Twenty20 World Cup 2012 October 8, 2012

India and Pakistan: A system failure

We're a funny bunch. Some of us can't bat; the rest of us can't bowl. We're separated by a line drawn in deserts, fields and mountains; a line that doesn't separate race, caste or religion, which many innocents presume to be its purpose
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We're a funny bunch. Some of us can't bat; the rest of us can't bowl. We're separated by a line drawn in deserts, fields and mountains; a line that doesn't separate race, caste or religion, which many innocents presume to be its purpose. No, the fateful line drawn by an Englishman born in India is something far more fundamental. It is the eternal partition between a horde of batsmen and a tribe of bowlers.

We stare enviously across the border, not at the grass--it is never greener--but at the mastery of cricketing skills that for decades have eluded us. It was once a joke that India doesn't produce quality fast bowlers and Pakistan struggles for high class batsmen. It is a joke no longer. Nor is it a mere hypothesis or theory. It is fact.

Take the respective campaigns of these estranged siblings in Sri Lanka's World T20. Forget the stats about India only losing one match and L Balaji's wicket taking. India's bowling attack carried the solitary threat of R Ashwin--a hapless formula to win any tournament. Meanwhile, Pakistan's batsmen floundered on cue in the Super Eights stage of the competition. When the pressure intensified, batting techniques and temperaments melted away. These are ancient laments with no sign of end. Issues both nations and their cricket boards have failed to remedy.

A World T20 requires young bucks to bowl and field. India's selectors backed warhorses. Pakistan have their own problems with old steeds, though less extreme than India's. Pakistan's warhorses are the chargers batting in the lower-middle order. It seems, as ever, that the greatest barriers to the success of both Indian and Pakistan cricket are the conflicted men of power who make small-minded decisions from behind their oversized desks, leaving coach and captain to manage huge expectations with inadequate resources.

Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan's T20 captain, was as dynamic in the field against Australia and Sri Lanka as he had been lethargic against India. That India match was a perplexing collective failure. A defeat isn't the issue; it is the manner of defeat that hurts. The plan might have been to hold fire and keep wickets in hand but Pakistan's top order missed scoring opportunities with such regularity that it betrayed their apprehension and limitations. Imagine what Hafeez might have achieved with a squad of gun batsmen?

MS Dhoni remains an inspirational leader for India. Even in the death throes of India's World T20 challenge it was Dhoni who rallied his team to a total with an outside chance of qualification. When India defended 121 while South Africa chased 153, Dhoni set attacking fields--two slips even--despite his powder-puff pace attack. It was his country's only chance, other than an earlier and longer spell from Ashwin. When Dhoni pointed to his team's record of only one defeat in the tournament, he had a point though not the one he made. His bowling attack and fielding side would have been unlikely winners of this World T20 but imagine what Dhoni might have achieved with a younger, hungrier set of players?

An uncomfortable truth for Indian cricket is that the Indian Premier League isn't especially helping Team India's cause for world domination. Indians wedded to cricket's power politics or blinded by nationalism will never accept that analysis. But India has now failed to mount a serious challenge in three consecutive World T20s. Perhaps the IPL is too easy a competition, a cheap thrill to flatter the egos and averages of the performers? Perhaps the goldfish bowl of the IPL, of the whole filmy masala of Indian cricket, takes the edge off its top players? Pakistan, with plans for its own showy T20 premier league, be warned.

For a moment India were No. 1 in Tests, and then world one-day champions, but the brevity of that high suggests unstable foundations. An honest appraisal of Indian cricket would look further than financial success and consider chronic failures to progress in fast bowling and fielding. Indian cricket is a mighty success as a commercial enterprise but a mighty underachiever when cricket results are measured. If any of us had Virat Kohli's talent for batting we might cry too at elimination from a tournament that we had the potential to utterly dominate.

Precisely because cricket has become a batsman's game, bowlers matter. Even average international players now boss bowlers and thrash boundaries. Only excellent bowlers thrive--and they are the ones who tend to influence matches most. This dynamic works against India and in Pakistan's favour. It helps to explain why Pakistan, with its meagre resources, overachieves compared with its neighbour. Bowlers tend to be natural, self-taught artists. Batsmen require much more than natural skill and fast reflexes for longevity in international cricket. Refining batting technique in the modern age is dependent on facilities and technical advice and support.

Yet the tale of Pakistan's three consecutive world semi-final defeats tells a contradictory story. First, a narrative of success in defiance of the circumstances - a nation in conflict and a cricket system damaged by exile still competitive despite all predictions of rapid decline and doom. On the flip side is a recurring nightmare of how chronic neglect of the arts of batting can dash blossoming hope and ambition. Pakistan do emerge stronger from this T20 tournament with the impact of Nasir Jamshed and consolidation of Umar Akmal but neither batsman's further development is assured, which is precisely the problem.

No team or nation has a divine right to success. Results cannot be guaranteed or entirely predicted. Defeat comes to us all and we are able to accept it. Only fanatics, not supporters, would think otherwise. But an unpalatable taste of failure lingers. Somehow, by some means, we were undersold. Players who could have helped strengthen our weaknesses were unselected or improperly used.

There is the rub. We stare across the border and, although our cricketing challenges are poles apart, we share a common woe. We can see what's wrong, as can the world. We know that this isn't the best we had to offer. There was more to give but we couldn't show it. More than results we want the world to see our talents in their best and truest light. And we know that the men of power have other cares, of bank balances and status, of political gains and personal victories.

We're not so strange a bunch really, staring up at the stars. Enough of us can bat and plenty of us can bowl. We share a passion for cricket and enjoy the pride and pleasure it often bestows upon us. A line, a border, doesn't separate our failings; it unites and binds them--in cricket at least. There is no good reason why Pakistan hungers for batsmen and India is starved of fast bowlers other than the persistent oversight of the people who rule cricket in our countries. Years have become decades, decades will soon turn into a century. It is a system failure without a fix.

The people deserve better.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sajid on December 29, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    If i am a cricketer I would not go to india for IPL since they discriminating our player, Look at english player they even dont think about IPL. And IPL is player killer game.I appeal to PCB please do not let our our player play at IPL. Indian are sick minded people and remain sick minded forever.

  • wALEED on November 9, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    I agree, Pakistan needs high class batsmen. And we have High class young players, but the PCB are not selecting them. We need to retain Younis Khan and promote Umar Akmal. Younus can act as a role model for the young guys and guide them in pressure situations for about 2 years, and then leave the ODI scene, and Umar Akmal has been playing for almost 4 years he should only focus on t20 cricket and when Younis leaves, he should take his place. Hafeez and Misbah should leave ODIs to make room for youngsters, and only focus on Test and T20 cricket. Misbah should be reinstated as t20 captain. So our new and strong ODI squad: 1.Nasir Jamshed 2. Azhar Ali 3. Younis Khan 4. Asad Shafiq 5. Fawad Alam 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Umar Gul 9. Raza Hasan 10. Junaid Khan 11. Saeed Ajmal. Our new t20 squad: 1.Hafeez 2. Imran Farhat 3. Jamshed 4. Misbah-ul-haq 5. Umar Akmal 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Afridi 8. Razzaq 9. Umar Gul 10. Junaid/ Raza Hasan 11. Saeed Ajmal.

  • zulfikar on October 17, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    I am a srilankan and i watch closely the team of Pakistan , I understood that selectors made a terrible mistake by dropping misbah from t20 capt ship because last year or so Pakistan won matches because of misbahs influence if he was their Pakistan will be the champions. truly, why PCB didn't realize.

  • Javed Hasan on October 16, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    Re Azim,s post : Karachi has produced great cricketers . However , cricketers from Karachi have had a tough time getting selected since the Captaincy of Inzammam Ul Haque . Inzammam found conversing in Urdu a great strain . This Inzammam Ul Haque trait has continued with Misbah and Hafeez . The net result is that a number of cricketers from. karachi of the class of Saeed Anwar , Javed Miandad and Rashid Latif do not get the opportunity of proving themselves .

  • Azim on October 16, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    If you want world-class batsmen then give chance to Karachi batsmen; that’s where Pakistan's batting secrete lays. Giving chance means giving support not just exposure as fill in the blanks.

  • DINESH on October 16, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    We have two different Boards. One Board is not allowing their players to play for their country continuously. Except Imran Khan many quality players were retired prematurely including Wasim and Waqar because of Board Politics. The talents of Azhar Mahmood and Saqlain Mushtaq have been wasted by the Board. On the contrary the other Board is allowing their players to play up to 40 years based on their old performances. Even though they are not performing after 35, they were allowed to play till 40, resulting in wasting of young talents. I do not know when the likes of Rahane, Dhawan, Badri, M.Tiwary, Manish Pandey will play for India?

  • Deenesh on October 16, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Surely the article isnt suggesting that india use pakistan talent and vice versa? India will get thier bowlers, but due to the situation in pakistan, although there will always be talent, the pakistan team will always be lacking. Politics and the home situation play a big part, the instability of pakistan the cricket team is a mirror image of pakistan the country. Simple. until the country changes the team will remain the same.

  • KATHIR on October 15, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    PAK WON MANY MATCHES AGAINST INDIA AT SAHRAJH WITH HELP OF POOR UMPIRING AND CROWD SUPPORT.(WE NEVER FORGET HATRICK LBW).

  • Rajan Sardeasi on October 15, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Well looks like author stays in 1990 where Pakistani team dominated India for 4-5 years (thanks to Dawood and Azhar). Thats where the head to head margin difference arose. Now as far as bowling goes ,Pakistan has had edge but it not that they blew away India everytime. Similarly Indian bowlers though not as good Pakistan have always delivered when it matters & got Pakistani times all out on almost similar number of occasions.Besides as mentioned by Gatting ,Botham , Chappell , LLyod & many past stalwarts, winning a series in Pakistan with Pakistani umpires was impossible. If one looks at statistics , it is evident that win loss ratio of Pak in Pakistan was indeed higher during non neutral umpires. Moment neutral umpires came into picture the loss ratio increased. Besides with advent of better zoom cameras & HD , it is not surprising that reverse swing of Pakistani bowlers has decreased considerably. Also the fact that now days cold rinks have plastic caps may also be one other reason

  • JNS on October 15, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Don't agree. Fast bowlers are a rare breed and today it is only Dale Steyn who can be considered a great fast bowler. India's quicks - Ishant and Yadav are faster than any current Pakistani bowler. Pakistan also doesn't have anyone in the class of Zaheer when it comes to being a swing bowler. The only world class bowler Pakistan have is Saeed Ajmal and he too is not in the league of Warne or Murali both of whom hardly dented India ever.

  • sajid on December 29, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    If i am a cricketer I would not go to india for IPL since they discriminating our player, Look at english player they even dont think about IPL. And IPL is player killer game.I appeal to PCB please do not let our our player play at IPL. Indian are sick minded people and remain sick minded forever.

  • wALEED on November 9, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    I agree, Pakistan needs high class batsmen. And we have High class young players, but the PCB are not selecting them. We need to retain Younis Khan and promote Umar Akmal. Younus can act as a role model for the young guys and guide them in pressure situations for about 2 years, and then leave the ODI scene, and Umar Akmal has been playing for almost 4 years he should only focus on t20 cricket and when Younis leaves, he should take his place. Hafeez and Misbah should leave ODIs to make room for youngsters, and only focus on Test and T20 cricket. Misbah should be reinstated as t20 captain. So our new and strong ODI squad: 1.Nasir Jamshed 2. Azhar Ali 3. Younis Khan 4. Asad Shafiq 5. Fawad Alam 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Umar Gul 9. Raza Hasan 10. Junaid Khan 11. Saeed Ajmal. Our new t20 squad: 1.Hafeez 2. Imran Farhat 3. Jamshed 4. Misbah-ul-haq 5. Umar Akmal 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Afridi 8. Razzaq 9. Umar Gul 10. Junaid/ Raza Hasan 11. Saeed Ajmal.

  • zulfikar on October 17, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    I am a srilankan and i watch closely the team of Pakistan , I understood that selectors made a terrible mistake by dropping misbah from t20 capt ship because last year or so Pakistan won matches because of misbahs influence if he was their Pakistan will be the champions. truly, why PCB didn't realize.

  • Javed Hasan on October 16, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    Re Azim,s post : Karachi has produced great cricketers . However , cricketers from Karachi have had a tough time getting selected since the Captaincy of Inzammam Ul Haque . Inzammam found conversing in Urdu a great strain . This Inzammam Ul Haque trait has continued with Misbah and Hafeez . The net result is that a number of cricketers from. karachi of the class of Saeed Anwar , Javed Miandad and Rashid Latif do not get the opportunity of proving themselves .

  • Azim on October 16, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    If you want world-class batsmen then give chance to Karachi batsmen; that’s where Pakistan's batting secrete lays. Giving chance means giving support not just exposure as fill in the blanks.

  • DINESH on October 16, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    We have two different Boards. One Board is not allowing their players to play for their country continuously. Except Imran Khan many quality players were retired prematurely including Wasim and Waqar because of Board Politics. The talents of Azhar Mahmood and Saqlain Mushtaq have been wasted by the Board. On the contrary the other Board is allowing their players to play up to 40 years based on their old performances. Even though they are not performing after 35, they were allowed to play till 40, resulting in wasting of young talents. I do not know when the likes of Rahane, Dhawan, Badri, M.Tiwary, Manish Pandey will play for India?

  • Deenesh on October 16, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    Surely the article isnt suggesting that india use pakistan talent and vice versa? India will get thier bowlers, but due to the situation in pakistan, although there will always be talent, the pakistan team will always be lacking. Politics and the home situation play a big part, the instability of pakistan the cricket team is a mirror image of pakistan the country. Simple. until the country changes the team will remain the same.

  • KATHIR on October 15, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    PAK WON MANY MATCHES AGAINST INDIA AT SAHRAJH WITH HELP OF POOR UMPIRING AND CROWD SUPPORT.(WE NEVER FORGET HATRICK LBW).

  • Rajan Sardeasi on October 15, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Well looks like author stays in 1990 where Pakistani team dominated India for 4-5 years (thanks to Dawood and Azhar). Thats where the head to head margin difference arose. Now as far as bowling goes ,Pakistan has had edge but it not that they blew away India everytime. Similarly Indian bowlers though not as good Pakistan have always delivered when it matters & got Pakistani times all out on almost similar number of occasions.Besides as mentioned by Gatting ,Botham , Chappell , LLyod & many past stalwarts, winning a series in Pakistan with Pakistani umpires was impossible. If one looks at statistics , it is evident that win loss ratio of Pak in Pakistan was indeed higher during non neutral umpires. Moment neutral umpires came into picture the loss ratio increased. Besides with advent of better zoom cameras & HD , it is not surprising that reverse swing of Pakistani bowlers has decreased considerably. Also the fact that now days cold rinks have plastic caps may also be one other reason

  • JNS on October 15, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    Don't agree. Fast bowlers are a rare breed and today it is only Dale Steyn who can be considered a great fast bowler. India's quicks - Ishant and Yadav are faster than any current Pakistani bowler. Pakistan also doesn't have anyone in the class of Zaheer when it comes to being a swing bowler. The only world class bowler Pakistan have is Saeed Ajmal and he too is not in the league of Warne or Murali both of whom hardly dented India ever.

  • Amjad on October 15, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Your analysis is perfectly alright. However, highlighting the issue id one thing but it is prudent to highlight some of the root causes explicitly. We have seen in Pakistan team over and over again that captains tend to select pre-determined 11 for the play irrespective of performance, probably, because they belong to his group or favour his captaincy or whatever. We are not able to understand why Shoaib Malik and Afridi were continued to be selected when alternatives like Razzaq and Asad Shafiq were available. We saw the same issue with Misbah's captaincy last time when Younus Khan was continued to be included in the team despite miserable performance. When will this end? Also, our captains play very defensive when fielding, no slips to attack and try to contain runs rather than attacking for wickets.

  • Ashraff on October 15, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    I think this is a wonerful balanced articles. I suggest that PCB should concentrate on your selction and produce techful and thinking batsmen like Umar Akamal, Ashar Ali and Ashad Shafique. PCB should to find out quick ballers like Wasim. You can find these kind of ballers from border of Pakistan adjoining to the Afkhanistan and find out batsmen from the border adjoining to the India.

    Build up your fielding.

  • king on October 14, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    I feel very confused after reading this article...Pak over achieved..LOL:) r u still in 90's..wake up dude...I guess u better open the stats of Ind and Pak n check the no of matches won by each of them in d last 5-6 yrs..Inspite of having weak bowling among the top nations..Ind is d only team which ran through each of its oppositions(except Aus) in WT20..what abt d so called Pak bowling?..May b should tell me abt it....As far as fielding is concerned..Ind is far better than Pak..Just chk the no. of catches dropped by Pak in WT20.....It is better we say d less abt Pak batting..One day they r hit n d next day an utter flop show...Pak couldn't even produce the kind of batting talent of young Kohli,Rohit,Rahane n more....so this article at best is too biased to impress Pak ppl I guess...

  • Areeb on October 13, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    spai - I'm a Pakistani and i have to completely agree with your comment. It's interesting to note how these cranks pick sentences out of context to make people believe what they want them to believe.

    I don't know how the article is biased. It's a critical assessment of how glaring our teams' weaknesses are in their batting and bowling departments. I think if the cranks could(somehow) look beyond their own biases against each others nations then they would appreciate the assessment made by Mr kamran.

    Nice job though, Kamran Abbasi

  • Kami on October 13, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Pakistan has a lot of talent but it is only upto the selectors to get rid of the older lot. specially those who have been hanging around for decades without performing at all. Futur pakistan teams could look like this: Hafiz, Nasir Jamshid, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Said Ajmal. with Usman Sallahudin,Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Zia-ul-Haq, Raza Hassan, Rehman and Talha in reserves.

  • Ved on October 13, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    A true and unbiased analysis. We as Indian though may fell little pinched but it is true. We never able produced quality bowlers, another Kapil Dev (I'm hoping against hope a bit more) after his retirement of nearly 18 years still eluding us. Where as see Pakistan, getting regular supply of fast bowlers, notwithstanding the loss of Md Amir and Md Asif, they again showed that they have Junaid Khan besides Gul. But I'm still confused on why the Pakistani batting often fails on crunch matches against pedestal Indian bowling? and why the wagha border is so cruel that it dinies us on having a genuine wicket taking fast bowler, may be, we are used to easy life, dont want to work hard or may be pitches which in any case is same as Pakistani then what is the reason?

  • IQBAL SHARIFF on October 13, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    This article is written in right earnest briefing the eluding seriousness in the team selection. In India we have our planning fully set. We should have Dhoni at the helm at any cost. Why we should not try seriously to change the captain for T20. The selection committee should have courage to take decisions in over hauling the entire combination. There are very good players who have done wonderfully well in the domestic IPL. But we lack courage to take them. It may be risky but ultimately it may give wonderful results. As far as Pakistan selection is concerned we do not have much to say except the total failure of Shahid Afridi. We have seen him just coming to the crease and going back to pavilion very often.

  • Masood on October 13, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Well, nice article, very truly, I will admire Pakistan Cricket. So far, no international cricket in Pakistan and no international player is visiting to play cricket in Pakistan. Therefore, the purpose to inform, Pakistan still have much better batsman / bowling lineup than India as compare to lots of cricket in India. There must be huge capacity of talent in India including some brilliant fast bowler as Pakistan have. Junaid Khan, Cheema, Gul, Wahab in terms of pace. while Umar Akmal, Asad, Azhar, Nasir, Hammad and some domestic players in the backup as well. but no such significant line India Have in terms of new talent.

  • CricFan25 on October 12, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    With all due respect I do not completely agree with Abbasi's analysis. Contrary to what Abbasi is saying India always had a good system at school, college, University and Fist-class level not to mention IPL. Yes, India did not consistently produce great bowlers. It is not a problem with the system. England probably has the best set-up with county cricket, but they have failed to be a dominant team consistently. Indian fielding of late has been top class if not top of the line. From the articles I have read and from talking to my Pakistani friends it is very clear that Pakistan never had a good system. In spite of that it is impressive that they had some great cricketers, largely thanks to people's obsession with cricket. In short, there are reasons beyond system (which I cannot pinpoint)for some deficiencies. A team does not have to win every tournament to say they are competitive. India is probably not a critics choice for best team, but it is damn competitive.And so is Pakistan

  • Marcus Hayward on October 12, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    Seriously overachieved agreed ??? The 1992 world cup semifinal entry was fluke backdoor aided by rain ..the same rain which unfairly via D/L system got SA or else 1992 champions would be SA or Eng. The only other cup worth naming is T20 2009 World cup which is like a hit giggle lottery type of game where even a 10 ball 30 can make a big difference.One doesn't really need cricketing talent but more of baseball talent in T-20. However since T-20 is future of cricket , I will credit Pakistan with T 2009 cup worth bragging. Otherwise ODI and Tests are true test of temperament ,talent and cricketing patience and Pakistan has failed miserably in it since 1996. SA is far better team and can beat Pakistan 9 times out of 10 in bilateral series.

  • MUHAMMAD TOUSEEF on October 12, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    actually, a reality based article historically. it is a fact that PAKISTAN is always a good bowling side. But uncle Kamran I am little worried about the future of pak bowling.yes I am. I am not seeing any good bowler after ajmal and gul. pcb have to do something

  • Mohit Sharma on October 12, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    Everything is fine in this article except 2 things. IPL is not cheap thrill, more than any other country, even India, Pakistan is dying to play in IPL, so much that Afridi is begging in front of ICC to convince India about Pak's participation. If there is anyone who can say that IPL isn't one of the major contributors in WI's success, I dont know what to say about him Gayle, Bravo, Pollard, Narine, they all mastered their trades playing for IPL in the recent years. Secondly, Pakistan overachieves compared to its neighbours? You mean they have more than 3 WCs overall? When have they been ranked no.1 in tests and 2 in ODIs? Just check the test and ODI stats for the last 10 years and then edit your article please

  • Suresh Haridas on October 12, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Very well thought of article. You are right when you say that the IPL does not help India's cause. We should have a tournament which is purely domestic, to help our youngsters come up. The IPL surely would help some of India's younger players to gain experience by playing with top players from overseas, but a look at the performers, clearly show that there are not many new domestic players in the top ten.Pakistan have always had talent available,more so because Cricket is so common in Pakistan that almost anyone who is thrown a ball, can play it.

  • SAJIL from Dubai on October 12, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Truth is Pakistan can't bat anywhere in the world, while India can murder the bowlers in Subcontinent, they are pussycats in England, South Africa and Australia. India has got some decent fielders where Pakistan fielding status is just above Afganistan. When it comes to bowling, Pakistan has got some outstanding spinners while India's best spinner is their batsman Yuvraj singh.

  • Imran on October 12, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    It behooves me why Pakistan cant bat. There have been Pakistani batsamen that any captain would have heve gladly taken them in their side. Their technique was perfect, what happened to current batsmen, where did they learn their technique from.

  • Hira on October 12, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Isn't it time for giving some prolonged chances to Usman Salahuddin, Fawad Alam, Talha and Zia-ul-Haq

  • Shahid on October 12, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    No present pakistani fast bowler is considerably better than indian resources. Junaid is still to prove himself while Gul is a mediocre bowler and was always a third option when Asif and Amir were available. Actually Saeed Ajmal is alone carrying the burden of pakistan bowling department. In the batting department, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Nasir Jamshed have shown some promise but non of them promises to be a world beater. Batting wicketkeepers and allrounders are dried up and no special talent is on display in the domestic setup. The era of some reasonable allrounders in Wasim Akram, Afridi, Razzaq and Azhar Mehmood is fading away too. Pakistan selectors must unearth fresh talents like Usman Sallahuddin, Haris Sohail,Fawad Alam and Zia-ul-Haq. They must get rid of those who have been hanging around for a decade without performing. Sohail Tanveer, Sami, Farhat, Faisal iqbal, Yaser Arfat are all bellow par,club level players and have had chances more than what they deserve

  • MG on October 11, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    India have much better fielding side now compare to two which will always going be additional bonus India will have going forward. India has Virat, Raina, Rohit, Yuvraj, Manoj Tiwary and new kids keep coming.

  • Ahmed Yar Khan on October 11, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Pakistan cricket biggest problem is our continuing support and retention ofnonperforming performers such as Younis khan , Afridi , Shoaib Malik ,, Kamran Kmal , Misbah to name the more serious non performers of recent years . If Pakistan,s cricket has to advance and progress the deadwood has to be removed

  • Indro Sen on October 11, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    In all fairness, it is wrong to say Pakistan has not produce great batsmen. Javed Miandad, in my opinion was the best 1 day batsman of his time and would have been an asset as a T20 player. As an Indian fan, if there are two players that I would have loved to have in my team, they would be Miandad and Akram. Period.

  • Chaudhry Javed Malik on October 11, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    You forgot to mention that great fast bowling requires very good fielding specially wicket keeping . Pakistan,s poor fielding specially it's even worse wicket keeping in recent years has wrecked the careers of several good fast bowlers . Take the case of Sami . Kamran Akmal has been guilty of dropping dozens of catches onmhisboling . However ,instead of punishing and dropping Kamran Akmal the victim of the dropped catches Sami who punished .,

  • krishna on October 11, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Dear Author: I understand your concern regarding the failure to become a world beating side. India is definitely a better fielding side compared to Pak. But you never mentioned about the Pakistan fielding. Fielding alone cost so many matches for Pak. When you have good and great bowlers, you need fielding to support them. This is one major point where Pak lost. Having great bowlers yet leaving the opposition off the hook. That number will fill a database. Having great/enormous potential yet failing to cross the finish line. I am not surprised that you missed out on fielding aspect. It is in our DNA!!!! Hope a day comes when we compare with Aussies who fight till the end.

  • Sanjeeb Kumar on October 11, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Nice to learn Kamran is from Pakistan.Always thought he was a U K National.The use of we convinced me.Good to retain Pakistani Passport while living in the UK.

  • Saket on October 11, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Several valid points here- but you didn't mention the fielding as much. Both sides have generally had average fielders. Right now, Pakistan may be a better fielding team because they have more younger players. Apart from the bowling, to me, India's biggest issue is the lack of seniors to take responsibility. Some of them have been out of form for a long time, but they won't give a younger player any chances. Throw in terrible fitness levels (Sehwag, Zaheer) and the future doesn't look too good if this continues...on a happier note, both countries have always had lots of talent, the administrators need to harness it with the right amounts of all types of cricket...

  • Karthik on October 11, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    You have made a wrong assumption here. IPL is to improve cricket. It is not. BCCI doesn't pick best players from there with few exceptions. Also IPL is full of foreign talents who assist club teams. Not just Indians. IPL exists to make money. Nothing more Nothing less. Infact IPL is spoiling the motivation of youngsters who don't care about international cricket anymore.

  • Samuel on October 11, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Hello,

    Can you come out of this India obsession. We know India does not have quality fast bowlers and that IPL is not helping. But that does not mean India has underachieved compared to Pakistan. Don't be in that mirage.

    India had as much success as Pakistan had if not more. You speak a lot about Indian fielding as if Paksitan's great. And please stop your obsession with India. I understand why you have it but because you guys are jealous of you know what.

  • MO on October 11, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    INDIA SHOULD SELECT TWO 16 YEAR OLD- ONE FAST BOWLER & ONE BATSMAN - JUST LIKE TANDULKER .LET THEM SINK OR SWIM- TANDULKER SWAM.

  • Bilal on October 11, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    I believe pakistan is still under achieving and the problem is that our captains have for some reason forgot how to use the fast bowlers at there disposal. What ever happened to the biggest promise in recent years Junaid Khan ... why wasnt he selected in the playing 15 ? then howcome Hafeez ask Gul to ball short with the new ball and set defensive fields in the third over ? these are examples of how playing in Pakistan effects you. I hope hafeez gets exposure playing county cricket otherwise I think he will destroy more bowlers

  • Kamal on October 11, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    The success of the West indies is also partly due to the IPL, that has given their erratic stars a high intensity tournament to hone their skills and get paid their actual worth. If kids in WI start choosing to play cricket agian over other lucrative sports then a lot of that would be to the credit of IPL!

  • stn on October 11, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    IPL has caused more harm than benefit to World cricket. Recent example is the cancelled test series of SL vs WI next year in april, just because of IPL.

  • srivathsan on October 11, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    After a long time iam viewing ur blog.I think this is the best u hv written.I fuy agree with u.The line does not divide the DNA.They can beat any side on a day & lose to a local club the other day.This is possible only with india & pak. If only some body can erase that LINE ,a wishful thinking,which cannot happen but yes ,if,-It will be a saga & the combination would be world leaders in cricket,not withstanding poor fielding.

  • Criclogic on October 11, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    The last line. 'People Deserve more'. Isn't that the case with govt.s and everything else in the 2 countries. People are the idiots. The day people stop watching cricket and thereby stopping the money inflow, only then will the administrators sit up. But that is as unlikely as sun rising in the west. So the same will continue with more analyses like yours, Kamran. The more things change the more they remain the same.

  • Bhavesh Shah on October 11, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Strength for india and pakistan are their middle order batsman and spin attack with part timers and obvious Like Ajmal and Ashwin both are in good form

  • sujith jose on October 11, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    excellent article by kamran, but i would contradict on one point.. India is a tremendous fielding unit now....i would say one of the best in the world....so i would differ on that point made by u..yeah on bowling front v lack the strength and the fire power..time to bring in the aarons the yadavs and sharmas into the picture

  • Anurag Agrawal on October 11, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Agree India does not have quality bowlers, that was definitely the major reason we were eliminated early. How any of this is related to IPL though is something I've never understood. Maybe the author would care to explain. SL just played the SLPL and reached the final of World T20, mainly because their bowling was much better than India's I would've said, not because or inspite of a domestic league. You give IPL far more credit than its due I'm afraid.

  • ILFAFI on October 11, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    Sad Story of the Sub continent India can't bowl, Pakistan can't bat Sri Lanka can't handle pressure and Bangladesh cant win.

  • animesh on October 11, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    Seriously makes me think if india and pakistan were one country. Bowlers like Imran Khan, Wasim, Waqar,Amir, Ajmal, and batsmen like Tendulkar, Dravid, Sehwag, and Kohli. Its frightening really. But the reality of indias weak bowling and pakistans weak batting is not new. It has just reached the tipping point, where both the BCCI and PCB have not done enough to bolster these areas, and are now being thoroughly criticized.

  • Ashraf Janjua on October 10, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    The PCB and Hafeez should explain why Abdul Razaq was allowed to play in only one match . He is away superior player as compared to Afridi ,Shoaib Malik and above all Hafeez himself . It wasa blunder on the part of Hafeez of collossal proportion and he should be held responsible and accountable for his capricious decision to exclude Abdul Razaq .,

  • Realtor on October 10, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    Stopped reading after "Pakistan, with its meagre resources, overachieves..." Why cant the author just accept that Pak has been dominated by India since 2001. Almost every tournament, especially world stage, Pak has been annihilated by India. Good article otherwise and some harsh truth about IPL and the system.

  • uday on October 10, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    On the other hand, if the partition line did not exist, can you imagine what a combined cricket board of BCCI and PCB would be like? The combined nation would have neither batsmen nor bowlers

  • G.Natrajan on October 10, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    Very well written, Kamran Abbasi, but I have to disagree with you on one point. Pakistan's bowlers are much better than India's batsmen. Pakistani bowlers generally perform well everywhere but India's batsmen, apart from the odd Gavaskar, Tendulkar or Dravid are flat pitch champions only good at playing spin. Bring them on to fast bouncy pitches with high quality pace bowling, and they will fall apart quickly. We saw that happen both in England and Australia earlier this year.

  • RAO YASIR on October 10, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    one major reason of Pakistan S failure in T 20 WORLD CUP IS ONLY CAPTAINCY ISSUE . SHAHID AFRIDI WANT TO BECAME CAPTAIN . HE ONLY PERFORM WELL IN HIS OWN CAPTAINCY .

  • Shamshad Ali Khan on October 10, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Pakistan,s problem is that it has neglected Team Building and identifying and developing new talent for far too long . Take the case of Afridi , Shoaib Malik , Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal, they have been on the decline for years . However , they continue as permed ant members of the Team . The selection process is really poor and needs to be made fair and transparent . It is now overdue that the difficult task of removing the deadwood from theTeam intake up,in earnest soonest l

  • critic on October 10, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    I think the reason behind India not producing genuine fast bowlers are the Indian pitches which offers from little to absolutely nothing to fast bowlers..with the pitch being dead slow,it converts a short bowl or even a bouncer into a bit of lollipop for the batsmen to easily extract out runs..along with that their isn't much swing here even with the new bowl for the bowler to pitch the bowl up thus the bowler is left with no choice but to bowl with line and length and rhus he had to drop his pace for the accuracy...this can be understood by the fact that recently umesh and ishant were regularly able to clock the bowl around 150 in their overseas tour and also enjoyed a bit of success againt to their home series where they hardly touched 145 and were more around late 130s and also didn't enjoyed much success..what I think is that more matches should be held on pitches that are relatively quicker like mohali..(recently dhamshala as well)...

  • Minsder Raut on October 10, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    India has destroyed cricket with IPL???????????You talk as if cricket was booming with crowds and money was flowing in and game becoming popular day after day. If anything before IPL , the 2007 ODI worldcup was considered most flop ever with crowds not even coming to watch home team games. Hotel rooms were easily available during world cup a fact unimaginable even during IPL game in a city. Except Eng-Aus , India -Aus and India -pak tests most test matches were played to audience of maybe 5k people. Talented playerschose to follow other professions for sake of $$$. Atleast after IPL many kids want play cricket-T20 becos they see secure financial future and fame. If IPL had not happened many ex cricketers would not have found income and fun to do without IPL eg Symonds, Pollock , Gilly. Even for local public employment has gone up during IPL and so has business (like hotels, bars, airlines) and brought prosperity to India. Nothing is wrong with IPL except haters will always hate.

  • Hassan Khan on October 10, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    A Good article. I think problem with both India and Pakistan cricket boards is that they are afraid of depending on the new guns i.e they will do give chance to youngsters but on rare ocassions. They play safe regarding team selection i.e. throwing in the big names onto the field e.g Shahid Arifidi , Akmal bros etc in case of Pakistan , Sehwag , Dhoni himself , Zaheer Khan to name a few in india case ....... and then they expect the team to deliever. These all-time rusted players need to be drop off and fresh new talent should be introduced based on their perfomances. Neither of the cricket board be it PCB or BCCI wnats to be responsible for losing a tournament by encouraging atleast 4-5 new fresh players in the playing eleven.Imaging Virat Kohli supported by U-19 Indian captain Unmukt Chand a prolific batsmen who played major role in helping win india u-19 world cup. I think its about time to get rid of the big names and encourage best performers into the team.

  • Ayush Chauhan on October 10, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Awesome article, playing upon the old amazingly still true fact: Pakistan batting and India's bowling. In the era where Australia became normal again. West Indies is becoming a force, and New Zealand a minnow, its nice to see nothing much has changed in India and Pakistan.

  • Chris Silva on October 10, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    India have destroyed world cricket. IPL and Champions League. International players are now only motivated by mega bucks. They do not appear to care a toss about playing for their countries. Just look at Malinga, Pollard, Peterson, Gayle, and so many others.

    What on earth is India trying to achieve. They have buggered up their own Indian cricket. Now they want to bugger up the rest of the countries too.

    ICC have no back bone or a say in the matter. India decided not to have DRS and there was no one in the ICC who could do anything about it. Shame on you India and ICC

  • Md Islam on October 10, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    I agree with Kamran sahab to an extent. I am an Indian and have been following Indian cricket very closely. I still believe Indian cricket is much better of compared to Pakistan...One of the Best Batting sides in the world and Bowling is not to bad aswell....Umesh yadav, Ishant are young and saved for Test and ODI cricket....India has performed brilliantly in the last 10 years outside subcontinent compared to other teams except last couple of series (Last year in England and Australia)....Good news is we have some players from U19 team also ready to get into international side...India has bench strength....no worries...I think biggest challenge is for pakistan...In fast bowling department which is considered to be a strength they hardly have anybody currently and in T20-WC also fast bowlers rarely performed....Ajmal is too old to play for too long...may be another couple of years max.....so Pakistan has to worry....batting is shabby anyways...Bowling also seems to be a matterof concern

  • Dr. talha on October 10, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Reason for Pak loss is simple. A person who never deserved to play international cricket is now leading the side. Mr Hafeez!! India have a genuine issue, and that is its fast bowling. In their history of almost 80 years, they have not produced a single bowler who avearges below 25. And their cuurent attack is also very very ordinary.

  • Razi Malick on October 10, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    well i think reality check is saying right. why we blame Afridi? he is the one who got WC 2009 for Pak with great performance with both bat & ball and played a lot match winning innings, as far as abdul razzaaq's issue is concerned, how you people can say that he is gonna play a match winning innings..??? for a moment think abdul played and failed with bat very after afridi's dismissal in semi final..?? what comes in mind? same like afridi and others..? overall i would only say, its not that pak or india played bad..sometime it happens that other teams play good...in pak india game india played well n same happened in semi final with pak...

  • Atiii on October 10, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    I dont think so.india and pak has same type of aproach in management wise india is far good by pak and in talent wise pak is far more good than india and execution on field india is good what ever resources they have india attitude was always play with senus as pak attitude was always play with agression and dipression some time ur senus win u sometime ur hope and faith win for u

  • P Satish on October 10, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    The good Doctor has figured out a way of getting more comments - talk about both countries!

    India's bowling resources while being embarrassingly meagre also involve a systemic failure to take care of the few pacers we produce. Ishtant, Munaf and Sreesanth have started as being quite pacy but either due to poor fitness, or temperament have fallen by the wayside.

    Pakistan's problems seem to stem more from their batting seniors who really never seemed to give a damn for the youngsters and were busier back-stabbing each other. Some mysterious recalls like Malik, and Nazir and the obsession with Afridi aren't helping.

    However, India has comfortably over-achieved in its performances in Australia. A 1-1 in 2003-04 and a 1-2 in 2008 aren't bad results for a team that didn't have the bowling. Pakistan ought to have performed much better Down Under than they have in the last 15 years.

  • Noman Aziz on October 10, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Looking at Pakistan's bowling performance in the recent T20 series, I must say I wasn't impressed by our bowlers. Ajmal has already aged and its a matter of time before he leaves us. Apart from him Pakistan do not have any quality bowlers. Gul is out of form, Afridi out of sorts; Pakistan do not have a single genuine fast bowler. It would have been a different case if Amir and Asif were in the team. But the much hyped Junaid Khan is at best an average good bowler, Raza Hassan has a lot to prove and Yasir Arafat, Wahab Riaz and Sami have more off days than average ones... seeing them in the team begs the question where are all the much talked talented fast bowlers...??? We want bowlers who can bowl at 95mph not 85... the art of reverse swing has disappeared out of our sleeves!!! India in comparison have good batting lineup to fall back on, we have nothing!!!

  • HItesh on October 10, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Thoough the writer believes that 'pakistan has overachieved'..but in reality, pakistan has failed miserably against India in recent years..Also Apart from a 3-0 win against England at UAE (in Spin friendly condition),Pakistan hasn't won anything big..they lost 4-0 in ODI against ENG, they lost the T20 series.. The authour should restrict himself to Pakistan cricket only..otherwise this article shows his lack of cricketing knowledge

  • shahji on October 10, 2012, 1:48 GMT

    Remember when Majid Sadiq Zahir Miandad Mushtaq were in and Waseem Raja , Haroon Rashid were on side benches.

    We o not lack talent ,Umar Akmal ,Asad Shafiq,Azhar Ali makes a very good middle order for ODI and Tests... If in important matches You are sending Umar at No 7 and keeping Asad out in favour of ever flops like malik/nazir . T20 is supposed to be for young legs,and not the veterans benefit series.

  • Jonny Barratt on October 10, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    From an outside point of view I must say I partly agree with this article but not entirely. I think it is certainly true that India have very few bowling resources at present and if truth be told the batting is becoming more of a worry. I am convinced that the IPL does more good for the game of WI/NZ/Aus than the Indian domestic players. With so much money riding on each game the errors of youngsters are ruthlessly exposed by a media looking to criticize players earning the big bucks. As T2O is a game of the batsmen the pressure will always be on the bowlers and people will rejoice when Chris Gayle destroys a young Indian quickie who has a bad day. The young quickies will then be told to focus on variations and as a result he will most probably lose his pace in the long term. I don't think T20 cricket is the environment in which young quick bowlers should be nurtured and I think the BCCI should be careful about how much exposure the youngsters get to T20.

  • Reality Check on October 9, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Interesting reading - reality based - and people who are for Afridi's head -well isnt he the same guy who batted to get Pakistan success in the Asia Cup not too long ago? We do have short memories - for the Indian fans - here is thought - Tendulkar doesent play T20 - why? when he can play for Mumbai Indians why cant he play for the country that made him to be what he is today? Kapil got more wickets because he played more matches his strike rate was pathetic compared to the greats - india needs to come out of the image that Kapil was a great bowler and Pakistan needs to stop being in love with the Tuk Tuk Misbah - discipline is one thing but out and out destruction of your flair is another.

  • Kamal on October 9, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    Well IPL has produced cricketers who can play in front of big crowds in high intensity matches, and irrespective of the results in this tournament where India was unluucky more than anything and Pakistan did perhaps the least to deserve a place in the super eights, given its abysmal batting. I think the writer is trying to paper this over by bringing India when the discussion should be how Pakistan should be saved from West Indies like oblivion that it stares. The batting talent on display in the T20 WC and its under 19 team overall do not portend a bright near term future. As for its much vaunted bowling, it too was a pale shadow of the past. I think your comparative analogy is a few years too late. India had express bowlers like U Yadav which they did not take, but it isn't the end of the world. The Indian cricket team is quite strong and on wickets suiting its strength, is the team to beat. The Australian celebrations after reaching 112 against Pakistan were quite revelatory on it.

  • Ahmed on October 9, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    @Naresh and @Spai spot on !!! Suresh's comment really proves Spai correct !!!

  • Zaffar Hussain on October 9, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    A good article but not entirely convinced by the overall analysis although it makes interesting reading. The main problem is with the boards and their narrow and biased selection policies. I totally agree with the take on IPL and it's pitfalls.

  • pdv on October 9, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    There is some oversimplication in this article bordering on old romantic notions. The truth is Pakistan has produced good batsmen and India has produced good bowlers. On the Indian side the problem is more of a selection paralysis and lack of vision. Pakistan is recovering from years of instability and infighting amongst the players and the board.

  • MG-against on October 9, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Totally disagree. India was in full flow till WC 2011. There were winning almost every other tournaments, held Test No 1 ranking and Won the biggest stage WC 2011. India, no doubt had a bad year but I totally blame it on World Cup victory. Its the subcontinent attitude. Its a dream come true for most of those seniors of India and when they did, they kinda relaxed. Now they have dug a hole. But I see them coming out very soon. Actually I felt team had a purpose in this WC and somehow, it went wrong.

  • Lionel on October 9, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    Pakistan have produced more great batsmen, than India have produced great fast bowlers...

    Javed Miandad Zaheer Abbas Inzamamul Haq Saeed Anwar

    Great Indian quicks? Zaheer Khan Javagal Srinath Kapil Dev

  • Aditya Mookerjee on October 9, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Don't agree. If I was Miandad, I wouldn't have batted, I would have had an inferiority complex, looking at Zaheer Abbas. If I was Kapil Dev, I would have forgotten, that a person like me, can take more wickets than Imran Khan, in Test Cricket, and One Day Cricket. If I was Gavaskar, I would be very concerned, about facing Marshal, Garner, Holding and, Roberts, because of how it would look. If I was Amarnath, I would feel, how do I feel so humble, with my team mates. To tell you frankly, it's really amazing how Azhar Mahmood got a chance to play International Cricket. He seems to be any Indian, or Pakistani. How does an ordinary person, play Cricket, and become great? Azhar Mahmood, perhaps, isn't a great cricketer, but if a person like him can play for Pakistan, with spirit, people may consider him important, anywhere in the world.

  • milin on October 9, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Well if beef eating produces better atheletes ,why does Pakistan not have better soccer players like Europe or not win any medals in Olympics, Asian games in atheletics? People will beleive what they want to beleive. Fact is fast bowling /batting are different arts which require different mind set. Thats the only reason Pakistan has fast bowlers galore while India has hardly none. Hardly any Indian teenager thinks of fast bowling as a glamour position but more as getting injured kind of profession with too much hard work compared to returns and not earning enough and being without career soon due to injury. Besides in a team at least 7 positions for batter exist and for fast bowlers maybe 2 so statistically it is safer being a batter from career prospect point of view to be a batter and Indians like to play it safe as general rule.

  • dweep baishya on October 9, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    somebody please unite the countries, then we will be world beaters

  • aftab from VB on October 9, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    I agree - how could Pakistan crumble in the semi final like SL did against WI in the final, or like IND agaist Aus in super 8s, or like Aus against WI in the super 8s and then against Pak in the semis. I would have liked to see Pak play the Final, then win, and never lose again in any game in any format. And frankly, how could India be number 1 for so long, and world champs in ODIs while we have better bowlers? And how could Englad be ranked above us after 3-0 dribbing in the desert? It may be a game of chance for other teams, not for us. We are Pakistani.

  • manas kumar midya on October 9, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Great article this should be forwarded to the bosses of India pakistan cricket board.

  • Sachin - A fan from Australia on October 9, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    A truly wonderful summation upon the woes of both Pakisatan and India cricket. Love the tag of artists upon Pakistani bowlers, such a perfect identity. However I must disagree with you on one point, batting technique will only take someone so far. Sachin Tendulkar, the most complete batsman ever to take guard, had developed and refined his technique to such an extent that by the age of 16 no less he was able to complete in the highest echelons of our game. Now, Tendulkar has been and will remain an exception to the laws of batting, yet more important than his natural skill was his dedication to the basics of his discipline. He would practice for hours upon hours, mind you not in the numerous modern cricket centres which have sprung up; no, he practiced in his school nets. Which of course emboldens the question, how much do young batsmen in Pakistan, and young fast bowlers in India really want success? Do they simply want to earn? If the answer, they must look intrinsically.

  • spai on October 9, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    As an Indian, I have to admit anorther disconcerting similarity in Indian & Pak cricket. Certainly these 2 countries produce the most boorish, bigoted & utterly unsporting fans anywhere in the world. Any objective (& neutral) reading of comments on cricinfo will show up the fact that the odd crank is the exception for other countries, but for Ind/Pak - he is the rule.

  • Naresh on October 9, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    I may sound simplistic in my analysis, but when you compare the two nations, indians have this patience and fatalistic attitude towards stuff that seem to be aiding batting. And Pakis seem to have that Mongol anger in them to want to decimate the opposition an awesome trait to produce great fast bowlers. Of course, there are enough exceptions to both sides..but they are still exceptions.

  • Ashraf Ahmed janjuab on October 9, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Pakistan,s Team building is very long overdue . From T 20 s and ODIs the following players need to be retired: Afridi , Shoaib Malik , Misbah , Imran Azim , Sohail Tanwir . Take the case of Afridi , he hsn,t performed since 2009 but he has been kept on as a permanent member of the Team . In performance Shoaib Malik is even worse but he is similarly retained . The other three,s performance as batsmen/ bowler as clearly not up to required standards . Our focus should be incurrent performance : Last 15 innings played . If the standard falls below set standards opportunity should be given to other players . The players focus should be targeted towards performance and they should know that iftheyndo not perform other talented players are waiting for a chance. Lastly, why Abdul Razaq was excluded from,all butane match is one of the biggest mysteries of thisTournament .

  • M Suresh on October 9, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    Appreciate if the author keeps himself to Pakistan's cricket. Dhoni was ultra defensive in defending 121 and not as the author writes. Talking about Indian cricket is not in his Blog's domain and I am not a fanatic. Probably the loss to India or the manner of the loss made him wirte this article, somehow to find common reasons. If you look from pakistan, the grass is definitely greener on the other side. If you see from London, it is not visible....

  • Kashan Khan on October 9, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Quite weird to see a pakistani author finding reason of failures for MSD. Its better to check home things first. Pakistan have kept repeating 'tested and failed' formula again and again. One can only pray for Pakistani cricket team.

  • PAKisGREAT on October 9, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Excellent Article....But why people compare Pakistan and India clashes of WC only. Why do they not highlight big picture where Pakistan is way ahead India (81 - 58). Pakistan had won 81 clashes against India overall. Furthermore, it is true that momentum is with India at this point in time but it is also true pendulum does oscillates on both sides so as Pakistan fans we are waiting for that moment like Indian did till 2003 WC match.

  • NURUL ISLAM on October 9, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    PAKISTANI SELECTORS HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF SENTIMENTALITY.THOUGH AFRIDI DIDNOT PERFORM AT ALL WITH THE BAT OR NEGLIGIBLY WITH THE BALL IN THE 1ST & 2ND ROUNDS HE WAS KEPT IN THE TEAM JUST BECAUSE HE IS A SENIOR PLAYER,HAS BEEN MATCH-WINNER IN MANY MATCHES IN THE PAST AND HAS A VERY BIG FAN FOLLOWING. SAME WITH UMAR GUL.IT WAS A LONG TIME BACK THAT HE HAD LETHAL YORKERS WEAPON.

    THEY ARE PASSING THROUGH A LEAN PATCH. I AM NOT ASKING FOR AXING THEM PERMANENTLY BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN RESTED FOR THE TIME BEING.

    INSTEAD,AN EXCELLENT PLAYER LIKE ABDUR RAZZAK WAS KEPT SITTING ON THE SIDE BENCHES. HE PERFORMED WELL IN THE ONLY GAME HE WAS SELECTED BUT WAS CURIOUSLY DROPPED IN THE SEMI-FINALS. SO UNGRATEFUL OF THE SELECTORS.

    YASSER ARAFAT IS A GOOD BOWLER. ON THE AVERAGE HE TAKES 2 WICKETS PER MATCH. HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SELECTED IN PLACE OF UMAR GUL.

    IT WAS WRONG USING KAMRAN AKMAL AS NO 4. HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED AS AN OPENER. HIS PAST RECORDS SHOW HIS USEFULNESS AT THIS POSITION

  • dreamer on October 9, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Kamran, buddy you call it a "System Failure".

    No way, it was a "Fatal crash!" -- system unrecoverable!! It needs to be flushed, garbaged, destroyed, and re-built afresh from scratch with totally new parts, oiled with honesty and integrity, powered by youth and energy, captained by wisdom and aggression, coached by a patriot and die hard Pakistani, only then you will see every match worth your while -- regardless of win or loose.

    As far as Team Pakistan is concerned it's just not gonna happen hence we can only pipe dream and pray :)

  • jamilkhan on October 9, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    don't know why giving so much hype for Akmal brohters, one is talented but yet he has to deliver. Its about 4 years for young akmal to produce a match winning innings and we are still waiting for that. I think its total waste of slots by PCB. these player has to go (Akmal brothers, afridi, shoaib malik, sohail tanvir,) get new upcoming fast bowlers/batsman.

  • knowwho on October 9, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    Hi,

    Article seems to be based on the recent results of Wt20. However one must not forget that bowlers win matches and Pakistan is better placed than india on this area. fast bowling requires special skills which unfortunately not many indians have. Probably have to do with absence of role models. Playing in overseas land always is probably a boon in disguise for pak and i would say they are on the rise while india has just started to rebuild their team. Batting requires talent,technique and temperament the latter 2 are skills that are not inborn in most of the players. pak players especially batsmen could do well provided they play in UK where both these skill sets could be honed. My perception is pak is better placed than india. They just need to inculcate discipline. India needs to realy pull her socks.

  • Afridi Rocks no more on October 9, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    @farhat Rabia, Afridi is now good for TV advertisements. A great charismatic talisman of the team of the past now needs to realise that the zing in the bowling is no more and the effortless sixes are now catches at long on or midwicket. Rahul Dravid did it fantastically well. Get the timing right buddy and retire for good.

  • Kishor on October 9, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    What an article !!!! Hats off, Kamran

  • Faisal Jamil on October 9, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    It is a very well written article, words have been picked impressively. But i don't believe that the result Pakistani team achieved in T-20 world cup reflects system failure. we all here needs to understand that cricket is a funny game , one day you perform and one day you don't. West indies can win the title by not even winning a single first round game and Pakistan losing semi final by winning most of first round and super eight games does not shows system failure. One thing really disappointed me here was comparing Indian low profiled team with Pakistani Team. In history Indian team never been able to reach the excellence which Pakistani possessed over the years. I really hate to put the fact here that today people sitting in commentary boxes gives their expert opinions on one day cricket like they were champions in their time e.g S.G from India who had made only century in his ever lasting one day career even that came up in his last match before retirement. SO Good work Team Pak.

  • Pathiyal on October 9, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    "harsh reality". Again a fantastic article, Kamran saab. team India needs fast tracks in India to encourage fast bowlers (if there are any interested :-) also, the 2 teams have to play more with each other.

  • Pakman on October 9, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    It's simple. Pak has better bowlers , India has better batsmen. The game has increasingly favoured batsmen in the last 10 or so years, hence, India have increasingly been beating Pak more frequently in the last 10 or so years.

    I think test cricket is a great equalizer between bat and ball. No free hits, very rare wides, 2 bouncers per over, unlimited overs; overall the bowlers have lesser restrictions, hence better chances of succeeding than in limited overs cricket, where they reduced to mere canon fodder.

    Let's have more tests between India and Pakistan.

  • Alok on October 9, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    For teams that make it to the Super 8s, the WT20 lasts about 5 matches and that, as a man of science, should warn you off drawing broad conclusions on the basis of such a small sample size. In fact, the Indian team bowled out its opposition 4 out of 5 occasions, whereas the Pakistani team failed to do that even once.

    At the same time, India posted 170 only once. Pakistan twice.

    From the (albeit small) sample size, one might draw the (obviously erroneous) conclusion that India is better at bowling and Pakistan, better at batting.

    I agree with you on the broader point that India's bowling stocks are ridiculously shallow right now (like Pakistan's depth in batting talent) and while that may not mean that either team will enjoy an Aus/WI style global domination, in the right conditions and with a canny captain, they can still win tournaments and stay around the top.

  • hysterical naive on October 9, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    For me, I agree with fast bowling in india. For spin a defiant no. Fast bowling as Saurav and Sanjay had put is a difficult art. It requires a body built for that with good food intake. I think Indians have all that but the pitches defy them to be a good skilled bowlers. Flat wickets will only produce spinners and discourage Fast bowling. Weather condition is also a factor. Hot and humid condition in india coupled with flat turning wickets and no time for top players to play for domestic tournaments all add up for this lack of Fast bowlers. Read one article from Sunny Gavaskar and the above are the reflections of the same.

  • umar on October 9, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    I was waiting for the last three-four days for an article by a Pakistani to appear analysing our defeat and its causes, and after the long wait, I get an article that tries to analyze both India and Pakistan's failure! This is a disappointment. I wanted a more incisive article than this starry-eyed dreamy one. There is another article on Dhoni today, which is good, and incisive. We dont just want a superficial analysis like our bowlers are good but batsmen bad, we want the nitty-gritty details!

  • bluefunk on October 9, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    And can we please have some India-Pak test matches now? Please?

  • Naeem on October 9, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    @intelligent It is not only the choice of words but also reality. India may win all the matches against Pakistan but it does not mean it has produced quality bowlers. Look at the last two decades. How many bowlers are considered to be a legend? And this from a huge population spanning north to South India!! Similarly Pakistan has not produced many legend batsmen. Overall Pakistani batsmen are mediocre who may have a good match now and then. Similarly Indian bowlers are mediocre who may have a good match occasionally. No Indian bowler or Pakistani batsmen will be selected for a world team. Period!

  • Ramarao Gangina on October 9, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Its an inconvenient truth. Although India Produced some Great bowlers(spinners Kumble, bedi,BS, prasanna etc)and some good bowlers Kapil,Srinath, Zaheer), it never had great fast bowlers. India has many great batsmen over the years from Merchant,Gavaskar, Tendulakar and Sehwag, to name a few but never has the fiery fast bowlers that Pakistan had. When Imran has gone, there wasim and waqar, while they were playing, they got shoib and Aqib. Then came asif, Gul and 18 year old Amir. WHen they lost amir and asif, they still got some ppl supporting them. Not to forget Qadir, mustaq, Saqlain and now Ajmal. Although they had great batsmen in Zaheer abbas, Hanif Mohhammed, Miandad, Anwar and Inzamam, they lacked great Support batsmen that India had. Apart from Alltime greats Sachin, gavaskar, sehwag, India produced Greats like Laxman, Vengsarkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Vishwanath, Azhar, Kohli, yuvraj ( all world class). With similar DNA and genetics, its just a organizational Failure and attitude

  • Daniel on October 8, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    @Jimmy Historically, Pakistan have overachieved. They have a very good W/L ratio, which I believe is third(?) They haven't been too good recently, which is upsetting, unless your an Indian I guess. Anyway, it wasn't biased. Stop being insecure. A very good article, actually.

  • Ali Dada on October 8, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Pakistan does produce quality batsmen, just PCB doesn't pick them...

    Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq to name a few.

  • Intelligent on October 8, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    The choice of words seem intelligent but tainted with bias. Grass is not greener on the other side? IPL is a cheap show? Then why does Afridi keep wanting to play the IPL? India had its reasons to keep Pakistan out of IPL, and valid reasons from India's standpoint too - but let's not bring politics here. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and even Shane Watson (1st IPL) have got good exposure by getting to hit the Steyns and Malingas, thanks to IPL. The problem with India's bowling is that the bowlers have failed to produce the results consistently, but the picture is not as depressing as you point out here. When India won against Pakistan partly thanks to bowlers, in both world cups recently, many Pak players said that they threw away wickets and the match. Irrespective of what they say, India earned victory in both the games. Pakistan must retain their focus on their challenges: the Afridi's increasing dead weight, Hafeez's captaincy, and failure to recognize the contributions of Abdul Razzaq

  • Mohsin Masood on October 8, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    Indeed an uncomfortable truth.

  • Arish on October 8, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    2 tribes of bowlers and batsmen :-) ... very interesting idea Kamran, and you are right (I am from India)

  • fazil on October 8, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    Its wonderful article... agreed,,and need a step,,,

  • Javed Hasan on October 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    In the case of pakistan the real problem was Team selection . So many talented players were left out of the Team . Over and above to this was the problem of cronyism by Hafeez . From the Team available , he continued to include non performers such as Afridi , Shoaib Malik , Sohail Tanwir and Imran Nazir . These players have been down hill forat least 3 years and since they had not retired they should have been retired . The continued exclusion of Abdul Razaq was totally inexcusable . I hope in Pakistan there is a focus on these serious lapses and the selection process will become more transparent and fair l

  • TheDreamer on October 8, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    Kamran - One of the best articles I have read. Also look at the way WI won the tournament. Talent alone can do it, one may not need all the modern equipments, resources and professional guidance. And Pakistan has tons of it. What it does not have is a balance between bat and ball, which WI showed last night. The way WI played their cricket last night, who wants their country to win?

  • Akbar on October 8, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    Great Piece!! Love your analysis. You should head the PCB!!

  • Farhat Rabia on October 8, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Excellent article as usual...would like to know where do you see Afridi in T20 team esp since he has been out of form for some months.

  • jimmy on October 8, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    well, well a half baked, semi biased article. 'Pakistan has overachieved' - what phrase is this, eh? Won 3-0 against England at home (yes, home for Pak UAE is home) HIGHLIGHTED & get whitewashed against the same England 4-0 in odi's - NO ONE SAID this, lost T20 series 2-1, NO ONE SAID this too. Similarly lost few series's against SL, Aus in home conditions & won very few. In fact Pakistan have been very poor recently, but they use the word 'unpredictible' to cover up. Both India & Pak both gave their holes but always fight each other trying to dominate eachother - fact!

  • Abbas on October 8, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    I completely agree with the article. It is indeed a system failure and the respective Boards will just bring up committee's to manage public anger. There won't be any concrete steps taken and again in next World event we will witness the same story again.

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  • Abbas on October 8, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    I completely agree with the article. It is indeed a system failure and the respective Boards will just bring up committee's to manage public anger. There won't be any concrete steps taken and again in next World event we will witness the same story again.

  • jimmy on October 8, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    well, well a half baked, semi biased article. 'Pakistan has overachieved' - what phrase is this, eh? Won 3-0 against England at home (yes, home for Pak UAE is home) HIGHLIGHTED & get whitewashed against the same England 4-0 in odi's - NO ONE SAID this, lost T20 series 2-1, NO ONE SAID this too. Similarly lost few series's against SL, Aus in home conditions & won very few. In fact Pakistan have been very poor recently, but they use the word 'unpredictible' to cover up. Both India & Pak both gave their holes but always fight each other trying to dominate eachother - fact!

  • Farhat Rabia on October 8, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Excellent article as usual...would like to know where do you see Afridi in T20 team esp since he has been out of form for some months.

  • Akbar on October 8, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    Great Piece!! Love your analysis. You should head the PCB!!

  • TheDreamer on October 8, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    Kamran - One of the best articles I have read. Also look at the way WI won the tournament. Talent alone can do it, one may not need all the modern equipments, resources and professional guidance. And Pakistan has tons of it. What it does not have is a balance between bat and ball, which WI showed last night. The way WI played their cricket last night, who wants their country to win?

  • Javed Hasan on October 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    In the case of pakistan the real problem was Team selection . So many talented players were left out of the Team . Over and above to this was the problem of cronyism by Hafeez . From the Team available , he continued to include non performers such as Afridi , Shoaib Malik , Sohail Tanwir and Imran Nazir . These players have been down hill forat least 3 years and since they had not retired they should have been retired . The continued exclusion of Abdul Razaq was totally inexcusable . I hope in Pakistan there is a focus on these serious lapses and the selection process will become more transparent and fair l

  • fazil on October 8, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    Its wonderful article... agreed,,and need a step,,,

  • Arish on October 8, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    2 tribes of bowlers and batsmen :-) ... very interesting idea Kamran, and you are right (I am from India)

  • Mohsin Masood on October 8, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    Indeed an uncomfortable truth.

  • Intelligent on October 8, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    The choice of words seem intelligent but tainted with bias. Grass is not greener on the other side? IPL is a cheap show? Then why does Afridi keep wanting to play the IPL? India had its reasons to keep Pakistan out of IPL, and valid reasons from India's standpoint too - but let's not bring politics here. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and even Shane Watson (1st IPL) have got good exposure by getting to hit the Steyns and Malingas, thanks to IPL. The problem with India's bowling is that the bowlers have failed to produce the results consistently, but the picture is not as depressing as you point out here. When India won against Pakistan partly thanks to bowlers, in both world cups recently, many Pak players said that they threw away wickets and the match. Irrespective of what they say, India earned victory in both the games. Pakistan must retain their focus on their challenges: the Afridi's increasing dead weight, Hafeez's captaincy, and failure to recognize the contributions of Abdul Razzaq