England v Pakistan, 2nd npower Test, Edgbaston, 4th day August 9, 2010

Pakistan's bowlers need more support

Pakistan know exactly where their frailties lie. Salman Butt must surely be tired of explaining how inept batting and fielding remain Pakistan's weak links
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Pakistan know exactly where their frailties lie. Yet all summer they have been falling over the same hurdles and repeating the same mistakes and Salman Butt must surely be tired of explaining how inept batting and fielding remain Pakistan's weak links. Butt knows only too well that Pakistan will need to work tirelessly on those two fronts to not only avoid losing this series but also to arrest their slide down the Test pecking order.

Look at these numbers: in the four Tests Pakistan have played so far on this England trip (including the two-match series against Australia in July), their batsmen have notched up seven half-centuries. England already have two centurions and four men sharing five fifties. Not a single Pakistani has yet reached three figures. Butt's 92 at Lord's remains the highest so far, but against England Pakistan's best batsman of 2010 has scores of 1, 8, 7 and 0 in the two Tests played.

If Pakistan's specialist batsmen are thinking of relaxing for the next week before the third Test at The Oval they will do well to consider this: only three tourists have managed to get a half-century against England in Nottingham and Trent Bridge. One was a debutant, one was playing his first Test of the series and the other will play no further part. If any further salt needs to be rubbed in the top order's wounds, one of them is a lower-order batsman while the other two are tailenders.

Zulqarnain Haider played the innings of the Edgbaston Test with his resolute 88, and in one innings became Pakistan's leading run-scorer in the series so far. One run behind him is Umar Gul, whose belligerent 65 saved Pakistan from following on at Trent Bridge. In the dire straits in which Pakistan's batting finds itself at the moment Gul's unavailability for at least the next three weeks (torn hamstring) sounds like torture.

The third man to get a fifty was Saeed Ajmal, who replaced Danish Kaneria after Pakistan's most experienced Test player was dropped for lack of form after the Nottingham defeat. Ajmal received several blows to the chest and hurt his right elbow, but boldly faced down the short-pitched barrage from the bamboo-tall pair of Stuart Broad and Steve Finn to cap his maiden five-for with his first half-century.

With the batting in the doldrums, the two Mohammads - Asif and Amir - continue to give their side a chance with their canny, incisive mode of attack. Like a supercomputer the A-pair has a rich vault of bowling intelligence stored in their brains, and this they have utilised efficiently to find different ways of working out England's batsmen. But they are surely on the verge of losing their patience if Pakistan's woeful fielders do not pull their socks up soon and start holding catches.

On the first day of the second Test Pakistan dropped five manageable chances; the next day at least three more sitters were spilled. Today, including some half chances, the drops trickled up to five. It was the same in Nottingham where Kamran Akmal and Imran Farhat, at first slip, were the worst culprits.

"The guys themselves realise that we need 20 wickets to win a Test match and if we drop 14 catches in a Test match, that is more than half the wickets lost," an annoyed Butt said after today's defeat. "Being professional we need to account for the half chances."

Butt argued that no amount of specialist coaching or adoption of preparation methods from more proficient fielding teams would help Pakistan unless individuals took responsibility to attend to their own games in the field. Indeed, traditionally, Pakistan have always enjoyed batting and bowling but have never found an appetite for excellence in the field. That mode of thinking needs to be snuffed out sooner rather than later and Butt would do well give to assert his authority and issue ultimatums.

"We have concerns that I have already commented on and unless they are [addressed] - fielding and top-order batting - it will be hard for us [to win]," Butt insisted.

Butt said Pakistan's strenuous schedule of playing six Tests in seven weeks was already proving cumbersome. After the Trent Bridge loss, Waqar Younis, Pakistan's coach, had feared the workload was bound to add pressure on his fast bowlers and now with Gul ruled out of the remaining Tests, Pakistan's task has become that much harder.

"The itinerary was decided even before I was coming on this tour so I've got to contend with whatever time we have but whatever break we have we will make full use of it," Butt said. Asked if he would think of resting key players, Butt pointed out it wasn't such an easy task. "We will have a chat with the physio and trainer and see who can be rested. It is a break for the media but we will be busy all the days."

Butt, who was handed the captaincy in an abrupt fashion when Shahid Afridi pressed the eject button after the Lord's defeat against Australia last month, has been modest in his confessions about the team's grey areas. Though he has been around for seven years, his own career has not run a steady path and has already included numerous comebacks. But he is willing to see things clearly and work closely with the think tank. Keeping that open stance has helped him to stay positive and he now is expectant that the arrival of Mohammad Yousuf into the squad, despite the pair's past differences, could in fact help Pakistan to regroup and bounce back in the final two Tests of the England series.

"We hope he gets runs for the side. We hope his experience would prove invaluable for the team and I hope the youngsters can learn from him whatever they can," Butt said of his senior. Yousuf is bound to play the two-day practice match against Worcester this weekend and Butt said he is a certainty for the final two Tests of the tour, fitness permitting.

Yet, no amount of Mohammads can save Pakistan from falling apart unless every player is willing to work hard, stay mentally strong and enjoy their cricket.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ummii on August 10, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Surely, The criteria of team selection is based on favoritism and political motivation. Abdul Razzaq has saved so many test matches with his bat and more then handy with ball, is much better then shoaib malik, Who is in team for nothing. same is with Asim kamal and Faisal Iqbal. Also younis Khan who's average is more then 50, had a run feast last time when pak toured to england. Offcourse Ijaz Butt is a just a Joke. He has destroyed Pak Cricket,and broken the hearts of its millions of fans.

  • Americana on August 10, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Pakistan has to play cricket. All this time, they have been playing "circus" in the name of Cricket. For a neutral fan, it's highly entertaining though. Younus or Yousuf won't be able to change things drastically. I can't wait for the next circus move/resignation/sacking/retirement etc. etc. as it is sooooooo much fun to watch.

    Keep it up Pakistan.

  • on August 10, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    @ way_too_cool- hey, if u had stop laughing at Pakistan, spare some time out for ur indian team, u ll not stop laughing then.. i heard they folded for 88.. ohh, now even the batting is failing against ordinary nz.. now, at least, the world will be laughing out on india, ranked 2nd, efforts nil.. enjoy ur average bowlers

  • klobania on August 10, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    hey way too cool keep some laughing stock for today's match against kiwis who have just rocked through ur over rated jerk indian team and guess by wat margin 200 runs yes guys thats true indians have followed on in odi.now i m sure u must be thinking for borrowing umar gul to atleast avoid follow on (i.e. in odi!!!!!!) but u know we r so generous (not in giving runs while bowling like wat indian bowling attack is doing) but unfortunately gul is out due to injury

  • HassanAbbas on August 10, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    Pity the Indians, their famous batting lineup has collapsed against the mediocre New Zealand bowling lineup (no Vettori or Bond) on a track that is offering just a little bit of extra bounce, but no lateral movement whatsoever. I can bet that the Indians cannot score anything more than the Pakistanis are scoring on the bowler friendly tracks in England and to top that, they have the worst bowling attack in the world. They boast the No.1 ranking only due to the custom ordered batting pitches they play on, even in countries like Australia they get batting wickets specially made for them (Eg. Perth pitch on which India won by an innings because the ball wasn't bouncing over knee high).

    I have a suggestion for Indian fans, and that is to stop worrying about Pakistan and start worrying about their own team, because they do not have any bench strength in neither batting nor bowling, atleast we have such strong bowling, I am sure we will find come good young batsmen too in the near future.

  • poderdubdubdub on August 10, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Quite frankly its more of a case of Pakistan losing the match than England winning it. We all saw on the sunday afternoon, a slight resistance from Zulqarnan and Saeed Ajamal and Stuart Broad and Co. lost the plot. This is not a real Pakistan team but a team selected without considering merit. Is there no deserving player from Karachi?, being the winner of Quaid Azam Trophy. How can you give repeated chances to Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, and Shoab Malik, they all have remakably low test averages. The Akmals should have been replaced two tests ago. The Trouble is even the selectors have no powers or have no brains. Pleading for extra time will gain nothing with this squad, we need to try others. Zaheer Abbas, Mushtaq, Hanif, Miandad, Yusuf, Yunus and Inzi did not need dozens of innings to make their mark.

  • on August 10, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Dont understand why younus was banned at first place. Because he was not present during that ill fated test series in australia. He just played in one days. In fact yousuf only asked for his selection. Why should pakistani nation be punished for individual likes and dislikes of ijaz butt? Is he so powerful?is he bigger than nation? Why cant he be thrown out

  • dmqi on August 10, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    AMIR,ASIF, please do a favor to Pakistan Cricket. Tell the press that you do not want to play until the selection committee does not present you 5 quality test batsmen. Here are the names now. YASIR, YUSUF,YOUNUS, FUAD ALAM, RAZZAQ, ASIM KAMAL. What's the point ruining your career with those headless management? Just see what all the commentators are saying, see the sentiment of the supporters, see the blogs. If the selectors/management had minimum sense and decency, they would not play this farcical test matches. They got an opportunity to improve Pak cricket standard in the world, they have ruined that completely.

  • on August 10, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    No amount of changes will help pakistan as the sellection was wrong in the first place. There is a lot of dirty Politics and until that is not cleared things are not going to change.

    People like Fawad Alam and Razzak should have been integral part of this side as Razzak is a seasoned player and would have given ideal support to Amir and asif and would have been handy with the bat.

  • gujratwalla on August 10, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    I have admiration for your expert hindsight Nagraj and your logic is very sound.Looking at the squads for the Tests and Twenty20 you will realise that Razzaq,Fawad and Shazaib should be in the Test squad.I have seen enough of Farahat,Azhar,Amin and Malik to know they can't handle pace; weaving and ducking from balls chest high that are asking to be pulled or hooked shows how sub-standard they are.Salman Butt hasn't performed either and the truth is we have virtually no batsmen of Test standard.Umar Akmal is a one-day player but if he has the willingness,which i doubt,to work hard he can develop his game.Don't expect too much from Yousuf because we Asians don't easily forgive and forget! As to the fielding i suspect most of the players are too lazy to practise hard and are not fully fit.Catches win matches and practise make perfect.The coach should also ask the batsmen to practise against the short stuff in the nets never mind if they get bruised in the process!

  • ummii on August 10, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Surely, The criteria of team selection is based on favoritism and political motivation. Abdul Razzaq has saved so many test matches with his bat and more then handy with ball, is much better then shoaib malik, Who is in team for nothing. same is with Asim kamal and Faisal Iqbal. Also younis Khan who's average is more then 50, had a run feast last time when pak toured to england. Offcourse Ijaz Butt is a just a Joke. He has destroyed Pak Cricket,and broken the hearts of its millions of fans.

  • Americana on August 10, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Pakistan has to play cricket. All this time, they have been playing "circus" in the name of Cricket. For a neutral fan, it's highly entertaining though. Younus or Yousuf won't be able to change things drastically. I can't wait for the next circus move/resignation/sacking/retirement etc. etc. as it is sooooooo much fun to watch.

    Keep it up Pakistan.

  • on August 10, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    @ way_too_cool- hey, if u had stop laughing at Pakistan, spare some time out for ur indian team, u ll not stop laughing then.. i heard they folded for 88.. ohh, now even the batting is failing against ordinary nz.. now, at least, the world will be laughing out on india, ranked 2nd, efforts nil.. enjoy ur average bowlers

  • klobania on August 10, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    hey way too cool keep some laughing stock for today's match against kiwis who have just rocked through ur over rated jerk indian team and guess by wat margin 200 runs yes guys thats true indians have followed on in odi.now i m sure u must be thinking for borrowing umar gul to atleast avoid follow on (i.e. in odi!!!!!!) but u know we r so generous (not in giving runs while bowling like wat indian bowling attack is doing) but unfortunately gul is out due to injury

  • HassanAbbas on August 10, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    Pity the Indians, their famous batting lineup has collapsed against the mediocre New Zealand bowling lineup (no Vettori or Bond) on a track that is offering just a little bit of extra bounce, but no lateral movement whatsoever. I can bet that the Indians cannot score anything more than the Pakistanis are scoring on the bowler friendly tracks in England and to top that, they have the worst bowling attack in the world. They boast the No.1 ranking only due to the custom ordered batting pitches they play on, even in countries like Australia they get batting wickets specially made for them (Eg. Perth pitch on which India won by an innings because the ball wasn't bouncing over knee high).

    I have a suggestion for Indian fans, and that is to stop worrying about Pakistan and start worrying about their own team, because they do not have any bench strength in neither batting nor bowling, atleast we have such strong bowling, I am sure we will find come good young batsmen too in the near future.

  • poderdubdubdub on August 10, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Quite frankly its more of a case of Pakistan losing the match than England winning it. We all saw on the sunday afternoon, a slight resistance from Zulqarnan and Saeed Ajamal and Stuart Broad and Co. lost the plot. This is not a real Pakistan team but a team selected without considering merit. Is there no deserving player from Karachi?, being the winner of Quaid Azam Trophy. How can you give repeated chances to Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, and Shoab Malik, they all have remakably low test averages. The Akmals should have been replaced two tests ago. The Trouble is even the selectors have no powers or have no brains. Pleading for extra time will gain nothing with this squad, we need to try others. Zaheer Abbas, Mushtaq, Hanif, Miandad, Yusuf, Yunus and Inzi did not need dozens of innings to make their mark.

  • on August 10, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Dont understand why younus was banned at first place. Because he was not present during that ill fated test series in australia. He just played in one days. In fact yousuf only asked for his selection. Why should pakistani nation be punished for individual likes and dislikes of ijaz butt? Is he so powerful?is he bigger than nation? Why cant he be thrown out

  • dmqi on August 10, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    AMIR,ASIF, please do a favor to Pakistan Cricket. Tell the press that you do not want to play until the selection committee does not present you 5 quality test batsmen. Here are the names now. YASIR, YUSUF,YOUNUS, FUAD ALAM, RAZZAQ, ASIM KAMAL. What's the point ruining your career with those headless management? Just see what all the commentators are saying, see the sentiment of the supporters, see the blogs. If the selectors/management had minimum sense and decency, they would not play this farcical test matches. They got an opportunity to improve Pak cricket standard in the world, they have ruined that completely.

  • on August 10, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    No amount of changes will help pakistan as the sellection was wrong in the first place. There is a lot of dirty Politics and until that is not cleared things are not going to change.

    People like Fawad Alam and Razzak should have been integral part of this side as Razzak is a seasoned player and would have given ideal support to Amir and asif and would have been handy with the bat.

  • gujratwalla on August 10, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    I have admiration for your expert hindsight Nagraj and your logic is very sound.Looking at the squads for the Tests and Twenty20 you will realise that Razzaq,Fawad and Shazaib should be in the Test squad.I have seen enough of Farahat,Azhar,Amin and Malik to know they can't handle pace; weaving and ducking from balls chest high that are asking to be pulled or hooked shows how sub-standard they are.Salman Butt hasn't performed either and the truth is we have virtually no batsmen of Test standard.Umar Akmal is a one-day player but if he has the willingness,which i doubt,to work hard he can develop his game.Don't expect too much from Yousuf because we Asians don't easily forgive and forget! As to the fielding i suspect most of the players are too lazy to practise hard and are not fully fit.Catches win matches and practise make perfect.The coach should also ask the batsmen to practise against the short stuff in the nets never mind if they get bruised in the process!

  • sunil.guddu on August 10, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    @sachin_vvs:well said sachin used to fight a lone battle in the 90's.But you need not justify his performance to some mindless pakistani's.Their commnet at best should be ignored

  • fardeenkhan888 on August 10, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    to f, all pakistanis batsmen they don't know how to hold the bat properly i don't know why icc has given them test status they sholud learn atleast from indians street cricketers how to hold the bat properly and bowling is always fake, tampering etc

  • rohanbala on August 10, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    By the end of the current series, probably the pakistan players should be sporting the logo "Doom Doom" instead of "Boom Boom"..

  • way_too_cool on August 10, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    "Pakistan's bowlers need more support" - The tried and tested nandralone perhaps :)

    @ Faisal Sami Qadir : Hey genius, "brainless Indians" are not laughing at Pakistan's batting, we are laughing at the whole of Pakistan. And guess what, the whole world is with us on this :)

  • on August 10, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    As long as shoib malik is there, the team will be unbalanced. I do not understand, why the hell they are continuing with him. Just because of one player, the whole team is suffering. The team has been destroyed of this politics. Its like putting salt on the nation wounds. At least some common sense shall prevail and bring the deserving players like Abdul Razaq or give chance to Yasir Hameed.

  • vinodkd99 on August 10, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Well Umar Akmal does not seem to have any idea about where his stumps are. 2nd innings-1st test : Plumb but asked for review. Decision : Out. 1st innings - 2nd test : Was struck outside line, given out by on field upmire, should have asked for review, does not ask. 2nd innings - 2nd test : padded a straight one. asked for review . Decision : Out.

    So in all these innings, he goofed up. SO IT IS CLEAR THAT HE NOT SURE ABOUT HIS STUMPS. RESULT IS ALSO OBVIOUS. 124 RUNS IN LAST 10 TEST INNINGS.

  • smjr on August 10, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    The PCB management and Tour management is playing havoc with Pakistan cricket. This is not a real Pakistan team but a team selected without considering merit and on the liking of certain individuals in the PCB management. Never before in the history the team is so much down, desperate and in disarray. This Pakistan team is not selected on merit rather based on personal likes and dislikes. How could be there is no deserving player from Karachi, being the winner of Quaid Azam Trophy. Why we are not grooming talent like Hammad Azam, Azeem Ghumman, Khalid Latif, Fawad Alam, Khurram Manzoor and giving repeated chances to Salman Butt, Farhat, Amin, Azhar Ali, and Malik hoping they will perform at some time. Ever body knows answer. In test there is a cricketing life based on performance, some plays 8 years, some 10, some 14 years. On the basis of this Malik, Akmal, Kaneria, Farhat, and Butt all are playing for quit a number of years, passed their peak and should retire in a dignified way.

  • poderdubdubdub on August 10, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Its not a matter of brittle batting anymore, Pakistan is moving fast towards losing bowling too. This is the worst touring side in the living memory. PCB chairman should have been in a nursing home for his age, instead he has sent Pakistan cricket nursing. Nothing will get better for Pakistan until PCB changes its workings.Why they are reluctant to call Yunus Khan? Karachi Cricket Association is protesting hard for not selecting top batsman from Karachi, the likes of Asim Kamal!The whole system is fragile, so what are the surprises?

  • on August 10, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    well sachin, I agree with ur comments, Sachin indeed is the best batsman the world would have watched, unfortunately the rest of the team was just below average players.. but let me tell u , the same wouldnt be the case with amir.. and all the mindless indians(not u sachin) gaining pleasure on laughing at Pak's batting should just have a look at their bowling,with Ishant being ur brightest future, u r on for some big spanking.. so please mind ur horses.. and every team has some weaknesses, unfortunately, Pak have them a bit more but I am damn sure as soon as that Culprit ijaz butt moves off.. things would change.. dont worry we have loads of talent.. if u just come and watch the level of our street cricket, the talent u ll see will shake u

  • muhmmad7676 on August 10, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    aamir will captain pakistan one day and he will be successful too.

  • on August 10, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    Aamer and Asif must b cursing themselves for being born in Pakistan in such an era where there is no good batsmen or fielder... I truly feel sorry for them, they dont deserve to alwayz lose... I, being a bowler, know how bad i feel and how low my confidence falls when sum1 drops a catch, it aint eazzzy!!!

  • on August 10, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    What happened to wicketkeeping in Pakistan? They replaced the horrible Kamran Akmal with Zulqarnain but he seems to be made of the same stuff - bats well but can't catch. What happened to the glory days of Rashid Latif and Moin Khan? Being an Indian fan, I remember being very jealous of the Pakistani keeping reserves while we were in a phase between Nayan Mongia and Mahendra Dhoni. I like Aamir and Asif as much as the next guy but in order to win a test match, at least 5 or 6 players need to contribute solidly. Right now, for Pakistan, maybe 3 players are contributing. And I'm not so sure bringing in Taufiq, Imran Nazir, Fawad Alam, etc. is the solution - maybe this young batting line up needs time to mature and grow. But until then, expecting them to win tests consistently is wrong.

  • AzharJaved on August 10, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    The Pakistani coach should have some sort of GLUE to affix on fielder's hands to take the catches. Further Pakistan should not play defensive game, they should learn the aggressive approach. Indeed this article is really a good comparison of Pakistan team.

  • on August 10, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    well some things are so obvious..perhaps not so for pcb boss, team think-tank and more importantly pcb patron.following are the batting averages of pakistani top order in 4 tests played so far in english summer :- farhat-25.1 azhar :21.5, umar akmal:12.1,umar amin :13.2,malik :14.8 and of course salaman butt: 28.6 (12.3 as capatain) the sum average is 19.2 per batsman per inning..these are bare facts and they tell the whole story. Especially when u consider averages of two umars; amin and akmal, it tells a dismal story.No matter how much politics have the two veterans;yosuf & younis been playing i cant fathom that both of them have been kept out of team so far..just because ijaz butt feels younis didnt apologize to him ( for unknown crimes)he simply kept him out of team.besides younis is a great slip catcher.is personal ego of ijaz butt more important than national pride?? of course salman butt feels insecure about his captaincy so he wants to avoid them also.Dr Arshad srinagar india

  • Maxculine on August 10, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Well , ZH saved the face of the team. I dont blame him for the drop catches as all three went to him were not easy. Remember it is his first match and he is not aware of the English condition for it.

    I still have trust in Umar Akmal till the series finishes. In first innigs he was confident and he should have opted the UDRS.

    Yousuf has to work with Akmal and ZH. I propose 4 changes in the next match.

    Yousuf for umar Amin

    Tanweer for Umar Gul Wahab riaz should not be selected no matter how he performs. I heard openly that he was asked for a bribe by shafqat rana. It was told in open forum.

    Fawad for Malik

    Yasir Hameed for Imran Farhat.

    Kamran is good for ODIs and T20s, may be ZH can replace any batsman there , lets see.

    azhar should bat at 3 and yousuf at 4.

    Team should look like

    Butt Yasir Azhar yousuf Fawad Umar Akmal ZH Amir Ajmal Asif tanweer

    kamran 12th man

  • anwaralam on August 10, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Fear from pacemen is the Pakistani batsman's nightmare.For sure they need Psychotherapist help to come out of this. Otherwise no reason why they are failing. Each and every batsmen go to bat with fear in their mind.Their face indicates that. Look at Amir, Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul and recently the Lanky Zulqarnain. How well they batted. To offset swing bowling the batsmen need to stand a bit outside the batting crease as Pieterson was doing. These are basics. You cannot go on life long for practice if you do not follow game basics. Umar Akmal should get Test match learning knowledge before he can play in tests. Shoaib Malik should be dropped and suitable replacement soght-Faisal Iqbal for example. It is high time that the PCB mends its wrong strategy otherwise Pakistan will always find relegated in Test cricket. The PCB should be made more democratic and cricket stalwarts like Imran Khan be made chief. Players must be told to play for pride and no compromise on that.

  • TNAQSHI1 on August 10, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    VERY WELL WRITTEN BY MR.NAGRAJ.I HAVE READ SO MANY ARTICLES OF THE SAID WRITER AND I FEEL THAT HE ALWAYS WRITES ABOUT PAKISTAN TEAM IN A NEGATIVE MANNER.I MEAN HE WILL ALWAYS CRITICISE THE PAKISTAN TEAM AND ADMIRE INDIAN TEAM EVEN IF THEY ARE LOSING OR PERFORMING BAD.SORRY GUYS MAY I AM WRONG BUT I HAVE NOTICED IT SO MANY TIMES.

  • aridiann on August 10, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Ejaz butt is a curse for our country.He should not be asked for a resignation rather should be kicked on his back and should be thrown out of PCB. Now think yousuf,younis,salman butt,yasir hameed,asim kamal and misbah. Isnt it a strong batting line up. All with atleast a test cricket temperament.

  • Wasif_Minhas on August 10, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    I'm not in favor of huge changes in playing 11 as it has been happening to Pak team without producing any results. we need to give a fair chance to this team obviously playing England on their home soil is not the easiest of jobs and i hardly see any backing from PCB who is holding a sword in their hands and all players are hoping that it doesn't fall on them just like the animals in slaughter houses. If anybody was expecting miracles from this team he was in fools paradise. We should understand what are weaknesses are and accept them openly and then try to overcome them. There is no short term solution to the batting and fielding woes of team rather than injecting more new players board should try and make sure that this team has improved skill set when they go out to play in England next year.

  • usman_nile1994 on August 10, 2010, 5:08 GMT

    All the people who are critizing Pak team criticize Pakistan Cricket Board. How could Pak win the best if (unlike other countries) it doesn't have its best batsmen. Playing 2 debutants at no.3 and no.4 is not intelligent. Especially when there are better batsmen than these two. In Pakistan's domestic tournament (Quaid-e-Azam like India's Ranji) our young batsmen who have scored more than 1000 runs with 60+ 70+ averages this season have not been given chances. Both Umar Amin and Azhar Ali had scored 400 and 500 runs respectively. These two have been selected blindly by pcb to replace Younis Khan for his appeal against them. If our selection was honest then we would have this team 1. Butt 2. Azhar Ali 3. Younis Khan 4. M Yousuf 5. Yasir Hameedl 6. Fawad Alam 7. Haider 8. M.Aamer 9. Ajmal 10. Tanveer 11. Asif If Pakistan would have this team then Eng would have been 0-2 by us but if PCB still wants to help England win the series by not recalling Younis Fawad Yasir then we lose 4-0

  • dhoni_hater on August 10, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    Salman butt is not a best test player even an ordinary test batsmen. He is afraid if younis and yousuf return and performance well whether his captainship will become a question.. so he try to avoid 'Y return and backing his ali,amin is better than 'Ys'. See salman butt the performance of bangladesh.. They did nt give the victory to england easily in 3 days. They fight.. Tamim scored 2 fifty and 1 hundred.. They also faced this same england bowling attack.. But you are praising england bowling.. Your Batting is only worst.. Pakistan bowling attack is best in the world.. But batting is worst than Bangladesh..

  • salman.mani.01 on August 10, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    Well it was a good match to watch in the end but we lacked in some areas specially our fielders and batsmen did'nt support us, but good to see a great fight from the tailenders. I dont understand one thing here that 4 matches including 8 innings are good enough to prove a player his skills so why we are still going with same combination like Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Shoib Malik and Imran Farhat? we are still not using Yasir Hameed Why? and there is another thing that why they are prefering shoib malik over Abdul Razzaq? Do he(Razzaq) needs to prove anything? this is just politics in pakistan cricket otherwise there is a lot of talent in our country specially in game of cricket, if the players start coming on merits theres no longer that pakistan can be world's no.1 team.....

  • on August 10, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    Pakistan Needs to pick a side and have faith that they will get the job done. Looking at the team atm they need to persist with the young batsman give them the opportunity to perform. The bowling attack looks real strong when they have amir/asif/gul all performing very well. All they need is fielding coach and maybe tweak the batting line up so that the younger players bat 4-6 unless they are experienced number 3 in first class cricket.

  • nlambda on August 10, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    Ha ha ha great comment by sachin_vvsfan. Asif, Aamer are totally useless and should hide under a rock for not being able to win this match :-)

  • CSpiers on August 10, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    also, Umar Akmal hasn't scored a 50 for the whole of 2010... he should be under serious pressure for his spot. but he's not, if he played for any other country except for Bangladesh he'd be under enormous pressure to score... they're just isn't enough competition to get into the side, that's for sure.

  • Zahidsaltin on August 10, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    They have to work hard on what? Do you think by working hard in next week will make them better fielders and batsmen. They are not up to the standard. Shoaib, Farhat, Akmal have always been a burden and the new guys are not the best available talent in Pakistan. We have yungesters who have averages of high 50s in domestic games but management chose to select those who only have high 30s. I hope some one is ready to say its enough with shoaib malik and I wish a miracle with Ijaz Butt waking up a wise man tomorrow and calling in Younis for the third test. I know its a bit to much to wish. Wishing a wise Ijaz Butt tomorrow would be like wishing a donkey flying in Lahore skys.

  • CSpiers on August 10, 2010, 1:47 GMT

    Salman Butt finished the series with an average of 4 as an opening batsman, that has to be just about the worst average for an opening batsman in a series ever.

  • on August 10, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    Now that Umar Gul is not here for three more weeks I suggest PCB or whoever is incharge of the current team(its all confusing PCB,politics,Corruption etc.,) bring Mohammed Irfaan (the giant man) as a replacement..I dont understand the problem with the so called top-order batsmen..I suggest move aamir n ajmal to the top order so that atleast wickets are saved and these guys can put some decent scores on the board... Scout players like aamir in pakistan..cos the fighting spirit he shows and has such adrenaline rush in his blood that he always try to work out the opposition...remove players like Farhat,Shoaib Malik,U Akmal untill its too late...these guys dont deserve to destroy the hopes of pakistani cricket fans around the world...Shame on you PCB...you yourself have let the nation down..wat did u expect from these inexperienced poor guys....bring back those two veterans Yousuf n Younis...scout for best players in pakistan so that atleast cricket and its fans survives in pakistan...

  • rohanbala on August 10, 2010, 1:07 GMT

    What is Shoaib Malik's (the so-called Allrounder) contribution to this team? The selectors dropped Kaneria and brought in Ajmal and Haider came in for Kamran and both these replacements performed reasonably well. Why are the selectors not dropping a non-performer (Malik)?

  • rakshit_dosti on August 10, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Now, Pakistan will call Younis khan back...ROFL..After loosing next test, Inzi will come out from his retirement...and after 4th, Imran Khan will start playing again...Come on guys, Give me a break..Change your coach and mentality. Stick with the 11 and provide them better practice and confidence.

  • smalishah84 on August 10, 2010, 0:12 GMT

    a very well written article indeed.

  • Hardy_1984 on August 9, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    Big problem for pakistan their PCB didn't give respect to any good player .. they just through out..their worse time is going .. their fielding is worse dropping catch batting is so poor .. there is no one in batting line up .. who can play maximum 2 session of test match .. the can't win with blowing only..they using english condition with their blowing this is the positive only. so pakis keep hang on white wash...4-0 .. hahaha. India batting like is great..make player like Sachin, Shewag, Dravid , Gaguly,& Laxaman. These guy's can play ..2 days .. ..

    Pakistan have M.Y.and y. khan they through out .. so sad.. hang on for 4-0

  • Desihungama on August 9, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    Your batting line up from 1 through 6 are all from affluent families and your remainder line up 7 through 11 are all from middle class. (By the way, I hate to use class word in any sentence but sadly that is how British wanted us to conduct our affairs, though we could have woken up by now too). So, all I saw in the just concluded match that the mid class which is accustomed to taking a beating back home stood tall in the face of English wrath whereas the upper class acting as normal as it would in any situation buckled and ducked with tail curled up their arses.

  • revox35 on August 9, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    For England the next test match will be harder to win as the Pakistani youngsters will be gaining confidence with the sheer presence of Yousuf on the pitch. Catches have been dropped by both teams but in the Pakistanis case I think it was because of lack of confidence. It will be an interesting match to watch.

  • kanglei on August 9, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    Poor fielding plus batting = lost in every match. It has been observing since long time but till 5 yrs back there were many batsman, so some matches could win. Now, there is not a single batsman who can bat for whole day but there are many players who are waiting their number to become Pakistan cricket captain. Wah, what an amazing situation? Salman butt applauded that ASIF, AMEER, GUL are best bowlers but who are supporting them from batting side. For a bright future of Pakistan cricket, Salman butt, Imran farhat, Azhar ali, Umar amin, Umar akmal, Shoaib malik should go back to play in the domestic cricket as early as possible if they want to play cricket test in future. Bring back Toufiq umer, Imran nazir, Mohd yusuf, Yunis khan, Yasir hameed ,Fwad alam as regular batsman, then Pakistan team will have a bright future. Otherwise hopeless and dark future will continue long time, no one can save honour.

  • dmqi on August 9, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    What can one batsman(MY) do, which 5 other can not. Check the top 5 batsmen score in the two tests, just miserably poor. You need at least 3 replacement in batting. Otherwise the results will be : 3rd test, loss by 5 wkt/120 runs or something close to that. Moreover, batsmen will not compensate for the dropped catches. Salman Butt should get ready for his exit at the end of this series with a result 3-0 at least. He should not have taken captaincy with all new players. Be realistic.

  • wfaizi on August 9, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    as a I always said Pakistan cannot win by just having great bowling....its batting and fielding as well..bowlers sooner or later will stop caring about taking any wickets when there is no one on the field cares to take a catch...their fielding sucks more then their batting or its the other way around...:).they will find a blaming point somewhere around that oh Omar is injured and Asif and Amir are bowling alot so there you go.....i bet...

  • ICCexpert.... on August 9, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    please replace Shoaib Malik with M. Yousf.

  • revox35 on August 9, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    A good article and the last sentence summarises what is required and it seems Haider has proved all of it can be done. All that is needed from the majority of the Pakistani players is to follow his example.

  • on August 9, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    Butt like many other Pakistani batsmen is good against Indian bowling and outside Asia are exposed. The sad fact is all the batsmen in their line up are Butt like than say Miandad or even Haq.

  • sachin_vvsfan on August 9, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Amir's lone battle reminds me of sachin's in the 90's. Its not T20 and one man cannot turn things in every match.Now how would it feel if i say AMIR is NOT A MATCH WINNER. YES he has been consistent and taking wickets but they keep losing the matches thanks to their batsmen. When sachin scored that 175 while chasing 350 against AUS one pakistani commented that his century was useless as we did not win and he is not a match winner (Man he batted for 47 overs and the rest of the batsmen could not add 3 more runs). Same is the case in that chennai test against pakistan and the list just goes on. Now its POOR AMIR's turn.

  • on August 9, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    4-0 white wash is onthe cards.

  • hmia1001 on August 9, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Fielding has have a concern for Pakistan since long but the situation has become worst for the last couple of years. Inzimam and Yunas were very good slip fielders but poor show since then. Aamer and Asif work hard on opposition batsment and I can imagine how they feel when slip cordon or wicket keeper drop catches...

  • aditya87 on August 9, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    The problem with Pakistan cricket is one of faith. You destroy the confidence of your players by expecting too much of them. Give them time, this is an inexperienced team. If no one is sure of their place in the side, how the hell can they play freely? I mean, I won't be surprised if tomorrow they axe Salman Butt and appoint Umar Akmal captain (a guy who has hardly played any cricket yet!)

    How many captains have they changed this year? Why did they call back Mohammad Yousuf? Why did they ban him in the first place? Captaincy in Pakistan is a like a game of Russian roulette. The cricket board/team management does not seem to have any sense of perspective -- they just have knee-jerk reactions to whatever just happened...a 12-year old could probably run Pakistan cricket better than the idiots currently in charge.

  • Yassar on August 9, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    It was stated before by many and it has proven to be true. Pakistan's bowlers would thrive and do well in English conditions but the inexperienced batting line-up would struggle. But i do feel this struggling streak is of the teams and the boards own making. A team can not just throw a load of youngsters in no matter how talented and expect them to perform. They have to gain experience and learn off their experienced colleagues. So what do the PCB do, decide to leave Yousuf and Younis out. Just no logic. Pakistan need both Yousuf and Younis to be in the team for as long as they can perform and hope during that time the youngsters are able to learn the craft of test match batting from these two greats!

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  • Yassar on August 9, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    It was stated before by many and it has proven to be true. Pakistan's bowlers would thrive and do well in English conditions but the inexperienced batting line-up would struggle. But i do feel this struggling streak is of the teams and the boards own making. A team can not just throw a load of youngsters in no matter how talented and expect them to perform. They have to gain experience and learn off their experienced colleagues. So what do the PCB do, decide to leave Yousuf and Younis out. Just no logic. Pakistan need both Yousuf and Younis to be in the team for as long as they can perform and hope during that time the youngsters are able to learn the craft of test match batting from these two greats!

  • aditya87 on August 9, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    The problem with Pakistan cricket is one of faith. You destroy the confidence of your players by expecting too much of them. Give them time, this is an inexperienced team. If no one is sure of their place in the side, how the hell can they play freely? I mean, I won't be surprised if tomorrow they axe Salman Butt and appoint Umar Akmal captain (a guy who has hardly played any cricket yet!)

    How many captains have they changed this year? Why did they call back Mohammad Yousuf? Why did they ban him in the first place? Captaincy in Pakistan is a like a game of Russian roulette. The cricket board/team management does not seem to have any sense of perspective -- they just have knee-jerk reactions to whatever just happened...a 12-year old could probably run Pakistan cricket better than the idiots currently in charge.

  • hmia1001 on August 9, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Fielding has have a concern for Pakistan since long but the situation has become worst for the last couple of years. Inzimam and Yunas were very good slip fielders but poor show since then. Aamer and Asif work hard on opposition batsment and I can imagine how they feel when slip cordon or wicket keeper drop catches...

  • on August 9, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    4-0 white wash is onthe cards.

  • sachin_vvsfan on August 9, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Amir's lone battle reminds me of sachin's in the 90's. Its not T20 and one man cannot turn things in every match.Now how would it feel if i say AMIR is NOT A MATCH WINNER. YES he has been consistent and taking wickets but they keep losing the matches thanks to their batsmen. When sachin scored that 175 while chasing 350 against AUS one pakistani commented that his century was useless as we did not win and he is not a match winner (Man he batted for 47 overs and the rest of the batsmen could not add 3 more runs). Same is the case in that chennai test against pakistan and the list just goes on. Now its POOR AMIR's turn.

  • on August 9, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    Butt like many other Pakistani batsmen is good against Indian bowling and outside Asia are exposed. The sad fact is all the batsmen in their line up are Butt like than say Miandad or even Haq.

  • revox35 on August 9, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    A good article and the last sentence summarises what is required and it seems Haider has proved all of it can be done. All that is needed from the majority of the Pakistani players is to follow his example.

  • ICCexpert.... on August 9, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    please replace Shoaib Malik with M. Yousf.

  • wfaizi on August 9, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    as a I always said Pakistan cannot win by just having great bowling....its batting and fielding as well..bowlers sooner or later will stop caring about taking any wickets when there is no one on the field cares to take a catch...their fielding sucks more then their batting or its the other way around...:).they will find a blaming point somewhere around that oh Omar is injured and Asif and Amir are bowling alot so there you go.....i bet...

  • dmqi on August 9, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    What can one batsman(MY) do, which 5 other can not. Check the top 5 batsmen score in the two tests, just miserably poor. You need at least 3 replacement in batting. Otherwise the results will be : 3rd test, loss by 5 wkt/120 runs or something close to that. Moreover, batsmen will not compensate for the dropped catches. Salman Butt should get ready for his exit at the end of this series with a result 3-0 at least. He should not have taken captaincy with all new players. Be realistic.