Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st semi-final, World Twenty20, Colombo October 4, 2012

Pakistan fail to adjust to demanding pitch

Pakistan's batsmen needed to show discipline on a demanding pitch and their failure to do so cost them the semi-final
133

Sparks of instinct, moments of inspiration, flashes of genius. They just happen. And sides like Pakistan seize them. They can't be planned for, and they just weren't coming today for Pakistan. What they required was sensible and unglamorous batting through and through, as is usually the case in tricky chases on difficult pitches. And even the most ardent fan knew in his heart that Pakistan's batsmen had been found wanting twice before in this tournament.

From the moment Sri Lanka chose to bat on a powdery pitch in the semi-final of a world event, Pakistan were up against it because of their shaky batting, unless their bowling and fielding was of the standard that sunk Australia. That was Australia on a surface out of their comfort zone; this was Sri Lanka at home. Pakistan's bowlers didn't have an off day, though. They kept Sri Lanka to 139, which Mohammad Hafeez said was not even a par score, and was definitely achievable despite the turning pitch.

But Pakistan's chase alternated between reckless and clueless. Three of the top seven batsmen got out the reckless way, two of them the clueless way. Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi had no business playing the strokes they did so early. Kamran went hard at his second ball, a cutter; Afridi tried to force his first ball from the crease.

Pakistan had seen Mahela Jaywardene assess the pitch early and play an innings full of strokes he thought were safe on it. Sweeps, reverse-sweeps and dabs worked for Jaywardene, but expecting Afridi to take a few deliveries to size up the surface is to expect the sun not to rise tomorrow.

After the game, Mohammad Hafeez kept calling Afridi his match-winner but Pakistan have to seriously review Afridi's batting position now. Powerful and reliable batsmen like Suresh Raina come in at No. 7 in limited-overs cricket. Afridi might still have a lot to offer as a legspinner, but Pakistan desperately need someone who can last more than a few deliveries at No. 7.

While Afridi and Kamran refused to respect the surface, Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik were uncertain in defence. They too paid the price. The track demanded several skills from the batsman, and Pakistan did not have answers. Only Nasir Jamshed, who got a poor decision, can escape blame.

Hafeez can, as well, to a certain extent. He is clearly not the man to open in a Twenty20 international. He just does not have the explosive game. On this pitch, however, he could have played a decisive role, and had it not been for his charge-and-heave at Rangana Herath in the 15th over, Pakistan might have won the game. Hafeez had shown character until then, moving from 3 off 15 to 42 off 39. Like Jayawardene, he took his time; unlike Jayawardene, he scratched around, looking entirely unconvincing; and unlike Jayawardene, he worked out that he would be scoring in front of square, rather than behind it.

With 49 needed off 36 balls and six wickets in hand, few Test-level sides will unravel as quickly as Pakistan did. Even before the 18th over had ended, they were almost out of the game. The batting had lost them the India match as well, and it had nearly lost them the South Africa game, but that evening Umar Gul experienced a few moments of inspiration.

A team cannot go through entire tournaments reliant on moments or sparks or flashes to cover for a lack of batting backbone. Imran Khan didn't win the 1992 World Cup in that fashion. Those instants are an opportunity to shift momentum, the chance to build something. In the end, sustainable building requires old-fashioned masonry, something Pakistan were just not willing to do tonight. Is it any wonder then, that after six successive ICC tournament semi-finals - a commendable achievement - they have just one title to show?

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SyedAbidHussain on October 6, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Pak has made it to Semi-Finals of previous 6 consecutive ICC tournaments, 2007 WT20- Finalists 2009 WT20- Winners 2009 ICC champions trophy- Semi-Finalists 2010 WT20 - Semi- Finalists 2011 WorldCup- Semi- Finalists 2012 WT20 - Semi- Finalists Only one player was common in all these tournaments, it was AFRIDI !!!!

  • greatkhan on October 6, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Dear All, Watching Pakistan chase any kind of target is like watching a delivery live. They just simply find it or make it extremely difficult chasing any kind of target & against any opposition. Easy to criticize Afridi & Nazir, but the truth of the matter is that, until & unless Pakistan produces quality Batsmen i dont think this problem will ever finish. Pakistan has the Best Bowling Attack & worst batting among the test Playing Nations.

  • msalikhan on October 6, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    I think Shahid Afridi is a better captain in T20 cricket. Muhammad Hafeez has not the capability to sustain pressure. Moreover poor umpiring decisions against the players also change the game scenario

  • on October 6, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Some one think the inning of TM Dilshan is waste before PAK bats. But that is the way to bat kind of pitch. See what happen to Afridi. TMD understand the pitch from the first few overs and keep his wicket & get runs slowly. Weldone boys. One more has to go.

  • bouncer1021 on October 6, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    I hope Hafeez provides explaination in the coming days why he presisted with Imran Nazir when he had correct and proven player for this kind of pitch. Asad Shafeeq. He already had 3 other openers in the team. I hope he can enlighten us about Razzaq and why he was being watsed when Tanvir was consistently rubbish in all group matches and why was he kept out of the semi final. Shoib Malik is never going to score except when he plays against Bangladesh or India. His technique is at a club level and getting worst. Pakistan always looks for flashy playes rather than working with correct players and giving them chance to adopt to all cricket formats. I hope this is not about team mafia keeping out outsiders. I hope he knows things that we don't. Pakistan should immediately bring Ahmed Shezad, Junaid Khan, and Haris Sohail and replace Shoib Malik, Imran Nazir and Tanvir. We have great talent, we need to bring them forward and stop playing with discarted players again n again.

  • ranilranathunga on October 6, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    I dont know what is up with Indian fans, they should understand just by beating Pak and SL will not make them any kind of champions. They will have to beat other teams too. For an example they lost against NZ recently and was thrashed by Aus. Though SL and Pak is not having a good time against Ind, they are doing well against other teams which make them do much better than Ind in big tournaments.

  • EngineerKhan on October 6, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    Even 150 was chaseable and it wasn't as tough of the pitch as its been made in the aftermath of the loss. I confess it from heart that we made an absolute mess of the run chase and it was more of self-made pressure and panic rather than the Sri Lankan bowling which really ran riots in the batting line-up.

    But unlike others, I wont either want any senior player to retire, not want them to be discussed. They themselves are as much shocked as anyone and time is to give them rest and let them re-assess their performance and prove the amendments by performing in leagues. Afridi, Malik and Imran Nazir have good chance to prove it in qualifiers of champions league and there is strong chance for one of the team from either Stallions or Hampshire to go through in the tournament, so they should make the most of this opportunity.

    Umar Akmal should always bat at no 4 (in all formats including tests), while Nasir Jamshed must be no 3 in both ODIs and T20s. Time to give role to juniors

  • KiwiRocker- on October 6, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    Pakistan's bets fast bowler in last year or so has been Junaid Khan so why was not he selected? Pakistan's best batsman has been Azhar Ali. Yes, he is not as glamorous as lets say Imran Nazir but that is a type of batsman Pakistan line up needs. Why was not he selected? Asad Shafiq played one warm match and he scored the highest. Razzaq played one match and he scored 22 off 17 balls that proved difference against Australia so why were they ignored? Shoib Malik and Imran Nazir are a proven failure and they need to go. Afridi has stayed in team because of his bowling but his bowling has ditched him so time to go. Kamran played a fine knock in warm up against India but failed when it mattered so he needs to go, although if he performs he can always make a come back. Gul and Sohail Tanvir needs to be put on notice. Unlike India,Pakistan has backup players and talent to replaced failed ones,Asad Shafiq,Azhar Ali, Hammad Azam, Sarfraz Ahmad and Fawad Alam are ready and available to replace!

  • on October 6, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    dont forget afridi is an allrounder. i am surprised at how people judge him as a batsman only. he is a world class spinner. he is a better spinner than a batsman. he is a hitter.

  • Zahidsaltin on October 6, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Watmore and Hafiz should be fired for not playing Razzaq in whole of the tournament. One match they won because of Umar Gul's batting, another because they had Razzaq to save the batting blunders by making 21.

  • SyedAbidHussain on October 6, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Pak has made it to Semi-Finals of previous 6 consecutive ICC tournaments, 2007 WT20- Finalists 2009 WT20- Winners 2009 ICC champions trophy- Semi-Finalists 2010 WT20 - Semi- Finalists 2011 WorldCup- Semi- Finalists 2012 WT20 - Semi- Finalists Only one player was common in all these tournaments, it was AFRIDI !!!!

  • greatkhan on October 6, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Dear All, Watching Pakistan chase any kind of target is like watching a delivery live. They just simply find it or make it extremely difficult chasing any kind of target & against any opposition. Easy to criticize Afridi & Nazir, but the truth of the matter is that, until & unless Pakistan produces quality Batsmen i dont think this problem will ever finish. Pakistan has the Best Bowling Attack & worst batting among the test Playing Nations.

  • msalikhan on October 6, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    I think Shahid Afridi is a better captain in T20 cricket. Muhammad Hafeez has not the capability to sustain pressure. Moreover poor umpiring decisions against the players also change the game scenario

  • on October 6, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Some one think the inning of TM Dilshan is waste before PAK bats. But that is the way to bat kind of pitch. See what happen to Afridi. TMD understand the pitch from the first few overs and keep his wicket & get runs slowly. Weldone boys. One more has to go.

  • bouncer1021 on October 6, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    I hope Hafeez provides explaination in the coming days why he presisted with Imran Nazir when he had correct and proven player for this kind of pitch. Asad Shafeeq. He already had 3 other openers in the team. I hope he can enlighten us about Razzaq and why he was being watsed when Tanvir was consistently rubbish in all group matches and why was he kept out of the semi final. Shoib Malik is never going to score except when he plays against Bangladesh or India. His technique is at a club level and getting worst. Pakistan always looks for flashy playes rather than working with correct players and giving them chance to adopt to all cricket formats. I hope this is not about team mafia keeping out outsiders. I hope he knows things that we don't. Pakistan should immediately bring Ahmed Shezad, Junaid Khan, and Haris Sohail and replace Shoib Malik, Imran Nazir and Tanvir. We have great talent, we need to bring them forward and stop playing with discarted players again n again.

  • ranilranathunga on October 6, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    I dont know what is up with Indian fans, they should understand just by beating Pak and SL will not make them any kind of champions. They will have to beat other teams too. For an example they lost against NZ recently and was thrashed by Aus. Though SL and Pak is not having a good time against Ind, they are doing well against other teams which make them do much better than Ind in big tournaments.

  • EngineerKhan on October 6, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    Even 150 was chaseable and it wasn't as tough of the pitch as its been made in the aftermath of the loss. I confess it from heart that we made an absolute mess of the run chase and it was more of self-made pressure and panic rather than the Sri Lankan bowling which really ran riots in the batting line-up.

    But unlike others, I wont either want any senior player to retire, not want them to be discussed. They themselves are as much shocked as anyone and time is to give them rest and let them re-assess their performance and prove the amendments by performing in leagues. Afridi, Malik and Imran Nazir have good chance to prove it in qualifiers of champions league and there is strong chance for one of the team from either Stallions or Hampshire to go through in the tournament, so they should make the most of this opportunity.

    Umar Akmal should always bat at no 4 (in all formats including tests), while Nasir Jamshed must be no 3 in both ODIs and T20s. Time to give role to juniors

  • KiwiRocker- on October 6, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    Pakistan's bets fast bowler in last year or so has been Junaid Khan so why was not he selected? Pakistan's best batsman has been Azhar Ali. Yes, he is not as glamorous as lets say Imran Nazir but that is a type of batsman Pakistan line up needs. Why was not he selected? Asad Shafiq played one warm match and he scored the highest. Razzaq played one match and he scored 22 off 17 balls that proved difference against Australia so why were they ignored? Shoib Malik and Imran Nazir are a proven failure and they need to go. Afridi has stayed in team because of his bowling but his bowling has ditched him so time to go. Kamran played a fine knock in warm up against India but failed when it mattered so he needs to go, although if he performs he can always make a come back. Gul and Sohail Tanvir needs to be put on notice. Unlike India,Pakistan has backup players and talent to replaced failed ones,Asad Shafiq,Azhar Ali, Hammad Azam, Sarfraz Ahmad and Fawad Alam are ready and available to replace!

  • on October 6, 2012, 1:05 GMT

    dont forget afridi is an allrounder. i am surprised at how people judge him as a batsman only. he is a world class spinner. he is a better spinner than a batsman. he is a hitter.

  • Zahidsaltin on October 6, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Watmore and Hafiz should be fired for not playing Razzaq in whole of the tournament. One match they won because of Umar Gul's batting, another because they had Razzaq to save the batting blunders by making 21.

  • bestofluckindia on October 5, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    What a waste of opportunity from Pak, Really if it had been India in Semis Srilanka would have been out.... Doesnt matter anyway Srilanka are going to Gayled on Sunday....

  • SaadSuleman on October 5, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    well i don't know why these Indians are even commenting on the blogs related to Pakistani team if they don't like... mention not take care of their team and hope for their good performance... you can't stop lankan's from winning this cuz they are best right now.... from Pakistan

  • on October 5, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    Why would you need to hit sixes when you chase 139..Afridi has gone insane, he tries to chase 200 runs in 1 ball..A bit more commonsense would have helped the cause..

  • Sinhaya on October 5, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    @maddy20, if Sri Lanka got an umpiring howler and lost yesterday, I know YOU WONT UTTER A SINGLE WORD ON THAT! India won against us 4-1 because our own umpires acted in India's favor and that was why Kumar Dharmasena got the umpire of the year award when he is no where near the likes of Aleem Dar or Simon Taufel.

  • GreenTeam-Elite on October 5, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    Well I think Sri Lanka Played better cricket then Pakistan so don't worry Pakistan because They are also our brothers. Now pray for them to win World cup final from West Indies. I think with the depth of spin bowling Sri Lanka can win final easyly. Good Luck Sri Lanka for the final...

  • razakbhai123 on October 5, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    Pakistan, need to play like a bunch , not like a individual player , they always try to play glorifying shots regardless of the condition of the team! they need to be coached on mental prospect and not on playing skill.

  • IPL_hater on October 5, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    I agree with the article. Pakistan's batting is and will be the biggest problem if the infrastructure of domestic level cricket does not improve. The only potentially solid batsmen are Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal. In this match, Gul came when 6 down which shows how weak the batting line up is. Though many people may not agree, i think that Shoaib Malik should be in the team because of the fact that he can rotate the strike well which is important in a high pressure chase. Until we have a bowler like Mohammed Amir in the team then pakistan does have a real chance of winning major tournaments in the near future. The fast bowing was terrible throughout the tournament so as well as batting the fast bowling needs to be improved as well.

  • Sinhaya on October 5, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    @maddy20, forgot about DRS?? Your BCCI only opposes DRS so you all are 100% responsible for all umpiring howlers!

  • vinodkd99 on October 5, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    @Rickyvoncanterbury: As per you India does not play pace / spin well. India lost 5 wickets against Afghans, 4 vs England, 7 against Aussies, 2 against Pakistan (so called best spinners in world) and 6 against Proteas. In return India did bundle 4 of the teams (all out). As per you Lankans play quicks very well. What a joke? I suppose you have forgotten that Lankans got 45 / 5 against Proteas in League match. 3 catches were dropped also, otherwise you would have ended up at 45/8 or thereabouts in 7 overs. Shocking but still laughing.

  • vinodkd99 on October 5, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    @Kuruwita: For your kind information, India did bundle out Pakistan, England, Proteas (not to talk of Afghanistan) within 20 overs in this World Cup. I suppose no other team did it. India may not have best bowlers individually, but as a team they do the job. I suppose you and many others would agree.

  • Zahidsaltin on October 5, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    Team management lost it even before it begined. A lot of ex-players and most fans wanted Asad Shafiq to be in the playing 11 but Watmore and Hafiz thought otherwise. Why did they need 5 spinners and two fast bowlers in the team. They could have easily done it with 4 spinners (Hafiz, Ajmal, Afridi, Shoaib) and two fast bowlers (Gul and Razzaq). Asad Shafiq should have played instead of Imran Nazir and Razzaq instead of Tanveer. It could have given us an extra batsman when we knew that we could only lose due to our retarded batting.

  • kam_uk on October 5, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    Pak lost this fair & square, the biggest fault was the pitch. It was never a T20 pitch, the curators should have been preparing a new pitch for knock out stages. Btw a big score from Windies today, maybe they had the pitch PK v SL should have. As for the batting it let the team down again but Umar Akmal the "Virat Kohli" of Pak was batting too low down the order. He should've come on instead of his butter fingered brother and never in a million years behind Shoaib Malik, the coach and captain need to answer for that blunder. I appreciate the argument that the team needs some firepower down the order but not their best batsman. Coming in this low puts pressure on Umar Akmal to build an innings and that leads to the run rate ballooning to 10+ and 17 off the last over which you can never be got from the quality SL bowlers. You never know what would've happened had Umar Akmal come in at no4 maybe he would have got out quickly too but he's carried his bat many times in T20's hasn't he.

  • mainul079080 on October 5, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    @Umeriar.Well said.Congrats for a great comment.I am a Fawad Alam fan from Bangladesh.Please raise your voice-all Pak fans to bring back Fawad.He will be Pakistan"s Hussy-I bet.A great player.

  • shazzar on October 5, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Great article, sums up pakistan. They have struggled batting in all formats of the games, leaving to the likes of inzi and misbah in the past to save the day. This time we simply had no one in there, i had hoped jamshed would be the one but sadly no. Rest are almost all swash bucklers, and that is what lost it for us. They simply do not want to bat any other wa. But at least have 7 batmen, 4 spinners againt sri lankans was too much, they did not learn from india match. should have dropped raza and played razzaq, hafeez did not even bowl all his overs.

  • on October 5, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    SL still loves you PAK ! Friends in Cricket !

  • MFNadeem on October 5, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Such a pitch shouldn't have been made for such high profile match. Win the toss, and win the match. period.

  • Sekhar_Puppala on October 5, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    Thsi clearly shows that, in the game of T20, it depends on that day game and situation.. no team is superior and so is captaina and players... Pakistan heavily dependent on Naser Jamshed in batting.. Wasted Umar Akmal sending low down the order.

  • on October 5, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    @ samincolumbia If you think playing then Word Champion Srilanka, with bowling attack comprising Muralitharan (the best offie world has ever seen), Dharmasena, Chaminda Vaas, Jayasuria and the captaincy of Ranatunga is considered club level then sure, you really know cricket and have a point.

  • on October 5, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    Solid article.. totally agree.. with such an inconsistent batting they only rely on miracles. They didn't play Asad Shafiq as a good reliable middle order batsman. There were no place for Imran Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq and Yasir Arafat. Their days are gone.. had enough with them. Pakistan now needs a proper middle order batsman and some good fast bowlers too to accompany Umar Gul. Spinners are awesome at the min but their bowling cant rely only on spin on all tracks..

  • samincolumbia on October 5, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Afridi scored the fastest century against the club level Sri Lankan bowlers (club level 16 years ago and club level now) and he was treated likeroyalty...the result is there for all to see!!

  • Solid_Snake on October 5, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    @ umeriyar ->Well said bro..Defining cricket Pakistan in a few lines :)

  • on October 5, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Nice article,,,but Pakistan was lost it again due to bating same like 1999 word cup,,and matches are not only won by bowling only,,,i think if we see then there is no genuine batsman in the whole history of Pakistan cricket,,we always lost the big matches due to bating in the past,,,

  • WickyRoy.paklover on October 5, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Lankan team as wel as fans must b relievd now as they have beaten probably best t20 team,bt they also must thank "lady of luck" cnsidrng they were playng wid 13 playrs,2 extra playrs were afridi,rod tucker.I KNOW Most of pak fans(includng myself) R disatisfied bt thats nt bcoz our team lost in semis bt since our team have set such high standards in t20s that anythng les than a final Z jst nt acceptable.INDIAN FANS MUST REALIZE THAT THEIR TEAM WAS PLAIN LUCKY TO GET 2 VICTORIES AS IT WAS MORNE MORKEL WHO GIFTD THEM OTHRWISE INDIAN TEAM Would nt had their faces showing to their public,i request ICC To keep ind in pool along wid bd,ire,zim so that they might have somethng to show to their fans as they r again going to b knockd out of nxt t20 cup as wel.lolz

  • on October 5, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    I think you are right.Mistake started with selection of the team.This pitch was not easy to bat on.So instead of slogers like Imran Nazir we should have selected Asad Shafiq technically sound batsman.Second mistake dropping Razzaq.Third mistake was to give last over to Umer Gul while Shohail Tanveer, Ajmal and Hafiz has over left.Umer Gul past record in closing overs is not good.Fourth mistake was opening inning with Imran Nazir and Hafiz.

  • msnsrinivas on October 5, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    The greatest disservice done to Pakistan cricket is Afridi scoring that century against Sri Lanka. 16 years on, he is still riding on that. Know what I mean? Heck, what's more? He was even made the captain.

  • jokerbala on October 5, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    I have no Idea how a player like Umar Akmal can come so low down the order for Pak. They used to do the same with Inzy and Yousuf while keeping that slow Younis Khan upfront and they have to stay away from that mind set. Keeping your impact players upfront is the best way to go, at least in T20s

  • msnsrinivas on October 5, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Wow! Afridi, What a sensational talent!

  • bouncer1021 on October 5, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    If there is any one to blame, its Pakistani selection. They selected Imran Nazir (proven failure at international level), Shoib Malik, and Sami. Hafeez followed the same strategy and keep sticking Afridi, and Imran in the team. Leaving out Razzaq and Asad Shafiq against SL on this pitch showed inexperience on his part. We also missed Junaid Khan throughout the series. Gul was not at his best. Team lost because they did not address their weaknesses and kept trying the same thing and expecting a different result.

  • RaadQ on October 5, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Pakistan lost this match due to 3 problems: poor selection, below par performance and a costly umpiring mistake. Firstly, Shoaib Malik shouldn't have been picked over Abdul Razzaq, as Malik has failed Pakistan for as long as I can remember, and he did so again today. Kamran Akmal fails with the gloves again, and couldn't do anything with the bat, another selection blunder. Pakistan's performance was below par, particularly in the field, and they made a blunder by leaving Umar Akmal down the order, even after pundits stated this was a mistake. Lastly, in form Jamshed couldn't get going due to another one of many mistakes by Tucker. How do they get these wrong, when they are standing exactly in line with the wickets. :S

  • on October 5, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    I dont understand the sense behind people feeling that Pakistan lost because Jamshed was wrongly adjudged LBW. What about the rest of the team? Is the entire team reliant on Jamshed alone? I would say they lost this because of poor shot selection. Afridi's shot makes no sense at all.

  • on October 5, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    It was so stupid to have such a powdery pitch that was more like a 5th day Test match pitch and that too in a semi final of WT20. They should have prepared a brand new pitch for these knock outs. I thought T20 was supposed to be batsmen game.

  • on October 5, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Blame hafeez no one else, this should be last world cup for afridi hafeez tanvir and kamran

  • malepas on October 5, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Yes,,the batting failed to get 140 but how many of you will bet on Srilanka to chase the same total batting second on this pitch against Pakistan bowling attack,,It would have been the same result,,there was 70% chance of winning the match on such a terrible pitch once you lose a toss and had to bat second,,so we shouldn't just take our knives against PAK batsmen,,a world event such as T20 finals on such a pitch was a terrible specticle..any team who would bat second on this pitch would have lost this game,,and off ourse one can point out on to who should have played and where,,but it was a semi final and only one team had to win and it was SL and congrates to them but Pak fought well and lost the match,,so well done to them for reaching this far against odds.

  • on October 5, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Listen,@ some pakistani supporters.We gave you the due respect and you played a fine game.The better team won.Dont blame it on one LBW for the match.Pakistan is a great team,but respect other teams aswell.We didnt find excuses when we lost in 2009,there the better team was Pakistan.As far as no international cricket is concerned in Pakistan.Remember it was the SL team that came to Pakistan,where no other team came and in the end got shot.Pakistani fans forget so soon.Its just a game,live with it.This is will be not the last time Pakistan play and they will get another chance in the future.As far as exposure is concerned,Pakistani players played SLPL a month before World Cup.So dont excuse talking about IPL.Pakistan is a very talented team,but dont sling mud at others just because you lost.Even Hafeez didnt wine and cry like some people here.Atleast learn from him.

  • on October 5, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    the team has no batting back bone, hafeez is a mediocre player and supports mediocrity in the team

  • wrenx on October 5, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    On a related note, there is no critique of Whatmore in this article. Ok, he's not on the pitch when the game is on, but he's been in the role many months now, and as a foreign coach, he's shown absolutely no indication of having had an impression on the team, not even in the slightest way. Selection is still a mess, strategy is bemusing and there haven't been any new ideas. Mohsin Khan was doing a far better job during his interim tenure

  • Zoomzoom on October 5, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Its really sad to see Pakistan's exit in such a way. However, it is now time for selector to make some serious decisions - Imran, Shahid, Kamran, Shoaib should be shown the exit door.Pakistan played the whole tournament with only one specialist batsman, i.e. Nasir Jamshed. The other players in top order (M. Hafeez, Shoaib, Shahid) are bowlers who could bat. Kamran and Imran were never a batsman. These two were playing only on the basis of one odd past performance in 10-20 innings. Umar Akmal is only a talent NEVER a batsman. Also the management should think the role of new bowling coach, as the performance of our bowlers are only getting worse in every match. We cannot rely on our quickies anymore. So pity.

  • wrenx on October 5, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    This is a very fair assessment of the game and the tournament by (v. unusual when it comes to writing about Pakistan!). They surrendered tamely to a better organised SL unit, who will no doubt be better challenged in the final, whoever they play.

  • on October 5, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    We lost the cup because of SKA. When they include his name in XI whole country and Pak team hoping he will perform in this game. But sad that expectations remains expectations only. He failed measurably both with bat and ball, he was only a passenger in this tournament. I love this player but fact is fact. Hope he will come back.

  • Philip_Gnana on October 5, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    There was an advantage that the Pakistanis could have taken in batting second. They had seen how the SL batsmen played. Dilshan, for instance playing a different role. The stroke selection of Mahela had been totally ignored by the Pakistani batsmen. Questions need to be asked why they did not learn from the SL batsmen. Pakistan have been gracious in defeat unlike their neighbours India who seem to be still harping on of being "hard done by". 139 was not a huge total to chase seeing that Pakistan were up there at the end of the 14th over with an asking rate of 8.1. This was gettable with the set batsman Hafeez and and Umar Akmal settling in well. How a moment of madness can build pressure. Hafeez not taking note of the bowler. Pakistan had great bowlers who had totally mesmerised the OZ. Boom Boom not showing up and Umar Gul not repeating his heroics with the bat. Captain cool Mahela, to take the credit for marshalling his forces. Philip Gnana, surrey

  • umeriyar on October 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    I am Imran. I am Wasim. I am Waqar. I am the Final at Melbourne. I am the Final at Lord's. I am Asian Champion. I am the Last Ball at Sharjah. I am the Inventor of the Doosra. I am the Inventor of Reverse Swing. I am the Sultan of Swing. When they wouldn't let me play at home, I drifted wherever I could. I am the Cornered Tiger. I am the Fastest Ball. I am the Quickest Hundred. I am the Biggest Six. I am the Shattered Stumps. I am the Aggression. I am the Passion. I am the Nightmare between wickets. I am the 100 miles/hr Rawalpindi Express. I am the Boom Boom. I am the Youth. I am the Professor. I am the Soldier. I am the Unpredictable. I am the 175 Million Hearts. I AM CRICKET PAKISTAN...!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

  • stormy16 on October 5, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    This was always going to be a tough chase against SL's attack. I felt Pakistan should have sent Umar Akmal higher up the order before the ball got soft as battle of nerves on a wearing pitch against Malinga and co in the final overs was never going to work. In the end because Pakistan didnt cease the initiative SL were allowed to keep Malinga and Mendis for later. What's more a guy like Mathews, who at best is a gentle medim pacer, was allowed two precious wickets - at a time Pakistan should have had Umar applying pressure on the SL bowlers. In hindsight, the author makes the best point - you cannot win big events on flashes of brilliance and without a quality batting order. It will win your you the odd game and with luck may be a few more, but it will come unstuck on most occassions.

  • swat1999 on October 5, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    PCB should be seriously read and implement this article. I must say thanks to Mr. Abhshek P. for this article

  • Solid_Snake on October 5, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    @ abdulahadjawaid ->This Herath guy..Every time he make his appearance against Pak,he totally destroys us.Mahela is very clever.this was a perfect pitch for a bowler like Herath. Talking about our Batsmen->Our batsmen lack proper technique.Seriously just forget that you are a Pakistani.Do you find any difference between our Pak batsmen and all other world batsmen?Even the batsmen of Ireland have got more class than the way we Bat. The way i see it,our batsmen plays cricket like they are playing in Streets.Look at the Class of Mahela and Sanga.The way they play their strokes.All proper cricketing shots with sheer class.I dont remember any Pak batsman to have such class after Younis,Yousaf etc..Why cant we find decent players.All we could find is a guy in love with street cricket and always ready to hit a Six.. Its true,one has to win and other has to lose.We still fought hard to win the Semi final match.SL played better,they deserved the win.But we have to think hard about our batting

  • WickyRoy.paklover on October 5, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    I can undrstand d agony n Frustratn of indian fans here.THEIR OVR.RATD BATNG WAS BADLY EXPOSD BY Saffas,ausies,SO IT Z QUITE CLEAR THAT YOUNG INDIAN BATSMEN CAN'T PLAY GD PACE BOWLRS EVEN IN SUBCNTINENTAL CNDITNS WHICH Z NT A GD NEWS 4 A TEAM WHICH ALWAYS DEPENDS ON "HOME CNDITNS" TO KEEP THE WINING COLUMN TICKNG,so hard times cming 4 india which z already fairly average t20 side N pathetic test side.ONE CAN HAVE AN IDEA THAT THEY WOULD DROP DOWN FURTHER IN ICC RANKINGS POSIBLY TO 6 TO 7 IN TESTS,T20S N 5 IN ODIS.

  • Sports4Youth on October 5, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Jamshed got unclucky second time in this tournament. Earlier in the India game he was given out when he did not knick the Yuvraj delivery. This time he was given out even the ball had pitched way outside the leg stump line. When such an important player is lost early in the innings to bad umpiring then it becomes difficult for the rest of the batsmen. In anycase Pakistan were atleast two batsment short. I say two because i do not regard Malik as a specialitst batsman & he has been terribly out of knick in since the last 18 months or so.

  • Yousuf9999 on October 5, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    ICC should include DRS to at least huge tournaments like world cup......umpires decision can cost a match to any team.......pathetic by ICC

  • on October 5, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    This is a failure mindset that Pakistani fans are showing up and they still want to support the failing team. Thats no wise. You have to ask for the answers from the team management about their decisions in team selections etc. This poor mindset of failure has to go otherwise you as a nation will go no where.

  • Yousuf9999 on October 5, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    What we just do is to throw out IMRAN nazir n move nazir up the order n instead of IMRAN include asad Shafqat in the middle n throw out Shoaib Malik n include razzaq .. I totally agree with ALA1 comments that we should be proud of our team that inspite of facing tons of troubles, n without playing to their home condition they are winning loads of series n come this far in the world cup.....HATS OFF TO PAKISTAN TEAM...,WE STILL LOVE YOU .....

  • Meherdeen on October 5, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Pakistan needs young blood with a little experience. Afridi is not a good motivator but a spoiler. He may get a wicket here and there but his time is over. Others like Nazir, Malik and Razzak are out of sorts and should be out. Build a new team and Paks will be one the best team in the world.

  • gustakhcricketer on October 5, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    well i respect every pakistani's opinion on afridi but fellows you have real short term memory..you remember the two series where afridi is flop but you do not remember ASIA Cup final when your team was tembling at 70 odd for 6 and it was only this man that got you out with both his batting and bowling...6-8 months is a very normal patch for any player to be out of form..i hear a lot about youngsters..well guess what there are absolutley no youngsters capable enough of performing at international level...you tried hammad azam..you tried asad shafiq..you tried Imran nazir(the most over rated player of this century)..YOu tried ahmad shehzad...but none of these have that spark to make you suceessful at international stage and especially especially in T20 internationals...so it is just a bad patch for afridi and he will be back in form very soon INSHALLAH..it nt very far when you will be cheering for him again..

  • on October 5, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    kamran akmal,shahid afridi,Abdur Razzaq, Imran Nazir,Yasir Arfat,Sohail Muhammad Sami, Tanveer,Shoib Malik should be kept out of any selection in future and specially Akmal brothers should be part of any team, if pakistan wants to do better in future.

  • on October 5, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    I see lot of negative comments here but let it be game . one team wins after all and if you talked about stats then except Australia all other major teams have same kinda stats to compare with.. Afridi was match winner and he is sometime people got stuck into bad patches like everybody does .. I agree with some poor selection in pakistan team like Shoaib Malik , Imran Nazir, and Kamran Akamal and decision to include Sohail Tanveer instead of Razzak was terrible mistake .

  • SAF-Fan-no-1 on October 5, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    This match if you look-up - Possible If Kamran Akmal & Imran Nazir went on openning and Jamshed to Third, Umar Akmal to forth & Hafiz to 5th Place - they would win this game. Leave Shahid Afridi & Umar Gul. These bowler can't do nothing. They are burden of Pakistan. Get good opener start with above. Pakistan now way near this game. Hafiz doesn't know how to bat, nighter any of the batsman standing on pitch. Make good uniti with bring back Mohammed Aamir in the Team. Leave Shahid Afridi & Umar Gul out. Umar gul has ended this match. He is not perfect hard heater. Sorry Folks but this the way pakistan has to go Africa.

  • t20-2007 on October 5, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Pakistan is just a ok kind of team with thr small set of skills, they reached upto this far in ICC t20..is itself a achievement but no more freebies n net run rate jokes now on

  • on October 5, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    Sang was given out without nicking the ball in the match against England,yet SL won.Umpires too make mistakes.Therefore u cannot say u lost because of this decession.This is wonderful Cricket.If Umpires dont make mistakes there is no need for video referals too.

  • Baber_Baloch on October 5, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    pak team play without planing ,,if they think plan then get win,,but they don,t ,,never

  • Hamza.17 on October 5, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    honestly srilanka just rode their luck , first by wining the toss and then by the grace of ROD TUCKER , many odd in the game biased pitch however srilanka never deserved to play finals their fielding was sick and the show they put up was not gud at all if pakistan wd have tht score on board , lankans wd have been done for 80 ... a serious fact and this cup now is australia , only pakistan cld have beaten them none else can..... A HARSH FACT BUT TRUE...

  • kachie73 on October 5, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Fair analysis, batting have become a structural and chronic problem for Pakistan since the end of "greats" perhaps last were Inzi, Yousaf, and Younis Khan. But last pargraph is bit harsh, four semis and one title is not so bad performance, we last in Colombo against a spin struggle, many other teams also struggled, not very surprising result. In St Lucia, Pakistan were outclassed by Mike Hussey by his one of greates innings. In lords, Pakistan beat a much better Srilankan side in a great pressure game with genuine skills. In South Africa it was a well fought final and at the end one team have to win and that was India. There is no short term solution to batting woes, it need serious efforts by Pakisatn in coming times as it is a "structural and deeper problem".

  • Fast_Track_Bully on October 5, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    Afridi is the best batsman in the world! congrats afridi.

  • krishkrish on October 5, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Pakistan needs some CULTURED batsmen like Nasir Jamshed not like Afridi's , Akmal and Imran Nazir. I think it is very difficult to get a bastman who uses brain. Pakistan has only 2 players with common sense - Hafeez and Misbah .India has one such guy called Viru. Those guys should be thrown away from the international cricket. Even warner playing with some sense. There is no surprise that great RAMEEZ RAJA praised Nasir jamshed like anything.

  • ALA1 on October 5, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    A country where international matches are banned , a country which never been invited in IPL. A country whose bowlers are number one in Cricket and they weren't inducted as even a nominee for the ICC 2012 awards. Still reaching in Semi final is the most remarkable and awesome efforts by green team.... Pakistan didn't lost a match but they have won the courage in taking them to the Semis non stop since 2008. Pakistan Zindabad !!

  • vijsingh on October 5, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    The main reason of pakistan failure 1. They dont have the match winners in there team 2. Why in T20 players like soaib mailk,haffez are doing completely one day specialist 3. Team combination and another reason Umar akmal batting in lower level they are wasting his talent......So moral of the story is Pakistan can never win Big tournaments .

  • rahulcricket007 on October 5, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    yesterday i read an article about pakistan crikcet . it said " THAT DESPITE ALL HURDLES PAKISTAN TEAM HAS MADE IT TO THE SIXTH CONSECUTIVE SEMFINAL OF AN ICC TOURNAMENT SINCE 2007 . . the article also made a lighter point about india 's performances in the recent world cups & said " THAT INDIA NEEDS TO LEARN FROM PAKISTAN ON HOW TO REACH KNOCK OUT STAGES " .the article failes to mention the fact that india despite reaching only two times in semifinlas has won 2 championships while pakistan has won only 1 championship after reaching semifinals 6 times .

  • abdulahadjawaid on October 5, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    @Solid_Snake even my reaction was the same when Mahela said "Rangana Herath is in". 140 was achievable but I still think that the batsmen tried to make runs. May be it was the pitch that was not working for Pakistani batsmen and Sri Lanka deserved to win because they played really well on such a hard pitch to bat on. There were flaws but still, it's a part of game. One team has to win. It's disappointing that we couldn't make it to finals but we played decent cricket throughout. My total support is with Sri Lanka now. I'd love to see the trophy in hands of Mahela and his men. All the best Sri Lanka and may the best team win.

  • wajshah on October 5, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    Pakistan team new blood in side, please do favor for young players BABAR AZAM / AZEEM GUMAN / RAMEEZ JUNIOR / HAMAD AZAM / SHARJEEL KHAN and also for bowling Zia Haq and Anwer Ali. Pakistan team can not play some good cricket with old players it time for Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik to go home and take long rest

  • grizzle on October 5, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Don't see the big deal in losing in the World Hit-and-Giggle. You're still a top Test team Pakistan! (definitely the best in the subcontinent) And that's what matters.

  • Sports4Youth on October 5, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    I hope Kamran is Axed for Good this time.

  • Sports4Youth on October 5, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Posted by maddy20 on (October 05 2012, 07:48 AM GMT) :- I totally agree with maddy20. Pakistan has given the worlds best umpires to the world. But the world has given the worlds worst umpires to Pakistan (that is when they are playing). And why is it that in such an important tournament there is no DRS. maddy20 is right, Jamshed was capable of forging a winning combination with Hafeez, Umar Akmal & more. Even though you can put it down to bad luck , but i would say that in the last 2 years Pakistan have got some of the worst decisions. Earlier pakistan lost the Sri Lankan tour to bad umpriring. This is not fair. If the ICC cannot ensure good umpires in Pakistan games then there should have been DRS alteast.

  • Sports4Youth on October 5, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    @ smjr :- I agree with smjr, Sami, Tanvir, Gul should not have been picked for this World Cup. Junaid had done no wrong in the limited opportunities he got. He should have been persisted with. Among specialist bowlers, Gul was the most expensive bowler in the tournament and had the worst Economiy. Time to move on beyond Gul, Tanvir & Sami. Start grooming Junaid Khan & other younsters. And for heaven's sake please dont select Mallik for such important tournaments especially when he is showing no signs of form. Hafeez had the inform Shafiq sitting on the bench, who never got the opportunity. In none of the previous games did Mallik inspire any confidence then why did Hafeez persist with him so much ?

  • khurramsch on October 5, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    pakistan have themselves to blame. they were poor. it was not a hit 6 everyball wicket. very irresponsible & poor batting by them jamshed got rough from umpire but shots of hafez,kamran,malik,nazir,afridi very poor. guls last over cost 16. leaving razak out was very crucial. Imran nazir & malik are now only dometic & league players. Afridi should also now retirehe is not doing with ball & bat. & because of this balance of team is not right. SL read well they didnt hit any 6. but pak players were trying to hit.

  • Shouldas-Wouldas-Couldas on October 5, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    In addition to your analysis, there were at least two more defining factors/aspects ! ( 1 ) Decision to stage/play WT20 semi ( Eng v NZ ) on a POWDERY/CRUMBLING/BREAKING/Low-variable BOUNCE pitch ahead of Men's Semi is "HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE" !!!! Winning Toss - Bat first - Runs on board on a "DYING" pitch was massive UNFAIR advantage! ( 2) Some of the present (selected) Pakistan team players never deserved to be selected/had no place in the team. All of Afridis, Razzaks, Nazirs, Kamrans, Maliks selection was unjustified. These players had been failing repeatedly, last few series. These "DEAD WOOD" players's "SHELF LIFE" EXPIRED YEARS AGO !

  • smjr on October 5, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    The Pak selectors did not work hard in selecting a squad team. Same is true with domestic team coaches. The competitive level at our domestic is very very poor. Fast bowlers only like bowing with speed with no swing ability. Speed stand nothing without swing but Swing with average speed (like Zaheer khan) is actually art and if bowler bowl with high speed and swing (like Steyn, Starc) than that is great. Umar Gul is nothing bowler with new bowl. Suhail Tanvir did not swing the ball much. There is hope in Junaid Khan. Similarly in our domestic cricket bowlers are not disciplined they gave away lot of width which prepare our batsman to free their arms and play nice looking shots. The batsman are not used to playing tight bowling or turning balls and that is why they are not trained enough to play wide range of shots especially deliveries that are within stumps. This has been the story of Pakistan cricket since last 25 years or so. Sorry to say nobody look into iit.

  • on October 5, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    I agree with ur coumln othr than "Is it any wonder then, that after six successive ICC tournament semi-finals - a commendable achievement - they have just one title to show?" Wht abt SL...who'll play their 4th final. thy hav almost same stats as Pak has but still thy can't win a single title? why? its bcz thy were outclassd by a bettr team. All ma wishs r with SL, lv Mahela as a captain n its time tht u lift the Cup proudly.go SL

  • smjr on October 5, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    The inevitable finally has happened. It happened on numerous occasions, last time it was in Mohali. There are many reasons for Pak debacle but to me following are solid one (i) Pak batsman lacks wide range of shot and basically single dimensional. When the bowler give them width their technique works, they extend their arms, but when bowler bowl within stumps and with slow pace and turn they have no clue (ii) Pakistan bowlers are attacking ones especially they bowled fast and Over spin the bowl too much, tried many different thing on slow pitch. They are good at test match level or when the pitch is doing too much for them. (iii) Their captain and coach approach is rigid the old formula that winning combination is to be kept not work all the time. If you are professional than every player in the squad should be prepared for 'st

  • Criktic on October 5, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    The bottom line is Sri Lanka has been a better team and deserved to win. As for our Pak team, lets face it that our team is not a champion material. So let the best team take away the cup.

  • smjr on October 5, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    I have define below each team characteristics in single sentence with regard to ICC tournaments: (i) Australia--- Mentally strong but take pressure in high profile match (ii) India--- Highly Focus & consistent but lack killer instinct (iii) South Africa --- Chokers in knockout matches but lot of skils and talent(iv) Pakistan--- The most un-predictable team but rely on individual brilliance (v) England--- Stereo typed conservative planning but very disciplined (vi) Sri Lanka--- Lot of talent and skill but lack big match temperament (vii) W.I--- bits and pieces team, lack confidence but individually good (viii) N.Z--- Lack hunger to win but bring drama and suspense.

  • maddy20 on October 5, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    The umpiring in this tournament has been terrible to say the least. With all its resources if ICC can only train mediocre umpires like Kettleborough and Rod Tucker then I am at loss of words. If umpires like these persist then its like ruling a batsman out or notout is like flipping a coin. I personally think ICC should field its best umpires in important games such as these even if it means one of them is a Pakistani umpire, when Pakistan is playing. Rauf and Dar are way better than those mentioned in my post. Imagine what would have happened had Jamshed forged a match-winning partnership with Umar Akmal.

  • on October 5, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @Kunalx - In recent past Pakistan white washed England by 3-0 in tests. Which India never did

  • on October 5, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    honestly i was glad we lost and afridi got another golden duck ... because maybe just maybe our management and loyal fans of afridi rethink rather to use afridi as a specialist bowler or not ??? we won group stages and some how manage to go through super eights to semi finals and ignore the fact that afridi was big failure in this tournament and also previous two series which we played against australia and srilanka (including one days)* ... so a big defeat like this at bigger stage was much needed to give them some reality check ... i honestly think that raza hassan the bowler is much suitable at the place of afridi at these sort of pitches ... and for afridi we can use another specialist batsman like asad shafiq or any other youngster ... but in the end these all are hopes/thinking of common man and management thinks beyond the common man's thinking (for what i don't know)...

  • Solid_Snake on October 5, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    Pak team went out with just 6 specialist batsmen.. I said it even before the match that pak team is just doing a suicide with a combination like that.A pitch which is known to have turn and crazy bounce.Why are you including Tanvir instead of Razzaq..Ok Tanvir stopped some runs.But Razzaq could have stopped those runs also.And Razzaq ould have been a turning point while we were batting.Why 6 batsmen in a team with mediocre batting line up.Was Haffeez too much overconfident about his batsmen or what?Or did he not know that Herath and Mendis were playing.Or he had no idea about pitch condition.. If i can see this plain stupid thing,why not Pak management..Winning or losing a part of game.But when you lose with a stupid strategy like that,well that defeat becomes pathetic

  • kashmd on October 5, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Mr. Imran nazir, Yasir arafat, Sohail tanveer, Shoaib malik, M Sami, please go back to IPL,BBL, CL, DHL or watever leagues out there where u belong. And pls do not grace us with ur presence in our national side for intn'l games again! And don't forget to take the Professor to capt ur side and I ll b lucky if K akmal can keep ur wkts too. Sincerely, an innocent green team fan

  • Solid_Snake on October 5, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    Lets face it guys..Our team was not ready to face bowlers like Mendis and Herath..Before the match had started when i came to know that Herath is playing,i was like how the hell are we going to play this guy.And about the pitch.It was like tailor made for Mendis and Herath.Ball turning and bouncing like crazy.Our batsmen are not that good to handle such quality bowlers. Gull was superb well more than superb.The way he bowled and stopped runs in the death overs.It was very unfortunate that he got a beating in last over.Still its a good sign to see Gull back into his form.His yorkers are back :) And to all Pak fans..You need guys like Shoaib Malik in the middle.A player who can get runs going not by hitting hard.Just making 1's and 2's with a couple of boundaries.Other than Malik all of our batsmen are crazy Sloggers who hit hard with eyes closed..Pak should add some cool and calm guys like Shoaib Malik. I know Shoaib did not perform well.But still all failed so all are same now..

  • on October 5, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    For a team opening with reckless Nazir and timid Hafiz playing semi final is more than expected. Our batsmen need to improve. I haven't seen much of Jamshed but feel he is a proper batsman with the ability to play proper shots and still score runs at a reasonable rate, others need to learn from him. An interesting fact is that he failed in two matches (against India and Srilanka in both he was umpired out a bit) and we lost both. Our bowling was good enough, restricting opposition to 140 in a T20 is not a bad effort no matter how the pitch plays. Pakistanis don't bowl wide yorkers that others have mastered and three fours in the last over is a proof of it that relaxed the tense face of Mahela. Our fielders were diving and missing whereas Lankans were fielding valiantly, look at Dilshan's effort for stopping a certain boundry off Hafiz, fielding made a difference in the end. Full marks to Lankan bowlers too for bowling in the right areas and exploiting opposition's weaknesses.

  • RoshanF on October 5, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    I dont think anybody should be blaming Pakistan too much. Apart from the masterly innings by Mahela and superb death bowling by Malinga, it was sheer flashes of brilliance and late evening lunacy that cost Pakistan the game. There was no doubt that Pakistan had the game in their hands until the last over of the Lankan innings when Perera blasted the otherwise miserly Gul for 16 runs - that made the run chase competitive. And then Herath got inspired with those momentum crushing wickets. He was helped by a very poor umpriring error (surely DRS has to be used in all int'l matches). Afriidi, hopelessly out of touch with his batting, was simply poor in his shot selection. And yes, the toss was vital as well. But all in all SL were better than Pakistan - by a fraction.

  • kunalx on October 5, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    T20 is Pakistan's only cricket. That is why they are under performer in test and ODI's from last couple of years. The players in PAK squad are only adaptable to T20 format, not bigger format. This is fact.

  • Hira1 on October 5, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    the team Pak had I wonder they reached the semi final stage, now people are shouting on bringing in razak (he is also a liability in field and bowling and with bat he is also unable to rotate the strikes and on this wicket hitting was almost impossible) whereas the same group of people were demanding the inclusion of imran nazir, sami and shoaib malik,...and what good Kamran akmal have done at the top of the order, the rash shot he played in the middle has no excuse forget it he would have done some thing different at the top...time to say good bye to all these old folks and bring in asad shafiq, junaid, hammad azam and other new comers.

  • on October 5, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    i don't think that pitch was that bad...needing 49 from 36 balls and 6 wickets in hand was not difficult because umar akmal was with hafeez.....hafeez played a rash shot and sinks pakistan....being the captain of the team he needs to be more responsible n take singles n give more strike to umar akmal...

  • thegoodgame on October 5, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    Overanalysing is taking the fun out of the game. When players like Afridi, Sehwag get going it is fantastic. But they disappoint as well. But with these players there are no half measures - thats just their nature. Its what makes them a delight to watch as well. So chill, enjoy the raw talent and energy these players are bringing to the field.

  • nkoch on October 5, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    Umar Akmal is their best batsman. He's not getting enough opportunities, been not out 3 times in this tournament. Why would they make him bat so low down the order? The team is giving too much importance to names and not considering form. How do you expect Shoaib Malik in the team and to make it worse, batting above Umar?

    They deserved to lose.

  • on October 5, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    I am tired of listening inability of pakistan batsman coping with pressure....why mohd yousuf, younis khan and paks most relaible batsman under pressure Inzy are not in the pakistan mangement and coaching staff...they are best who can teach these mediocre batting lineup that how to bat...We can decsribe paks batting in one word as 'Hopeless'.

  • AbidGymaholic on October 5, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    Lets accept this fact that T20 is Pakistan's game, I mean no one plays as better as Pakistan in this format on a given day but I do have reservations on team selection. Don't know why management is banking so much on Afridi? When you have players like Kamran and Nasir, who can open, then what is the reason for sending guys like Imran and Hafeez on 1st and 2nd spot? Why did Umar play so low down the order through out the tournament? Razzaq did well in his previous game, then why was he chopped for this game? Why was this semi-final played on such a dusty pitch? I still am unable to find answer of these questions. When a guy like me, with an average cricketing knowledge, can make sense then why management keeps on failing?

  • Zaid_sl on October 5, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    There is something seriously wrong in Pakistan think-tank. Afridi,s.Malik,and nazir r never good batsmen. I would have gone with Shehzad,shafiq,hammad Adam. Umar akmal is a 3 down batsman ,hafeez is never an opener he is good to play in the middle order as an accumulator, Nasir jamshed is the best choice to open. Why not give a guy like MOHAMED RIZWAN from Peshawar a a chance.what a wicket keeper batsman with a first class averag of 43

  • Zaid_sl on October 5, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    There is something seriously wrong in Pakistan think-tank. Afridi,s.Malik,and nazir r never good batsmen. I would have gone with Shehzad,shafiq,hammad Adam. Umar akmal is a 3 down batsman ,hafeez is never an opener he is good to play in the middle order as an accumulator, Nasir jamshed is the best choice to open. Why not give a guy like MOHAMED RIZWAN from Peshawar a a chance.what a wicket keeper batsman with a first class averag of 43

  • Debasisdas on October 5, 2012, 6:21 GMT

    Being the senior most player of the team and having experience of leading the team in the past, Shahid Afridi needs to be more responsible. Golden duck has become is trade mark batting style now.

  • SHEREU on October 5, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Assalamualaikum..UPS AND DOWN is the part of cricket as well as in life....We r ready 2 face defeat...It is not happen every time we should face success...During the previous match we Pakistani shows better perform against giant Austrila as well as south Africa...Don't lose your heart Inshallah we will perform well in upcoming series against south Africa..HARDLUCK guys....

  • on October 5, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    Look brdrs .... I want to ask the management regarding Abdul Razzak where he has been and why he had not been in team for yesterday mega event instead of Malik he will not only add some spark to the line at the same time he can play good all round cricket ...... And one more thing why not giving Afridi more and more balls to face he is not a finisher any more last match Hafeez may have given Afridi and Nazir to open with license to hit authority and if they would have been put 30-35 in 5 overs after that Hafeez may settle the nerves at no 3 and rest to follow the same because what i think is Umar must be given position of no 4 and kamran should be at 6

  • rickyvoncanterbury on October 5, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    So it looks like Australia and Pakistan cannot play second innings spin, but male the semis, because England and India and South Africa cannot play pace or spin. NZ plain unlucky and the WI still there and still unpredictable. SL proven against Spin and Pace, should win the cup

  • smjr on October 5, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    Pak lost the match due to their batsman inability to display wide range of shots, basically they are single dimensional players banking on bowlers to give them width. This has been the tragedy of Pak cricket since the last 25 years or so. We falter in crunch matches in ICC tournaments

  • Sharjeel77 on October 5, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    Great article. The only thing I disagree with is that instead moving Afridi's batting position Pakistan should let him go. I don't think he can ever play responsibly!

  • satish619chandar on October 5, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Afridi is a big let down these days. Pakistan should rethink whether Afridi the bowler adds more value than any other replacement player. Malik was more good with bat than Afridi and he can used up as the all rounder and with Hafeez too bowling well, they can afford to have Razzaq as new ball bowler(like they did in the WC they won) and add another bowler who might add more value than him.

  • umars101 on October 5, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    playing with four spinners is a little too much in T20,,i think pakistan should have dropped afridi in the very beginning of the tournment and played with one more reliable batsman instead

  • ABKhanISB on October 5, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Pakistan could have easily won if and only if they did not have Shoaib Malik and Imran nazir in the squad. Leave both of them for domestic cricket. I cant understand who are the selectors selecting Shoaib after continuous failure of two years? And please stop over ratting Hafeez, everybody has seen how much he struggle against quality bowling.

    Well done Sri Lanka. You deserved the victory and now you deserve the world cup.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on October 5, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    Since the pitches are giving equal opportunities to both batsmen and bowlers, any team with excellent seam bowling and spin bowling will win the world cup. T20 is no more batsmen game. Indians are complaining about the pitches but Indian cannot win on good pitches as their bowling is weak. They can win only in India on Flat Pitches. Both PAK and SL have excellent Seam and Spin attack. That is why SA and India did not get to Semis. Even Aus will struggle against spin as we saw in Aus PAK game.

  • Kazimabidi on October 5, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    Between a win and a loss on a par score there are always a few turning points. The blame or credit depends on whose side you are on. 140 was a par score to get. Pakistan bowlers did well to stop SLk at 139. Malinga was rusty in the field.He dropped a dolly but then Jamshed Nasir got an unfortunate decision. All this happens in cricket. But what is inexcusable is the inclusion of Afridi as a batsmen. The kind of shot he played was reprehensible. Pakistan cannot continue to play him on hopes that one day he will score a match winning innings. The guy doesnt know how to hit ground shots. He should either play as a bowler or not play at all. Also Hafeez playing as an opener is a mistake. he cant play early over or slog. His position is 2 down...

  • Hit1968 on October 5, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    I don't understand the fuss about Pakistani batting in this game. It has been the case since Pakistan won the world cup in 1992. They did not perform in pressure games i,e 1996 World Cup Quarter Final, 1999 Final 2005 Champion Trophy Final ( Inzi won the toss and bat first in the Rain Effected Conditions) 2011 Semi Final , the only exception is 2009 T/20 because Afridi perform with the bat. The problem is most of the time is team selection, unable to read the playing conditions ,and bad decisions on the field. they left Razzaq who has been utilized as opener in County cricket which is very high level cricket by any standard. We dropped Asad and continue to play with Nazir. It is about time we use performance based selection Hafeez/ Shahid / Nazir / Malik needs to go they just dont have the skills we need now at the international level.

    We need to groom our Captains and leaders for the future using scientific ways.

  • on October 5, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    I am an Indian fan, and I must say I was very disappointed with yesterday's result. Pakistan should have chased that score BLINDFOLDED, instead, they batted blindfolded and allowed Sri Lanka to win. I don't know how powdery the pitch was, but seriously all it needed was some sensible batting. Afridi has gone well beyond his expiry date as a batsman. The Akmal's need to take up more responsibility. Hafeez plays a bit too slowly in my opinion. As an Indian I ENVY the Pakistani bowling line up, but they have to sort out issues. Taking nothing away from Sri Lanka, but Pakistan should have won yesterday.

  • Narbavi on October 5, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    You guys deserve it!! Infact you guys deserve more!! So much for these two teams being in the semis ahead of India

  • rajpan on October 5, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    The so called 'sparks' are, more often than not, nervous or panick reactions. Going by his post match comments, Hafeez seems to be a level headed gentleman more in the mould of Misbah than Afridi. The Pakistani team seems to be more comfortable under 'street smart' and demonstrative personalities like Miandad(Imran was altogether in a different catagory). But I hope Hafeez survives because ultimately guys like him will do more longtime good for the team.

  • iNaren on October 5, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    Pakistan never had the batting strength to win this tournament. They got lucky with South Africa, lost against India and only won against Australia who didn't even bother to win the match. Even the Australians batting is pathetic.. No Shane Watson. No Australia.. live with that. I don't know how these two teams made it to semi finals. It would've been interesting if it was the other way around.. India and SA.

  • Sunil_Batra on October 5, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    Great match, looking forward to the Aussies winning tonight

  • khiladisher on October 5, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    PAKISTAN ALONG WITH AUSTRALIA HAVE BEEN THE MOST CONSISTENT TEAMS AT THE WORLD CUPS(50OVERS AND T-20 WORLD CUPS)AND ALSO AT ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY- PAKISTAN HOWEVER HAS ALWAYS UNDERPERFORMED ON BIG OCCASIONS -MANAGING TO MAKE A MAJOR FINAL ONLY ON 4 OCCASIONS AND ALSO WINNING JUST 2 WORLD CUPS-1992-2009-THE THING TO BE NOTED IS THAT THEY ENTERED THE SEMI-FINALS A HUGE 13 TIMES-IN THEIR CRICKETING HISTORY. SO TO HAVE JUST 2 CUPS IN 13 SEMI-FINAL APPEARANCE IS SHOCKING TO SAY THE LEAST AND QUESTIONS THEIR ABILITY TO PERFORM ON BIG OCCASIONS-ALSO THEIR VERY POOR RECORD OF 0-8 AGAINST INDIA AT THE WORLD CUPS.

  • Iyer on October 5, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    In my opinion, Pakistan lost due to Hafeez and Afridi. These two don't deserve to play in a national team especially in a knock out game. That last over by Gul, where he gave away 17 runs was very crucial in the context of this match. Of the total of 40 overs, i guess there were only one or two overs where more than 10 runs scored, and Gul gave away the maximum. Gul is such an over-rated bowler. Anyways, winning and losing is all part of the game. In every game there is a winner and a loser. Pakistan happened to be on the other side this time. Good luck next time.

  • pitch_curator on October 5, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    I think Pakistan missed a trick by not including a steady batsman like Asad Shafiq in their middle order. All their middle order batsmen are dashers and in a crunch game you need to have at least one batsman as an insurance when a couple of quick wickets fall. Instead we saw a procession of batsmen one after another playing reckless shots. And considering the form Umar Akmal was in, he should have been sent at no 4 if not no 3. He was wasted lower down the order. If he has to fulfill his potential then he needs to bat up the order and play some long innings to have the confidence to bat long. He came onto the scene much before Kohli but he has not played important innings regularly.

  • on October 5, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    Fact of the matter is that Pakistan have insofar had a great bowling attack and decent batting options with a couple of great batsmen like Inzamam..Now they've still got good bowling but the batting is just really bad and they lack a standout player like Watson/Kohli who's in form. Their batting performances against S.A and India were really shoddy and they didn't deserve to go through. But I wouldn't say that they have always relied on sparks of brilliance, it's to do with the fact that this is a T20 tourney and it's this specific team that has relied a bit on their luck. In fact, India wouldn't have won the T20 world cup if it wasn't for the combined Joginder Sharma/Misbah ul Haq"spark"!

  • on October 4, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    Abhishek, I feel your analysis of Pakistan's batting is accurate however surely you understand batting second and chasing 140 on am exploding pitch like that was always going to be near impossible against a very tough Sri Lankan attack, at home no less! Even for the mighty Indian batting line up! I do not agree with your last statement essentially stating that Pakistan has relied on 'sparks' as you put it to reach 6 semi-finals and only been able to win 1 title. Pakistan reached these semi-finals primarily through its strength in bowling and to a lesser extent its batting. I can give two examples of the top of my head where Pakistan batting has done well. The Semi-Final against Australia where the brilliance of Hussey against Ajmal came to the fore in the final over and when Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the final at lords.It's useless and rubbish suggesting/implying that Pakistan has done well at these tournaments through flashes of brilliance alone.

  • on October 4, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Very dissapointing approach by pakistani batsmen as they clearly a professional application on a tired, turning and testing wicket. Target was modest and should have been achieved without too many problems but we have shown again in this world cup that against top sides under pressure in a crucial match our batsmen have not got the mental strength to see it through professional. One wicket is followed by series of clueless and reckless dismissals. Not taking any cricket from lankan brothers as they played well but in all honesty Pakistan beat their ownselves today.

  • on October 4, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Sri Lanka was a superior team, period. Pakistan pulled off an unlikely win against SA due to a freak performance of an individual. Against Australia it was clear that if they can get their openers out, they will win, and they did. Another than that, Pakistan did not deserve to be in the Semi-Final. If SL can also remove the openers cheaply, they will remove the trophy. Good luck from a Pakistani fan.

  • golgo_85 on October 4, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Repeated inconsistent performances as a team barring rare moments of "sparks" are bound to catch up with you when it matters the most and that's exactly what happened to Pakistan. The team selection must be questioned where they brought in Tanvir, who did well, in place of Razzak instead of Malik. I'm not sure if Asif and Aamer were available, the management would've had made Gul sit out. From the very start of tournament the team selection was imbalanced which is why the performances were so inconsistent, barring the Afridi-Ajmal attack, the opening pair was unsure, middle order hardly made sense - why would you send Kamran to bat ahead of Umar?, the seam bowling again was clueless - 2 seamers alongside another bowling allrounder in all the matches would've given the team a much needed backup for the spinners. If Pak management keep having players like Malik, Sami, Arafat in their plans, I don't see them achieving any sustainable success. Junaid-Hammad missing out for Sami-Arafat?

  • sharidas on October 4, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    I had always felt that Asad Shafiq was one of the most consistent batsman in the Pak team, but unfortunately, Pakistan team would have felt that having Shahid Afridi in the eleven gave them an additional option as a bowler. But the sad fact is that Afridi is nowhere near what he was as a batsman, once.

  • Zahidsaltin on October 4, 2012, 22:27 GMT

    Well written Abhishek but it is very much obvious that winning the toss made it much easier for Sirilanka. The ball didn't spin as it did in the second innings and both Said Ajmal and Raza Hasan were far from effective in first innings. But then yes true, it was very much getable score and pakistani batsmens mediocrality lost it in the end. Pakistan lacked a middle order bat as most of them including Hafiz, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran are opners and good at playing fast bowling. Today, pakistan needed to include Asad Shafiq as each n every fan was asking for that but management thought otherwise and again depended upon Afridi. Selection was totally out of proportion as they had 5 spinners and two fast bowlers, and could have dropped Hassan Raza or Afridi to accomodate Asad Shafiq who is probably this best splayer of spin in these 15.

  • on October 4, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    Very well put Abhishek. Pakistani batting was appalling to say the least. The way Imran Nazir tried his best to get bowled out early with all those needless charges down the pitch. Hafeez, Tanvir got out trying to hit the ball out of the park and got stumped. Kamran Akmal has been just hopeless. I don't understand why Umar Akmal is coming so down the order. Clearly he is the best Pakistan batsman at the moment along with Jamshed.

  • just_chill_chill on October 4, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    I doubt if it just "sparks". Pakistan are just about an ordinary team. Pakistan Just can't compete well against good teams with mediocre bowling and miserable batting.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • just_chill_chill on October 4, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    I doubt if it just "sparks". Pakistan are just about an ordinary team. Pakistan Just can't compete well against good teams with mediocre bowling and miserable batting.

  • on October 4, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    Very well put Abhishek. Pakistani batting was appalling to say the least. The way Imran Nazir tried his best to get bowled out early with all those needless charges down the pitch. Hafeez, Tanvir got out trying to hit the ball out of the park and got stumped. Kamran Akmal has been just hopeless. I don't understand why Umar Akmal is coming so down the order. Clearly he is the best Pakistan batsman at the moment along with Jamshed.

  • Zahidsaltin on October 4, 2012, 22:27 GMT

    Well written Abhishek but it is very much obvious that winning the toss made it much easier for Sirilanka. The ball didn't spin as it did in the second innings and both Said Ajmal and Raza Hasan were far from effective in first innings. But then yes true, it was very much getable score and pakistani batsmens mediocrality lost it in the end. Pakistan lacked a middle order bat as most of them including Hafiz, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran are opners and good at playing fast bowling. Today, pakistan needed to include Asad Shafiq as each n every fan was asking for that but management thought otherwise and again depended upon Afridi. Selection was totally out of proportion as they had 5 spinners and two fast bowlers, and could have dropped Hassan Raza or Afridi to accomodate Asad Shafiq who is probably this best splayer of spin in these 15.

  • sharidas on October 4, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    I had always felt that Asad Shafiq was one of the most consistent batsman in the Pak team, but unfortunately, Pakistan team would have felt that having Shahid Afridi in the eleven gave them an additional option as a bowler. But the sad fact is that Afridi is nowhere near what he was as a batsman, once.

  • golgo_85 on October 4, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Repeated inconsistent performances as a team barring rare moments of "sparks" are bound to catch up with you when it matters the most and that's exactly what happened to Pakistan. The team selection must be questioned where they brought in Tanvir, who did well, in place of Razzak instead of Malik. I'm not sure if Asif and Aamer were available, the management would've had made Gul sit out. From the very start of tournament the team selection was imbalanced which is why the performances were so inconsistent, barring the Afridi-Ajmal attack, the opening pair was unsure, middle order hardly made sense - why would you send Kamran to bat ahead of Umar?, the seam bowling again was clueless - 2 seamers alongside another bowling allrounder in all the matches would've given the team a much needed backup for the spinners. If Pak management keep having players like Malik, Sami, Arafat in their plans, I don't see them achieving any sustainable success. Junaid-Hammad missing out for Sami-Arafat?

  • on October 4, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Sri Lanka was a superior team, period. Pakistan pulled off an unlikely win against SA due to a freak performance of an individual. Against Australia it was clear that if they can get their openers out, they will win, and they did. Another than that, Pakistan did not deserve to be in the Semi-Final. If SL can also remove the openers cheaply, they will remove the trophy. Good luck from a Pakistani fan.

  • on October 4, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Very dissapointing approach by pakistani batsmen as they clearly a professional application on a tired, turning and testing wicket. Target was modest and should have been achieved without too many problems but we have shown again in this world cup that against top sides under pressure in a crucial match our batsmen have not got the mental strength to see it through professional. One wicket is followed by series of clueless and reckless dismissals. Not taking any cricket from lankan brothers as they played well but in all honesty Pakistan beat their ownselves today.

  • on October 4, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    Abhishek, I feel your analysis of Pakistan's batting is accurate however surely you understand batting second and chasing 140 on am exploding pitch like that was always going to be near impossible against a very tough Sri Lankan attack, at home no less! Even for the mighty Indian batting line up! I do not agree with your last statement essentially stating that Pakistan has relied on 'sparks' as you put it to reach 6 semi-finals and only been able to win 1 title. Pakistan reached these semi-finals primarily through its strength in bowling and to a lesser extent its batting. I can give two examples of the top of my head where Pakistan batting has done well. The Semi-Final against Australia where the brilliance of Hussey against Ajmal came to the fore in the final over and when Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the final at lords.It's useless and rubbish suggesting/implying that Pakistan has done well at these tournaments through flashes of brilliance alone.

  • on October 5, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    Fact of the matter is that Pakistan have insofar had a great bowling attack and decent batting options with a couple of great batsmen like Inzamam..Now they've still got good bowling but the batting is just really bad and they lack a standout player like Watson/Kohli who's in form. Their batting performances against S.A and India were really shoddy and they didn't deserve to go through. But I wouldn't say that they have always relied on sparks of brilliance, it's to do with the fact that this is a T20 tourney and it's this specific team that has relied a bit on their luck. In fact, India wouldn't have won the T20 world cup if it wasn't for the combined Joginder Sharma/Misbah ul Haq"spark"!

  • pitch_curator on October 5, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    I think Pakistan missed a trick by not including a steady batsman like Asad Shafiq in their middle order. All their middle order batsmen are dashers and in a crunch game you need to have at least one batsman as an insurance when a couple of quick wickets fall. Instead we saw a procession of batsmen one after another playing reckless shots. And considering the form Umar Akmal was in, he should have been sent at no 4 if not no 3. He was wasted lower down the order. If he has to fulfill his potential then he needs to bat up the order and play some long innings to have the confidence to bat long. He came onto the scene much before Kohli but he has not played important innings regularly.