England v Pakistan, 2nd npower Test, Edgbaston, 1st day August 6, 2010

Pakistan's fumbling fielders let the side down again

Can't bat, can't field - Pakistan, just accept that verdict
50

Shoaib Malik was shaking his hands in pain having failed to take a difficult, though manageable, catch at point. Imran Farhat was trying to invent a new form of asana yoga by trying to get his head between his legs after he dropped a dolly from Jonathan Trott. Umar Gul, at mid off, was surprised by Kevin Pietersen's charge against Saeed Ajmal, and could only deflect the lofted drive he should have pouched. Debutant Zulqarnain Haider rightly followed Pietersen's inside edge and dived full-stretch to his left, but the ball hit his wrist. When Ajmal surprised Pietersen with a quicker ball, the intended cut flew past a clueless Umar Akmal, standing too wide at slip. Can't bat, can't field - Pakistan, just accept that verdict.

Let's stick to the fielding for now. A basic tenet to succeed at any job is to enjoy it. Look at the example of the two Mohammads - Asif and Amir. You can sense, feel and celebrate the joy with this pair of Pakistan quicks as they unravel the art of fast bowling in front of your eyes without the sleight of hand. When they smile, you understand exactly how they are working out the batsman.

Even in the nets the pair is rehearsing the murder of their opponent. Every ball has a meaning, a sweet-something tipped with poison, an improvement over the previous effort. And even if it always does not work out the way they intended, their minds are always busy scripting the obituary of the batsman. There is a genuine enthusiasm to excel.

If only the Pakistan players could adopt the duo's zeal and apply it to the fielding. At each and every training session whenever Waqar Younis, Pakistan's coach, has screamed "let's go fielding boys" the players have responded like a kid who has been ordered to do homework on a holiday. At times a peeved Waqar has had to force players to go for the fielding drills, usually imparted by his two deputies - Ijaz Ahmed and Aaqib Javed.

"Oye, Azhar, kya kal pahunche ga fielding karne (Azhar, will you reach tomorrow for the fielding practice!?)," Waqar shouted at Azhar Ali on Thursday afternoon when the player was busy doing nothing after his batting session. It is not to single out one player, but most of the Pakistanis have failed to show the same enthusiasm to fielding as they have shown lining up to bat or bowl.

Probably the mistake lies in the method of the coaches. If there is a method in the first place that is: just lining up players and hitting some hard catches as if you are on a conveyor belt cannot exactly be called the right way forward. It is an archaic method.

The best fielders have always maintained that fielding cannot be taught. It needs to come from within. Awareness, anticipation, agility are the three As missing form Pakistan's fielding cabinet. If you watch Ijaz hitting catches towards the close-in fielders - slips, gully and point - one thing that stands out is the discomfort a fielder has about where he is standing. Constantly the player is seen shuffling around, trying to measure the distance from his partner by stretching his arm and still he is never sure.

This weakness revealed itself recently at Trent Bridge last week when both Kamran Akmal, the wicketkeeper, and the slips were reluctant to stand up a few yards against the quick bowlers despite having grasped the nature of the pitch was slow and dry. Some catches were dropped, some were missed altogether. Bowlers were left furiously kicking dust.

It was an encore in Birmingham and Pakistan's comedy of errors will continue for the rest of the tour if they fail to act now. The visitors cannot keep ignoring the fielding issue with a shrug and say it has always existed. Thankfully Salman Butt, their captain was in no mood to find excuses. "It is something hard to contend with," he summed his fury in short.

On the day when Pakistan's fielders were biting lips, nails and sweaters as the cold Birmingham breeze persisted, England showed the anticipation and skills to turn the advantage in their favour. "The fielding has been sublime as well, which always helps," said Stuart Broad, who took four wickets. "We've got slip catchers who are practising no end to improve themselves, because they know how important it is,"

Broad, tellingly, had no sympathy for the opposition - not even his fellow fast bowler Asif, with whom he used to play at Leicester. Pakistan's problems, he said, had nothing to do with the side being down on its luck, and were instead due to a lack of willingness to put in the necessary hard work. "As an England player, I don't mind," he said. "As a bowler you are always going to have human error, with catches put down, but that's okay, as long as you know the boys are practising as hard as they possibly can.

"I think confidence is built from practice, to be honest," he added. "Our lads have been practising hard, getting in close, and we've got some world-class fielders in there - Colly, for instance, would get into any slip cordon in the world. It's really nice as a bowler knowing that your slippers are practising day in day out to take that one chance. You're not just practising for that day's play, you're practising for the final Ashes Test, to take that one-hander that wins you the game. It's all about those key moments in series and games that, with the more practice you put in, you can try and claim."

All summer Pakistan's fielders have been trying to hold on to their catches as kids try to hold on to snow flakes - in vain. It is time they grew up.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sarosh_siddiqui on August 8, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    I don't think, there is any place for Shoaib Malik in Pakistan team. Yasir Hameed must replace Shoaib Malik for 3rd test. Buts ( I.But and S. But) are the nuts, need an immediate replacement.

  • SaeedKhanNiazi on August 7, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    @dr.sachinfan_chennai: The point I was trying to make was that Pakistan should soon be banned from the test format of the game. I think after this series and and possibly another few series after, resluts of those should make the final verdict on where Pkaistan's position stands in international test cricket arena. I mean a far as i see pakistan have a few shining moments.Producing great bowlers. but we are not producing test players. i understand your position on the PCB. But did You notice that everyone is asking foryousif and yonis bhai. They are relying on these two great test batsmen. If thats the mentality we are goin to have, then how will you be able to win test matches once these two guys leave? O

  • izazkhan on August 7, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    The best solution is Pakistan should put 10 bowlers and one wicket-keeper, I believe the result would be much much better than the one we are seeing...

  • karthikfromchennai on August 7, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    pak still playing test cricket is the biggest shame to cricket

  • on August 7, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Not a single player from Karachi.. there are so many talented players in karachi but they dont get any chance from PCB (punjab cricket board) I hope they lose all there matches.

  • Joji_ on August 7, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Accepted that we can't bat and can't field either. But frankly.... this articles is full of hatered against the team. Its not positive critisicm but pure, point blank hatered. I wish I could cut the part of my heart that loves criccket so that I won't have to read through indian biased articles on my team. Ahh!!

  • on August 7, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    make some excuse; and rush back to Pakistan. Just like SL did in 2004 tsunami. Their case was genuine. Pakistan can point at the floods in Pakistan,.

  • on August 7, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    It's so easy to be critical as a journalist - b'cos one has the benefit of hindsight. Wait for the event to transcribe, and then rip them apart using evidence. I would love to see a journalist stick his/her neck out and write a similar piece before something like this actually happens...

    Having said that, it's sad to see this side crumble like these - and with such regularity. If it's not the off field politics / histrionics, it's the on field theatrics...

  • on August 7, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    Bang on Nagaraj! This pakistani team is not going to win any matched no matter how hard their bowlers try. By such a lame batting & flimsy fielding, the best bowler of the game can not claim any wicket. This is really devastating for these poor bowlers. I can sense what is going on in their minds...they need to stretch themselves in order to compensate their batting & Fielding debacles. This whole Pakistani set up seems to be fraud at first place. PCB banning some players for indefinite times....ruling out their bans...waste coaches except waqar. It is high time cricket lovers from across the world should give up on Pakistani Cricket as this article mentioned.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on August 7, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Fielding is an overrated art. Don't confuse it with catching. Pakistan has to sort it's catching and doing fancy drills involving sliding stops and relay throws won't help. They are better off trying to catch balls in practice endlessly and perfecting an effective technique which they are comfortable with - just like batting or bowling. India itself is no great shakes in the fielding unit but especially the poorer fielders like Laxman and Dravid have never dropped a catch which has been costly. On the other hand, they have pulled off some stunning catches in recent times.

    Of course Broad can talk all he wants because they are on top now. It would be funny if come the last test Australia are up 4-0, that one-handed catch won't matter much then!!

  • sarosh_siddiqui on August 8, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    I don't think, there is any place for Shoaib Malik in Pakistan team. Yasir Hameed must replace Shoaib Malik for 3rd test. Buts ( I.But and S. But) are the nuts, need an immediate replacement.

  • SaeedKhanNiazi on August 7, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    @dr.sachinfan_chennai: The point I was trying to make was that Pakistan should soon be banned from the test format of the game. I think after this series and and possibly another few series after, resluts of those should make the final verdict on where Pkaistan's position stands in international test cricket arena. I mean a far as i see pakistan have a few shining moments.Producing great bowlers. but we are not producing test players. i understand your position on the PCB. But did You notice that everyone is asking foryousif and yonis bhai. They are relying on these two great test batsmen. If thats the mentality we are goin to have, then how will you be able to win test matches once these two guys leave? O

  • izazkhan on August 7, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    The best solution is Pakistan should put 10 bowlers and one wicket-keeper, I believe the result would be much much better than the one we are seeing...

  • karthikfromchennai on August 7, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    pak still playing test cricket is the biggest shame to cricket

  • on August 7, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Not a single player from Karachi.. there are so many talented players in karachi but they dont get any chance from PCB (punjab cricket board) I hope they lose all there matches.

  • Joji_ on August 7, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Accepted that we can't bat and can't field either. But frankly.... this articles is full of hatered against the team. Its not positive critisicm but pure, point blank hatered. I wish I could cut the part of my heart that loves criccket so that I won't have to read through indian biased articles on my team. Ahh!!

  • on August 7, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    make some excuse; and rush back to Pakistan. Just like SL did in 2004 tsunami. Their case was genuine. Pakistan can point at the floods in Pakistan,.

  • on August 7, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    It's so easy to be critical as a journalist - b'cos one has the benefit of hindsight. Wait for the event to transcribe, and then rip them apart using evidence. I would love to see a journalist stick his/her neck out and write a similar piece before something like this actually happens...

    Having said that, it's sad to see this side crumble like these - and with such regularity. If it's not the off field politics / histrionics, it's the on field theatrics...

  • on August 7, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    Bang on Nagaraj! This pakistani team is not going to win any matched no matter how hard their bowlers try. By such a lame batting & flimsy fielding, the best bowler of the game can not claim any wicket. This is really devastating for these poor bowlers. I can sense what is going on in their minds...they need to stretch themselves in order to compensate their batting & Fielding debacles. This whole Pakistani set up seems to be fraud at first place. PCB banning some players for indefinite times....ruling out their bans...waste coaches except waqar. It is high time cricket lovers from across the world should give up on Pakistani Cricket as this article mentioned.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on August 7, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Fielding is an overrated art. Don't confuse it with catching. Pakistan has to sort it's catching and doing fancy drills involving sliding stops and relay throws won't help. They are better off trying to catch balls in practice endlessly and perfecting an effective technique which they are comfortable with - just like batting or bowling. India itself is no great shakes in the fielding unit but especially the poorer fielders like Laxman and Dravid have never dropped a catch which has been costly. On the other hand, they have pulled off some stunning catches in recent times.

    Of course Broad can talk all he wants because they are on top now. It would be funny if come the last test Australia are up 4-0, that one-handed catch won't matter much then!!

  • Percy_Fender on August 7, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Pakistan will always have excellent pace bowlers because the skills pass on from one generation to another. It is their fielding which will always be too bad for top level cricket. Their batting will do well in conditions that they are more comfortable with. Umar Akmal did well in Sri Lanka in the ODIs and in New Zealand where he scored a century on debut. I have no doubt that the Farhats the Butts and the Amins will do very well in more familiar conditions. When Bangladesh played the sun was high which is the reason that they played much better.Pakistan's batting did much better against Australia because there was some sunshine. England on the other hand are basking in their own conditions even without sunshine. I feel that the ease of playing Pakistan will make England complacent and lull them into believing that they are unbeatable. In Australia catches are seldom dropped and there will not be swinging conditions.I hope they bear this in mind for the oncoming Ashes series.

  • lucyferr on August 7, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    How to improve Pakistan fielding - introduce ultimate frisbee - a cheaper sport than cricket - in schools.

  • Acton49 on August 7, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    After a long time we get a four test series and what do we do! send out most inexperienced team ever! Who should take the blame! The problem is the myth that the youngster are good fielders is now broken! experience counts for everything. Now is the time to eat you word and send for Younis. You would have Yousuf and Younis giving the necessary experience. Like Shane Warne said on the dropped chance (Umar Amin on Pieterson), even the 12 year olds would have caught that... come on Mr Warne, you are not being fair to 11 years old. I used to coach the 11/12 years old and they would have put the whole outfit to shame! Open with Salman and Umar Amin, Younis, Azhar, Yousuf, U Akmal, Wk, Amir, Gul, Ajmal and Asif. Well Umar Amin opens for his side in domestic cricket

  • dr.jha on August 7, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    it all will fall into place guys... don't any of you worry about the future of cricket in pakistan... make no mistake.. one can always work on his fielding.. become a good fielder from an ordinary one.. but one can never catch the art of bowling... or talent for batting.. its all there... just has to fall in place.. and all these players are young... haven't had much of cricket off late... do not be so harsh on them .. yes their mistakes are palpable... the lack of effort is a little worrying factor but no doubt about the talent... all pcb needs to do is to identify a set of 25-30 players.. groom them ... work with them .. and everything is gonna be fine... cricket world would not be so much fun without pakistan and its mystries.... i wouldnt read too much if there is a gradual evoulution .. effort has to be there

  • Hirafi on August 7, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    I think that Inzamam is the better fielder comparing to young guys and Umar Amin forgot the basic of cricket once ball is in air you have to get that and that to Peterson's wicket i don't agree what salman said justifying young player that they will learn what is the mean of leave making shame full record and after 5year you lead the team mean to say that you guys not improve (country need player who can play ex. sachin Tendulkar not learning how to bat said how to occupy the grease if you don't know that first go to school of cricket and learn that first

  • Tansah on August 7, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Pakistan have a rather brilliant bowling attack. The batsmen cannot bat (all out for just 72). In my opinion, the area where Pakistan cricket falls on its face is FIELDING. They should be forced to do fielding practice or not be selected. Simple. It's harsh but who said that the men running the PCB are not. Remember, as everyone knows, catches win matches.

  • zaffarh on August 7, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    School boys would perform better. Yet another toothless performance by the pakistan batsmen. They look scared when batting. The two new guys have had a bash and failed. Time to give someone esle a go. Until the team is selected on merit we will not progress. The worrying thing is that pakistan has been in the rebuilding phase since the late 90's. How long more will it take. May be not in our life time. SOMEONE has to take some BOLD decisions and quick.

  • on August 7, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    wrong decision to drop kamran, he iis and forever be the greatest wicketkeeper batsman pakistan has ever produced...

  • Smarfy on August 7, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    As far as i am concerned Pak's fielding wont improve unless they give it the respect it deserves. However, i have been playing cricket in the uk for around 10 yrs and have seen that majority of cricketers from pak are simply not intersted in fielding. I play in a predominantly asian team and we are by far the worst fielders in the league simply cos no one wants to practise. Ask a batter to go in the nets for an hour and he will happily do it but fielding NO CHANCE. The mind set is bat and bowling win matches and is more enjoyable and fielding and training is boring. I get the feeling it doesnt matter wat standerd u play they are the same. Hope we will learn one day........

  • RUQQ on August 7, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    I just like this statement very much if Pakistan team officials understand that....

    "When Ajmal surprised Pietersen with a quicker ball, the intended cut flew past a clueless Umar Akmal, standing too wide at slip. Can't bat, can't field - Pakistan, just accept that verdict."

  • on August 7, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    I can't understand why shoaib Malik group is still so strong (shoaib malik, salman butt, akmal brothers). One thing is far sure until and unless you do not give the players their desired respect you can not get anything out of them.

    Just to make place of shoab malik in team carear of Umar amin and Azhar ali has been put on stake. can salman butt be so powerfl to order such senior btasman (Muhammad YOusuf) to sit out and then making a decisio of batting first where Asif and Ammir can be more lethal than english bowlers

    This is all pity from Pakistani kids!

  • on August 7, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    they should bring imran nazir in and let every player know that he is in the team bec of his fielding, it may motivate players to work on the fielding as hes the best fileder he is not afraid to dive,jonty rhodes was in the team just bec of his fileding i bearly saw him getting big hundreds, if only one filder dives around other guys may feel embaressed nd dive too, pcb should sack those boring ejaz ahmed hes good for nothing three couches of same ara they must be partying rather than work

  • haroonalvi on August 7, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Current Pakistani team is similar to a marathon runner with his legs chopped off. In the history of Pakistan cricket only 4 batsmen have had a test average of over 50, and they are Miandad, Inzamam, Younis and Yousaf.............if younis and yousuf play, Pakistan obviously is a completely different team.........if Ijaz Butt even had a slightest clue of what cricket and professionalism is all about, he would have put his personal differences aside and brought them both back in.

  • dr_sachinfan_chennai on August 7, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    @ Shahid.K.Niazi : Brother ur wrong. Indian bowling is n't as bad as it is projected. Well you can't literally bowl well in a dust bowl like SSC. Remember ur attack though good was able to dismiss Aus below 100 coz it was Leeds. Do you think its possible at ur Karachi or our Ahmedabad? Though not best Indian bowling is still ok enough to win the last test withouts its two spearheads. Now also don't compare ur debutants with Raina. Raina is established star of ODIs and experienced with a hundred matches. So its nothing great he scored coz he was sort of expected to do it. Ali and Amin are just entrants. Hope they turn good in future. But for that ll ur bloody board allow them too. Something both u n I can't be sure of or predict. Oh Allah save Pak cricket.

  • on August 7, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Honestly speakin, AFridi was a WAYYY better captain than Salaman... atleast he had the guts 2 drop Malik in the 1st test 4 refusing 2 do fielding drills since apparently he was good enuf and didnt need them... But Salaman has no power or balls...

  • on August 7, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    I dunno y i am not angry @ the writer 4 writing such a HARSH article against my fav team... I actually get more angry wen our fielders drop catches than wen our batsmen crumble leaving the bowlers 2 bat too... I know wat goes through a bowler when a fielder continuously drops catches, u feel lyk giving up - And thats wat the bowlers must alwayz feel... I salute them 4 continue tryin hard!!!

  • faizfromlahore on August 7, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    Faiz from lahore its is not good for pakistan, i m so shoked. God Help us.

  • MisterDavid on August 7, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Fantastic insightful comment by sabee66. Do read it, everyone.

    If, therefore, it is seen as subordinate to prioritise fielding (because, culturally, the batsmen/bowler is a 'prince' and the servant is a fielder), then no matter how much you tell the Pakistan team to train, they will still feel that it is beneath them, because they are princes. Remember that these have always been the best of their age-group or club side - they have never had to be 'servants', when that is what is desperately needed.

    Compare (as usual) with the Aussie attitude: if you don't work hard, if you don't do everything to support your team-mates, then you're 'stuck up' (almost the ultimate Aussie insult) and will not be picked, regardless of your princely ability.

    The present generation of England players are amongst the first who have been trained in this way - there are no passengers in the field, even Anderson and Broad routinely throw themselves around. A far cry from Gooch, Gatting, Lamb, Fraser etc.

  • dmqi on August 7, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Is catch dropping new to Pak cricket? Just count how many catches Kamran dropped in the last 10 matches. Still he was playing as vice captain. If a player can retain his position in the team after failure, why should he try to improve? That is exactly what is happening in Pak cricket and now they have come up with a situation not to find any batsman and fielders to play test cricket. Excluding the two fast bowlers, do they have any other bowler? In the near future, they will be beaten by Bangladesh and Zim. 30 years ago they dropped catches too, but there were batsmen to make up by scoring runs. Now there is no management, no one able to captain with authority, not a single dependable batsman, not a class wicketkeeper. What a mess created by corrupt PCB.

  • LoveTheGame on August 7, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    It comes from the culture where playing means batting only and at street level if you really want to annoy somebody, you will take your batting and runaway without completeing the match. People like Inzimam would play for two teams the same day and after finishing batting at one will leave for the other which could be a few miles away.

  • on August 7, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Pardon............but now i have started to feel that these Pakistani players which are so called professional cricketers should retire from cricket and start business of selling Aallooo Chaat in front of different schools....they dont deserve to be in this team, what the hell Mr waqar wants to take out of Umar amin and Azhar ali....i think it will be nore better if they go with two more bowlers instead of these two loved ones of mr Ijaz Butt...i believe one thing untill unless Mr butt is there this pakistani side will touch more depths of insult and shamefull defeats....and i believe now the time has come that ICC should take test status away from pakistan or suspend it temporarily as they are making fun of test cricket...i know few of my country mates will dislike it but as we know test cricket is real test of skills and no pakistani battesr has no skilll...plz save test cricket ...and i assure u more disgrace is about to come for Pakistan in test and ODI's,

  • GlobalCricketLover on August 7, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    i am baffled as to how izaz and aaqib are handed over the fielding coach job. neither of them was ever known for their fielding ability in the first place. i guess someone in PCB just want to ensure employment to these two....They don't have to be a jonty but at least they should be 'good' to teach others.

  • Goochu on August 7, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Have the Pakistan coach or Captain got courage to ask the boys " whoever is not attending the fielding session will not be playing the next game?"

  • Shafaaqat on August 7, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    Everything at display is shambolic, no doubt. The problem lies with PCB, they don't have any selection criteria. Farhat and Malik are in team for nothing. I would spare the youngsters for few matches but not these tried and tested failed so called batsmen. Give chances to new faces, public would accept the losses but not with such players. If we lose few matches and build a good team in process, i think nothing would be lost. Such a great bowling attack, better than that of England, being let down by pathetic fielding, what a pity. Fielding should be made a prerequisite for selection, that's the only way to improvement. Little off the topic, but i think we need a proper batting coach and fielding coach instead of Ijaz and Aaqib. Zaheer Abbas and any foreign fielding coach would be perfect to work with Waqar. Still i hope Pakistan will bounce back with some good bowling today, restricting England under 200. It is possible if fielding responds well.

  • smalishah84 on August 7, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    Spot on Nagraj. Even Australia in their prime with Mcgrath and Shane Warne would not have won matches if they had fielding like this. And it is so demoralizing for bowlers, especially in test matches, to see easy chances being spilled. There can be an excuse if half chances are dropped by a poor fielding side but how in the world can you justify dropping straight forward chances???? And mind you with the kind of terrible batting that Pakistan have half chances need to be picked in order to be somewhat in contention of EVER winning a match.

  • cricketeria on August 7, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    Nothing new here. Hardly any Pakistani player was ever a good fielder/ Inzamam: Great hands at slip but couldn't run at all Imran Khan: Bad fielder Yousuf and Ramiz: Never picked up a ball that they didn't first fumble and allow runs. Moin Khan: Original Kamran Akmal. Coach Waqar: One of the worst. Aaqib: No great fielder. Ijaz Ahmed: Good, but hasn't fixed the fielding as asst.coach.Afridi, Miandad: good but not great. Today's players have grown up watching sixes and swinging yorkers, not athletic catches. The answer is simple. A foreign fielding coach. No Pakistani likes foreign assistance, but we have no Pakistani to do the job. Aus hired Mike Young, a US baseball coach, now they catch and throw great. This Pak team is young and will follow a fielding coach's specific drills. If the national team fields well, 1st-class players will be motivated to field well too.Overhauling the entire domestic system is hard. Much better to fix the national team and the rest will follow.

  • sabee66 on August 7, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    at the time of INDIAN KINGS,Prince/king never feilded only their servants, Mr King or prince always bat we are still carrying the same culture, there should be some drastic changes in the grass root lever and this could only happen when you have a very strong and good management in PCB but hey, what can we do if the care taker is MR.Zardari wat else can happent o our cricket its a shame to see even B.D putting some efforts and Pakistani cricket to see such a big nation(like Titanic) drowned...

  • lucyferr on August 7, 2010, 1:58 GMT

    I was just thinking - Zimbabwe ten years ago had a limited pool of players to pick from, and weren't exceptional at bowling and batting - but hell, they made up for it in fielding. Fielding drills were normal at high school level, and even more emphasized as players went higher.

  • Gizza on August 7, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    One of the Australians who coached the Windies experienced something similar. He said when you tell a West Indian to jump (or probably Pakistani or Indian) they reply "Why?" When you tell an Australian (or South Africa or Kiwi probably, not sure about English) they reply "How high?" Sums it up.

  • Desihungama on August 6, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    Here is where the problem lies; Traditionally in the country, You have these local teams which includes departmental teams, clubs, regional all playing First Class Cricket eventually to be selected to play for Pakistan; The good batsmen or the so called good batsmen in their respective teams DO NOT field or are bothered to ask to field. They never develop the necessary skill set requires to be a decent fielder. Agility comes only when you go out on the field and do some fielding and see how the body responds and how you may want to adjust using weight rooms. Every current player in the team is hesitant of fielding and simply does not possess any athleticism. Prime example being Azhar Ali. Feel the irony; He is in his 3rd Test only and yet trying his best to opt out of fielding. It's a lost cause basically. Unfortunately, for bowlers they cannot execute their plan due to no help from fielders and are forced to alter whatever plan they have for batsmen. The results are in front of us.

  • on August 6, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    pakistan cricket is doomed... thats all i can say :(

  • BUTT_093 on August 6, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    Probably the most accurate description of Pakistan's problem to raise their fielding STANDARD, putting it very gently that is. The key to improve one's fielding is to enjoy it !!!! Plain and simple!! Unless the Pakistani fielders can start enjoying themselves in the field instead of being scared of the next moment the ball will come to them followed by loud boos from Pakistani spectators in the crowd, they will never be able to hold on to their chances!!! Remove this CLIP from your brain (Farhat, that is) and ANTICIPATE, BE AWARE, AND BE AGILE !!! Atleast TRY !!

  • FarhatAliZaidy on August 6, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    Can't bat, can't field No Mr.Nagraj No.They can bat they can field but they need EXPERIENCE my friend ,experience they will get it after another ten fifteen years of hard training at test level.They are just young crickters Gooming by the ever honset PCB MANAGEMENT for the World Cup of 2027 and after that their will be a Test Championship in 2028 to honour their long distinguish careers.Its a real pitty to hear from radio commentry by Stewart that pakistan"s current standard is less than Under 12 teams.When I heard R. Raja saying in the first test that field placing for Amer and Asif by S. Butt "I have no other words but thats criminal"I thaught he bit over reacting .But reading your article i am convinced that it is more than criminal.This team is a real shameful group of village class player.look at the Srilankan side they have no proper first class cricket only a hand ful of club cricket,from there they produce stars of modern cricket because they are honest to their nat.respect

  • sharprider on August 6, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    I believe Salman Butt needs to prove himself as a captain first as also an opening bat with the kind of maturity that we have seen in the past from the likes of Younis, Inzamam, Wasim. Miandad and Imran Khan when they showed the world that they could put up fights under difficult conditions too. They were the ones to lead the side with deftness and imagination, staying close to their plans and demonstrating tons of patience and effort on their own part and extracting the maximum from their team-mates. Here again, a lot had to do with the team management and coaches who played a major roles in the teams' performances and achievements. Pakistani cricketers are traditional weak fielders, no doubt, but this bunch of fielders either has a lot of butter fingers or they are so cold that they cannot hold on to straightforward catches, let alone difficult ones. Also, the field placings have been observed to be faulty at times. Someone has to take charge of this pathetic situation right away .

  • jackiethepen on August 6, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    Tough words but spot on. It is surely the forgotten mantra of Pakistan that catches win matches. The converse is only too true, that dropping catches loses matches. It is a shame that fielding is so often ignored in media reports but this clash has highlighted how important it is. Maybe not as glamorous as batting and bowling but just as key.

  • dr_salman on August 6, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    very well written...n very rightly said...couldnt agree more !! particularly the first paragraph !!

  • SaeedKhanNiazi on August 6, 2010, 21:05 GMT

    It is a matter of time before the ICC, PCB, and the cricket world acknowledge that Pakistan is not a test playing nation. I mean even bangladesh show they are trying to win a test match. And what is really sad for pakistan is that India are critizised for having a horrible bowling squad but atleast their tailenders are contributing with the bat. And as far as i see, the indian debutants for test cricket are establishing themselves from the moment they make their debut. I mean look at Raina, new to test like Azhar and Umar Amin yet they cant pull the trigger and choke. Sri lankans, Indians, England, South Africa, all are flourshing and making test matches really worth watching. Pakistan, either shape up or take a hike.

  • on August 6, 2010, 20:47 GMT

    miserable situation for pakistani fans... i cant believe my eyes when i see scorecards... salman butt isnt even a good test player let alone he is a captain of the team ... on his test record he wouldnt even make the bangladesh team ( no racism here its just they are the lowest ranked test team) ... i agree english bowlers are good .. but they are not out of the world... our batting line is an embarrassment i was happy to see umar akmal came in and blast aussie attack away in t20 and oneday arena ..but he is the one who disappointed me the most bcaz i had high hopes from him in test arena ...as for fielding ... i say in test cricket a catch dropped is a century scored... just like back home we are in a state of catastrophe by floods... same is true for pakistani test team

  • wfaizi on August 6, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    couldn't agree with you more...pakistan is playing like its a joke..all they do is talk the talk but there is no walk the walk....i wouldn't mind by all means to even change the whole batting lineup with the batting lineup of pakistan"A" and I'm sure they'll do abetter job then this pathetic form of batting......absolute shame....few days back i mentioned that its a matter of time when the bowler will stop caring about doing anything..you can watch.....

  • Hassan.Farooqi on August 6, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    When the batsmen screw the magnificent performance of their bowler, first by failing in batting setting a low target, then by dropping catches and letting runs slip by, it sure takes the steam out of the fast bowlers.

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  • Hassan.Farooqi on August 6, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    When the batsmen screw the magnificent performance of their bowler, first by failing in batting setting a low target, then by dropping catches and letting runs slip by, it sure takes the steam out of the fast bowlers.

  • wfaizi on August 6, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    couldn't agree with you more...pakistan is playing like its a joke..all they do is talk the talk but there is no walk the walk....i wouldn't mind by all means to even change the whole batting lineup with the batting lineup of pakistan"A" and I'm sure they'll do abetter job then this pathetic form of batting......absolute shame....few days back i mentioned that its a matter of time when the bowler will stop caring about doing anything..you can watch.....

  • on August 6, 2010, 20:47 GMT

    miserable situation for pakistani fans... i cant believe my eyes when i see scorecards... salman butt isnt even a good test player let alone he is a captain of the team ... on his test record he wouldnt even make the bangladesh team ( no racism here its just they are the lowest ranked test team) ... i agree english bowlers are good .. but they are not out of the world... our batting line is an embarrassment i was happy to see umar akmal came in and blast aussie attack away in t20 and oneday arena ..but he is the one who disappointed me the most bcaz i had high hopes from him in test arena ...as for fielding ... i say in test cricket a catch dropped is a century scored... just like back home we are in a state of catastrophe by floods... same is true for pakistani test team

  • SaeedKhanNiazi on August 6, 2010, 21:05 GMT

    It is a matter of time before the ICC, PCB, and the cricket world acknowledge that Pakistan is not a test playing nation. I mean even bangladesh show they are trying to win a test match. And what is really sad for pakistan is that India are critizised for having a horrible bowling squad but atleast their tailenders are contributing with the bat. And as far as i see, the indian debutants for test cricket are establishing themselves from the moment they make their debut. I mean look at Raina, new to test like Azhar and Umar Amin yet they cant pull the trigger and choke. Sri lankans, Indians, England, South Africa, all are flourshing and making test matches really worth watching. Pakistan, either shape up or take a hike.

  • dr_salman on August 6, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    very well written...n very rightly said...couldnt agree more !! particularly the first paragraph !!

  • jackiethepen on August 6, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    Tough words but spot on. It is surely the forgotten mantra of Pakistan that catches win matches. The converse is only too true, that dropping catches loses matches. It is a shame that fielding is so often ignored in media reports but this clash has highlighted how important it is. Maybe not as glamorous as batting and bowling but just as key.

  • sharprider on August 6, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    I believe Salman Butt needs to prove himself as a captain first as also an opening bat with the kind of maturity that we have seen in the past from the likes of Younis, Inzamam, Wasim. Miandad and Imran Khan when they showed the world that they could put up fights under difficult conditions too. They were the ones to lead the side with deftness and imagination, staying close to their plans and demonstrating tons of patience and effort on their own part and extracting the maximum from their team-mates. Here again, a lot had to do with the team management and coaches who played a major roles in the teams' performances and achievements. Pakistani cricketers are traditional weak fielders, no doubt, but this bunch of fielders either has a lot of butter fingers or they are so cold that they cannot hold on to straightforward catches, let alone difficult ones. Also, the field placings have been observed to be faulty at times. Someone has to take charge of this pathetic situation right away .

  • FarhatAliZaidy on August 6, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    Can't bat, can't field No Mr.Nagraj No.They can bat they can field but they need EXPERIENCE my friend ,experience they will get it after another ten fifteen years of hard training at test level.They are just young crickters Gooming by the ever honset PCB MANAGEMENT for the World Cup of 2027 and after that their will be a Test Championship in 2028 to honour their long distinguish careers.Its a real pitty to hear from radio commentry by Stewart that pakistan"s current standard is less than Under 12 teams.When I heard R. Raja saying in the first test that field placing for Amer and Asif by S. Butt "I have no other words but thats criminal"I thaught he bit over reacting .But reading your article i am convinced that it is more than criminal.This team is a real shameful group of village class player.look at the Srilankan side they have no proper first class cricket only a hand ful of club cricket,from there they produce stars of modern cricket because they are honest to their nat.respect

  • BUTT_093 on August 6, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    Probably the most accurate description of Pakistan's problem to raise their fielding STANDARD, putting it very gently that is. The key to improve one's fielding is to enjoy it !!!! Plain and simple!! Unless the Pakistani fielders can start enjoying themselves in the field instead of being scared of the next moment the ball will come to them followed by loud boos from Pakistani spectators in the crowd, they will never be able to hold on to their chances!!! Remove this CLIP from your brain (Farhat, that is) and ANTICIPATE, BE AWARE, AND BE AGILE !!! Atleast TRY !!

  • on August 6, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    pakistan cricket is doomed... thats all i can say :(