India v Pakistan, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo

Hafeez the hesitant

Somehow, the pulsating, tenacious Pakistan side which had won three successive World Twenty20 games failed to turn up

Abhishek Purohit in Colombo

October 1, 2012

Comments: 87 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Hafeez is bowled, India v Pakistan, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo, September 30, 2012
Mohammad Hafeez's hesitant, even clueless stay sucked all life out of what had been a stirring start © Associated Press
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Even during the previous act, the stage had been set for the main show. Pakistan and India flags, the former more numerous, had begun to be waved in the Premadasa stands by the innings break of the Australia-South Africa game. The anticipation of the fans rose further with every Shane Watson boundary.

Minutes before the start, Jana gana mana gave way to wild cheering. Pak sarzamin gave way to wilder cheering. It was clear which team had more support at the ground. Yet, somehow, the pulsating, tenacious Pakistan side which had won three successive World Twenty20 games failed to turn up. In its place, the Premadasa witnessed a stop-start, dull group that retreated further after every forward step it took.

Nothing captured Pakistan's state of mind better than Mohammad Hafeez's 28-ball 15, a hesitant, even clueless, stay that sucked all life out of what had been a stirring start. Pakistan were 26 for 1 after two overs. It was nearly impossible to think at that stage that they would add barely a 100 more runs. But Hafeez kept defending and defending without intent for no conceivable reason.

The nature of T20 demands that the scoreboard keeps running, but more than that, and probably more than most other sides, Pakistan are the kind of team who feed off run-making momentum. They also tend to panic that much more when the runs are squeezed out. Even as Hafeez kept blocking, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal fell in trying to force the innings along.

The move to send Afridi at No. 3 might itself be debated, but it was a gamble the team management took, knowing well that it could have lasted just one ball. His fall might even be attributed to himself, but even during Afridi's short stay, Hafeez played five dots and managed two singles.

Hafeez comes across as a well-meaning man and is probably the best one to lead Pakistan across all formats once Misbah-ul-Haq eventually goes. He has the air of someone who wants to be in control of his team and also wants to give the impression that he is in control. Probably because he never quite got the backing of the selectors and the team management for much of his career, he supports his players, and also wants to give the impression that he is doing so. Throughout the tournament, he has staunchly defended everyone whose place has remotely been questioned, be it Afridi, Umar Gul or Shoaib Malik.

With a Twenty20 international strike-rate of 109.75, though, it is Hafeez's position as opener that should come under question. Pakistan have four openers in their squad for the tournament, and purely on the ability to make an impact, Nasir Jamshed or Kamran Akmal deserves to partner Imran Nazir, with Hafeez dropping down the order.

It is not that Hafeez has not made runs in the tournament. He has a couple of forties against New Zealand and Bangladesh. But those knocks were support acts, while Nazir and Jamshed went berserk at the other end. Today, with Nazir falling early and the experiment with Afridi failing, Hafeez needed to ensure the initial momentum was not wasted. He left that to Jamshed and Kamran, both of whom fell trying to attack the part-timer Yuvraj Singh.

It was now even more crucial that Hafeez carried on, having spent so much time on the wicket, but he fell instead to a nothing shot against another part-timer, Virat Kohli, trying to dab a delivery to off from outside leg stump.

It has been said about Hafeez that when he withdraws into a shell, he remains in it for a while. His diffidence carried itself into the field. He is usually such an active captain, ordering fielders around, snapping instructions, waving his arms, selflessly giving himself the ball in the Powerplay. He was the sixth and final bowler to come on today, as late as the 13th over, by which time Pakistan's chances had almost evaporated.

There was no way you could directly blame Hafeez for Pakistan's below-par fielding and dropped chances, but his diffidence seemed to spread through the team. They hardly looked like a typical Pakistan side, which would have waited like a big cat ready to pounce on the slightest opening. Hafeez, though, did not think there was anything wrong with Pakistan's demeanour on the field.

"Today, India played better cricket than Pakistan, there is no doubt," Hafeez said. "Kohli was excellent tonight, but I don't think there was anything missing as far as our body language was concerned. We really wanted to win the game, but unfortunately we kept losing wickets at regular intervals, so we couldn't come back after the first ten overs. We were looking for a few early strikes when India batted, but once we couldn't get those wickets early on, India got on top of us."

Even towards the end, that man Afridi, demonstrative and energetic as ever, clapped vigorously, trying to drum up passion among his team-mates. But Pakistan simply hadn't turned up at the Premadasa.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

Yes, yes, yes, you are absolutely right but former cricketers of Pakistan are looking for all reasons that caused Pakistan to lose except the poor performance of this man when it was required by him to step up and lead form the front.

Posted by   on (October 2, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

i totaly agreed this comment from fahim-akhter, Winning & losing is the part however, I think Hafeez & company didn't try to win game what r the reasons, its big ? mark also we don't see any game plan and hung of victory, i think its time to real changes in pakistan team,we lose with same old horses so y don't make new blood from merrit,we should make team for next 2 or 3 years,with new young energetic captain with some young batsman bowlers ,b/c 20/20 is the game of energy power and courge, our this team onley play own persnol play ,defencvi play but i think 20/20 is an attacking cricket

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

attitude of hafees is questionable he only bowl one over.that is very rare and his wasting of bowls also shows some thing is wrong.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 20:17 GMT)

@ EngineerKhan on (October 01 2012, 17:55 PM GMT) :- Yes, I completely agree with you. Even i did not understand why some of the fans are blaming Afridi for Paksitans poor performance, even though his bowling has been very good. Also I would like to point out that Afridi is one of the best Pakistani fielder alongwith Umar Akmal. on the other hand Gul has taken only 2 wickets at an avg of 65.5 & economy 10.91 in his 4 games.(Afrdi 3 wickts, avg 36, eco 6.87 ) Stats -> http://stats.espncricinfo.com/icc-world-twenty20-2012/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=6856;type=tournament

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

correction to my earlier stats : In comparison Y.Arafat has taken 5 wickets at avg 14.6 & eco 9.12. Stats -> http://stats.espncricinfo.com/icc-world-twenty20-2012/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=6856;type=tournament

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

@ asim229 on (October 01 2012, 15:15 PM GMT) :- You have a point, but the selectors have not given any other options to Hafeez. In the present squad only Shafiq is there to replace Nazir. Other guys on the bench are Sami & S.Tanvir, who should not have been picked for this tournament. That leaves Hafeez with very little choice. Also if Junaid would have been in the squad it would have helped Hafeez, but he is not in the squad. So Hafeez is left with playing Gul who has taken 2 wickets in this tournament at an avg of 65.50 runs per wicket & eco 10.91 runs per over. Gul is ranked 49th in the wicket takers list in this Tournament. Stats --> http://stats.espncricinfo.com/icc-world-twenty20-2012/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=6856;type=tournament

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 19:18 GMT)

I hope Hafeez puts Nasir Jamshed back to the opening slot. my preference is 1) Hafeez, 2) N.Jamshed, 3) K.Akmal, 4) A.Shafiq, 5) U.Akmal, 6) S.Mallik, 7) A.Razzaq, 8) S.Afridi, 9) Y.Arafat, 10) S.Ajamal, 11) R.Hasan. , I know many will be surprised at my choice of replacing Gul, but he has taken only 2 wickets in this tournament at an avg of 65.5 and economy of 10.91. That is the poorest in the tournament so far. Now Hafeez cannot wait any more for Gul to come back to form as this is a do or die game for Hafeez & Pakistan. In comparison Y.Arafat has taken 5 wickets at avg 10 & eco 6.

Posted by psu19976 on (October 1, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

drop hafeez, never liked him

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 19:10 GMT)

In my earlier comment I had recommended bringing in Abdul Razzaq in place of Yasir Arafat. But now after checking the performances in this tournament I found some very suprising stats. Umar Gul has taken only 2 wickets from 4 games at an avg of 65.50 runs per wicket and an economy of 10.91 which is one of the worst in the tournament. As a result of his poor performance in this WC he stands on the 49th position in the highest wicket takers of this tournament. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/icc-world-twenty20-2012/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=6856;type=tournament , Whereas Y.Arafat has taken 5 wickets, avg 10, eco 6. Arafat is highest pakistani on that list. That prompts me to change my preference and bring A.Razzaq in place of U.Gul, & A.Shafiq in place of I.Nazir.

Posted by spellbinder76 on (October 1, 2012, 19:09 GMT)

Some players thrive under pressure in big games. There are some who wilt under pressure. Hafeez and Kamran Akmal have never performed under pressure when Pakistan needed their contribution. Afridi, Abdul razzak, Umar Gul and Umar Akmal have performed under pressure situations. There is no logic in persisting with Yasir Arafat when he is used for one or two overs only and his average runs per over in 11 or 12. Hafeez and Kamran should come down the order and Hafeez should try some aggressive field placing when Afridi and Saeed Ajmal are bowling. Pakistan will still qualify for the semis.

Posted by zulufii on (October 1, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

pakistan should replace yasir arafat with abdul razzaq so that to progress in the tournament. dont know y pakistan is playing yasir arafat in this shorter format when we have option of allround services of razzaq. he is quite good in this format.he is as competitive as watson for australia

could somebody plzzzzz help in bringing him

Posted by EngineerKhan on (October 1, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

Its ridiculous to see people asking for Afridi's place justification. In a tournament, where Gul gone at more than 10 and even Ajmal and Watson have economy rate in excess of 7, Afridi has manged to bowl his full quota in every game and still conceeded 30,20, 26 and 34 respectively (still less than 7 runs an over after bowling full quota). Technically speaking, he was all over McCullum, conceeded just 20 in 4 overs when Gul and Ajmal got spanked by Bangalis and his figures were not pretty against Indians, but I am extremely glad to see that drift back in his bowling, Kohli was totally beaten and would have been easily caught at first slip had one been there but ended up 4 lucky runs.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

too much harsh on hafeez. because he thought that pakistan can crumble in batting as it is vs rsa he want to bat 16 overs atleast.pakistan fans are feeling too much about this which dhoni has done infinite times thats why his sr is <110.hafeez is good on any day except last match

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (October 1, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

Balaji was chief wrecker - a perfect reply to fans making fun of the bowling. They may not be 140kph+ but atleast they deliver and take wickets in cruical pressure games.One can still remember the Munaf delivery to Razzaq in Mohali semifinal. Was magical and hey it was just 120kph. So my dear Pakistani fans, speed is over-rated.

Posted by Jack_India on (October 1, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

When one batsman plays too many dots… it puts pressure on the other batsman as well.

Posted by asim229 on (October 1, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

I dont understand the reason people asking for asad shafiq in the team when he and azhar ali are the test match players. If we want to replace nazir then we need to bring a t20 player with the strike rate of 150+ bcse we already lost many maches due to the defensive aproach of our batsmen.

Posted by braindead_rocker on (October 1, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

Few important points: Pakistan batsmen are always under immense pressure which they bring on themselves against India. Secondly their spin mainstay is only that much effective against India who are masters of spin.

No use blaming Hafeez when the so called seniors like Kamran and Afridi came a cropper.....Just admit and accept India was the better team and move on.

Posted by Agila on (October 1, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

In all fairness, it didnt work out for PAK. Like it didnt work out for India prior to it against Aus. India woudl have won that match if they batted second! or if not for the Rain!. Rain didnt do any good, as Indian spinners didnt get any grip on the ball! With all due respect ,Pak is a better T20 team than the Aussies.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

I hope in the last super 8 match against NZ , Hafeez replaces I.Nazir with A.Shafiq and puts back Nasir Jamshed to opening the innins. Also I would like to see Abdul Razzaq replacing Y.Arafat. as the bowling all-rounder. That will give a better balance to the team. 1) Hafeez 2) N.Jamshed, 3) Kamran 4) A.Shafiq 5) U.Akmal 6) S.Mallik, 7) A.Razzaq 8) Afridi, 9) U.Gul, 10) Ajmal, 11) Raza

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Why can't the fans eccept Shahid Afridi as a specialist bowler ? At the start of his career Shahid scored the fastest century of ODI's which still stands. The fans cannot get it out of their mind. You cannot expect him to play that innings everytime. You also cannot expect him to play slower, This is how he is. He is one of the best legspinner in business , also he is one of the best fielder in the world. Why cant you accept him as he is ? Why should he prove himself with the bat everytime? Afridi & other pak bowlers would have got more wickets if Kamran kept the wickets cleanly. Even in the India match Kamran let-off Virat off the bowling of Afridi.

Posted by wonderstar1 on (October 1, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

I have great respect for pakistan team. But some fans were telling that Even the street bowlers in Pakistan is much better than Indian bowlers. I remember how they made fun. But I am not going to do teh same. I ahve great respect for pakistan as a team. honestly but if its so easy why they failed to make even 140? seriously the pressure cant be 100% reason. I agree that India is not best bowling unit, but they definitely can run thru any side especially spinners. But god luck to our pak bros and also India.

Posted by shaz_690 on (October 1, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

rubbish hafeez should have known better

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Some comments here asking Afridi to justify his place in the side !!! Is Afridi not in the team purely for his bowling ? Isnt he one of the best in T20 internationals. ? His average and strike rate in bowling is better than Umar Gul. Only Ajmal & Hafeez have a better economy than Afridi. ALSO THE MOST IMPORTANT THING about Afridi is that he is the only bowler in the History of Pakistan Cricket to have such a razor sharp fielding and catching. Just take a look at the fielding & catching of all the other pakistani bowlers especially Umar Gul. Once in a while if Afridi's batting clicks it is a bonus, so whats wrong in that ? There are some other players that need to justify there place in the playing eleven, especially Kamran Akmal, Imran Nazir & Yasir Arafat. I think in the next game Abdul Razzaq & A.Shafiq should replace Y.Arafat & I.Nazir.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Posted by raza1982 on (October 01 2012, 11:39 AM GMT) :- Fully agreed with all your comments. Hafeez & Misbah both not captain Material. I think Misbah & Younis Khan should not be playing the limited overs version any more. Hafeez was overlyh defensive while defending 128. He does not realise that he has attacking bowlers at his dispossal and you cannot ast attacking bowlers to defend. The initial spark of hope was provided by young Raza , but Hafeez just refused to have cathing fielders and everyone was put at the edge of the circle thus making India's task much easier.

Posted by xylofon on (October 1, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

First off, congrats to India. Great article. Its wonderful to see people from both sides looking at things from each others point of view. Without taking anything away from India its fair to say India are playing weak for the moment, struggling against Afghanistan and 9 wicket loss against australia and losing the warmup match quite strongly against Pakistan, but I am sure they can bounce back as is clear in this match vs Pak. However I think that Pakistan lost trying to play their own game. The indian bowling was really weak and part timers like Kohli (good with batting but not bowling) had Pak struggling. The fielding was bad but the bigger problem was batting. The mess that Pakistan is in can be explained by the fact that PCB is incompetent. That is the way people like Ijaz Butt can be part of it. Most things will not change for Pakistan unless this issue is treated. Simple as that. Theres so much more to be said.

Posted by raza1982 on (October 1, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

It is true that Hafeez is not Captain Material.... but i guess even Misbah is not Captain Material.... Cricket is just a game... one team has to lose anyhow.... but the way Pakistan lost to India puts so many doubts and questions.... Winning the toss and opting to bat first which shocked every single supporter considering the history of the ground in the recent past....and later just blocking blocking and just blocking putting immense pressure on other team mates n then getting out in the most hilarious way and while fielding setting defensive field believing u can restrict a team from scoring meager 130... not so long b4 recall misbah's inning in the most crucial india pakistan world cup semi final i wont see much of a difference.. I can only wish and hope there is nothing Fishy out there as it seems lyke its no more a gentlemen game......

Posted by Ajamalh on (October 1, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

Definitely a better side, playing better cricket. Pakistan's performance has been most inconsistent for the last many years. Hafeez's captaincy left many glaring holes. Afridi needs to justify his place in the time now.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

Well India has one of the best batting that everyone will agree but their bowling is not that good and they hv the worst spinners and medium pacers. And we can see that on the ICC ranking.

If India really have a good bowling then why they are not able to defend the good total posted against the medicore battling line up of Pakistan

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Some comments here are suggesting the dropping of Shahid Afridi from the team. One thing i would like to ask all of you guys. How many times have the other bowlers scored big with the bat ? Gul plaiyed a match winning innings with the bat for the first time in his life. Shahid does not give away more runs than the other bowlers. He is one of the best in the business. Add to that his razor sharp fielding. Now every bowler in Pakistan team is a bad fielder except Afridi. Afridi would have got more wickets if Kamran will be decent behind the stumps. Even in the Ind match Kamran should have taken the edge offered by Virat Kohli off the bowling of Afridi. I think first Pakistan needs a good wicket keeper who can catch all the edges and be smart with stumpings. Batting by keeper is not important. Kamran keeps getting in the team for his batting but never performs in important games.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

I dont understand how a captain is blamed while, pka as team failed to put up a decent total on the board.

what a captain can do, when your players droping catches and giving some easy singles?

What a captain can do when someone like Kholi at his best?

Do you think captain alone make a decision on what to do after winning the toss. I am sure, any captain would take such decision by discussing with coach and senior players.. fail to understand what made you guys singling out hafeez.

Posted by Noball_Specialist on (October 1, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

India deserved to win. They visibly wanted it more, they were more psyched and psyched out Pakistan. And since Pakistan is more mentally unstable as demonstrated by what Ramiz calls a tendency to have a "brain explosion" in crucial pressured situations. I'm tired of commentators talking about Kohli as if he is still establishing himself. This is not true, Kohli has not only arrived but is the mainstay of the Indian batting. And credit where due, he controlled the innings, directed attack and responded to every question asked by the Pakistan attack. This isn't the first time either and is on a global tournament stage. India wanted it more. Watching Imran Nazir scraping boundaries, closing his eyes and swinging the bat simply is not enough to win a this level. I would have included Ahmed Shezad over Nazir and Razzaq over Yasir Arafat. Hafiz showed that he himself needs guidance and help with this plans, the professor thought faltered thinking about what to do and ended up doing nought.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

@ keptalittlelow :- Completely agreed with your comments about hesitatn hafeez and your quatation of Saurav Ganguly that "has he ever won a match after scoring 128 runs and not attacking". In the Ind match it was appearing that Hafeez was trying very hard to loose the match. He was not doing anything to win the match. Even pak did not deserve to win the SA match. It was only Pak's luck and U.Gul's luck that got them over the line. But if such mistakes are to be repeated then Hafeez does not deserve to reach the semi finals and it appears that on the 2nd of October the Aussies will send Pakistan Packing.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

@ Mansur Khan :- I agree with Mansur that Hafeez is not a captain material. He buckles under pressure too soon. But I don't agree with him that Misball should have been in the team. I think in the pesent squad the captaincy should go back to Shahid Afridi & Misbah should not be in the team. Junaid should have been in the playing eleven and Sami & S.Tanvir should Not have been on this tour. Kamran Akmal's keeping is back to his old ways. His batting clicks only in practice games which don't matter for anything. After the WC 2010 Kamran was dropped. I think again after this World Cup Kamran will be dropped again, this time for good.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

Well credit goes to Dhoni the way he handled the pressure and lead his team in a big match against Pakistan as always. The way he handled his bowlers specially the part timers Yuvraj who has just arrived at this level and Kohli, was fabulous. I think Pakistan Selector and Team management should rethink there strategy for the next match against Aussies cos our weakness in top Order has been exploited and a team like Australia would kill us the way they are playing. I think we should make three immediate changes Imran Nazir, Afridi and Arafat should be dropped and Asad Shafiq, Razzaq and Sami would have given a chance.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

@ ReverseSweepIndia :- Perfect comment. Abdul Razzaq's ommission is most shocking, though no one is talking about it on TV. I think Hafeez is proving to be the worst Captain Pakistan had ever produced. Overly defensive captain in shorter version of the game does not help. It looks like the Captaincy will finally go back to Shahid Khan Afridi.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

As far as this Ind Vs Pak match is concerned, I could sense something wrong right at the time when Hafeez chose to bat after winning the toss. Every one was saying that in the evening it is easier to chase on that pitch. Hafeez chose to do just the opposite. Second bluinder what promoting Afridi when the medium pacers were on. Every one knows attacking spin is what Afridi does best and not the quickies. Here i have a major objection with Hafeez's captaincy. He is not handling Nasir Jamshed the younsters. Constantly moving him around in the batting order with not help him at all, and that too in such an important tournament. Finally luck decided to desert Hafeez and Nasir when Nasir Jamshed got a tough decision. And finally while defending 128 Hafeez was over defensive. Young Raza had taken the wicket of the dangerous Gambhir. At least that should have promted Hafeez to attack witht the field placements. But shock shock , Hafeez did not give a slip and close catcher to Raza.

Posted by g.narsimha on (October 1, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

PAK CRIC SPIN- I cant subscribe u r feelings, irrispective of all adversities u r team is very formidable & most feared in INTERNATIONAL CRICKET i always enjoy PAK cricket if thier opposition is not INDIA , all is not lost my dear u r players no doubt are deprieved with out thier foult of avenues like IPL, as like many INDIANS i too feel they had ultimate right than any other out soder but hope for the better , our political relational are improving we will definaitly see PAK players in next edition of IPL .

Posted by Sports4Youth on (October 1, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@ Mansur Khan :- I agree with Mansoor Khan, the exclusion of Junaid Khan is hurting Pakistan in a big way. All the fast bowlers look so ordinary. The spinners are getting absolutely no support from the fast bowlers. Sami is on a free trip to Sri Lanka. I am NOT advocating for Sami's inclusion in the playing eleven. I am glad that he did not play after the practice matches. But then what prompted his selection in the squad in the first place. In hind sight one will be left wondering what an opportunity of intetional world cup event has Junaid missed and what has Sami gained from this trip? , nothing.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (October 1, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

Happy we won. I couldn't understand why Yasar Arafat was playing in Pak team instead of Razzaq. If your management love average players so much and offer them chance in playing XI in such a crucial matches , should we send Sir Ravinder Jadeja across the border?

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

The whole team selection is WRONG from day one. Junaid Khan should have been playing all games. Misbah should have been captain. Pak should have been out of the tournament by now the way they played against SA. Hafeez proved he is NO CAPTAIN MATERIAL.

Posted by Panchi_Udas on (October 1, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

I agree with the term ' Hafeez the hesitent'. It is he who really troubled Pakistani batsmen bcoz by stopping too many balls basically u r creating pressure for other free flowing strokes maker. He should come at No. 3, position and should allow Imran Nazir to open with Nasir Jamshed. I carefully analyzed Hafeez behavior at the pitch that he always ask Imran Nazir or Other partner to calm down after scoring a four rather he should ask them to go for the bowling but with totally controlled or completely over the top. His poor performance and guidance is the difference in both the sides which lead Pak to lost the match.

Posted by g.narsimha on (October 1, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

RAZAY-This is the bluder every team is committing now a days thinking IND bowling is medeocre ,IN REALITY OURS IS A CLASS ATTACK with world class spinners , good pacers see when ever we won its bowlers who won matches in this tournmemt ,in all wins bowlers performed ,how can u term a bowling which dismissed defending CHAMP for for 80, yester day its u r teams term , do u think its a fluck but flucks never happen on regular basis ,even our wins in SL , RECENTLY WAS BECOUSE OF GOOD BOWLING EFFORTS AS WE NEVER ALLOWED OPPOSITIONS TO ran away with huge scores, u people dont want to accept an reality that while plying IND , WHY SL& PAK are failing becouse our players are best players of spin , it may be a great weapon against non asian teams BUT FOR US NOTHING see the ease with KOHLI handled AJMAL THATS THE defining factor just to demean u people term our bowling as medeocre , some time they may be lacking , which happens to every team but our batting is our main strenght no doubt.

Posted by keptalittlelow on (October 1, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Abhishek is spot on, Mohammad Hafeez the Pakistan captain's hesitant, even clueless stay sucked all life out of Pkistan batting. It was his strange batting which caused the downfall of 3 good batsmen who tried to force the pace. When India batted Sarouve Ganguly summed up Hafeez captaincy when commented "has he ever won a match after scoring 128 runs and not attacking".

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

One would suggest that Pakistan should change their batting order and consider the following order: Imran Nazir, Jamshed, Kamran, Umar Akmal,Shohaib Malik, Hafeez, Afridi, Gul,Arafat, Ajmal, and Hasan. One would also suggest to include Razzak in the playing team in place of Arafat.Try this against Australia and see the result.

Posted by aahd81 on (October 1, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

The field placement had me wondering what the 'plan' was. Pakistan were not stopping singles, they couldn't stop boundaries because they were either hitting sixes or they didn't need to score 4s to score. There was NO pressure on the Indians last night, and it was a disappointment because we went down without a fight. I don't agree with Hafeez that Pakistan were out-played, we didn't play like we meant to win, so there was only one side out there actually playing the game, the other was just waiting to be run over.

Posted by analyseabhishek on (October 1, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

Sending Afridi at No 3 wasn't such a bad move. It was a gamble and everyone knew that. Pakistan could still have reached 150 had Shoaib Malik not gotten out against the run of the play.

Posted by SamAsh07 on (October 1, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

It was inevitable, being a Pakistani fan I have the brains to realize that Pakistan wouldn't win against India, since it's a World Event. Pakistan have never beaten India in a world cup match and most probably never will, so no surprises there. Now to move on and hope Pakistan beat Aussies. On a side note, Pakistan really need to make a plan for Virat Kohli, he was the marauder in the Asia Cup against Pakistan, and again yesterday...what a talent.

Posted by Razay on (October 1, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

India won and Pak lost..no denying and well played India. However critically analyzing the defeat clearly shows that Pak players were totally overawed by the occasion. Indian batting is no doubt far superior and with present form of Kholi, he is the most fearsome batsman. But Indian bowling is mediocre..to say the least and v got bowled out to the likes of Yuvraj and Kholi...amazing. Imran Nazir, Afridi, Arafat and Malik saab shud now b dropped. Give Razzaque a chance. Sensible cricket is a term not known to Pak batsmen. Indians on the other hand batted very sensibly and concentrated on singles and odd bdrys initially. Later on it was pump up the Bhangra. Our apch in the SA match shud have been the same but as i said "sensible Cricket" is a term not known to us. Wonder why r v paying so much to Mr Whatmore.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Team selection is very poor my team seletion or batting order is 1-imran Nazir 2-shahid Afridi 3-Abdul razzak 4-mohammad Hafeez 5-Nasir Jamshed 6-Umar Akmal 7-shoeib Malik 8-kamran Akmal 9-Umar Gul 10-Saeed Ajmal 11-Raza hasan 100% pak won the W.C final

Posted by SMALI_RWP on (October 1, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Lets not look for excuses for Pakistan's loss. The fact is Pakistan had a head start at 26 after 2 overs which in normal circumstances would have been achieved in 4-5 overs. But despite that the Indian team should not a bit of anxiety on the face it. What was most interesting was the calmness displayed by MS Dhoni. Not a jot of worry or fridgeting all throughout the opening salvo. Mr.Cool was as cool as a cucumber. I think this was the difference between the two teams. For India to progress in terms spartmanship both Kohli and Raina needs to reign in their childish antics of yesterday and during India's recent tour of Australia. I see in Kohli a great future for India, I like the way he takes on the bowling opposition throwing the gauntlet. Thats just great fun and moreover delivers the knockout blow. I can't forget his tremendous century in 3 tri-nation series in Australia and the 183 runs he scored against Pakistan in the Asia cup.Well anyway, well done India you deserved the victory

Posted by PakCricSpin on (October 1, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

Its all good guys. It's not a big deal. We are a poor nation with no international cricket being played here. Pakistan has no cricket academies. We do not groom players to have mental toughness. You cannot expect 30 year old Hafeez to handle all the pressure of a Pakistan vs India match. We did the best we could given with what we had. Batting has always been our weakness for a long time. Handling pressure is another weakness of ours.

I never expected Pakistan to win against India in such a situation. The age of Waqar and Wasim has long gone. The Age of nervous batsmen and inconsistent pace bowlers have come. Oh well. Time to look forward to the Australia match. :)

Posted by khurramsch on (October 1, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

yes very poor by pakistan, 1st they batted 1st, packed with 4 spinners while india play spinners well. role of yasir is in question as well. then they batted like this is the last ball.so far in event successful pair is warner & watson and they play 1st 3/4 overs just in singles and only couple of boundary on bad balls. atleast see whats coming. then in bowling it should have been a close one. pakistan simply didnt attacked. indian had better chance to qualify now as SA is not doing wll against spinners & pak have to beat inform AUS & with this type of bowling & batting it will be difficult for pakistan now.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

Pathetic captaincy, was not able to handle pressure. Jamshed should open in place of hafeez in next match.

Posted by screamingeagle on (October 1, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

Of course, Pakistan was diffident, Malik wasn't interested, maybe Ajmal had a headache and Gul caught cold. Point is, Pak lost, why make stories of what was wrong. ..

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

Time is coming when in T20 no any team will even think about batting 1st, look at the results of this World Cup, more than 80% teams won with 2nd batting, experts and people were shouting on Hafeez dont do batting 1st if you won the toss because India was under pressure and i though any team who bat 1st seems under pressure they dont want to slog in early overs to save the wickets and in the meantime 7th,8th, and 10th over reach and batsman strat frustrating for runs and lose wickets............in the other hand if you bowl first you can defend easily the lowest totals like Aus and India did other way if you need to chase a big total still you have chance to chase big totals from the 1st ball and specially in power play which you can, I still believe that Pak team will fight back with Aus because they won the series in UAE and 2WWs would not forget yet Saeed's doosra and teesra, Pak have match winners, you never know another knock from Imran or Akmal can throw Pak to S Final and Final.

Posted by ZAB2121 on (October 1, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Too Hesitant. Can someone please tell me Javed Miandad's role as a batting consultant??? What sort of advice is he passing to the team that we cant even get to 150 mark?

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

Totally agree with the article.....it was defensive leadership that sunk Pakistan....right from the beginning Pakistan didn't appear like a team, it actually is......and Hafeez is the person who didn't come forward to lift the team by showing aggression at any time...

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Pakistan tried but did not succeed, I fail to understand why Mallik was not sent ahead of Afridi, only he looked like a proper head on shoulders batsman, and fell because he had to try and score. Having said that young Raza was a a good bowler, Pakistan should have attacked with Ajmal on the other end, and tried for wickets, it was a no brainer that if India lasted 12 overs , they will win. Indian team played to its strenght, I think Dhoni has a lesson here, replace someone if needed with someone of the same calibre, so if Viru should be replaced then someone as attacking must come in, not pathan,maybe Dhoni should have opened the innings. India played good, but they seem to be over dependent on Kohli, I would like to see Dhoni coming up to No 4, and give Tiwari a chance instead of Sharma..

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 7:04 GMT)

@Pradeep, they were plundered in the fourth by the Aussies! T20 is more of momentum, one bowler can snap a momentum of few good balls. Teams like Aus, Pak have bowlers who doesnt let the intensity go once its build up. But for India, you some how get a feeling even a team with 78/5 in 10 overs can go to 150 by 20 overs.

Posted by KarachiKid on (October 1, 2012, 6:53 GMT)

There are three or four players in Pakistan that have nothing more to offer to the team. They will keep performing that way at best. Nazir, Arafat, Gul, Afridi, Malik and Akmal. I dont expect at least three of them part of Pakistan set up in 2014.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (October 1, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

Instead of saying India won the match one should say Pak lost it. Man to man on paper Pak had a much more balanced team with almost all their bases covered. One could have hoped the likes of Akmals and Nazirs to feast on Irfan, Yuvraj and Kohli but exactly opposite happened. Seemed like Pak came up with too much pre planning with Hafiz trying to play the anchor and others attacking from other end to achieve a score of 160 batting first. But Hafis played over defensively and others over attacked. After loosing Nazir and Afridi, hafeez should have tried to at least rotate the strike and Jamshed who is in excellent form should have taken few deliveries before trying to slog across the line. In the bowling also the likes of Ajmal looked listless ones Kohli started to play positively. The scoreboard pressure of few runs showed spectacularly on Pak bowlers and fielders. All in all a very disappointing display by a Pak side who looks good to go all the way.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

When you get bowled out against an attack like India. YOU CANNOT WIN!

Posted by Hommi on (October 1, 2012, 6:43 GMT)

most Pakistani wickets were not taken.. they were given away mostly on average deliveries.. Imran has to be kicked.. they can try Razzaq in place of Arafat.. India should also do something about Yuvraj singh and ofc about their bowling.. zaheer and pathan must do better..

Posted by CorneredTiger84 on (October 1, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

@Pradeep they got the wickets not because of good bowling but bad batting

Posted by CriticallyCricket on (October 1, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

We thought Misbah was Hesitant and Sluggish!

What Hafeez did in yesterdays match was a T20 Crime, considering that not only he was the opener but should have been a Inspiring and courageous leader!

He wasted the initial overs when so much can be done!

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

Team selection is very poor. Too many bowlers and very thin batting line-up. I think when playing with Australia, Pakistan need to attack with spinners.Pakistan bowling line-up should be - Umer gul, saeed ajmal, raza hassan, shahid afridi, mohamed hafeez, (if needed : Abdul Razzak , Shoib Malik). Hafeez should come in middle order. 1.Imaran Nazir 2.Nasir Jamshed 3.Kamran Akmal 4.Umar Akmal 5.Shoib Malik 6.Mohamed Hafeez 7.Abdul Razzak 8.Saeed Afridi 9.Umar Gul 10.Saeed Ajmal 11.Raza Hassan.

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (October 1, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Nice article. Hafeez definitely showed some lack of judgement and buckling under pressure today. He has performed well in the previous three games as captain, batsman and bowler. General rabble-rouser in the field too, with some good stops. The major error though that has brought his rather slow innings to the limelight is the decision to bring Afridi in at no. 3. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a big Afridi fan, but, on a day like today, his coercion probably to come up the order if an opener fell before the 3rd over, was just not a wise one. He is not in that form but more importantly, this was not that kind of game. The stakes were not that high for Pakistan (tournament wise). At some stage, the spark that gives him instinctual inspiration just did not alight. That was the downfall for Hafeez. He could not perform under the limelight of that bold yet incorrect decision, and gave away 4 or 5 dot balls. Once you've given that many away in a T20, your confidence is shot ..

Posted by waqaslone on (October 1, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

Excellent article....somebody plz print and give it to Hafeez :)

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

Do you think 1. Shoib malik better than asad shafiq? 2.Yasir Arafat better than Abdul Razzak? 3. For opening the innings Hafeez & Imran Nazir better than Nasir Jamshed & Imaran Nazir? 4. Pakistan need 6 bowlers?.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

Pakistan were spooked simple as that. The sooner Hafeez recognizes that the better.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

congrats india for the superb win against Pakistan, Pakistan bated and fielded very poorly and deserved to lose the match, indian friends must be happy that they are still very much in contention of semis berth, let us hope to see good cricket in remaining matches, Pakistan batting was very disappointing and hafeez as captain and as batsman was supreme pathetic yet one more time, hope he is kicked out soon.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

The biggest debate it is what the hell is afridi doing in squad. No doubt he is a good player but right now he is not in form, he should have stayed out. The other debate is when they only had to use yasir arafat for two overs they should have rested him out and played Abdul Razzaq in, he is a much better all-rounder. He might have scored 20 odd runs in the 5 balls which Yasir Arafat played for dot. Fielding of Pakistan. huh ! dnt question about that, they gave up hopes already and it was up to the captain to energize them and set attacking field when gautam gambhir was out. They could at least saved those 25 runs which India took in powerplay and put them in dominating stance. Overall, a pathetic, without a plan & foolish play was presented by Pakistan. Hope the learn their mistakes and improve their performance against Australia. Best of luck TEAM PAKISTAN. CHEERS !!

Posted by indianzen on (October 1, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

Jai Ramji Ji ki... India won comprehensively...As an indian, the team I am looking for next after india are my dearest pak bhais... As fellow brothers, I wish Pak a good win next match...

Posted by Narbavi on (October 1, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

To all those pakistani fans who were making fun of us after our heavy defeat against aus, where are u guys?? i mean, time and time again u haven't been able to beat us in a crucial world cup game, but isn't it funny that it continues even in the t20 format??

Posted by xylo on (October 1, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

It was not a problem of Hafeez going into a shell. It was more a problem of nerves. Hafeez is young, and you can count the matches that he has played against India in one hand. And, he is the captain of the side. Expectations are high, especially given the warm-up match, but people fail to realize that it was a 'warm-up' match, where sides try out different options rather than trying to win. Afridi could be a better choice as captain, but he has a history of tantrums, and is best when playing in the team without the burden of captaincy. Hafeez will learn a lot from this match, and this experience will bode him well for the future.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

Hafeez can't deny his failure as a batsman. He is not fit for batting as an opener in T20 format as his batting average is worth 109. I don't understand the logic of opening the innings by him as there are two other specialist opener: Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal. Hafeez should bat down to the order. Another point is Razzaq's missing. He has the ability to hit vigorously in the lower order. I don't think yasir Arafat is a good choice instead of Razzaq.. Shame on Pakistan's performance..!!

Posted by sri1ram on (October 1, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

Very true Pradeep John, Indian bowling attack in this T20 has been like a sine wave - very good at one moment and utterly pedestrian in the other. Hopefully MSD will take the best out of the team-compositions that performed to date - My take being that Yuvi, Ashwin (not Bhajji, difficult choice) and I-Pathan *absolutely need* to be in for both bowling and batting balance.

Posted by DEV_ME on (October 1, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

Somehow, we keep searching for the team fighting spirit which Pakistan displayed in the 1992 world Cup. Alas that same spirit, the same fight is missing ... maybe the problems can be attributed to leadership - Imran Khan cannot be matched by anyone, when it comes sheer man management and getting the best from every player. He once even managed to make Aquib Javed look devatating !

Posted by bipulkumar on (October 1, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

Pakistan will win against Indians in world cup only when they stop treating these matches as special. Indians won because they were focused on Semi-final qualification. Pakistan lost because they were focused on win against Indians.

Posted by Faridoon on (October 1, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

As soon as I heard that Rehman Malik had travelled to Sri Lanka to watch the game, I knew Pak was goign to lose again. Why do our so-called politicians show up every time there is a Pak India encounter?? They certainly don't bring any good luck with them...

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

I think Afridi's state of mind needs to be questioned. He seems more happy as a bowler than a batsman,, where it should have been other way round. He needs to take his batting seriously,, getting centuries against weaker teams does not do any good to any batsman,,,

Posted by Shafi79 on (October 1, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

Yuvraj was bowling half trackers and Pak managed only 16/2 ... Shane Watson would have had those for breakfast ... oh wait he did! India's bowling is weak, even the most ardent Indian fan would agree to that, they ,make up for it with their bating. Pakistan should have posted a much bigger score against such an attack, they were truly underwhelming yesterday with the bat ...

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

Thank God for Hafeez ensuring that the Indian T20 campaign remains on track! Now India should go all d way and make this count!!!

Posted by ramana_vt on (October 1, 2012, 3:46 GMT)

good show India keep up the tempo

Posted by fahim-akhter on (October 1, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

Winning & losing is the part however, I think Hafeez & company didn't try to win game what r the reasons, its big ? mark

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. hafeez starts yoga. now things will change :)

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

How can the experts term India's bowling attack as weak....they are the only bowling attack to bowl out 3 teams in 4 matches...!

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Tournament Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 7, 2012
West Indies won by 36 runs
Australia v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 5, 2012
West Indies won by 74 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 16 runs
India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
India won by 1 run
Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
Pakistan won by 32 runs
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News | Features Last 3 days