Pakistan in South Africa 2012-13 March 20, 2013

Where are Pakistan's young batsmen?

The batsmen touring South Africa have contributed immensely to Pakistan cricket but the time has come to look ahead and plan for the 2015 World Cup
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Shoaib Malik has scored 58 runs in the first three ODIs in South Africa © AFP

On a pink day a white ball was battered black and blue. Breast cancer is not an obvious charity for South African cricket to champion when the country faces greater challenges from other diseases, HIV/Aids for example, but the pinkness applied a very Australian sheen to a performance worthy of the irrepressible force in world cricket. South Africa, namely AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, smoked Pakistan's resurgence in this series with a record-breaking partnership of breathtaking execution.

Pakistan were never serious challengers after that but Shahid Afridi's batting beat an ancient rhythm, and stole the day if not the result. Reaching the second tier at the Wanderers seems miracle enough. Clearing the stadium? No chance. Enter Afridi, who bounced a free hit off the roof of the stand on its meteoric journey to the golf course beyond.

Afridi promised he would return revitalised for this series - and he has, at least with his batting. It has been a surprise and a treat. Where his bowling stands - his primary reason for selection - has been hard to determine on these unhelpful wickets. But he typifies the problems at the heart of Pakistan's selection darkness: batsmen struggling to bat and bowlers struggling to bowl.

South Africa produced two excellent performances in this one-day series but their advantage has been kindly assisted by their visitors. The list of questions for Messrs Whatmore and Ul-Haq is a long one, from Mohammad Irfan's omission from the first match to the persistence with Shoaib Malik, but nothing perplexes more than the batting.

I struggle to understand Pakistan's strategy? Perhaps Misbah or Dav could explain it to us? By the time of the next World Cup, who will carry Pakistan's batting? Misbah will be in his 40th year, surely a tournament too far? Shoaib Malik is Pakistan's first specialist fielder; his batting would be generously described as ordinary. Mohammad Hafeez, a man whose admirable temperament outstrips his technique, will be an unreliable opener in New Zealand and Australia--his record outside Asia is clear on that. Younis Khan, may still have air in his lungs and steel in his wrists, but has lost sight of the anchoring role he needs to adopt in Pakistan's middle order. Afridi is, well, Afridi: here today and probably tomorrow, mercurial, maddening, sporadically magnificent.

Nasir Jamshed aside, and he has found this a difficult series, Pakistan's batting is time expired, a sell by date in the last decade. No young players are being considered in this touring squad. The old guard are clogging up the production line. Pakistan must at least find a way of including Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal in the team--surely? One place is easy, that of Shoaib Malik. The other, although difficult, must be found.

Afridi was a youthful entrant to international cricket, a perfect example of Pakistan cricket's readiness to give youth its head, even though at times selection seemed premature. The failing of administrators, selectors, coaches, and captains has been developing talented debutants into world-class performers - not finding them in the first place.

The pendulum of stability has swung too far; the current inertia in selection has created a sense of stagnation. Nobody doubts the contribution of the current batsmen to Pakistan cricket, especially in a time of dreadful crisis, but we need to look ahead to the next generation. The plan may well be to rebuild after this year's Champions Trophy but with every innings a sense grows that too many of the current batsmen have nothing more to offer on Pakistan's journey to the next World Cup.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 20, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    continued...and lets build a new stronger team.Infact even Gul was never our first choice front line bowler, his place needs to be challenged, he needs to know its not a given and he either needs to fight for it, or step aside.Sure look at Kamran Akmal, but we should be grooming a wicket keeper bastmen in domestic.His crucial fumbles still causes loses. AND we need some decent batting coaches.I honestly believe the solution to Pakistans batting woes are simple, divide the countries cricket into regions, some parts of the country should have bouncy pitches, other green tops and keep some flat. That way, our players in domestic get all type of surfaces and arent so poor technically. PSL, whenever it launches will be a perfect chance ot experiment that.

  • on March 20, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    I totally agree with the article.To be fair though, Umar Akmal has been given chances, he squandered them by his rash and irresponsible attitude, trying to cash on his 2010 reputation.One can only hope he understands the difference between complimenting MOSTLY tech. correct batting with occassional cute shots and not the other way around. However, you are spot on about the rest of the batting. Misbah it seems sometimes intentionally holds back talent. Infact our whole team seems like a mix of the second tier retiring player who have siezed the chance to dominate and are hanging onto their spots. Misbah was never a truly great player, if a stop gap solution was his utility, he has long served that.Younis khan was kicked out by Butt prematurely and we brought him back now after his peak.Hafeez's animosity with Razzaq(and not saynig 33 yo razzak is a solution) shows his insecurity about his place.Keep Jamshed there for now, keep blooding new talent for another 6 months

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    i love the way you use to write your articles. Good article & very well defined the poor selection criteria. keeping in view the WC 2015 PCB need to take some serious actions on team selection. seniors who are not performing, specially Shoaib Malik & Younas khan must be dropped along with Misbah-UL-Haq who will be 40 years old by WC 2015. PCB need to induct players like, Ahmed Shahzad, Umer Ameen, Umar akmal & Asad Shafiq in place of the above mentioned players. As for as Afridi is concerned i see him Captaining the National side in the WC 2015. Mr. Abbasi i already predicted on your previous article about Shahid- Afrid's performance against RSA. look he is performing again like A champion & like a super star.

  • mshyder on March 20, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    I fully agree with Mr Abbasi. On recent form & performance Shoaib Malik doesn't merit selection & shd be replaced by Asad shafiq. Most important target should be to find a GOOD wicket keeper who can bat well. We all know Kamran Akmal is a very ordinary keeper at best. It may sound crazy but we have seen that Umer Akmal know some basics of keeping, why not hand him over to Rashid Latif for some time to groom his keeping skills, if he clicks - Bingo! we have a dynamic wicket keeper batsman at our disposal. That way we may find a spot for Haris Sohail who has been on the fringes for longer than he deserves. Another issue is that of the 3rd opener. Imran Farhat may perform well at domestic level & may also have the right connections but he is not fit at international level period. Suggest we don't limit Ahmed Shahzad to T20 but have him as the 3rd opener for ODIs as well. Mohd Akram shd have exclusive sessions with Hammad Azam to improve his bowling to have a good allrounder in hand.

  • RaadQ on March 22, 2013, 1:59 GMT

    It is difficult for young talents like Jamshed and Umar Akmal to settle into a squad when they are dropped for a few bad performances. Jamshed got his 1000 runs with an average of 45, while umar akmal averages 37+. Younis Khan however has averaged under 32 despite 242 innings to his name, and has struggled in the last few series (SA, India, SL, England, etc, etc). Shoaib Malik, who is given chance after chance after chance, averages only 33 after 187 innings, not a lot for a low order batsman who is prone to get a lot of not-outs. The numbers speak for themselves, Pakistan have a habit of dropping young talents who go through a bad phase for old flops who over the long run have been failures.

  • Arhumomar on March 22, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    I agree younis is a bit out of touch and coming to an end. Time to develop a younger number 3 batsman who can hit and stay at the average of 40+ at least. Misbah is the needed at the moment for at least another year in order to develop another captain. I am not sure about Hafeez. He certainly has a good cricketing mind but his embarrassing average of 27 does not suit a captain. And he will be questioned often when he becomes the skipper. Afridi's time is over. He should always have been considered a bowler who could hit a bit but now his bowling is not there also. Shoaib had still got it in him. He has always batted very much down the order hence his low average of early 30s. He should be promoted to number 3 if a younger batsmen is not to be tried. All in all pakistan has never lacked talent and never will. The just need planning

  • hammad.1 on March 22, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Where is Anwar Ali? He has been absent for such a long time, just like Khalid Latif...Hafeez should be ODI captain instead of Misbah.

  • Zahidsaltin on March 21, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, there is no lack of young talent as not only Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq but Haris Sohail and Usman Sallahuddin are now been performing in first class set-up. Nasir Jamshid might have failed in South Africa but no one can negate talent in him. I have mentioned on this forum various times that PCB needed to arrange a lot of A-tours to Australia, NZ, SA and England but it looks as they have no plans and no real interest in forming the future. All teams while playing at home, offer their youngesters an exposure by playing the side match against the visiting teams but Pakistan has lost this due to no home games. I would imagine that other boards should show some solidarity and at least award us more A-team tours to compensate for home games. This A-team exposure could do a trick in shapping our youngesters. But PCB only get it SL whenever they do. Are they in PCB incompetent or just don't have thinking sense for future?

  • fah4 on March 21, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Selection of playing XI for Pakistan always amasses me.For 1st ODI they select 2 fast bowlers in SA when earlier they played 3 in India.From 2nd ODI they drop a proper batsman for an all rounder called Malik who rarely bowls.Any batsman can bowl the overs he bowls in this series even Younus khan can bowl that many so why he is not called all rounder? Why the tag all rounder is given to Malik who is used very rarely as bowler and performs more rarely as batsman.

    Pakistan need to play young batsman like Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Harris Sohail and some others to make a good team for future

  • am5786 on March 21, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    I don't get this why everyone is talking about Misbah's age, look at his performance he scored 38, 57*, 28 and 80 in four ODIs in South Africa. I don't care how old a person if he is scoring runs.

  • on March 20, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    continued...and lets build a new stronger team.Infact even Gul was never our first choice front line bowler, his place needs to be challenged, he needs to know its not a given and he either needs to fight for it, or step aside.Sure look at Kamran Akmal, but we should be grooming a wicket keeper bastmen in domestic.His crucial fumbles still causes loses. AND we need some decent batting coaches.I honestly believe the solution to Pakistans batting woes are simple, divide the countries cricket into regions, some parts of the country should have bouncy pitches, other green tops and keep some flat. That way, our players in domestic get all type of surfaces and arent so poor technically. PSL, whenever it launches will be a perfect chance ot experiment that.

  • on March 20, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    I totally agree with the article.To be fair though, Umar Akmal has been given chances, he squandered them by his rash and irresponsible attitude, trying to cash on his 2010 reputation.One can only hope he understands the difference between complimenting MOSTLY tech. correct batting with occassional cute shots and not the other way around. However, you are spot on about the rest of the batting. Misbah it seems sometimes intentionally holds back talent. Infact our whole team seems like a mix of the second tier retiring player who have siezed the chance to dominate and are hanging onto their spots. Misbah was never a truly great player, if a stop gap solution was his utility, he has long served that.Younis khan was kicked out by Butt prematurely and we brought him back now after his peak.Hafeez's animosity with Razzaq(and not saynig 33 yo razzak is a solution) shows his insecurity about his place.Keep Jamshed there for now, keep blooding new talent for another 6 months

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    i love the way you use to write your articles. Good article & very well defined the poor selection criteria. keeping in view the WC 2015 PCB need to take some serious actions on team selection. seniors who are not performing, specially Shoaib Malik & Younas khan must be dropped along with Misbah-UL-Haq who will be 40 years old by WC 2015. PCB need to induct players like, Ahmed Shahzad, Umer Ameen, Umar akmal & Asad Shafiq in place of the above mentioned players. As for as Afridi is concerned i see him Captaining the National side in the WC 2015. Mr. Abbasi i already predicted on your previous article about Shahid- Afrid's performance against RSA. look he is performing again like A champion & like a super star.

  • mshyder on March 20, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    I fully agree with Mr Abbasi. On recent form & performance Shoaib Malik doesn't merit selection & shd be replaced by Asad shafiq. Most important target should be to find a GOOD wicket keeper who can bat well. We all know Kamran Akmal is a very ordinary keeper at best. It may sound crazy but we have seen that Umer Akmal know some basics of keeping, why not hand him over to Rashid Latif for some time to groom his keeping skills, if he clicks - Bingo! we have a dynamic wicket keeper batsman at our disposal. That way we may find a spot for Haris Sohail who has been on the fringes for longer than he deserves. Another issue is that of the 3rd opener. Imran Farhat may perform well at domestic level & may also have the right connections but he is not fit at international level period. Suggest we don't limit Ahmed Shahzad to T20 but have him as the 3rd opener for ODIs as well. Mohd Akram shd have exclusive sessions with Hammad Azam to improve his bowling to have a good allrounder in hand.

  • RaadQ on March 22, 2013, 1:59 GMT

    It is difficult for young talents like Jamshed and Umar Akmal to settle into a squad when they are dropped for a few bad performances. Jamshed got his 1000 runs with an average of 45, while umar akmal averages 37+. Younis Khan however has averaged under 32 despite 242 innings to his name, and has struggled in the last few series (SA, India, SL, England, etc, etc). Shoaib Malik, who is given chance after chance after chance, averages only 33 after 187 innings, not a lot for a low order batsman who is prone to get a lot of not-outs. The numbers speak for themselves, Pakistan have a habit of dropping young talents who go through a bad phase for old flops who over the long run have been failures.

  • Arhumomar on March 22, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    I agree younis is a bit out of touch and coming to an end. Time to develop a younger number 3 batsman who can hit and stay at the average of 40+ at least. Misbah is the needed at the moment for at least another year in order to develop another captain. I am not sure about Hafeez. He certainly has a good cricketing mind but his embarrassing average of 27 does not suit a captain. And he will be questioned often when he becomes the skipper. Afridi's time is over. He should always have been considered a bowler who could hit a bit but now his bowling is not there also. Shoaib had still got it in him. He has always batted very much down the order hence his low average of early 30s. He should be promoted to number 3 if a younger batsmen is not to be tried. All in all pakistan has never lacked talent and never will. The just need planning

  • hammad.1 on March 22, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Where is Anwar Ali? He has been absent for such a long time, just like Khalid Latif...Hafeez should be ODI captain instead of Misbah.

  • Zahidsaltin on March 21, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, there is no lack of young talent as not only Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq but Haris Sohail and Usman Sallahuddin are now been performing in first class set-up. Nasir Jamshid might have failed in South Africa but no one can negate talent in him. I have mentioned on this forum various times that PCB needed to arrange a lot of A-tours to Australia, NZ, SA and England but it looks as they have no plans and no real interest in forming the future. All teams while playing at home, offer their youngesters an exposure by playing the side match against the visiting teams but Pakistan has lost this due to no home games. I would imagine that other boards should show some solidarity and at least award us more A-team tours to compensate for home games. This A-team exposure could do a trick in shapping our youngesters. But PCB only get it SL whenever they do. Are they in PCB incompetent or just don't have thinking sense for future?

  • fah4 on March 21, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Selection of playing XI for Pakistan always amasses me.For 1st ODI they select 2 fast bowlers in SA when earlier they played 3 in India.From 2nd ODI they drop a proper batsman for an all rounder called Malik who rarely bowls.Any batsman can bowl the overs he bowls in this series even Younus khan can bowl that many so why he is not called all rounder? Why the tag all rounder is given to Malik who is used very rarely as bowler and performs more rarely as batsman.

    Pakistan need to play young batsman like Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Harris Sohail and some others to make a good team for future

  • am5786 on March 21, 2013, 20:13 GMT

    I don't get this why everyone is talking about Misbah's age, look at his performance he scored 38, 57*, 28 and 80 in four ODIs in South Africa. I don't care how old a person if he is scoring runs.

  • on March 21, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    I don't understand why people have problem with shoaib malik when when we have bigger problem name Shahid Afridi. His 80 in previous game makes a solid case that he should be X'd from the team. he never show any responsibility someone who scored 80 runs shouldn't be batting like he did when game is almost in your hands. Afridi and Imran Farhat play one game and then play like a 8 year old for rest of the season yet still get picked. Afridi's shot selection is horrible for a player of his age and experience yet people like Mr. Abbasi and other act like groupies when he play one inning in blue moon.

    NOBODY in Pakistan ever look at stats. look at Shoaib's batting record. he plays well in top order yet he is always playing #5-6. it makes no sense why Younis is picked again and again. yes he plays well on flat pitches but HELLO we are playing in S. Africa.

  • Batmanindallas on March 21, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    Pakistan is a great bowling team-it had great batsmen but never more than one or two international standard at any given time-more so in recent times after Haq and Youhana retired/left out. The current batting is very average-I dont get the chasm between India and Pakistan one has a good batting set up while other always had great bowlers...

  • hafiez on March 21, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    i thing for PCB to say good bye to Yunus and Malik. And some young talent like Umer Akmal, Asad, Hammad Azam, Harish Sohail. Should be given chances rotationally to groom them on international level. Nasir should b there anyhow to get some experience as he is the promising face pak. Capatincy should be straight away handed over to Hafeez now keeping future in mind & Misbah shd remain there as a batsman only. In bowling pak shd stick to junaid,Irfan,Gul, Shoail Tanvir, Ajmal but shd not forget Raza as he is a very spin option.

  • Nadeem1976 on March 21, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    I am happy with Pakistani ODI team at this moment, we won a great series against India so what else we want from Misbah and co. I am very happy with malik he bats in middle order and score 20 to 30 runs and stays till the end. nothing wrong with current team. no need to include young blood.

  • on March 21, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    OK, let's get one thing through our heads right now. Afridi has scored his ONE innings to cement his spot in the team for this year. So, the rest of the year will be just like the 4th ODI. Four off the first ball, gone the next. So, Mr. Abbasi and other Afridi fans, please don't flatter yourself, and wake up and smell the coffee. Afridi is a waste of a body in the team and deserves no part in the starting XI. I don't even want to waste my time talking about Hafeez. I have no clue how he even made it to the national side. Imran Farhat, though a mediocre player, shows much more temperament than Hafeez. Younis and Gul have done nothing in recent years to prove they belong in the starting XI in ODIs. Gul has failed miserably in tests as well. Not sure why he's still the lead bowler. We really need a replacement for Kamran Akmal. Sarfraz, who shows a lot of promise in domestic circuit, just seems to forget how to hold the bat whenever he plays international games.

  • imranmujtaba on March 21, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Where are Pakistan's young batsmen? VERY GOOD QUESTION - EVERY PAK CRICKET LOVER IS ASKING THIS QUESTION - WHERE IS AN ANSWER? now Misbah has got MoM first time (so unfair with Imran Farhat), possibly best inning i have ever seen from Misbah in ODI, now this will block youngster entry into the playing 11 for next few tours :(

  • on March 21, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Mr.Kamran, they say the best way to answer your critics is by your performance. I think Shoaib Malik has exactly done that. Just to add here for your info, this is the 4th match in the last 4 months that shoaib malik has finished off for pakistan while chasing and has ended not out. That is exactly why misbah is playing him and he has done his job perfectly.

  • on March 21, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    i think time to says good bye

    misbah/younus/kamran akmal/shoaib malik/shahid afridi/umar gul

  • on March 21, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    Lets reveal new Pakistan Team ... Tired off with Younis, Afridi, Kamran Akmal ... Here are few good options available for Pakistan ,,,

    Ahmad Shahzad / Shahzaib Hasan Nasir Jamshed Mohammad Hafeez (c) Asad Shafiq Umar Akmal (k) Umar Amin / Babar Azam Hammad Azam Sohail Tanvir / Rahat Ali Junaid Khan Irfan Khan Raza Hasan (Remember Him ... He stunted world class players in last T-20 world cup)

  • on March 21, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    Retirement ofbYounis Khan from Pakistan cricket is now long overdue . He should do the decent thing and retire , otherwise he should be sacked .

  • on March 21, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Why Pakistan continues to play YounisKhan , Shoaib Malik , Imran Farhat and Misbah inspite of their continuous failure is the biggest mysteries of Pakistan cricket . As for bowlers Sojail Tanwir and Wahab Riaz have never succeeded in the last three years,why are they always brought in ? Further , Abdul Razaq is one of the greatest all rounders Pakistan has ever produced . Why is he not in thebTeam ?

  • dmqi on March 21, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    The administration is messed up just like the country itself. Sad indeed. No vision, no plan.

  • TexanBlue on March 21, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Hopefully with the recent change on the political horizon, the politics in Pak cricket will come to a halt as well. You don't have to look too far to find decent young batsmen waiting to grab their chance only if the daddies & grandpas of team have some mercy and hang their boots. Misbah should be given an immediate farewell; he has done his job well by lifting his team from the depths of scandals but he must hand over the job to someone else and retire with dignity. Same goes for Younus; he plays only 1 good innings in a series and get another life for the next. Shoaib is in the tem only because of Misbah and politics. He doesn't belong to any format. Umar Gul is more of a liability except in T20s. These players are definitely blocking the way of the future.If your best ranked ODI batsman, Umar Akmal is out of the team, this shows the state of the affairs. Bring in U.Akmal, A.Shafiq, A.Shahzad etc. Afridi should captain till WC 15 and Razzaq is a must for the balance of team.

  • Zaid_sl on March 21, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    selection of a player should be concentrated on the following 1.commitment n selflessnes 65% 2.talent 35% Many players like hafeez,kamran,umar akmal are not comitted at all n r very selfish. In the last ODI hafeez threw away his wicket.he tried for a six even when two boundries were already scored in that over.kamran akmal n umar akmal have been given enough chances,non of them have shown their value for the place they hold in the team.they have never shown commitment.

    Without commitment theres no unity Without unity there's no synergy Without synergy there's no team

  • on March 21, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    pakistan need very young team in ODIs and T20s. i think pakistan lose a series 1-4 with young players is better than 2-3 with old and experienced players since we can expect youngsters will improve their performance day by day. but old and experienced players always fade out their talent by getting old. specially will improve the fielding with young players and fielding very important in these format. pakistan got lot of very talented players than other countries but selectors not selecting them for some reasons.

  • on March 21, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    pakistan team is not balanced one. too may specialist bowlers. i think only two specialist bowler enough.even if pakistan play with 3 or 4 specialist bowler, can not always expect to limit opposition under 250 and sometime good oppositions will score over 300 runs. since nowadays pitches are very batting friendly and good teams like south africa, india very often score over 300 runs. with this pakistan batting line-up almost impossible to chase over 300 runs. so pakistan need to build a team that can chase any big total. combination should be 5 very aggressive batsmen + wicket keeper batsman + 3 alrounders + 2 specialist bowlers.

  • crotisn on March 21, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    How many Pakistani attacking batsman has been wasted .... Abdul razzaq , umer annual, afridi... By silly and worse slow middle order batsman like younus khan misbah and s malik... If u put 1st three batsman in number 3,4&5 five on consistent bases Pakistan team can easily score three hundred plus score like AB he is opening batsman but batting in middle order to score quickly and put pressure at the end of inning even bowler can hit and Pakistan management wasted these good players

  • on March 21, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    bring Abdul Razzaq back to team

  • on March 21, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Here is a simple formula. Use the moving average as a selection criteria for the batsmen. The moving average window should be either 3 of 4. Let Shoaib Mailk rest and also provide a big sofa for Yonus khan and the other tired bunch.

  • on March 21, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    What Pakistan cricket needs more then anything is planning , we have to let go of misbah now , he has played his term , and it,s enough services for the country , so adios to misbah ...... we need to bring in haris sohail in place of misbah , and umar akmal in place of malik , wat is malik even doing in the team ?? he does,nt ball , is an ordinary batsmen , does good fielding . I would prefer umar akmal over him everyday ..... we must have a stable captain for the champions trophy in england and the world cup , the pcb should trust afridi , and entrust him with the captaincy , and don,t steal it away like ijaz butt did , afridi should captain the side till the 2015 world cup , and then retire with a possible world cup win ..... # JUST LIKE LEGENDS DO .

  • cisco420 on March 21, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    Why no mention of Kamran Akmal? Not sure what kind of source he has but cant get him out of the team. Time for Misbah, Afridi, Younis, Kamran and even Gul to retire. Gul is good only for 20/20 if any.

  • m0se on March 21, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    Nasir Jamshed played a few matches and looked like he belonged. All the other batsmen from Azhar Ali, Asad etc have never looked like they belonged at this level. They are missing something which won't magically appear by giving more chances. They should go back to domestic level and perfect their cricket and make a second stab at international cricket.

  • m23khan on March 21, 2013, 2:06 GMT

    In Tests: Mohammed Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Gul In ODIs: Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq,Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Azhar Ali In T20s: Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq

    These guys need to be replaced with fresh faces and fresh legs on merit.

  • on March 21, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    I think for ODI world cup,We should start building side right away.Give them chance from next series.My ODI squad of 16 is Nasir Jamshed, Hafiz,Asad Shafiq,Haris shohail,Umer Akmal,Umer Amin,Zulkarnain Haider,Hasan Raza,Saeed Ajmal, Irfan,Junaid, Afridi,Hammad Azam,Ahmed Shehzad,Akber Khan, My T20 squad of 16 is Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Shahzeb Hassan,Hafiz,Umer Akmal,Asad Shafiq,Umer Amin,Hammad Azam,Ali Waqas, Shakil Ansar/ Zulqarnain Haider,Akber Khan,Hassan Raza, Saeed Ajmal, Umer Gul,Junaid Khan,Irfan, Afridi,My test Squad is Toufiq Umer,M.Hafiz, Imran Farhat,Younus Khan,Misbah,Asad Shafiq,Faisal Iqbal,Fawad Alam,Wahab Riaz, Junaid khan, M.irfan,Shoaib Malik,Saeed Ajmal,Hassan Raza, Umer Amin, Hammad Azam, Shakeel Ansar,Rahat Ali,

  • avmd on March 21, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    With no international matches at home, no A team, under 23 or under 19 tours, pool of back up batsmen and even bowlers is shrinking fast. I don't blame ICC or other countries for this, they will come when security improved. Only way the new faces will emerge by handing over them the national cap, even at times a bit pre-maturely. "Seniors" are not winning every single games for Pak, they are just making the future of Pak cricket even more disappointing. Selectors and PCB are not handeling the resources well. I'm OK if Misbah and Younis hang around for a bit longer in tests but for ODI, we have to give a longer run to Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Shehzad, Sohail Haris, Jamshed, Umar Amin, Salahuddin and many youngsters. I don't care if we lose games with these youngsters for a short while but I'm sure investment will produce result in not too distant future.

  • papay65 on March 20, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    Fully agree with everything said by KA and he probably knows coz I've been tweeting him every day after every pathetic performance and team selection. Our team selection is a joke, we just keep on picking the tried and tested failures i.e. Malik and Akmal sr, while the young guns- Akmal jr and Asad- sit on their hands. YK should bow out of ODIs now and Misbah should be forced out of all formats. Ajmal needs a rest he has nothing to prove we are just bowling him into the ground, give Rehman a game for God's sake! Hate to say this as a Pak fan but hope we lose the last two matches don't want Misbah to get any glory and use it to be kept on. Have some self respect and quit before you get pushed.

  • Ragingjamaican on March 20, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    This Pakistan team doesn't seem to learn from it's mistakes. They rarely change their batting order, they drop good players and then bring them back when they've passed their prime (Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik etc.).

    To me, their big mistake is having Younis Khan and Misbah ul-Haq batting together, we see often. The top order gets out, these two try to rebuild the innings, instead, they put the pressure on the next coming batsmen, which is usually Umar Akmal who's got lots of talent, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik. They should pair one of those coming after them with one of two (Younis or Misbah), it help with the innings and apply less pressure.

    They are wasting Umar Akmal by bringing him down the order, he should be Pakistan's No.3 or No.4, and right now, they should bring Malik or Afridi in at No.3 or No.4. I feel sorry for Malik who's constantly in and out of the team, it's obviously not helping him one bit, and he's definitely a better player than what he's showing right now.

  • cric925 on March 20, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Team selection is done by the touring management, i.e. coach+captain+else. It s their job to pick team for each match o the merits of the wicket it will be played. Unfortunately all Pak players lack mental strength and there is NO EVIDENCE of proper coaching, both batting and bowling. They lack technique to tackle opposition's fiery spells (e.g. 49 all out in a TEST match!!) and when their turn comes, their blowers fail to do the same as the opposition's bowlers do. They need far more TOUGH and professional batting & bowling coaches. And another coach to improve their pathetic fielding standard. Most of all the TEAM NEEDS A PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST accompanying it on all tours to make them believe (1) they can win matches by playing sensibly (2) they have to assess the opposition properly and respectfully, (3) no need to throw bat at every ball (4) don't finish a 50 over match in 40 overs (5) TELL AFRIDI EACH BALL DOES NOT NEED TO BE HIT FOR A 4 OR 6 IF HE HAS ALREADY HIT 4s or a 6.

  • on March 20, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Bowlers and Batsmen alike, PCB and the powers that be at PCB continue to ignore Pakistan's most reliable and most characteristic contribution to world cricket over the decades - brilliant young talent clawing at stardom hungrily, leaping beyond impregnable hurdles and winning against impossible odds.

    I do not have the stats on me, perhaps Cricinfo can lend us a hand there, but I am quite sure that over the recent years, I have seen far too many 30-year olds making debuts for Pakistan than can be healthy for any team - let alone a team that has traditionally relied on raw talent for success.

    Irfan is just the latest addition to a long list of 30+ debutants which includes the likes of Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Tanvir Ahmed, Ayub - just off the top of my head.

    On the one hand this robs team Pakistan of its many young guns, on the other it just sends out a depressing message to any aspiring colts to wait until they have grown well past their prime before they can be given their day..

  • on March 20, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    the selectors and capatain are not playing the young - some are selected and before playing sent home on basis of injuries - need to take chances with new - ahmad shehzad et al need more opportunities

  • AK47_pk on March 20, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    We must bring in umar for yunis nd asad for malik. Misbah playes one good inningonce in a blur moon nd he shud give way too. 1 ahmed shazad 2 nasir jamshed 3 umar akmal 4 mohd hafeez 5 asad 6 afridi (captain) 7 kamran akmal 8 hammad azam 9 ajmal 10 junaid 11 irfan. 4 reserves. Umer gul , wahab riaz , haris sohail , shazaib. THis shud be our wc squad nd we shud stop gelling them as a team from very next match. Board shud look beyond politics. Misbah yunis nd malik can play tests for couple of years but plz not in odis nd in T20.

  • on March 20, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Its just because of selectors when they chose old players in 15 men squad that means they will be in playng XI for sure bkz asians countries have the same problem that they dont drop senior players despite of their again and again failures and misbah is a class <3 i love his temprement but honstly he dont have courage to drop YK n Malik :/

  • Shahzadhussan on March 20, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    @Syed Aahmed Tirmizi, I believe your analysis about about Umar Akmal is wrong. He is always sent to bat at No 6 when last 10-15 overs are left and Misbah has already slowed down the run rate. In those conditions Umar always tried to play for the team taking risk to enhance the run rate, in the course of doing that he gets out without scoring a big total. Actually, he has been given very little chance where he can had opportunity and time to stay on the wicket and develop the innings. Presence of Misbah, Younis and Malik is ruining the career of Umar, Asad, Haris, Umar Amin and Fawad.

  • PAKISTAN_2012 on March 20, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    What they need to do is bring Abdul Razzaq back he still have few years in him and can play up till 2015 world cup. Come on PCB he is a match winner just like afridi and a decent bowler at the same time. BRING HIM BACK!!!

  • on March 20, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    With every game, they become more and more predictable, they have excellent players amongst them, why are the likes of Hammad Azam ignored, he looked extremely competent, and ready to replace Razzaq, and it is difficult to understand why Shoaid Malik is in the team and Razzaq is not, since he offers a bowling option, and is a better batsman. I feel incredibly annoyed, because we all know that no matter how far they have come, personal feelings for individuals triumph unbiased selection, and that is Pakistan and will always be the case, and for this reason the full potential of what could be a great team is resigned to an average team that occassionally performs well, and that too is down too individual brilliance, rather than a solid team effort.

  • psu19976 on March 20, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    It's not captain's job. Why do selectors keep including old players??? Misbah is doing best with what he's given!!

  • S.Alis on March 20, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    I'm more worry about team strategy rather than team selection. Could anyone tell me since when Pakistan become good at chasing? I always thought Pakistan strength is bowling and all they need to do is put some runs on the board without any pressure by playing first, but it comes really surprising when they choose to bowl first on very good batting tracks and put themselves in the corner with over 300 targets. They were so lucky to win second match because SA batsmen were playing like T20 game and lost wickets still Pakistan team were uncomfortable chasing that small target in second match. If it was not for Afridi surprising blitz, Pakistan would've lost the third match with huge margin again.

  • honestpakistani on March 20, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Abbasi but i have noticed many time in your article that you have some targeted players for your critic shop and unfortunately Shoaib Malik is one of your victim for many time useless critisium. Your above article is based on last match only why you forget the second match where your favourite Shoaib Malik contributed very useful 35 runs not out in Pakistan win. And please don't forget pakistan is playing against world # 1 team mean 11 players and this is also not necessary that each and every one perform in every match, my hubble request please bring possitivity in your articals. I know may be you will not post my comments on the net but i just wanted to convey my feelings to you only. I respect all senior players and they are there in Pakistan team becasue of their very many good performances and share in Pakistan cricket.

  • on March 20, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    for the clubs which belong to the regional cricket assosiation officials and those who belog to the opposition are always leeft out no matter if he is as much talanted as Muhammad Yousaf. Most of the clubs in pakistan are having practice sessions on cement pitches and the only playing fields available are the net areas and becose of that we dont get any outcome as far as the batting and wicket keeping is concerned People like the youngsters i have mentioned above are not complete packages as a cricketer. If asad shafiq can bat a bit, fine but he is a zero fielder, every body was saying azhar ali is a very technically sound batsman but we can see how was he exposed in south africa on short pitch deliveries. Talking about Umer Akmal he is a good batsman but only for 35 to 40 runs and thats it (no tempramet wha so ever) First of all we should remember we are competing in international cricket and these players with limited capacity can not compete in that scene.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on March 20, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Pakistan talent for future is there.. just need a chance.. we have gys like: Nasir Jamshed, Ahmad shahzad, haris sohail, umar akmal, asad shafeeq, muhammad rizwan (wc-batsman), anwar ali, raza hassan, junaid khan, irfan.. they should be given chance as soon as we can. especially Pakistan must keep all above mentioned in odi side. you can skip raza hassan for a while untill ajmal and hafeez are there but rest should be palced immideiatly. nice article by the way.

  • on March 20, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Everybody has its own openion and i respect that but we should b very positve commenting on anything which is in the nations interest. Ithink most of the young players playing in our team they dont even deserve to play for any first class side even and i am shocked thay they are representing Pakistan the country which has produced greats like zaheer abbas majid khan sadiq muhammad hanif muhammad javed miandad muhammad yousaf inzamam ul haq saeed anwar and the list goes on but these days we are discussing people like asad shafiq, Azhar ali, umer amin, Owais Zia, Ahmed shahzad, Bla Bla Bla none of them are of the caliber to replace any of the great batsmen i have named earlier. If you people want any improvement in Pakistan Cricket first of all Provide grounds & good coaches to clubs, then make a very tight selection criteria for regional Teams because only players are preferred to b selected who play

  • on March 20, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Dear Sir, I respect you the way you compress your words and feelings for Team Pakistan! Do you think the selection board has principle or any criteria for selection! Dont you think Mohammad Yousaf, Aboul Razaak these two names are not Important anymore! They are Older then Misbah!Our Team Must be select by Nation! Not selectors! Comparison between young and old!Let the young Play more domestic cricket! Increase more domestic torments would bring more wicket keepers and batsman out for us! But we must give full support to Abdul Razaq and Mohammad Yousaf , Back in repalcment of Misbah, playing elleven is like Hafiz,Nasir,Shoaib. Younas,yousaf,Razak,afridi,saeed,Nasir,Umer,Irfan!

  • ammar7may on March 20, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @ICCexpert (March 20, 2013, 13:10 GMT) : Excellent team suggestion. I 100% agree with you. But, please tell me, how you will communicate it to PCB? PCB and our team management has developed a habit of not listening to critics. They even don't have a suggestions options on their website. So, you can understand their mindset. Nobody from PCB will read your suggestion. The so far success of team Pak is due to senior cricketers, who keep on suggesting loudly with potential cricketers, otherwise PCB has no plan for players development. Everybody reached here (except Irfan) is absolutely self-made. We don't have a pacer to produce 150+ with good line and length and swing, when our own retired cricketers are coaching other clubs and countries. Because, we are not respecting them. Also, rotation policy is a must for consistent performance in this era of test, ODI and T20i. Aus and SA both have a big lot of reserve players of good quality and experience to meet their need. Hope everything well.

  • Crick_Expert on March 20, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Ahmed Shahzad, Owais Zia(little boom) should be future openers. Nasir Jamshed and Haris Sohail should groomed as middle order batsmen. Anwar Ali, Hasan Raza should add as bowlers. Misbah, Younis, Asad should retire from ODI, T20.

  • Crick_Expert on March 20, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    We are missing ABDUL RAZZAK in SA tour. PCB should add young players etc. Ahmed Shahzad, Owais Zia, Shahzeb Hasan, Raza Hasan, Anwar Ali. Please start giving chance to young players at T20 first. There should be 3 format teams TEST, ODI and T20. Misbah, Younis, Asad should be in TEST team only. Abdul Rehman shold be in ODI & T20 as he can also do batting. Sohail Tanvir, Mod. Sami should say BYE cricket forever.

  • on March 20, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    When Misbah was appointed captain, immediately the question came into mind....Is he going to be a long term solution? And the answer was clear 'NO'...!Then he kept ignoring youngsters (Hammad Azam, Umar Akmal-currently in the line of fire, without giving them chances to develope for future.As a result, No replacements for senior players (the batting department, as mentioned in this Article) is expected to arrive in near future!

  • Shahzadhussan on March 20, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Mr Abbasi you echo the voice of every single Pakistani fan about the selection but this man whose name is Iqbal Qasim, has lost his hearing and seeing abilities. At the top of the list of useless players is Misbha, then Younis and Malik. Keeping Farhat as a covering opener is a big injustice to likes of Shahzad. I would difinitely include Akmal from today then Asad Shafiq. In the following tour I would bring Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail and Umar Amin to include one of them in 11 and other 2 as cover. Please please keep Azhar Ali thousand miles away from One-day squad.

  • on March 20, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    agree with u if younis is replc with asad nd malik with umar akmal nd mishab with hairis sohail r with umar amin then pak batng line ll luk much better nd also the felding standars ll improve bcz of young blood

  • on March 20, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Young talent needs to be groomed. These old horses have done their time. Misbah,Younis should be dropped and should be given a very respectful farewell for their commited service. Their roles should be handed over to youngsters like Asad,Umar Akmal, Umer Amin and Haris Sohail. But the key is not to put them in at once and later declare them failures but rather induct Asad for Younis and Umar Akmal/Haris Sohail for Misbah. Once suitable replacements are found move on to the next pair of old guns.

  • on March 20, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Shoaib malik used to be good but not any more. I think the selection committee needs to get rid of misbah and malik. frankly i think younis days in the ODIs are numbered as well. We need to give chances to Umar akmal and asad shafiq.

    Yhis si the time to look and grrom the players of future. Misbah and YOunis will be too old for the next WC. we need to nurture young blood give them a chance. BNo doubt they will struggle but thi struggle is what they need to go through. Not every one is Miandad or Inzi who came and took off from the word go.

  • ICCexpert.... on March 20, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    if i was the selector this would be my team : Ahmad Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Nasir Jamsheed, Harris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Afridi (C), Hammad Azam, Jamal Anwar (wk) Irfan, Junaid Khan, Ajmal. If its a spinner friendly track than I will include Raza Hassan instead of Hammad. Reserves : Zia-ul-haq, Ali Waqas, Umar Amin, Rameez Raja jr, Asad Ali, Bilawal Bhatii, Sadaf Hussian, Wahab Reyaz, Anwar Ali.

  • wrenx on March 20, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Kamran, you are by far the most thoughtful commentator on this site, and on the subject of Pakistan cricket generally. The worst thing about your articles is that you don't publish them often enough. About Nasir, agreed, he hasn't found it an easy series, but neither has he played to his potential. You can see it written on his face after the ways he has got out, both in the tests and the one-dayers. I'm sure there is a lot more to come from this boy, as long as we persist with him and let him develop his game.

  • Pilot777 on March 20, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    When Politic are removed from the PCB and we are freed from the Shackles of Zardari one and all, then there may be hope. Now A letter to Zardari and contribution to his wealth fund is all that is required. PCB needs to be freed from the Presidents Shackles. No other countries Cricket board is politically controlled like the PCB - FREE THE PCB now!!

  • HRZV on March 20, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Mr Abbassi, I have been following your post for some time now. You are good writer but you write with fear. Pakistan cricket is a victim of nepotism. We know who these players are and who the people behind them are. It would be nice to read about it one day and perhaps you could be the courageous writer. You talk about bringing in youth; Pakistan took three over 30 fast bowlers for the test series. In batting, Hafeez failed miserably but the axe will fall on Nasir Jamshed. Why Asad Shafiq is not playing? Because Shoaib Mailk is. What has he done? Oh Yes!!!! He hit 3 fours in one over in the second ODI. Imran Farhat. The man has been around for over 11 years. What has he done? May be the (in)law is on his side? Just a rumor! What do we know? Misbah, Blocks 30 balls and then hits 2 sixes. Is this one day cricket? Please write without fear because you can.

  • a133936 on March 20, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    If you rank the players of two teams (India at Mohali Test & Pakistan at Johannesburg ODI) by age, you'll find that Umar Gul at 28 years and 11 months is the 3rd YOUNGEST player in Pakistan team.... older than only Junaid Khan and Nasir Jamshed..... where as Murali Vijay who is also 28 years and 11 months old is the 3rd OLDEST player in Indian team .... younger than only Sachin and Dhoni.

    Pakistan team is FULL of senior citizen who need be dropped as soon as possible.

  • on March 20, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    yes totally right. For this series, 1 of malik /younas has to give way to umar akmal. or parhaps both should give way to new young batsman.

    Also though many would not agree but nasir has poor series, its not that you arent scoring runs, but its the way he is getting out in 4 limited overs matchs. almost all were of nothing balls and poor shots with soft dismissals. Time may be runing out in this series for him. May be they replace him with farhat in next matches like they did in 3rd test.

    Or may b kamran open with hafeez and umar comes in for him.

    About long term, pakistan need a medium pace batting allrounder to balance the side. misbah should leave odi this year now. Hafeez not to open and they need a good batting wicket keeper.

  • on March 20, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Jamal Anwar could be a possible replacement for Kamran Akmal. I saw his cricinfo profile and it seems he is averaging 40+ in List A matches, with a good strike rate and has hit a few sixes in his short career so maybe selectors could get him groomed a little. He is only 22 year old wicketkeeper.

    Other replacement should be Hammad Azam. We need a couple of genuine All rounders in the team. One thing i would like to say is that in Aus and NZ have this policy that Keepers must open batting. i think it really helps by having keepers spend more time with bat up the order in domestic cricket. it opens up room in the late middle order for dashers hard hitters in short term.

  • KiwiRocker- on March 20, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    As usual Kamran Abbasi has produced a thought provoking and timely article.It will be an utter shame to disrespect services of fine players like misbah, Younis, Shoib Malik and even Kamran Akmal. However, there comes a time when every sportsman needs to make a call and selectors in Pakistan seem to be following India's lead and not making tough calls.What irks me most is that Pak has built its cricket on young unknown talents! An Inzemam amazed Eden Garden (Yes, Kiwis still talk about that), a Young Saeed Anwar was amazing in Australia in 80's..A Young M.Amir was sensation in 2010 T20. Why are we wasting Ahmad Shahzad?He was superb in T20.I still remember his mammoth six of Ishant Sharma in Kalkota T20.Where is Hammad Azam?Excellent temparament guy.Why is Kamaran Akmal still around? Sarfraz did not work but there are plenty others. Kamran Akmal's drop of AB Devilliers cost Pakistan yet againt match.What wrong Saddaf Hussain has done?Where is Khurram Manzoor?Harris Sohail..Asad Shafiq?

  • ibrahimpirpiai on March 20, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Dear Selection Committe,

    if you want to win the 4th ODI please prepare the below team :-

    PAkistan 11 :- 1 Nasir Jamshed,2 Hafeez,3 Yunus Khan ,4 Umur Akmal (WK),5 Asad Shafiq,6 Misbha,7 Afridi,8 Wahab Riaz,9 Junaid Khan,10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Sohail Tanveer

    Thanks and Regards...................

  • on March 20, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    afridi is the brightest wxample of our fearfull and lazy selection attitude. we have spend 16 years, 300 odis, test and t20s to see another 36 ball hundred from a below average player....look at his record....wow....younis, misbah,malick and akmal are all gone...past their so called primes...we need to test new players...dont afraid of loosing with new talent, there will be new imran, miandad, wasim and inzimam but old horses cant reverse their ages and skills...thats for sure

  • on March 20, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Why we are not preparing Green wickets in Pakistan to boost our batting line up and polish new batsmen???? Will anybody answer me on this?

  • Cricket_Live on March 20, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    1-Ahmed Shehzad, 2-Kamran, 3-Naser Jamshed, 4-Hafeez, 5-Umer Akmal, 6-Afridi, 7-Misbah, 8-Gul, 9-Ajmal, 10-Junaid, 11-Irfan. Simple explanation: Hafeez is physiologically under pressure from Steyn. Naser is wrist player and don't play over the ring as opener. Best players are used as 1 down, so should he. He is the best player for the future. Ahmed Shehzad & Kamran both can make the most of fast bowlers (power play) and very quick between the wickets. Hafeez has proven again & again that he plays older ball well and all around at will, especially spinners & SA has the poorest quality spinners. Umer Akmal and Afridi, if given decent time on the pitch (after 35 overs) can do the damage and no intro is needed there. If all fails, Chacha Tuk tuk is there to let the game reach 50 overs whether we win or lose, as that has been the case ever with Misbah. No better bowling options available on the tour so not much can be done there. Younis great player but he needs to focus on test cricket.

  • ICCexpert.... on March 20, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    Ahmad Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Harris Sohail, Ali Waqas, Hammad Azam, Raza Hasan, Rameej Raja Jr, Sadaf Hussain, Asad Ali, Zia-ul-haq, Bilawal Bhatti and Jamal Anwar.....check the profile of these players, they have been so consistent at the domestic level and will put a new life in Pak team. But the PCB wants to stick with old and lazy players like, Misbah, Yunis, Malik and Hafeez. Shame

  • on March 20, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    what a great article it should open the eyes of cricket administrators in pakistan otherwise we will be loosing like hell the old guns has stopped firing and the time is catching up with them new and fresh batsmans like asad shafiq, umer amin, azhar ali, hammad azam, fawwad alam, ahmad shehzad and umar akmaland many more very highly talented batsman are waiting and the cricket management is still not eyeing the performances of these batsmans i don't know why they are not accepting the fact that these players are the future of pakistan and it's the matter of time the WC 2015 will be coming fast and still not taking things seriously. The cricket administrators are not taking things seriously plz sweep aside differences and get smart cricketing brains who understands cricket and have the guts to take care of the matters on urgent bases so the cricket in our country which really ties us together as nation and give us great happiness prosper in our beloved homeland May Allah bless us.

  • on March 20, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Very true Kamran, it is hard to understand what is special about Shoaib Malik. His bowling is ordinary and his batting is below ordinary but we persist with him in the team. I cant think of any reason other than some strong influence unfortunately. Fully agreed with having Asad Shafique and Akmal as regulars in the team to have specialist batsmen in the middle.

    You've rightly pointed out things for batting and I would assume you are already writing a similar article for Pakistani bowling, isnt it? For the last some time we have been carrying a load of 30+ years bowlers who are not going to be around for long anyhow. People must have figured out what I am talking about. With an exception of Junaid Khan where are we heading with 30+ old bowlers? I happened to come across todays news where Wasim Akram is going to conduct two weeks of training session for Pakistani young speedsters and this is the only encouraging thing I've seen about our bowling recently.

  • on March 20, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Well said. Cricket Pakistan need Asad, U.Akmal, U.Ameen, H.Azam, AnwarAli, Tabish Khan, Sadaf Hussain & Ayoub Doger. Where are they??????????????????????????

  • on March 20, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Pakistani batting is in disarray at the moment. Domestic cricket needs to be improved to give batsmen temperament and technique. Misbah should realize that its time for him to go. He can retain test captaincy but ODI captaincy should be transferred to someone else, I would prefer Afridi from current lot because of his experience and performance in last world cup as a captain. Umar Akmal should be played on regular basis. Malik and Younas should be replaced with Shafiq and Shahzad. Our bowling is over dependent on Gul, some new blood should be introduced. We are also wasting Razzaq and Hammad Azam. So my point, bench strength is not the matter of discussion, their utilization is.

  • Osama_Siddiqui on March 20, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. It does seem completely counter intuitive that the backbone of the batting lineup for many years to come (barring injury) in Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal can't seem to get a game. The mind does boggle. The good news is however that the future has been identified. The list of batsman that have been part of current/recent ODI squads but have yet to cement their place as regulars reads as follows: Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail and Fawad Alam continually knocking on the door. It's a list that inspires a certain level of confidence in the future. The bad news however is that the team management hasn't completely put faith in any of them even when their talent has been abundantly clear, as in the case of Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq.

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Well said. Pakistan needs to keep the wheels rolling. The old timers must leave. Bring on the new guns.

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    good article..... i like it... pak shd go with umar akmal and shafiq

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    100% agreed with you. I think we should follow India's example as they built a team around Kohli, Raina, Gambhir and Sharma. We should consider Nasir Jamshed, Umer Akmal, Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali as the core members and build a youthful team around them. Yes we are going to lose matches (which is also happening right now anyway). Misbah, Younis, Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Ajmal shouldn't be part of our long term plans.

    Also we need a fast bowler with sheer pace like Shoaib Akhtar or Waqar Younus who gives away runs but also gets wickets. Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umer Gul, Sohail Tanvir and Aizaz Cheema are just stop gap bowlers not spearheads. Like the country, the team needs a leader with vision not a captain who is defensive even when opposition is at 106/6.

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    For me Hammad Azam MUST play for Pakistan.. He will be a match winner come the 2015 World Cup..

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    Completely agree Kamran . I too am baffled by the lack of planning by Pakistan for 2015. Hammad, Asad, Umar Akmal, and possibly even Azhar Ali need to be tried, trained and either tossed or retained for the next world cup. Shoaib, Misbah really have no place in the ODI squad as we prepare for the next world cup; and likely neither do younis and Afridi.

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    Theyre all in Karachi..................................................................

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    It has been 10 years almost and Pakistan batting dept. has not settled since then, and upto some extent their bowling as well. Afridi could have been a big thing if he was properly utilised. I miss his early days when was an opener. I dont see any technical flaw in his batting and he can easily face any bowling attack on any pitch. His heroics, specially in batting, are spread across his entire career. Finest performance with the bat and ball have almost come on all the pitches around the world. The plus is that he has agression to pressurize his opponent. The only problem is his temprament which has never been seriously addressed by coaches, captains and board. Talent management has always been a problem and we can just hope PCB becomes serious in this. Otherwise, keep another 10 years to see the persistence of such issues.

  • boston_pride on March 20, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Very true Mr. Abbasi... There are plenty of exciting young batters arnd like Shehzad, Sohail, Raheem, Amin... Surely they must get a go... And I also feel they play a bowler too many... Three quicks, Ajmal, Afridi, Hafeez are surplus...

  • danish85 on March 20, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Great stuff Mr.Abbasi. I'm glad at least there's someone other than me who's concerned about the WC15. You mention Shafiq and Akmal. That's easy, take out Misbah and Younis and there you have the two spots. Take out Malik and you have another opening. It's frustrating to see PCB refusing to understand that. May be the upcoming elections will bring some change. ;)

  • danish85 on March 20, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Great stuff Mr.Abbasi. I'm glad at least there's someone other than me who's concerned about the WC15. You mention Shafiq and Akmal. That's easy, take out Misbah and Younis and there you have the two spots. Take out Malik and you have another opening. It's frustrating to see PCB refusing to understand that. May be the upcoming elections will bring some change. ;)

  • boston_pride on March 20, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Very true Mr. Abbasi... There are plenty of exciting young batters arnd like Shehzad, Sohail, Raheem, Amin... Surely they must get a go... And I also feel they play a bowler too many... Three quicks, Ajmal, Afridi, Hafeez are surplus...

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    It has been 10 years almost and Pakistan batting dept. has not settled since then, and upto some extent their bowling as well. Afridi could have been a big thing if he was properly utilised. I miss his early days when was an opener. I dont see any technical flaw in his batting and he can easily face any bowling attack on any pitch. His heroics, specially in batting, are spread across his entire career. Finest performance with the bat and ball have almost come on all the pitches around the world. The plus is that he has agression to pressurize his opponent. The only problem is his temprament which has never been seriously addressed by coaches, captains and board. Talent management has always been a problem and we can just hope PCB becomes serious in this. Otherwise, keep another 10 years to see the persistence of such issues.

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    Theyre all in Karachi..................................................................

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    Completely agree Kamran . I too am baffled by the lack of planning by Pakistan for 2015. Hammad, Asad, Umar Akmal, and possibly even Azhar Ali need to be tried, trained and either tossed or retained for the next world cup. Shoaib, Misbah really have no place in the ODI squad as we prepare for the next world cup; and likely neither do younis and Afridi.

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    For me Hammad Azam MUST play for Pakistan.. He will be a match winner come the 2015 World Cup..

  • on March 20, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    100% agreed with you. I think we should follow India's example as they built a team around Kohli, Raina, Gambhir and Sharma. We should consider Nasir Jamshed, Umer Akmal, Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali as the core members and build a youthful team around them. Yes we are going to lose matches (which is also happening right now anyway). Misbah, Younis, Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Ajmal shouldn't be part of our long term plans.

    Also we need a fast bowler with sheer pace like Shoaib Akhtar or Waqar Younus who gives away runs but also gets wickets. Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umer Gul, Sohail Tanvir and Aizaz Cheema are just stop gap bowlers not spearheads. Like the country, the team needs a leader with vision not a captain who is defensive even when opposition is at 106/6.

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    good article..... i like it... pak shd go with umar akmal and shafiq

  • on March 20, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Well said. Pakistan needs to keep the wheels rolling. The old timers must leave. Bring on the new guns.

  • Osama_Siddiqui on March 20, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. It does seem completely counter intuitive that the backbone of the batting lineup for many years to come (barring injury) in Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal can't seem to get a game. The mind does boggle. The good news is however that the future has been identified. The list of batsman that have been part of current/recent ODI squads but have yet to cement their place as regulars reads as follows: Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail and Fawad Alam continually knocking on the door. It's a list that inspires a certain level of confidence in the future. The bad news however is that the team management hasn't completely put faith in any of them even when their talent has been abundantly clear, as in the case of Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq.