also add that when he was playing with Sami he could see how often the wicket keeper would drop catches on Sami's bowling . Now, that same wicket keeper , is being selected again . Another thing , former players like Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younuas do not speak about the very poor performance in recent years of players such as Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik . The real problem is that the PCB does not regularly publish the statistics at the end of each series and for each year so that there should be spotlight on who is performing and who is not .

  • akb on July 25, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    ENG should have played Finn in the side. He has speed & is nippy. He could have been effective against Proteas,who are fond of playing on the up.

  • Hus on July 25, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    Tendulkar,Kallis,Punter & now Sangakara have taken cricket to new heights. These are the evergreen cricketers, who have taken cricket very near to immortality. They have erased the concept of aging in cricket. Amazing.

  • arh on July 24, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    Oval test was a competition amongst the evens. Both have strong batting & bowling attacks. SA played very well but we have to wait till the next test,whether the fall of ENG has started.

  • Shamshad AliKhan on July 22, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    PCB needs some explaining to do . How is it Shoaib Malik year after year continues to fail in performing botha Batsman andBowler and they keep on selecting him .itis a real mystery .

  • akb on July 22, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    SA looks set to give ENG a tit for tat in persuit of the no. 1 spot in test cricket. It,s a spirited reply from SA in 1st test match,worth watching.

  • S.N . Qazi on July 21, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    I agree Junaid should have been included for the T 20 Team . However, I do not agree that should be by dropping either Gul or Sami . The player who needs to be dropped is Shoaib Malik . His performance at International levels in both. 2011 and 2012 has been pathetic.

  • khalil on July 21, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    A well balanced team for T20 cup & AUS tour . Hope to perform well. But going on recent form,some players feel neglected. Shahzad in place of Asad because it is illogical to select a player on his test match performance for T20 & Junaid may have replaced Sami or gul if planning for the future. But Gul was selected for his past performane & Sami for his speed / recent performance. Frankly speaking Junaid should have been in the side at the cost of one of the 2 ,to give him more confidence & prepare him for future.

  • akb on July 20, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    Well done selectors. I hope Hafiz come up with an effective combination in the T20 cup.Suggested batting order is 1. Imran Nazir 2. Nasir Jamshid 3. Hafeez 4. Malik 5. Umar Akmal 6. Kamran 7. Afridi 8. Razzak 9. Tanveer 10.Gul 11.Ajmal

  • hus on July 20, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    Vey sad that Shahzad is out of the T20 squad. He could have easily been in for Shafique to complete a formidable T20 side. But every era has few such players in every team. They are labelled as talened but arrogant & ill disciplined/irresponsible. We had Sarfaraz,Shoaib,Saleem Elahi etc but they always performed when given chance. They played for their teams because of their sheer talent. I hope Shahzad too will play for Pak but he has to perform on avalibility of chance.

  • Fazrul Gafoor - Sri Lanka on July 18, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    When a young prommissing batsman start perform international lever he always dsire to play test matches. Because he can play long innings plus can take his own time to get settle and he can improve his technique when he is in with a senior player in the crease. But unfortunatly THE PROMISSING young and talented Umer Akmal was excluded in test matches. I personely beleive that it will be discourage for his future. So kindly give him an opptunity and also consider about Sami Aslam & Mohammed AAMER. Thanks

  • Aftab Alam on July 16, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    The main reason of defeat was not umpiring or DRS syestem it was poor plaing by both captains because if you all observed that Sangakara playesvery solid cricket & through out the series he proved it but no coach or tour management did any thing & no one told pakistani bowlers that just bowling on proper length,although we do have seniors who were there but every body was just critising to players and umprings etc etc....but we need proper captain yes yes...??????

  • Bilal Choudry on July 16, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Like the majority of the comments I also think that DRS would have made this series more competitive .. if only India changes its mind on DRS sigh

  • fhs on July 16, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Rain and non-existence of DRS system hurt Pakistan in this entire series. I fully support Misbah and his men!

  • aftab from VB on July 16, 2012, 1:04 GMT

    Agree to you, the silver lining is here. Come 2015, we will Aamir, Junaid and possibly Asif in the spearhead department, Hammad Azam an all rounder, two Akmals, Hafeez, Asad and Azhar is the batting lineup, the Stallions spinner (forgot his name) with perhaps another one like Rehman, and a 12th man. Can't wait to see the ICC ranking then. I like Gul, but somehow he shines like a meteor rather than a star.

  • Dr. Shahzad on July 15, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    To all my friends who think its time for Misbah to leave the arena I have just one comment that had misbah been in the side in the 1st test, things might have been different.. he does bring a sense of calmness in the middle order. he is a must for test and for that matter for one dayers as well. i beleive the factors reponsible for the loss of pakistan in this test series is the poor umpiring, poor pacers performance (excluding Junaid ofcourse) and poor fielding (thats less relevant coz pakistan fielding had never been good.) umpiring was bad for both teams actually but somehow pakistan seem to suffer most and that too at crunch stages of the match... well played pakistan neways n need to stop praisin our so called fast bowlers for not doing nothing... specially Mr Gul and Mr Sami (tried n tested on many occassions .. always a failure).

  • Rehan on July 15, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    I seriously hate it when you fans don't even accolade the writer and start listing "MY BEST ELEVEN". And when THAT player(s) doesn't perform, you hide in a cave. Seriously, i respect your magical astrological powers; but if you were SO GOOD AT SELECTING A TEAM: YOU WOULDNT BE SITTING HERE BASHING, RATHER WORKING FOR PCB.

    The article is about how the Test Series unfolded, and we have some lunatics talking about T20 World Cup Eleven already!! Seriously.

  • Ausmax on July 15, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Someone compared Sachin with umar akmal lol. It's like comparing zaheerkhan with wasim akram. One is a good bowler other is great

  • Haroon on July 15, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    These were some of the most unsporting wickets I have ever come across. Then SL not going for the win on the last day showed their lack of confidence. DRS system, sporting wickets and better weather, I promise SL would have not won. And deep down SL fans know that.

  • haasir sayed on July 15, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    THE BEST PAKISTAN SQUAD FOR T20 INTERNATIONAL WORLD CUP IMRAN NAZIR NASIR JAMSHED SHAHID AAFRIDI KAMRAN AKMAL ABDUR RAZZAQ MOHAMMED HAFIZ UMAR AKMAL SAEED AJMAL SOHAIL TANVEER YAASIR ARAFAT HAMMAD AAZAM In t20 if pakistan use this player ther is the strongest team it is! because five all rounder, 1 abdur razzaq 2 shahid aafridi 3 mohammed hafiz 4 yaasir araafat 5 hammad aazam two regular bowler 1 saeed ajmal 2 sohail tanveer & & four perfect batsman 1 imraan nazir 2 nasir jamshed 3 kamran akmal 4 umar akmal

  • fazrul gafoor - Sri Lanka on July 15, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    I would like to request the P.C.B officials to consider about Mohammed Ameer he should be back to pakistan team because at present he is the best bowler in the world. we missed him a lot.

  • sanjaya on July 15, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    Don't argue guys Better team won

  • Khan on July 14, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Presence of DRS system or absence of poor umpiring could have resulted in win for Pakistan in test series. Still Pakistani team did very well.

  • Sheheryar Khan on July 14, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    I think both teams were fairly evenly matched. But SL had superior batting mainly due to Dilshan and Sanga as luckily Mahela and Samaraweera did not click. Pak have always been a better bowling unit. So the battle was as expected but Pak bowling wasn't upto the mark due to some bad selections. Gul was unlucky at times and off color at others. True the umpiring and weather and of course Misbah's absence in the first test played a part. But on the whole a closely fought series where Pak lost it in a few sessions in the first test. Well played SL and congrats on a much awaited series win.

  • Javed Hasan on July 14, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    I agree with Farukh Awan . The selection of Imran Nazir even for T 20s alone would be a big mistake . He has very poor technique Asa Batsman and cannot last for more than six balls against quality bowling at International levels . Shoaib Malik has not performed at International levels for the last three years . Why he continues tone retained is a mystery. Younis Khanshould do the decent thing and announce his retirement . He is not qualified anymore for Tests as well . It is high time PCB focused pnTeam Vuilding and bringing innew talent .

  • Sali on July 14, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    Fielding and umpiring did Pakistan.Gul suffered the most because of it. Rain helped SL by breaking the momentun in last test. Sami could be a weapon but likes of Wasim need to work with him. He needs variation. First time since Inzi left, Pakistan batting looking good. Let's bring Umer in place of Yonus now and we are in good shape.

  • Imran on July 14, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Well said, but perhaps a little harsh on Gul. He bowled very well in the first test, but the umpiring consistently got the better of him, the team and the series.

  • SR on July 14, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    I am sure a lot of you will not like to hear this but to be honest, pathetic performance by Pakistan. Fielding was less than poor, bowling was less than bad hardly saw any reverse swing (where are the swinging yorkers?), this pitch was ideal for reverse swing and batting oh our awesome batting 100 for all out.If this is Pakistan's performance against Sri Lanka I can only imagine what they would do when they go to tour England or Australia or SA. Asad and Azhar impressed, Pakistan team used to be a very strong outfit in the past but at the moment it is one of the weakest Pakistani side that has ever played, nuff said.

  • Farrukh Hanif Awan on July 14, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    I don't know where everyone is coming from but surely not from what is written above. For the love of god, Imran Nazir is not meant for test or one day cricket. Period. He is only good for the T20 where the other team does not boast a good cricketing bowler. By good cricketing bowler anyone who does not have a good in dipper. If they do, he is a certified LBW or bowled canditate. *no freaking footwork*. Then you have people putting Muhammad Sami in. He was useless before, he is useless now. Please move on. Misbah, Thank you, thank you so much for your efforts as a Pakistani Captain. His success ratio is more then any other captain that pakistan has produced and hopefully it will remain so.

  • aalisaz on July 14, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    everything seems to be fine, even T20 teams lokks promising with the return of razzaq, nazir and kamran. Gul just need to come back in his original form before the t2o world cup. Also if younis can be given these many chances why not yousuf. these two can play alternatively.

  • aasim on July 14, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    congratulations Sri Lanka for winning the series though luck favoured you through out but few good sessions of quality bowling and determined batting gave you the series.... not the luck only. Pakistan needs misbah and one more quick bowler like asif..... that will make a perfect combination. mahela will be and shoujd be more aggressive against india to win good luck to both teams

  • aasim on July 14, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    congratulations Sri Lanka for winning the series though luck favoured you through out but few good sessions of quality bowling and determined batting gave you the series.... not the luck only. Pakistan needs misbah and one more quick bowler like asif..... that will make a perfect combination. mahela will be and shoujd be more aggressive against india to win good luck to both teams

  • romirom on July 14, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    those who r talkina about umar akmal. Remember that he is most successful batsman in pak lineup in odi n t20. And also got around avg of 38 in test cricket. Pcb has 2 give him fair chance in test cricket. Bcoz he is the future of pak cricket. I enjoy his batting. He is little genius like sachin. Difference is only that sachin frm india where he got much more return of his talent and umar akmal is frm pak where he still have 2 receive valu 4 his talent.

  • Merchant on July 14, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    I think we should adopt the policy of rotation like England.Purpose of this policy to give rest to your main players and try your upcoming promising cricketers.This has produced result for England. They are getting new players and challenging their old guards.Pakistan has lot of talents specially in fast bowling and spinners.Now is the right time to adopt the policy of rotation.We did not give chance to Hammad Azam,Faisal Iqbal,Harris shohail and Raza Hassan and many others.Ayub Dogar has performed well on his debut test.So please give a chance to youngster whenever possible.Now we should develope 6 to 7 fast bowlers.atleast 4 openers and 4 spinners.We lack quality middle order batsmen.Our selector should concentrate on finding good wicket keeper batsman,Adnan Akmal is developing.Our coaches should work on fielding due to which we lost this series.

  • zeeshan on July 14, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    shanaka!I think u dont have cricketing sense.one decision can change the course of game.if mahela was given out at that point sl will b out inside 300.bcoz u know the stats of other lankan b/man in this series.and what about toufeeq's lbw.pakistan can easily won by clean sweeping lankan if umpiring and weather stay neutral.in 3rd test pranvitana was not gven lbw on day 1 and made 75 to take 1st inning lead.so lankan won by luck not by performance.thanks to taufel,gould and others and also rain.

  • aleem farook on July 14, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    whatever is said the captaincy of Misbah is excellent. Once Marvan Attapattu also commented that he is Mr.Cool so as long as Misbah is there to steer the ship Pakistan need not to worry.

    Better if Mohammed Yousuf is also included in the team for Future assignments.

  • Zeeshan on July 14, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    I think it was the umpiring which allowed Srilanka to win the test series, Throughout this tour there were so many poor decisions against Pakistan, If there had UDRS then the results had totally in the favour of Pakistan... for sure! I would say WELL DONE PAKISTAN!

  • Max on July 14, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket Future is bright and promising. Some new blood from U-19 informs of Sami Aslam, Umar Waheed and two RF Azizullah and Ehsan Adil will join the team. These two young fast bowlers along side with Junaid Khan, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal and return of Mohammad Amar will make Team very competitive

  • Shamshad Ali Khan on July 14, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Pakistan,s real problem towards rebuilding the team is that we do not give opportunities for new talent. To develop . We are continuously bringing back discarded players in a game of musical chairs. Shoaib Malik has not performed at International levels In the last three years .Also , Younis Khan may have done one or two good innings in the last three years .umar Akmal would easily qualify asthe world,s worst wicketkeeper . However, inspire of very poor performance over a long period of time they manage be retained in theTeam . This policy is responsible forthw continuing decline of thepakistanTeam .

  • SSC on July 14, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    i hope SL will continu this form upcoming Indian seires!& also 20/20world cup!!!SL did well, SCG, MCG & Adilede so hope try 2 make picthes like that!!!

  • Abrar R on July 14, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Rain in the final two tests ruined it for Misbahs record. Had it not been for the rain, Pakistan had a serious chance of making this 2-1.

    Congratulations to SriLanka but they got lucky.

  • Afon on July 14, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    People talking about bad umpiring should note that no team can be blamed or even be excused for either a win or a lose due umpiring mistakes, given that they are independent. Most importantly without DRS bad umpiring is part and parcel of the game, it happens in all the games as no human is 100% perfect. But it is sad if one team has to lose due to umpiring mistakes, that is why DRS should be made compulsory, to which India oppose for no good reason. But bad umpiring on one key player can cost the team whole match, but only way to minimise that is to make DRS compulsory.

  • mav on July 14, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    all this comments are wrong-Sri Lanka were superior

  • Nadeem Mirza on July 13, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    What a tremendous batting by Asad Shafiq in both innings. After a long time saw this responsible batting by a pakistani youngsters. Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam should also be given consistent opportunities in test and ODI. I see these along with, Azhar, Hafeez and Misbah could complete Pakistan batting. Younis should retire from all form, if they need another experience batsman then Mohammad Yousuf would be better choice. Sami, opener from U-19 should also be tried. It is amazing to see such an abundance of talent! Hope Mohammad Amir comes back and join Junaid Khan and Saeed Ajmal. However, we still need a good keeper batsmen (Adnan akmal is a good Keeper but not a great batsman, he will be exposed on seaming tracks. One more genuine fast bowler (sorry Sami is not counted and Umar Gul is totally out of form) is needed. Future looks promising and time has come to instill new blood. InshAllah we will be back on top in all formats.

  • Arsalan on July 13, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    Sanga played some beautiful innings and showed everybody what it means to be a truly classy batsman. I have the utmost respect for him. Having said that, I think Sri Lanka won this series primarily due to very poor umpiring decisions, and the lack of Misbah in the first test. Without Misbah, the Pakistan unit just crumbled in the first test and showed just how important Misbah is in rallying our guys at the highest level. The second two tests for me are a victory of sorts for Pakistan and also for Misbah, who in my eyes has still not lost a test series since he was not there for the first test.

  • sharjeel kahn on July 13, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    In pace department junaid is new find he shud be kept consistently . In batting shafiq and azhar shud consistently pair with misbah and younis . People are talking abt younis failures but he is the fourth highest pak scorer and he was dismissed in first three innings wrongly. One bright future prospect is sami aslam under 19 opener with solid technique and temperament for long innings . Gul and sami shudnt be tried in tests and talha and sadaf hussain shud be tried.

  • Desihungama on July 13, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Pakistan needs to continue long run with it's core players as Hafeez, Adnan, Azhar, Asad and Junaid and gel the team in a fashion the players know who to count and in what situations.

  • Jibran on July 13, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    I think Pakistan and Umar Gul were extremely unlucky in the first test due to umpiring. Also, without Misbah as captain it was always an uphill battle. Secondly Rain saved Sri Lanka in both games. There is a lot of criticism towards Gul but remember he is the lone bowler who has been winning Pakistan test matches in dust bowls of UAE. Again if not for shady umpiring he would have ended with better stats. Sami doesn't belong at the highest level. Swing with medium pace is better than pace without swing. And when Gul is clocking 145kph, play another swing bowler. Sohail Tanvir would have been a better selection or there are other youngsters in Pakistan such as Anwar Ali, Mohammad Talha, etc. Kudos to Asad, Azhar and Junaid. Now selectors should at least keep Umar Akmal in the test squad. He should have played in place of Misbah in the first test. A player who has scored runs in Australia, shouldn't be discarded on flat tracks.

  • Chat on July 13, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Are you suggesting even for a moment that if Pakistan declared earlier, they would have had a chance at winning? What a ridiculous thought! Another one hour and SL would have cruised to victory.

  • terry007 on July 13, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    @shanaka, agreed that after five sessions in the field, Pak batsman had a poor showing in the first test, the DRS would have negated much of the poor performance with the bat and narrowed the SL lead. Rain prevented decisions for the second and third tests where Pak showed much better application. Congrats to SL for taking the series 1-0.

  • Imran Khan on July 13, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    I think ICC should sign a deal with the firm that provides the DRS technology or support cricket boards plus a reserve day in every test in case there is rain or interruptions.

  • Imran Khan on July 13, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Misbah is desperately needed for tests. His calmness is what brought the real change in the final two tests. Unfortunately the umpiring decisions and poor batting in the first test and rains in the final two sealed Pakistan's fate.

  • bohurupi on July 13, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Allowing Shafiq to bat longer helped Pakistan avoid 2.0 defeat in the series. Dr. Abbasi, you probably failed to notice that! You also failed to mention the dismal performance of Taufique Umar behind stamps, that probably was the key factor in helping Sri lanka save the test. Misbah failed to prove anything in this match other than that his form is dwindling. Pakistan need a couple of freshman in the middle order and should get rid of the old hagards. The inclusion of Sami at the cost of in-form Rahman was another blunder made by the selection committee. Umar Gul also should not be an automatic inclusion anymore.

  • Rehan on July 13, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    The declaration was spot on, anyone questioning it have no idea about test cricket. People must not forget that Pakistan were effectively 188 for 8 when the day started. Had Asad Shafiq got out then, all the knives would've been out on him. He innings was a gem between aggression and caution. It ensured Pak had enough time to win and not enough to loose. Pak had 70 overs to go at SL, if it cannot be done in 70, 80 wouldn't have been enough either. The series was lost due to poor umpiring, not poor cricket. Full credit to Paks young batsmen, Asad and Azhar. Adnan played a good hand too. And technically Misbah hasn't lost a series as a captain, he did not play in the first test, so in my humble opinion, he still has not lost a series.

  • Abhijeet on July 13, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Some of the comments are related to decline of ODI form of Pakistan. but honestly, i think PCB should treat ODI and test differently. should select different teams and if possible captain too. They are doing well in Test so allow team to flourish and do not change it constantly. But they have to take some serious decisions as ODI is concerned.

  • mudasir on July 13, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    Imran Nazir Azher Ali Kamran AKmal Mohd Hafeez Abdul Razack Shahid Afridi Umer AKmal Asad Shafiq Umer Gul Wahab Raiz Mohd Sami

  • Shanaka on July 13, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    terry007,can you please watch the first test again.you guyz put only 100 runs for the 1st innings.if Mahela's bad decision not there,SL win that match with innings+....Umpire's bad decisions went bad for SL too.Well Done SL.Be happy pak it wasn't 2-0 series win by SL.;)..

  • noor on July 13, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Young ster had done well.

  • zaid_sl on July 13, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Changes in the ODI N T20 a required wicket should . orders to around

  • umar on July 13, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Pakistan really has great players, it is just poor management that is the cause for much of our losses. It is good that Imran Nazir and Razzaq are making a comeback; we won T20 world cup and they were decisively contributing in that. No team can win with some of their best players sidelined, and at least now we have a team that has most players in merit, or at least with enough merit.

  • terry007 on July 13, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Pakistan were unlucky in losing the toss in all three tests. They lost the fist test on day one when SL scored 300 for 2, but then Pakistan claimed the next 8 wickets for some 180 runs. Then most of the umpire's decision in the first test went against them. That was the series as well. Except for the lack of form of Gul, Cheema and Sami, the others bowlers did a fine job. There is hope for this team.

  • adeel on July 13, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    one more day and Pak could have won this test

  • SayedJee on July 13, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Pak pace attack can only be classified as dismal in this test series.... among the 3 seamers besides Junaid (Gul, Cheema, Sami) in 3 tests, only 2 wickets! Wow!

  • Syed Imtasal Shah on July 12, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    Sir actually there is not much talk about One day format in particular we are way way behind any other team in that format i think n none of these upcoming young players are natural one day players

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  • Syed Imtasal Shah on July 12, 2012, 22:19 GMT

    Sir actually there is not much talk about One day format in particular we are way way behind any other team in that format i think n none of these upcoming young players are natural one day players

  • SayedJee on July 13, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Pak pace attack can only be classified as dismal in this test series.... among the 3 seamers besides Junaid (Gul, Cheema, Sami) in 3 tests, only 2 wickets! Wow!

  • adeel on July 13, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    one more day and Pak could have won this test

  • terry007 on July 13, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Pakistan were unlucky in losing the toss in all three tests. They lost the fist test on day one when SL scored 300 for 2, but then Pakistan claimed the next 8 wickets for some 180 runs. Then most of the umpire's decision in the first test went against them. That was the series as well. Except for the lack of form of Gul, Cheema and Sami, the others bowlers did a fine job. There is hope for this team.

  • umar on July 13, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Pakistan really has great players, it is just poor management that is the cause for much of our losses. It is good that Imran Nazir and Razzaq are making a comeback; we won T20 world cup and they were decisively contributing in that. No team can win with some of their best players sidelined, and at least now we have a team that has most players in merit, or at least with enough merit.

  • zaid_sl on July 13, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Changes in the ODI N T20 a required wicket should . orders to around

  • noor on July 13, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Young ster had done well.

  • Shanaka on July 13, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    terry007,can you please watch the first test again.you guyz put only 100 runs for the 1st innings.if Mahela's bad decision not there,SL win that match with innings+....Umpire's bad decisions went bad for SL too.Well Done SL.Be happy pak it wasn't 2-0 series win by SL.;)..

  • mudasir on July 13, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    Imran Nazir Azher Ali Kamran AKmal Mohd Hafeez Abdul Razack Shahid Afridi Umer AKmal Asad Shafiq Umer Gul Wahab Raiz Mohd Sami

  • Abhijeet on July 13, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Some of the comments are related to decline of ODI form of Pakistan. but honestly, i think PCB should treat ODI and test differently. should select different teams and if possible captain too. They are doing well in Test so allow team to flourish and do not change it constantly. But they have to take some serious decisions as ODI is concerned.