England v Pakistan, 2nd npower Test, Edgbaston August 5, 2010

Kamran dropped for second Test


Kamran Akmal has paid the price for his poor performance in the first Test against England at Trent Bridge, and has been dropped from Pakistan's team for the second game at Edgbaston, which gets underway on Friday.

Akmal's position came under fire following the Trent Bridge Test, in which he batted five balls for no runs in his two innings, while squandering a host of chances behind the stumps - most notably Eoin Morgan on 5, as he failed to gather a low edge from England's first-innings centurion, and Paul Collingwood, whom he reprieved in both innings, firstly a missed stumping on 48, and then a first-ball drop in front of first slip, only moments after his one bright moment, a sharp leg-side take off Kevin Pietersen.

"I would say he has been rested," Pakistan's captain, Salman Butt, told Cricinfo. "He is having a run where he is not able to do what he is able to usually. But he now has ten days to just take his mind off the pressures that accompany when you are not doing well at international level. I'm sure he is a champion player and he will work hard to make a comeback."

Team sources confirmed that Zulqarnain Haider, the 24-year-old reserve wicketkeeper from Lahore, will come in as Akmal's replacement, and will therefore be making his Test debut, three years after a solitary Twenty20 appearance.

"I am very happy that I have been picked and I'm grateful to everyone who selected me," Zulqarnain told Cricinfo. "I did expect that probably I would've played one Test, more towards the end of the series. But I never really expected that I would play in the second Test itself."

With six centuries from 51 Tests, Akmal's experience has tended to outweigh his propensity for poor performances behind the stumps, most notably at Sydney in January earlier this year, when he managed to reprieve Michael Hussey three times off Danish Kaneria, as Australia overcame a first-innings deficit of 207 to win a thrilling contest that, sadly but inevitably, attracted the interest of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit.

All told, Akmal has dropped 34 chances in his last 28 Tests, and he averages less than 17 in Tests in Australia, South Africa and England. The first evidence that a change behind the stumps was afoot came when Zulqarnain lined up alongside the full slip cordon for today's final practice session, with Akmal left to warm up alone on the other side of the field.

Zulqarnain was a member of Pakistan team that beat West Indies in the final of the Under-19 World Cup in Dhaka in 2004, and was named in his first Test squad later that year. He has been made to wait a long time for his opportunity.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Yousuf, who arrived in the country less than 24 hours before the start of the match, has also ruled himself out of contention, citing tiredness.

"I have just arrived after a long flight. I will not be training. I will wait for the management to tell me what their plan is," Yousuf had told Cricinfo immediately after arriving in Birmingham.

Later in the evening he had a short and informal meeting over a cup of tea with the tour selection committee comprising Butt, Waqar Younis (coach) and Yawar Saeed (team manager) at the team hotel. "Considering the heavy monsoon across Pakistan Yousuf told us that he could not practice outdoors for the last 10-15 days," Butt told Cricinfo. "So obviously we felt that was not enough match preparation."

Butt added that Yousuf can now set his sights on the third Test at The Oval beginning on August 18. "He can relax for now and steadily get back into the groove in the next week and also during the two-day practice game against Worcester," Butt said. Asked if he was a certainty for the final two Tests, Butt said a player with Yousuf's pedigree would walk into any team if he was fit.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    hello just check out clearly Pakistan have not beaten india in a 50 over world cup matches check out data my bro and plz dont start a war here because many ricket fans will watch these and thy will think tht we are just fellows with common sense plz bro ok cheers

  • Hassan on August 6, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Kamran Akmal's lobby is way too strong. He can never be dropped. He can only be rested. Just like he was retained after a brief rest despite dropping 4 catches off just one bowler in just one inning in Australia (poor Danish). Also, Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt can not be dropped, just rested. The only guys to sit outside are the pathans i.e. Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, and Shahid Afridi.

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    good to see a new wicket keeper in finally yeahh :D

  • Hulk on August 6, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    As I said before Pakistan is aiming for new lowest total in test cricket. What a lovely scoreboard - 36/6

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    Hahahahahhahahahahahahahaha ! LOLLLLLL ! 9-3 in 15 overs. What a bunch of jokers. Ivory Coast can play better cricket than this.

  • Faisal on August 6, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    Well honestly, I don know why Ejab Butt is there. Have there been any other country, he would have been sacked long long ago. He is playing with the integrity of a Nation for personal reasons. Mohsin Kamal, Faisal Iqbal, Taufiq Umar, Youni Khan.. can't he see these guys? Personal triumph is more important to him I guess. Imran Khan played with the same team for years, the same 13-15 guys, and gave results. He was a scary judge of talent. But what can you do in a team where the captain is not even certain he will be in the team for next series? I want to refer to the example of South African, took Graeme Smith, made him a captain, and stuck with that decision. And now they are one of the finest teams. But sorry to say, when the politics involves in sports, this is what you get. This is a result of "Games in Sports"...

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    @ wicked-wicket- LOL. This is so predictable of the Indians. So what is your point when you say we beat you at Sharjah often? Does the Arab air give your team a urinary tract infection or is it the cramping from severe polycystic ovarian disease? The only reason why you think this is 'trash' is because of YOUR insecurities. Pakistan and India are arch rivals- yes. However there is no debate here. There is no argument that if we review a three decade history of matches played between the two teams; Pak comes out on top. And if you say India "could" have won against Australia- my insecure little friend, Pakistan could have beaten Australia several times in the past too hadn't it been for biased umpiring, regulation catch dropping, ambiguous short hitting just to name a few. But there is no IF in cricket okay. We lost and so did you. Oh and take your "nice" notes and umbrella them in your happy place where India have beaten Pak in WC games. Whatever helps you sleep at night. :)

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    With situation what Pakistan and Pakistani cricket , we neet to at least wait til the end of this year to say anything. lets say we take malik , farhat , umar akmal and kamran out , who is going to replace them. We know PCB has those people who are working with just their common sense not by any professionalism. Coach is ok even Mohsin is a nice guy. Just wait till the end of this year. Look at West Indies , WI is unable to get up from the knees for last 8-10 years. Bad patch will be over soon. Aussies got out at 88 , so did they change all the players. Even marcus north is still in the team for ashes. Favorism is there and personal grudges have been brought in cricket , every one knows but guys these are the tools we have to build the palace. So bear with them and enjoy cricket.

  • Faisal on August 6, 2010, 9:56 GMT


    hehe "talent" or no "talent".....sharjah or no sharjah....you still got creamed all around the world.....an appalling 40%, better try improving that first :D

  • Joel on August 6, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    @wicked-wicket - No-one has ever doubted the class of the Indian batting line-up, it is the bowling that is utter rubbish. The attack atm would struggle to take 20 wickets regularly at domestic level. (incidentaly I am english so not biased either way on the whole india/pakistan thing). If you combined the indian batting line-up with the pakistan bowling attack then you would have one hell of an international team.

  • No featured comments at the moment.