November 12, 2013

A time for defiance and flair

There was a time when Pakistan masked ordinariness with defiance and flair. Now they are humbled and demoralised
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Is it time to let go of Mohammad Hafeez and a few others in this line-up?
Is it time to let go of Mohammad Hafeez and a few others in this line-up? © AFP

Pakistan feel humbled, demolished by mighty South Africa. They challenged us without Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, or even Imran Tahir, a surprise star. But we were still demolished. And we are still humbled, as has become our custom.

Once, our teams made up for any lack of preparation, and the bumbling amateurism that bestrides Pakistan cricket, with a touch of flair and frequent flashes of defiance. This combination of defiance and flair carried them a long way. Yes, we possessed some brilliant players, but the more ordinary tended to mask their ordinariness with the aforementioned defiance and flair.

Now, we are a rump of humbled and demoralised cricketers. We don't have defiance or flair, and even if we do, we don't show it. We know it is the batsmen, those damned incompetents, who are to blame for this general demoralisation. They are so much to blame that even our once excellent bowlers are beginning to fray at the seams - and I don't mean ball-tampering. Their previous excellence is slowly succumbing to ordinariness. Who can blame them? Even the gods would be demoralised by the crapulence of our batsmen.

Bring back Aamer Sohail, all is forgiven. What we would give now for a player of such absolute ordinariness but bulldog defiance. Or his opening partner, Saeed Anwar, a man of uncertain defiance but godly flair. If you never lived through those times, I'm sorry, you missed a treat.

If you never saw Mohsin the Eagle, or Zed - not the Zed from Pulp Fiction - you missed a treat. If you never saw Javed Miandad, Queen to Imran's King, or even Saleem Malik - damned Saleem Malik - you missed a treat. If you missed the slashing wrists of Ijaz Ahmed, the forward thrust of Imran Khan, or the majesty of Majid Khan, you missed a treat. You might not have heard of Wasim Raja, the best of the Raja brothers, or Mushtaq Mohammad, the second-best of the Mohammad brothers, but you surely missed a treat. You don't need me to tell you about Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.

Trust me, there were frustrating days as well in those past decades, but enough of the time your heart leapt to the tune of the defiance and flair on show. Now we are a rump of humbled and demoralised cricketers.

But Pakistan cricketers can bat. Verily we've always struggled to match the might of India or Australia. Truly we lack the faith, unity and discipline to be a batting machine, but we've always had something about us. Chutzpah, they would have called it when I started writing about cricket in the 1990s.

By my estimation only the selection of four players out of this sorry bunch should not be disputed: Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Sohaib Maqsood. Only one of those is a batsman, and, as impressive as he looked, he is just starting out. The rest require their positions reconsidered, although after due reconsideration Misbah is the only viable captain in the short term. Equally, after the same reconsideration, there seems little worth to the international careers of Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir and the plague of Akmals. Go with grace but in the name of god, go.

Pakistan cricket needs to go back to the future to McFly, as it were; to rediscover a touch of flair and frequent flashes of defiance. Bring in some young players with these attributes to at least offer service as a batsman, allrounder and wicketkeeper. Haris Sohail, Hammad Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are popular cries. Let's take up these cries, for we need new heroes, and any aspiring hero must be tested. Look how Sohaib surprised us, and Shan Masood before him.

Let's end this circus of limp ordinariness that demoralises both bowlers and supporters. Let's stop feeling humbled. Our fans once carried placards boasting: "Demolition in progress." Now we are the subject of the demolition, almost each and every day. Pakistan, in sport and beyond, cannot be rebuilt in a day, but you begin by understanding how far you have fallen.

Let's build afresh; vow that our hearts will leap again, and no longer sink to the dread beat of falling wickets. The time is right for a cull, a cull to refresh, revive and rebuild. It is human nature to glorify the past, and the past wasn't perfect by any means. But let me assure you, it was often a treat, and if you haven't felt that thrill, I want you to feel it too. That thrill, that flair, that defiance, that is the magic of Pakistan cricket.

Give it back.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 14, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Really funny to observe all these self pity and extreme disappointment at display by the Pakistani fans after the losses to South Africa.

    Cant understand what it is for. Considering that they won a Test Match against this South African side, actually they have over achieved in this series.

    Get Real, pakistani fans. Currently your team is the only thing worthy of comparing with Ishant Sharma's bowling. With that, they have won a Test against the Saffers.

    That is some achievement.

  • on November 13, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    Can someone tell me that why a team like Pakistan who has been eternally struggling with their batting, keep choosing to go into matches with one batsman short. They play 6 or 7 bowlers in ODIs and in today's T20 against SAF they are playing 8 bowlers.

    Who is doing this team selection. It seems the tour selectors have gone daft. Its quite frustrating really. No wonder we are losing against even Zim now.

  • golgo_85 on November 13, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    What they need to do here is, most definitely get rid of Hafeez, Amin, Shafiq permanently. Of course they need Shafiq in the Test side. They also need to make sure that Hafeez, Amin, Shoaib Malik, kamran Akmal never get back into any squad. Then persist with Jamshed, Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Maqsood for the top 4 spots, anyone can see that, this is simple common sense. Bring in Haris Sohail, Fawad Alam and Hamad Azam. Having Hafeez instead of a seam bowlling allrounder is damaging to the balance of the team. Having too many spinners is making lives a lot easier for the opposing teams. I don't understand Misbah's captaincy and team management. When you see Hafeez or any other batsman underperforming as ab opener with Shehzad, why not let Akmal or afridi bat up the order? Umar Akmal has been wasted down the order, he is under pressure from not performing that low down the order, why ruin a career like that? He needs to bat at no.3. To let Umar Amin come ahead of Akmal sums up Misbah well.

  • Zaid_sl on November 13, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Problem is in the administration.they need to understand the requirement of the team The problem with Batsmen like hafeez,u.akmal,afridi,shafiq is they 1.don't have that many shots 2.don't have the ability to rotate the strike 3.don't have the ability to find the gaps 4.they are unable to play under pressure N finally throw away their wicket. find players with good potential n talent,give them enough support to become world-class players.

    For eg: Shohaib maqsood N.jamshed Shehzad H.azam Sami aslam They have the potential.administration need to groom them.send them to an academy in Australia n train them for a long period with the intention of improving their skills as well psychological training so that they'll value their wicket n not throw it away. hire some people like inzamam n waseem as coaches at any rate they are asking for n stick with the young trained batsmen even if they are out of form.

    If hafeez is getting such a long run why not a talented player like jamshed

  • on November 13, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    In the last ODI there was absolutely no motivation in the entire team to perform, it seemed the dead rubber had made in green, dead men walking.

  • on November 13, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Shan Masood is not a good find, you are writing on cricket for 2 decades now and you still cannot see that his first inning in test cricket was full of chances, he wont survive long at the international level.

  • Joe-car on November 13, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    I don't claim to be an expert, but the biggest problem with Pakistan batsmen is not technique but rather application. They don't know how to build an innings. They play out far too many dot balls, try to score to many boundaries and the running between wickets is better off left unmentioned. Dhoni, AB and KP love between wickets yet they are some of the most destructive batsmen in the game. Oh, if Maqsood is as good as Inzi is said to have been then it's my loss that I never say Inzi in his prime. My loss indeed.

  • fkhawaja on November 13, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    i think we all agree that an overhaul is needed . first the captain. I think if abdul razzak or shoaib malik are given a longer go one of them may be a good candidate. hafeez needs to be out of all formats for now. younus should come back to ODIs. open with khurram and shan masood. younus misbah asad malik razzak adnan keeper irfan junaid saeed abd rehman are my test side. captain younus/malik/razzak

  • on November 13, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    invest in young players,give them a run,even though they'll frustrate at times.this is what india did after 2007 world cup.they didnt become a very good side in 1 day.it'll take time.appoint a new young captain who can be a regular in the next 7-8 years,just as we did with dhoni btw,what happened to umar akmal?when he made his debut,he was supposed to be the next star.he has become a 20s/30s player now the obsession with afridi must stop.true,he is a superstar in pakistan,but he contributes almost nothing.playing both of hafeez and afridi disturbs the balance.i know you should stick to your natural style,but after 17 years,you expect maturity and respnsibility,and afridi has none

  • Mel-waas on November 12, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    'Haris Sohail, Hammad Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are popular cries" what about Umar Amin? The fact is Umar Amin was being touted as replacement for Misbah a few day ago. But He has been failing constantly after one fluke slog in a T20, Umar Amin failed regularly. Another Youngster and new player who has simply lost all form is Nasir Jamshed. If you look at number of matches played upto 7 players in the squad have very few matches to their names unless you consider Ahmed Shehzad a Veteran. Pakistan is an unexperienced side. Harris Sohail like Umar Amin was Given chances but he failed and got out in Shahid Afridi style. we are lucky to find someone like Maqsood but having a different new set of youngsters every series will take Pakistan to a low-ness not exerienced yet.

  • on November 14, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Really funny to observe all these self pity and extreme disappointment at display by the Pakistani fans after the losses to South Africa.

    Cant understand what it is for. Considering that they won a Test Match against this South African side, actually they have over achieved in this series.

    Get Real, pakistani fans. Currently your team is the only thing worthy of comparing with Ishant Sharma's bowling. With that, they have won a Test against the Saffers.

    That is some achievement.

  • on November 13, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    Can someone tell me that why a team like Pakistan who has been eternally struggling with their batting, keep choosing to go into matches with one batsman short. They play 6 or 7 bowlers in ODIs and in today's T20 against SAF they are playing 8 bowlers.

    Who is doing this team selection. It seems the tour selectors have gone daft. Its quite frustrating really. No wonder we are losing against even Zim now.

  • golgo_85 on November 13, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    What they need to do here is, most definitely get rid of Hafeez, Amin, Shafiq permanently. Of course they need Shafiq in the Test side. They also need to make sure that Hafeez, Amin, Shoaib Malik, kamran Akmal never get back into any squad. Then persist with Jamshed, Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Maqsood for the top 4 spots, anyone can see that, this is simple common sense. Bring in Haris Sohail, Fawad Alam and Hamad Azam. Having Hafeez instead of a seam bowlling allrounder is damaging to the balance of the team. Having too many spinners is making lives a lot easier for the opposing teams. I don't understand Misbah's captaincy and team management. When you see Hafeez or any other batsman underperforming as ab opener with Shehzad, why not let Akmal or afridi bat up the order? Umar Akmal has been wasted down the order, he is under pressure from not performing that low down the order, why ruin a career like that? He needs to bat at no.3. To let Umar Amin come ahead of Akmal sums up Misbah well.

  • Zaid_sl on November 13, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Problem is in the administration.they need to understand the requirement of the team The problem with Batsmen like hafeez,u.akmal,afridi,shafiq is they 1.don't have that many shots 2.don't have the ability to rotate the strike 3.don't have the ability to find the gaps 4.they are unable to play under pressure N finally throw away their wicket. find players with good potential n talent,give them enough support to become world-class players.

    For eg: Shohaib maqsood N.jamshed Shehzad H.azam Sami aslam They have the potential.administration need to groom them.send them to an academy in Australia n train them for a long period with the intention of improving their skills as well psychological training so that they'll value their wicket n not throw it away. hire some people like inzamam n waseem as coaches at any rate they are asking for n stick with the young trained batsmen even if they are out of form.

    If hafeez is getting such a long run why not a talented player like jamshed

  • on November 13, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    In the last ODI there was absolutely no motivation in the entire team to perform, it seemed the dead rubber had made in green, dead men walking.

  • on November 13, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Shan Masood is not a good find, you are writing on cricket for 2 decades now and you still cannot see that his first inning in test cricket was full of chances, he wont survive long at the international level.

  • Joe-car on November 13, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    I don't claim to be an expert, but the biggest problem with Pakistan batsmen is not technique but rather application. They don't know how to build an innings. They play out far too many dot balls, try to score to many boundaries and the running between wickets is better off left unmentioned. Dhoni, AB and KP love between wickets yet they are some of the most destructive batsmen in the game. Oh, if Maqsood is as good as Inzi is said to have been then it's my loss that I never say Inzi in his prime. My loss indeed.

  • fkhawaja on November 13, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    i think we all agree that an overhaul is needed . first the captain. I think if abdul razzak or shoaib malik are given a longer go one of them may be a good candidate. hafeez needs to be out of all formats for now. younus should come back to ODIs. open with khurram and shan masood. younus misbah asad malik razzak adnan keeper irfan junaid saeed abd rehman are my test side. captain younus/malik/razzak

  • on November 13, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    invest in young players,give them a run,even though they'll frustrate at times.this is what india did after 2007 world cup.they didnt become a very good side in 1 day.it'll take time.appoint a new young captain who can be a regular in the next 7-8 years,just as we did with dhoni btw,what happened to umar akmal?when he made his debut,he was supposed to be the next star.he has become a 20s/30s player now the obsession with afridi must stop.true,he is a superstar in pakistan,but he contributes almost nothing.playing both of hafeez and afridi disturbs the balance.i know you should stick to your natural style,but after 17 years,you expect maturity and respnsibility,and afridi has none

  • Mel-waas on November 12, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    'Haris Sohail, Hammad Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are popular cries" what about Umar Amin? The fact is Umar Amin was being touted as replacement for Misbah a few day ago. But He has been failing constantly after one fluke slog in a T20, Umar Amin failed regularly. Another Youngster and new player who has simply lost all form is Nasir Jamshed. If you look at number of matches played upto 7 players in the squad have very few matches to their names unless you consider Ahmed Shehzad a Veteran. Pakistan is an unexperienced side. Harris Sohail like Umar Amin was Given chances but he failed and got out in Shahid Afridi style. we are lucky to find someone like Maqsood but having a different new set of youngsters every series will take Pakistan to a low-ness not exerienced yet.

  • Major85D on November 12, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    The reason why we were demolished is: Misbah. he is the worst captain cricket ever had. it´s not only about making runs, it´s about leading the team and to win matches. but he is selfish and looks for himself. his captaincy is all about wrong decisions: why wrong selection? why 6 bowlers? why give junaid not the new ball? why tanvir the last over? why tuk tuk when chasing a big total? please misbah retire!!

  • on November 12, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Good point but one needs to seriously review misbah as a captain - I am not sure he has a defined strategy how to address it. He is a reluctant captain who does not try anything new - either players nor changes ( playing players at diff positions) or taking an aggressive approach. His defensive approach is being adopted by batsmen playing conservatively as does the captain and then when trying shots they fall apart as pressure builts. His approach by persisting with tested players and not infusing new players is a key weaknesses

  • on November 12, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    What India did in 2007 t20 WC same should be done to Pak t20 team... Leave all old players and try new faces at least in t20.. And when u start getting better results then pick players from that team for ODIs... And in the current team only Ajmal is the one who could be a very good captain in all formats looking at his performance.......

  • on November 12, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    In your article you forgot to mention Asif Iqbal who had great fighting qualities and always performed under pressure. I still remember his 9th wicket partnership with Intikhab Alam in 1967 at the Oval in the third test match. Asif Iqbal scored 140+ when it seemed all was lost and Pakistan was heading for an innings defeat. Asif Iqbal made sure that Pakistan did not face the humiliation of an innings defeat and when England batted second time I think he took few wickets as well. He also with Hanif Mohammed saved the first test match at Lords in 1967. I recall Hanif making 187 not out whilst Asif made 70+. By the way in that series of 1967 Asif was in the side as an opening bowler with saleem Altaf.

  • on November 12, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Performance of our batsmen is so pathetic that I am lost for words people say give new bunch a chance but the problem is the new bunch quickly adopt the senior's attitude where is the elegance of nasir which we were all praising against India the flair of umar akmal people talk about bringing Amin and grooming Shafiq to be next backbone number 5 what have they done ? i am sorry no matter what avg you mantain at first class if you cant score at int'l level you are not good enough where is the class of Azher gone? The problem seems more psychological than any thing else. I was the sort of person who bunked classes and called sick to watch pakistan but things have gone so downhill that as soon as Pakistan is made to chase 200+ I turn my tv off and engage in less depressing hobbies. Come on team pak pull your socks up

  • on November 12, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    @aanfrompakistan: agree with you.

    I think the problem occurred when board and almost all of followers assumed Hafeez as future captain for last 2-3 years. most of times, he was scoring 30 odd runs but others were performing and some how hafeez was not criticized that much during that period. We never looked beyond that. Every 1 thought hafeez will be captain after Misbah.

  • on November 12, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    The problems are 1- Poor selection. players with 30 odd avg are preferred over 45+ avg player. Domestic performers are not selected.

    2- Selfishness. Most are playing for themselves. 30-35 runs are enough for selection in the team for next 10 matches .

    3- Dressing room politics is going on at the moment. You have to address it.

    4- Moving in circles. same failures are coming back after some time. we never moved on . and after couple of series we are just stuck at same point.

    5- many players in this team does not deserve a spot. We Have 6 bowlers who are not able to bat much. we need to have a genuine medium pace all rounder. too much dependence on spin is hurting. Afridi/hafeez are there for batting as well. Not only for bowling. no place as bowler only like some fans say.

    Agree with change captain-coach but address politics , selection, as well. by only changing captain & keeping these failed players will not work.

    More importantly get bold & good selectors to fix it.

  • on November 12, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    A good article as always but I think we get too carried away with this bring on the fresh blood mantra, we have seen so far that Young blood is not really coming on, we get some good players for short while they look good but then they get get found out,,look what happened to Jamshed, and I think Maqsood will be tested next in SA with his technique of playing short balling. The real issue with PAK is lack of structure and that's in everything, all major organisations have rotton to the core due to bad management, lack of transperancy. The current players are another example, they are either have reached their expiry date or not ready yet, case of Afridi,Hafeez and U.Amin come to mind, I'm not agreed with you on U.Akmal though, I think this guy has been treated very badly by the management and being undermined through not giving him proper position in batting order, he is a gem and needs to be given proper support. New players and all of them is not the solution.

  • M.Arsalaan on November 12, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    I don't know why we are just stuck with one captain and keep presenting one lame excuse if not Misbah then whoelse can be considered!!! I remember when there was no option after Salman Butt exit as test captain but then Misbah arrived from nowhere which means there is always an option we just need to recognize it Question is What qualities are required to be a captain? 1.Assured place in the team (Through Performance not merely by name) 2.Confidence 3.Will power (ability to handle pressure) 4.Captain With a big heart 5.Well Groomed 6. Ready to accept challenge 7.Aggressive 8.Selfless and team player 9. Imaginative etc.???? I wonder person with above qualities can be found in our team or not? I think there is one One and Only 'Saeed Ajmal' We can evaluate Saeed Ajmal against all the above qualities and perhaps he is the only choice left even better then Misbah I presume if all the above quallities have 10 marks then Saeed Ajmal will be highest scorer!!!

  • bagh-e-jinnah on November 12, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Why did it take so long to pick Sohaib? And where are Haris Sohail and Fawad Alam the other 50+ domestic average players? Fawad scored 168 on his test debut, away from home, in a position that he'd never batted before in his life and was then kicked out after 3 matches.

    Why no mention in this article about the selectors who are incompetent?

  • ReverseSweepIndia on November 12, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    balance of ODI team is wrong. And Afridi playing as bowler bring that instability in balance. Now you have 6 bowlers who all can bowl 10 overs but only 5 proper batsmen including keeper. Hafeez at the top of order is not a batsman. Now as Pak like to play with 3 fast bowlers and Ajmal is best spinner going around, only one of Hafeez or Afridi can be played. Hafeez will be much better than Afridi at 7. And the vacated place can be given to a new youngster then. Balance is very necessary and I think Pak losing has to do more with selection/balance rather than skills. I know it, we lost 0-8 overseas, lost badly right & left and never made the changes. This guy Rohit Sharma was sitting on the bench all along. Well, that was the kick in the backside. It will be blessing in disguise if this 1-4 result help in better selection.

  • Akhsami on November 12, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Dear Kamran, I normally have a great respect for your analysis. But in this piece you have made one critical error. You cannot return to the days of flair with a defensive, uncharismatic leader like Misbah. Imran always like to say, an army of lambs with a lion as the leader would achieve more than an army of lions with a lamb at the head. You want the flair to comeback? First thing you have to do is remove Misbah as leader. An Afridi or even an Hafeez batting at 5 or 6,would get you better results, I guarantee it, even with this very same team.

  • irfanaziz on November 12, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Agreed! Pak team needs complete overhauling... Give a chance to the following line up and see wonders after 1 year: 1) Shan Masood 2) Ahmed Shehzad/ Khurram Manzoor 3) Sohaib Maqsood 4) Umer Akmal 5) Harris Sohail / Asad Shafique 6) Mohammad Rizwan (WK / batsman) 7) Hammad Azam 8) Raza Hassan / Ehsan Adil 9) Saeed Ajmal 10) Junaid Khan 11) Mohammad Irfan / Talha. Make Khurram Manzoor captain.

  • bohurupi on November 12, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    Had been saying this all the time! Get the budding players out in the team, groom them up! Get the non-performers out for good. You cannot afford to have one or two rotten stuffs among your pack of fresh produce! Send the new comers to other great playing nations for exposure. Learn from India. Get a new captain, may be Hammad or Maqsood or someone else. They might be failing first time or second time but will learn from their experience and then will thrive powerfully. Time for a massive change, certainly is!

  • mohddar on November 12, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    If I have the luxury of being Pakistan's coach for one day- I would make one disciplinary action for every batsman from this squad and drop the player for violating the same. That disciplinary rule is nobody would be allowed to hit six because nobody has the guts to hit and survive after hitting it. In last ODI we lost three set batsmen on hitting six (Maqsood, akmal and Misbak). These players don't have the grace, flair, power and timing to hit it at the right occasion and survive. In the past , batsmen knew when and whom to hit. Fours win you matches, changing strike wins you matches not hitting sixes- learn from Dhoni when, whon and where to hit a six please

  • on November 12, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Misbah though is not the one to be wholy blamed for all this but he shares the responsibility of the state we are in, his laziness and indecisiveness in critical situations is surely taking the confidence away from the young guys. I won't be surprised if I see a different Sohaib Maqsood in the upcoming series. I'm not the part of dressing room but i can tell from the the body language of players that atmosphere is not good and it has been like this since Inzi took charge of the team. Face of Misbah while taking DRS tells the story, he thinks and thinks and thinks, apparantly shows that he has no confidence in his guys.

  • sudheer1129 on November 12, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Its better Afridi to open the innings & Hafeez lower down the order , Atleast give Afridi the license to go on all out attack , with his style of batting even if he scores around 20-30 as opener it will definetly boost Pak's runrate ... And if it is his day then he can score more giving the other batsment to play with more confidence ... W

  • on November 12, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Kamran, do you think our selection panel is capable of thinking on these grounds? There was a chance to send young team to Zimbabwe but we persisted with all the old men, players like akmals, maliks, afridi/razzaq are rotated in circles. The body which runs the cricket affairs in Pakistan is in turmoil. Unnecessary judicial activism and political interference is only making the things worse. The fact that Pak team is unable to chase a target of more than 250 runs in last two years speaks volumes about their incapability to play positively and meet the demands of international cricket. They need fresh ideas and new energy in the form of a young players, new coaching staff and a new leader.

  • on November 12, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    lovely ,,, great Kamran Abbasi ,,, you touched the hearts of millions wid this !!!

  • expertcric on November 12, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Batting is all about confidence. We know that Pakistani batsmen have talent but the problem is that they don't know how to apply their talent. If a batsmen starts playing for his place in a team & not playing to win a match for his country then it means that a batsmen is very low in confidence & not able to show his talent in international cricket. I hope that upcoming players show some courage & confidence in international level as it was shown in last 2 matches by Sohaib Maqsood.

  • SaulB on November 12, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    I heard that Pakistani cricketers will be joining SA domestic leagues more frequently from now on and I believe that these guys can truly come into their own with that kind of experience. I would love to see irfan playing for the titans. Hafeez should be played as a bowler, he's an excellent spinner. but he should bat at 7 or 8 adding stiffness to the tail.

    also i think the team is overworked. pakistan plays so much international cricket, and it's never at home (yes, UAE is their new home) so that means the side is always touring. that could be creating a psychological problem for them.

  • HonestyMatters on November 12, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    There is no reason for Pakistan to panic at this point (or any point really). You may hype this defeat or other defeats in the (recent) past, but it does not give any fair reason for panicking or re-defining ground-up. Come to think of it, "Redefining" is a nice patriotically motivated media rejuvenating terminology and surely brings every one together momentarily (at least on paper). However, its soon forgotten. Pakistani people will only remember Maqsood's courage and Misbah's grit and Akmal's contribution. There is nothing wrong with any player, be it Afridi losing his swashbuckling flair or Hafeez not being his usual self. Give them good conditions, convincing support, autonomy and faith in the support staff, I can bet the current crop of players will beat all odds and stand up for Pakistan's cricket.

    In all my opinion, what really needs redefining is the "Apparatus" that involves an independent think-tank and an autonomous execution body. A non-political sports authority.

  • on November 12, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    The current state of PAK cricket summed up perfectly ..and the past glory days and moments of brilliance ,flair and passion retold beautifully.

  • on November 12, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    All our batsmen come to the crease and are scared to play shots they are the worst team to watch bat these days ( hurts to admit that!) There Was a time I use to love to watch them bat, now it's a cringing sight!

  • pakfanfromnepal on November 12, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Great Article!! true pricure of PAKISTAN cricket.

    Loved this line:..Let's build afresh; vow that our hearts will leap again, and no longer sink to the dread beat of falling wickets. The time is right for a cull, a cull to refresh, revive and rebuild....Hope PAK board and selectors have now realized that this current team is going nowhere with misbah. As written in this article..only the selection of four players out of this sorry bunch should not be disputed: Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Sohaib Maqsood. I shall add Ahmad Shazad in the list as well , otherwise writer hit the nail and he is damn right. Though im not a pakistani but a true fan of pakistan ever since i started watching cricket since 1999, the performance and selection of team hurting me a lot....and i can't even imagine how PAKISTANI getting hurt by this.

    PAK BOARD and Selectors...Please select players ON MERIT BASIS for THE SAKE OF CRICKET AND Fans.......

  • FShaukat on November 12, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Culling it should be!! What can possibly go wrong? A white wash? ........but thats exactly what is happening anyway.

  • on November 12, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Everybody is talking about the ability of individuals in Pak team even though it is obvious that there is no short of ability, what they are short of is guts, positive intent and aggression which is needed to be a winner in not only sports but any field at all. Misbah might be a good batsman (even this is debatable especially for limited overs cricket) but he is a spineless captain and I being someone whose whole career so far has been spent while working in a team environment would say it without a morsel of doubt that every team is reminiscent of its leader specially when it comes to body language, approach, confidence and intent.

  • on November 12, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Best example of what negative captaincy does to a world class player and team as a whole. Nasir Jamshed was dropped from the team by Misbah ul Haq for not scoring big runs against SA in the first three ODIs played in SA, even though he was middling the ball very well was a bit unlucky for not being able to carry on. Until then Nasir averaged 45.45 with a strike rate of 88.88.

    Nasir was replaced by Farhat who as always failed to impress, Nasir was brought back into the team and since then he has looked a totally different batsman, he has lost all his confidence and looks to survive at the crease rather than scoring freely which was his natural style. Since his comeback he has averaged 22.31 with a strike rate of 56.57. Now Misbah is doing the same to Junaid Khan's confidence by sidelining him for no reason at all. Continued..

  • on November 12, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Pakistan ODI Team in bilateral series since Feb 2012,

    vs Eng: Lost 0-4 (UAE) vs Sri: Lost 1-3 (Sri) vs Aus: Lost 1-2 (UAE) vs Ind: Won 2-1 (Ind) vs SAF: Lost 2-3 (SAF) vs WI : Won 3-1 (WI) vs SAF: Lost 1-4 (UAE)

    Total: Won 10 - Lost 18.

    Hail Misbah the King of captains.

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  • on November 12, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Pakistan ODI Team in bilateral series since Feb 2012,

    vs Eng: Lost 0-4 (UAE) vs Sri: Lost 1-3 (Sri) vs Aus: Lost 1-2 (UAE) vs Ind: Won 2-1 (Ind) vs SAF: Lost 2-3 (SAF) vs WI : Won 3-1 (WI) vs SAF: Lost 1-4 (UAE)

    Total: Won 10 - Lost 18.

    Hail Misbah the King of captains.

  • on November 12, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Best example of what negative captaincy does to a world class player and team as a whole. Nasir Jamshed was dropped from the team by Misbah ul Haq for not scoring big runs against SA in the first three ODIs played in SA, even though he was middling the ball very well was a bit unlucky for not being able to carry on. Until then Nasir averaged 45.45 with a strike rate of 88.88.

    Nasir was replaced by Farhat who as always failed to impress, Nasir was brought back into the team and since then he has looked a totally different batsman, he has lost all his confidence and looks to survive at the crease rather than scoring freely which was his natural style. Since his comeback he has averaged 22.31 with a strike rate of 56.57. Now Misbah is doing the same to Junaid Khan's confidence by sidelining him for no reason at all. Continued..

  • on November 12, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Everybody is talking about the ability of individuals in Pak team even though it is obvious that there is no short of ability, what they are short of is guts, positive intent and aggression which is needed to be a winner in not only sports but any field at all. Misbah might be a good batsman (even this is debatable especially for limited overs cricket) but he is a spineless captain and I being someone whose whole career so far has been spent while working in a team environment would say it without a morsel of doubt that every team is reminiscent of its leader specially when it comes to body language, approach, confidence and intent.

  • FShaukat on November 12, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Culling it should be!! What can possibly go wrong? A white wash? ........but thats exactly what is happening anyway.

  • pakfanfromnepal on November 12, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Great Article!! true pricure of PAKISTAN cricket.

    Loved this line:..Let's build afresh; vow that our hearts will leap again, and no longer sink to the dread beat of falling wickets. The time is right for a cull, a cull to refresh, revive and rebuild....Hope PAK board and selectors have now realized that this current team is going nowhere with misbah. As written in this article..only the selection of four players out of this sorry bunch should not be disputed: Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Sohaib Maqsood. I shall add Ahmad Shazad in the list as well , otherwise writer hit the nail and he is damn right. Though im not a pakistani but a true fan of pakistan ever since i started watching cricket since 1999, the performance and selection of team hurting me a lot....and i can't even imagine how PAKISTANI getting hurt by this.

    PAK BOARD and Selectors...Please select players ON MERIT BASIS for THE SAKE OF CRICKET AND Fans.......

  • on November 12, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    All our batsmen come to the crease and are scared to play shots they are the worst team to watch bat these days ( hurts to admit that!) There Was a time I use to love to watch them bat, now it's a cringing sight!

  • on November 12, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    The current state of PAK cricket summed up perfectly ..and the past glory days and moments of brilliance ,flair and passion retold beautifully.

  • HonestyMatters on November 12, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    There is no reason for Pakistan to panic at this point (or any point really). You may hype this defeat or other defeats in the (recent) past, but it does not give any fair reason for panicking or re-defining ground-up. Come to think of it, "Redefining" is a nice patriotically motivated media rejuvenating terminology and surely brings every one together momentarily (at least on paper). However, its soon forgotten. Pakistani people will only remember Maqsood's courage and Misbah's grit and Akmal's contribution. There is nothing wrong with any player, be it Afridi losing his swashbuckling flair or Hafeez not being his usual self. Give them good conditions, convincing support, autonomy and faith in the support staff, I can bet the current crop of players will beat all odds and stand up for Pakistan's cricket.

    In all my opinion, what really needs redefining is the "Apparatus" that involves an independent think-tank and an autonomous execution body. A non-political sports authority.

  • SaulB on November 12, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    I heard that Pakistani cricketers will be joining SA domestic leagues more frequently from now on and I believe that these guys can truly come into their own with that kind of experience. I would love to see irfan playing for the titans. Hafeez should be played as a bowler, he's an excellent spinner. but he should bat at 7 or 8 adding stiffness to the tail.

    also i think the team is overworked. pakistan plays so much international cricket, and it's never at home (yes, UAE is their new home) so that means the side is always touring. that could be creating a psychological problem for them.

  • expertcric on November 12, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Batting is all about confidence. We know that Pakistani batsmen have talent but the problem is that they don't know how to apply their talent. If a batsmen starts playing for his place in a team & not playing to win a match for his country then it means that a batsmen is very low in confidence & not able to show his talent in international cricket. I hope that upcoming players show some courage & confidence in international level as it was shown in last 2 matches by Sohaib Maqsood.