ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

World Cup 2011

Pakistan in a bind over Kamran

Problems with the bat could prompt Pakistan to retain Kamran Akmal despite his wicketkeeping woes

Osman Samiuddin in Pallekele

March 10, 2011

Comments: 84 | Text size: A | A

Kamran Akmal is under scrutiny off the field, but was in good spirits nonetheless, England v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Chester-le-Street, September 10 2010
Kamran Akmal's wicketkeeping has been under scrutiny for a while © Getty Images
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Like a particularly spicy nihari, heavy defeats often have a wonderful way of unclogging the head. The fog lifts, everything becomes clearer, easier to comprehend and suddenly there is a flow, a way forward. Pakistan's loss to New Zealand revealed the folly three wins had clouded, one a long-running personnel issue, the other a question of strategy.

But in the here and now, for Pakistan, the result has only muddled matters further, because both flaws are linked, one stemming from the other. The more Pakistan persist with Kamran Akmal the more matches he will cost them, that is a simple truth and cannot be argued. But he is in the squad now and is the only - as much as this is an inaccurate statement - specialist wicketkeeper. They have to suffer him.

The reason they must do so, it is becoming clear, is because they have even less faith in their batting than most people do in Kamran's wicketkeeping. Until the last two games, the batting had actually performed with some solidity over the last few months. The resulting logic from 184 all out against Canada and 120 for seven against New Zealand is not that the top order should simply begin scoring, or that if the top six or seven fail, No.8 will rarely salvage matters. It is that more batsmen are needed.

There is no ostensible panic yet, but there is confusion and uncertainty, apparent at a dinner with Shahid Afridi on Wednesday evening. The captain had hinted immediately after the New Zealand game that Umar Akmal would be considered an option as a wicketkeeper. On Wednesday, Afridi appeared truly in a bind: he doesn't want to risk Kamran again but neither does he want to risk another batting flop, even if Kamran's batting contributions are not as substantial anymore as they are remembered.

He was supportive, as captains must be. "Kamran's performance is in front of everyone, he is putting in the hard work in the training sessions and he has done a lot of work for this World Cup, but he has not lived up to that level," he said. "We suffered a lot after he could not perform."

Then there was the glossing over, the retreat into lazy myths. "But I must say he has won lots of matches for Pakistan in the past, he is a very talented cricketer. We are at a stage where we should not panic, there are other players who are not performing it's not only Kami and we need to back them."

The conclusion? We don't know. "We will see if he plays the next game or not that we will see later on, but from my side I think we should give Kamran confidence because he is a good player, a good cricketer and there are lots of expectations that he will do good."

The failures of Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad twist the problem further. There is casual talk of dropping Shehzad, for example, and pushing Kamran to open. They could retain the openers and drop Kamran, using Umar behind the stumps. In both cases a spot opens up: bowler or batsman?

That another bowler is unlikely still is the only thing there appears to be some firmness on, despite them so missing one against New Zealand. "I don't think we are playing with a bowler short," Afridi said, before, like the rest of the team management, simply pretending Abdul Razzaq's bowling is not a problem. "We mostly struggle in batting and when we play less then people say we are playing with a batsman short, I think the combination with which we are playing is the balanced one. If you see bowlers Razzaq and Shoaib Akhtar are bowling well with the new ball, then we have Umar Gul, we have every type of variety."

For what it's worth, the younger Akmal, Umar, practiced with the gloves on Thursday in Kandy but so did Kamran. "We might change or even carry on with the same openers," Afridi said and he was even asked whether he could open himself. "If we make too many changes and start panicking it will be problem for us. Hafeez and Shehzad are not clicking, they need some runs. We are here with perfect openers and I don't think we can take that chance [of his opening]. Shehzad and Hafeez are there but we might open with Kamran Akmal too."

Nothing is clear, everything is on the table. They may do nothing at all ahead of the Zimbabwe game on Monday and there is a general mood of support within the team for Kamran. With just one loss, who's to say, in the light of day, they would be wrong in doing so? And who's still to write off their chances?

Afridi, who better captures the ways of Pakistan cricket and cricketers than many others, knows it. "If you look at Pakistan cricket over the last 50-60 years this is quite a normal performance of our team. But this is now done, it's enough and we have no chance to repeat such performances.

Against good teams and in pressure matches my boys play very well, like the game against Sri Lanka. I'm still looking at my team in the semi-final."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 84 
Posted by Morfi on (March 12, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

I think as far as first class cricket goes, Asad shafiq is a wicket keeper. Why not give him a chance? rest the bigger akmal and do nothing else...... hmmm

Posted by best2u57 on (March 12, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

NO NEED OF AKMAL BROTHERS

Posted by Umair_umair on (March 12, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

About Asad Shafiq: All the confusion among fans about Asad Shafiq being a wicket keeper is because of Asad Shafiq's profile at cricinfo web. Which says "Fielding position Wicketkeeper". Actually its not true. Asad Shafiq is not and have never been a wicketkeeper, just see the scorecards of the ListA and FirstClass matches he has played so far. He was never playing as a wicket keeper. I don't know from where did Cricinfo comeup with this info that Asad Shafiq is a wicket keeper. From a common sense point of view, see Asad's record on same cricinfo page. It says; 20 catch in 39 First Class Matches and 16 catches in 33 listA matches. That means 0.5 catch per match and Zero Stumpings. Is that record of a wicket keeper? Another hint, Asad has played all his cricket infront of Afridi's eyes in Karachi. Afridi would have known better, if Asad was a wicket keeper.Still anyone mistaken that he is a wicket keeper? Cricinfo please remove "Fielding position Wicketkeeper" in Asad Shafiq's profile

Posted by anwaralam on (March 12, 2011, 8:25 GMT)

Every Pakistani player must be asked to bowl n bat according to conditions. Ahmed Shehjad an example-Never playing on merit of the ball. From the very first ball starts to slog. A 50 over match needs patience. These are basics and must be adhered to. Shohaib Akhter and Razzak ruthlessly hit by Taylor. WHY?? Because they had no plan to bowl at him. Many ways to halt Taylors offensive were there. Low fulltoss outside the offstump an example. Thats what Australian bowlers do in the death overs. The Pakistanis threw their wickets away against Canada through injudicious strokes on a grassy pitch. The Pakistani players are not doing their homework at all. Learn from past mistakes. Sooner the better to avoid going down the rankings.

Posted by unleashedtrojan1 on (March 12, 2011, 6:57 GMT)

simple...drop shahzad and kamran opens...younus or umar keep wickets....

Posted by nabs85 on (March 12, 2011, 0:42 GMT)

THis is pretty straight forward now. I dont know if they have time to read our precious comments here and make decisions based on our comments here.. ( I Wish if this could happen) ...Anyways, Kamran doesn't have any place in the next match what so ever. I believe that we should have attacking openers who can hit the ball and use first 10 overs of power play wisely. #3 should NEVER be a person who can not middle the ball properly. IF you see Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa..WHo comes in # 3 for batting? Hell yes, Kallis, Ponting, and Jewardenay. And u can not match them with Kamran. We need Asad or Younus on number 3 and then misbha.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 21:43 GMT)

This should be the batting for rest of the matches.

1. Hafeez ( unfortunately no other options left) 2. Shahzad 3. Younis 4. Razzaq 5. Misbah 6. Asad 7. Afridi 8. Gul 9. Ajmal 10. Junaid 11. Akhtar

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 20:00 GMT)

I agree with Shahid Afridi to keep Kamran in the side but not as wicket keeper but opening batsman.If he click then he is match winner.I prefer Asad Shafiq vs Shehzad.Shoib akthtar should be given a rest.Wahab Riaz should be included.Saeed Ajmal should be given achance inplace of Rehman.Batting order should be Kamran,Hafeez,Asad,Younus,Misbah,Razzaq,Umar Akmal,Afridi,Gul,Wahab Riaz and twelthman should Shehzad.

Posted by Umair_umair on (March 11, 2011, 19:27 GMT)

To Cricinfo: All the confusion among fans about Asad Shafiq being a wicket keeper is because of Asad Shafiq's profile at cricinfo web. Which syas "Fielding position Wicketkeeper".

Actually its not true. Asad Shafiq is not and have never been a wicketkeeper, just see the scorecards of the ListA and FirstClass matches he has played so far. He was never playing as a wicket keeper.

I don't know from where did Cricinfo comeup with this info that Asad Shafiq is a wicket keeper.

From a common sense point of view, see Asad's record on same cricinfo profile page. It says; 20 caches in 39 First Class Matches and 16 catches in 33 list A matches. That means 0.5 catch per match and Zero Stumpings. Is that record of a wicket keeper? Still anyone mistaken that he is a wicket keeper? Cricinfo please remove "Fielding position Wicketkeeper" in Asad Shafiq's profile.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 19:08 GMT)

By just loosing one game does not mean that we have to change the side. We are persisting with Kamran Akmal from a very long time with the same sort of performances and the selectors had reposed complete confidence on him. Now when only TWO MATCHES ARE LEFT, we should go ahead with the same combination without indulging in any experiments. Luckily we have a bit weak Zimbabwe in front and we can do better and if not than we don't deserve to go into the next round.

Posted by M.gundroo on (March 11, 2011, 18:43 GMT)

Pakistan in trouble on all fronts, batting, bowling, wicket keeping, ground fielding an their confidence will be rock bottom. To start with even against Zim i cannot see them scoring more than 240 runs and they will not able to chase220.Pakistan almost always do well if they get a good start, that will not happen.Dont be surprised if they loose against Zim and win against Aussies.That is Pakistan for you.

Posted by sharprider on (March 11, 2011, 18:18 GMT)

Yes, Pakistan is in a bind over the Kamran issue! There is no second opinion about that. However, it is also now known that the younger brother (Umar) is once again acting up (finger injury) and, thereby, giving no option to the team management regarding this issue. So, it is upto the team and the coach to try and make things work under the given circumstances, at least for the Zimbabwe game. My feeling is that the team, as a whole, just wants Kamran to be included for his possible batting attribute so that they feel comfortable about the batting line-up. Now, it is all the more imperative to rearrange the order, even though Afridi doesn't think so, because Kamran 'used to' open in the past (which, I believe, is one of the key plus points that Afridi has mentioned in his supportive statement regarding past performances by Kamran) and must now be reintroduced as a Plan B for the sake of a decent batting revival in time for the crunch games. Having said that, Shehzad should be replaced.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 18:03 GMT)

I think they are light on chasing targets, this team prefers to set them rather than chase. This was evident in the defeat vs NZ. I think if they do not think too much about the target and just go about playing normal cricket while chasing, they can pull it off, it looks like their brains get clogged when they chase.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 16:24 GMT)

if Kamran doing like this that missing some afurtunity like catches stumps WE will never reach to Semi Final..... Kamran should learn from other Keepers like Mccalaamm of New Zealand how he keep keeping against Pakistan.... I think this is good Idia from captian Shahid Afridi to replace him by his brother Umer..... and Waqar should understan him (kamran) to play his best other wise captian should take him off for some movement and if u think when pakistan tour of England kamran doesnt play well aswell behined the stumps at that season in Lords...

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 15:46 GMT)

Let Hafeez and Razak/Afridi Open the batting for Pak...Kamran Akmal, Younis, Misbah, Umar Akmal, Afridi/Razak, Rehman, Gul,to follow...I have doubts related to Shoiab Akhtar he is a world class bowler, Afridi kept Shoaib and Razak for the last overs they don't perform what a captain can do....they where throwing full-tosses, short of length balls repeatedly, I mean a poor show by renowned bowlers...is it what world class bowlers do?

Posted by Farooq78 on (March 11, 2011, 15:37 GMT)

Pakistan needs to get their act together before the match against Zimbabwe and come up with the solution. My line up will be: 1. Shehzad/kamran(wk) 2. Hafeez 3. A.Razzaq 4. Younus 5. U.Akmal 6. Misbah 7. Asad (wk) 8. Afridi 9. Gul 10. Rehman 11. Akhtar This will give A.Razzak chance to play faster bowlers more, as he started slowly but made a good score against NewZealand. Also, batting line up will also have more flexibility in the middle. If Pakistan is collapsing we will have three solid batsmen namely Yunus, Misbah and Asad. If top order does good, we can send U.Akmal and Afridi earlier. Pakistan should go with this combination.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 12:23 GMT)

Insha Allah kamran n all batsman ll perform in next matchz... v shud pray no1 qants to drop cacthz it hapenz...

Posted by Dr.UsmanAkbarMalik on (March 11, 2011, 12:06 GMT)

do not need to panic,just pray for our team,INSHALLAH we will win,INSHALLAH

Posted by azhar_hassan on (March 11, 2011, 11:02 GMT)

Why put the team (and Kamran Akmal) in this position knowing fully well ahead of time what this could lead too. For this world cup, I guess it is too late to do anything. There is no other keeper in the team and they will have to play with this big handicap. But what madness going into the tournament with this selection choice.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

bring asad shafiq in the place of Kamran akmal he is a very good batsman and he has showed it by perforoming well

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

i think umer akmal is much decent behind the stumps rather than kamran

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

I would suggest to make Umar keep & bring in Asad Shafiq for Kamran. Would also like to see Wahab Riaz or Ajmal instead of Abdur Rehman. I would pick Wahab because he maintains a tight line and he wouldnt get smacked over + all left hand pacers have done well in subcontinent where right handed batsmen aim to go towards mid wicket, Abdur Rehman gives alot of time to adjust shots, with Wahab Riaz clocking well over 135 kph its not easy to change shots, imagine what would someone like Yousuf Pathan do to spinners esp Abdur Rehman, you need some one like wahab Riaz to tackle that

Posted by creazycon on (March 11, 2011, 7:24 GMT)

Playing 11 against Zim should be: 1-Kamran 2-Hafeez 3-Razzaq 4-Yonus 5-Misbah 6-Umar 7-Afridi 8-Ajmal 9-Wahab 10-Gu 11-Akhtarl

Posted by rzi-BDML on (March 11, 2011, 6:51 GMT)

i agree with Shahid, dropping Kami here will do no good. juz back'im upand give'im some confidence.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

Even if we make no other change to the team and just simply replace kamran with asad, things will improve. Asad will have to make an extra effort to do worse than kamran at keeping, and the test matches have shown that asad is the kind of solid test batsman we need at #3. We won't even have to promote our best #3, younis up the order. If only afridi would consider it. This is the simplest solution without significantly altering the balance of the side.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 3:23 GMT)

what is going on in Pakistan camp, Inti, Waqar both vastly experienced sitting and watching Pakistan go into real problems--- sack Kamran and you must play Saeed Ajmal---if 7 batsmen can not score enough runs rest assured 8 will not. You must have specialist bowlers-----wake up Inti and Waqar

Posted by Khan_Asad on (March 11, 2011, 1:41 GMT)

Hafeez, Umar(wk), Younis, Misbah, Razzak, Afridi, Gul, Junaid, Shoaib, Ajmal

Posted by   on (March 11, 2011, 0:42 GMT)

@ILLUSION599- BBCI HAS NEVER DROPPED TENDULKAR NO MATTER HW BAD HIS PERFORMANCE

Posted by shiraz143 on (March 10, 2011, 23:33 GMT)

After the Canada game Afridi said its a wakeup call for us..... and i guess they slept again in the New Zealand match. Maybe they are still sleeping ....LOL

Posted by shiraz143 on (March 10, 2011, 23:24 GMT)

What about Asad Safiq? Bring umar to keep and replace kamran with Asad. Let the young guns play or even asad can be the keeper. Asad is also a very good batsman.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (March 10, 2011, 23:14 GMT)

Lets come beyond Kamran, as we all agree that he is the worst keeper playing test level cricket for any team. Lets say these catches were droped by other fielders as it happens as much frequently as Kamran drops catches. (1) Isn't Afridi a failure as captain and batsman. His decision making might have contributed more to this defeat than what Kamran could offer (2) What about Hafiz who is always their with his batting average of 21 (3) What about our bowlers who delivered a wayward bowling which I have at least not seen even by a minnow nation. (4) What about Shoaib Akhtar who so often has lost matches by giving away big scores in small spells. Does he show maturity of a senior bowler with more than a decades experience. (5) Why is wahab not playing. He could surely score as much as Hafiz does. (6) Why is so in every match that Afridi has a problem in spotting the start of powerplay. (7) Why can't we open with Razzaq and Shehzad. Drop hafiz, Akmal and rahman and bring in Wahab, Asad

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 23:08 GMT)

Mr Afridi, Mr. Waqar Younus and Mr. Intekhab Alam............Instead of giving different kind of statements put your focus on teams performance and take the things seriously. If you lose to Zimbabawe you will be out of this cup because then it will be out of question for a demoralised team to win against Australia. If you beat both Zimbabwe and Australia then you have a chance to go on top of your group.

Posted by dmqi on (March 10, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

illusion599 is absolutely correct, no matter what the people say, will not matter much. Kamran Ajmal is the most essential cricketer in Pak team although his keeping has cost dozen of matches. Dozens of players have come and gone but he remains as he is favorite to Afridi now. This poor Captain's future will be doomed after this world cup, that is my prediction. Misbah should have been the Captain. No other team has this problem even not the non test teams, it is only Pak team that selection debacle is always there.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 22:46 GMT)

i would still back the openers, i know once they are in, they both can be dangerous. Kamran simply doesn't deserved to be in team anymore, for me this is his last worldcup. Umar akmal can do well as wkt keeper or let akmal giv a chance and let him play down the order when batting powerplay is taken. However despite all, i dont know why abdur rehman is picked over ajmal, rehman is just a slow left arm bowler, he can stop runs but cannot take wickets, ajmal on the other hand has varieties and he can stop the runs and is the wicket taking bowler. Lots need to be done.

Posted by msidd on (March 10, 2011, 21:41 GMT)

Afiridi is missing the plot here the bowling attack is actually lacking variety ... we are playing with three right handed fast bowlers.... he needs to bring in either wahab or try junaid khan who are both pretty good left handed bowlers atleast for wahab i am certain ... juniad must also be impressive...as his stats suggest....

Posted by Xaryant on (March 10, 2011, 21:27 GMT)

The main problem that i feel, is that pakistan has too many coaches so, there r too many mind's involved in the game...as far as the batting goes they need to replace their openers as umer akmal could play as an opener with ahmed shezad then razzak, then kamran akmal n afridi then younis khan, mizbah then the rest of the tail enders. As per the bowling attack they should try getting junaid khan, instead of umer gul, which they should have done earlier against the weaker teams, But all i hope is tht they should win the world cup cause the r one of the most unpridictable teams in cricket history, they can do n achieve almost any thing. BEST OF LUCK.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 19:53 GMT)

Except Akhtar, Gul and Afridi, they Doesn't have ANY bowler who threatens the opposition !! Using Rehman, Hafeez and Razzaq for rest twenty overs Can't win you matches, all three are mediocre, with Hafeez and Rehman only stopping flow of runs, rather than taking wickets, same goes for Razzaq, but this is ODI Cricket not test Cricket right, so yeah, you do need Saeed Ajmal in your side, to pose some threat to the opposition in atleast 40 overs of the innings, make them give away their wicket, my Opinion, shafiq in for Shehzad, open with kami bhai and Hafeez, with younus on his Actual number, 3 that is and asad on 4, and ajmal in place of Rehman !!

Posted by sachsj on (March 10, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

I guess the following should be playing 11 for Pak in the order; 1. Shahid Afridi 2. Mohmmad Hafeez 3. Asad Shafiq 4. Yunis Khan 5. Misbah Ul Haq 6. Umar Akmal 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Saeed Ajmal 9. Wahab Riaz 10. Umar Gul 11. Shoaib Akhtar

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

afridi will never EVER compare to Imran Khan - even if he does somehow win the world cup. when the pressure is on - he runs our of ideas. I still say that Pakistan's best captain since Imran Khan would have been Younis Khan. PERFECT CAPTAIN. although hes lost his form

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 18:18 GMT)

They should drop shezad and allow kamran to open. promote razzaq to no.3 position and include riaz in the side or try junaid khan. let umar akmal keep wickets.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 18:12 GMT)

Problem with Kamran is that, he always tries to be more quick and steady, and there he does mistakes, he opts to celebrate before the ball touches the gloves. He has one other problem, he put his weight on his heels instead of toes, and if you put your weight on heels, your palms are more hard and cannot hold the things easily, while if your weight is on toes, your fingers and palms are more quick and grab the things easily, in fact whole body is more quick. The third reason is his batting order, he has to take more responsibility when he comes to bat at No.3, in fact its a big position, one down, he looks to play minimum 20-30 overs and make the innings more solid, otherwise his would become under pressure, he has to think as a senior batsman instead of a keeper. On the other hand if he comes at No.7, he will be having some confidence that other players are there to perform and I only need to hit some big sixes and that's all, if he comes at No.7 he will be a great keeper, I believe.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 18:09 GMT)

why is all this panic about our people have no tolrence any good team can give such a performance england done worst feilding then pakistan did they drop more catches then pakistan did but they came back hard and defend 180 against s a.pakistan should play with same team.this team can win against any team.and they will prove it .wait and watch. come on boy we are the best.

Posted by Alikhan.dxb on (March 10, 2011, 18:09 GMT)

I think Afridi is a positive player and i think he knows pakistani player more then any body sitting outside the ground. i will give my suggestion for team selection for next match,

1. Mohammad Hafiz 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Misbah ul Haq 5. Asad Shafiq 6. Sahid Afridi 7. Umar Akmal 8. Umar Gul 9. Saeed Ajmal 10. Shoaib Akhtar 11. Junaid Khan/Wahab Riaz

i think this can be the winning combination for future ANY BODY AGREE WITH ME???????????

Posted by cricbuff10 on (March 10, 2011, 18:07 GMT)

Kamran has not done anything new, he has always struggled behind the wickets and now also with the bat. Afradi captaincy is below par, againsy Canada he was still in defence mode till the very end, fortunately his magic with the ball and Canadian inexperience won them the game. Afradi failed miserably to use his bowling resources against NZ, nothing wrong with experimentation but what stopped him from rotating the bowlers in a way to save Omar Gul 1-2 overs in the end. He was not thinking ahead. English strategy vs SA was expectional and it paid off - Afradi should learn from it. The nonchalant approach with no ability to improvise in the field and persisting with the failed plan is really not fitting for a player of his experience. He cannot even communicate the power plays to the Umpires and the batsmen- floundered twice - Win/loss is part of the game anyone can have an Off day but persistent lack of thinking according to situation is disgusting. They are PROFESSIONAL players !

Posted by ahsanjabbar on (March 10, 2011, 17:32 GMT)

Waqar/Afridi please note the team you should play with in the remaining 2 matches and you will see how good results wil be: OP Umar,Razzaq. MO Younus,Misbah,Asad. AR Afridi,Hafeez. BW Gul,Shoaib,Junaid,Ajmal.

Posted by Rehan_Lala on (March 10, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

We should try the new bie Junaid in the nest match against ZIM as this would be the last chance to try him in the tournament, Kamran should be dropped and Umar akmal should keep wickets. Afridi has to come with a more aggressive aproach, he is appearing to be a defensive one so far which is not the right aproach if you want to win.

Posted by zaidch on (March 10, 2011, 17:29 GMT)

Afridi said "We don't need to panic" but I think he is already panicking and very much confuse. Umar Akmal is a good player BUT giving him wicketkeeper gloves will be another mistake and could cost you more. Persist with Kamran for the rest of the tournament. Drop REHMAN and bring AJMAL also drop SHAHZAD and bring WAHAB, so Wahab & Ahktar can open and Umer GUL has overs for death bowling....HAFEEZ, KAMRAN, YOUNIS, MISBAH, UMER, AFRIDI, RAZZAK, GUL, WAHAB, AJMAL, AHKTAR ..... This will give you 6 frontline bowlers & 1 part-timer....This willalso give you 5 batsmen and 3 slugger

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 17:01 GMT)

Its big mistake from PCB to not learn lesson to SYDNEY TEST to prepare substitute keeper,so not panic and keep motivation.

Posted by cric_fan12 on (March 10, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

well its already a panic, so why not replace him. Rest assured there is no bigger panic than playing him again, he has proved this umpteen times

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

I think......the coach and team mngt. should be thinking to induct one more specialist bowler in the side rather than a batsman..........Ahmad Shahzad shall be sacrificing his place due to poor show in the last four games as Hafeez could be handy with the ball too...thus Kamran shall be opening with Hafeez as we have witnessed them (the opening pair) performed well in England and also try to shift Razzak order at the second down spot after Younis Khan. Whereas keeping is concerned it can be done either by Younis Khan or Umar Akmal.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

This is the time to give confidence to Kamran Akmal in both the department i.e. batting and wicket keeping. Afridi should tell Kamran to concentrate on his performance, we will not drop you because there are a lot of uncertainty for him whether he is in the side or out of the side. I read in the local newspaper that U Akmal may open the inning. its a bad idea because he cannot play the new balls very well he can play when the ball get old his fit in the place. This statement "U kamal will open" will put him under pressure and his performance may be affected. Kamran may be given confidence by providing him responsibility of opening the game. Afridi should tell him "we need you in the game with your abilities". Kamran Akmal is an aggressive cricket and is a good opener for the side. Its my appeal to the Nation that We (the Nation) should give confidence to Kamran Akmal. Hafeez should avoid cross short in the start of the inning. Good Luck Pakistan

Afridi " Best of Luck" (Pakistan)

Posted by TeamSelector on (March 10, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

I admit Kamran's keeping is a problem, but Afridi's captaincy is a far bigger problem. Quite simply put, Afridi is not captaincy material. he is unable to think on his feet, cannot make wise bowling changes & everything he does seems to be premeditated even before he sets foot on the field. He's afraid to change the batting lineup & to even tinker with the team's composition. Afridi can't bat, he's simply a bowler & there's no way he should be batting before Razzak unless he opens the batting. Also, Pakistan didn't bring a reserve keeper. Their batting is weak & they have not played their best bowling combination as yet. They need to play bowlers who can bowl their full quota of ten overs each. Bowling is their strength, so they need to play four bowlers & not only three. This should be their playing eleven:- 1-Afridi, 2-Kamran, 3-Umar Akmal, 4-Younis, 5-Misbah, 6-Asad Shafiq (wk), 7-Razzak, 8-Gul, 9-Wahab, 10-Rehman, 11-Ajmal.

Posted by hasanjawaid on (March 10, 2011, 15:53 GMT)

I have mentioned this in a different blog and I will repeat it again that Kamran is just one piece of a bigger problem, hammering him won't help in identifying and addressing more complex challenges which Pakistan team is up against, such as - strategizing batting order, game plan, assigning roles, execution and choice of extra bowler against extra batmen, managing crisis in the face of loss early wickets or when chasing a huge target. Competition is a test of one's mental strength and self confidence. With what's going on, it must be at all time low. Players need reassurance and support to bounce back firing all their cylinders. It's upto Afridi to lead from the front. He is not performing at 7th, he might as well open and bring his firing gun Razaq to open with him. Bring Younis as one down and replace Shahzad with Asad. Hafeez is not good on seeming pitches replace him with Ajmal. Afridi and Waqar need to do some quick serious thinking. Hasan Jawaid - USA

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 15:21 GMT)

what ever afridi's doing is good..how can you drop kamran and replace him by a yougster..i agree kamran got nothing but one thing hes got is experiance,,he's struggling and all he needs is confidence,,which captain and team are trying to give him.. who says tht umar or any in the squad is better thn kamran,,well we should be shouting to drop kamran akmal when we got backups of class like dhoni's and sangakara's we dont even have taibu's at the moment lol,,so all we can do is to stick with kamran and hope he finds his form back.

Posted by Stark62 on (March 10, 2011, 15:20 GMT)

There is a much better keeper in the name of: Mohammad Rizwan!

I would urge Afridi and co, to stick with Shezhad because he will come good and when he does he will rip apart bowling attacks.

Drop Kamran and play Shafiq as the keeper.

Playing 11 against Zimb should be: Hafeez, Shezhad, Younis, Shafiq (wk), Misbah, Umar, Razzaq, Afridi, Riaz, Khan and Ajmal.

Give Khan, Riaz and Ajmal a go is well rather, then playing Shoaib because he might not be fit through out the tourny and Gul needs a rest!

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 10, 2011, 14:57 GMT)

Asad Shafiq is an excellent keeper.......

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 14:55 GMT)

We have only one specialist wicketkeeper in this world cup. Part time keeper like Umer Akmal and Younis khan can be more harmful for team. If Kamran Akmal Drop 3 catches in a match then they can drop more than 3 cathes in the match. So, I think Afridi should give some confidence to Kamran Akmal and go with him. He can be dangerous player. It's not the right time for criticism. We should drop Ahmed Shehzad and include one specialist bowler in shape of wahab riaz. Afridi should open the batting with Kamran Akmal and can resolve opening problem and then Hafeez, Younis, Misbah, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Wahab Riaz, Umer Gul, Abdul Rehman and Shoaib Akhter.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 14:48 GMT)

Shoaib and Razzak should be put out to pasture and Kamral dropped as he has dropped many. Razzak is too slow on Asian pitches and Shoaib rarely is accurate, giving too many extras. Bring back Mohommad Yusuf - given a little time he will be another Younis.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 14:06 GMT)

i even cant find a logic of Shoaib being in the team then y alone Kamran is being criticized here . Although he is displaying worst wicket keeping for last many months.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

If Pakistani Team Management Really Want to Win the World Cup , They Must Get Rid Of Kamran Akmal As Soon As Possible,Catches Win Matches But With Kamran Akmal...... Drop Catches Cost Matches .......... Thats Whats Happening Over the Years Again and Again. I wonder What happened to Pakistan, Cant we Produce One Wicket Keeper in 7-8 Years After Rashid Lateef And Moeen Khan ??????????????? Infact Rashid & Moeen Must Try To Transfer there Expertese In To Young Ones ......... & Finally, Asad Shafique Is a Decent Batsman , he Had Kept Wickets In Domestic Matches,Younis Or Umar Akmal Can Keep Wickets As Well. I am 100% Sure that Any One Of Them Can Perform Better than Kamran Akmal. So Pls Pls Pls Get Rid Of Kami ...............

Posted by Atif-Islam on (March 10, 2011, 13:30 GMT)

My team for next game would be, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafeeq, Younus Khan, Misbah ul Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar

Droping Kamran Akmal would help in Wicketkeeping as well as allow an space to accomodate Asad Safeeq in middle order to boost the batting lineup. bowling is fine as far as Razzaq share the openinf spell. Batsmen are little tentitive at the start of inning and thats the best time to use Razzaq.

May God bless Pakistan.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 13:28 GMT)

Hafeez and Razaq should open. Asad Shafi one down. or Hafeez and Asad can open and Razaq comes one-down. Razaq always play some dot balls before big hitting, and got big inning temperament unlike Kamran. He had failed when it comes to direct hitting from first ball. Kamran should be axed for ever. Umer or Asad should stand behind stumps. This will give space for Saeed Ajmal, and bring him in.

Posted by illusion599 on (March 10, 2011, 13:20 GMT)

The case is clear that Pakistani, management, coach and the captain would never drop Kamran no matter what he does. It seems that past relations, favortism and grouping is still evident in Pakistani cricket. They are not willing to jeopardize their own existence in the team by bringing new players and dropping their group members, or else which professional team and management will persist with such a performer based on his past record. WHAT HAS HE DONE IN THE LAST 2 YEARS WITH HIS BAT AND GLOVES, ITS A BIGGGG QUESTION MARK? If past performances were the criteria then India would never have dropped players like Ganguly, Dravid and Tendulkar (in and out during the last few years) from their side, whose performances are no match to Kamran Akmal. Same is the case with other teams, but believe me our players and PCB have greater concerns towards being their in the circuit rather than winning it for the nation, or else Pakistani cricket would not be floundering 4 the last 12 years or so.

Posted by khurramsch on (March 10, 2011, 12:57 GMT)

more important than kamran issue is sensible captaincy. against NZ afrid made many mistakes. opening with spiner on that pitch not good option & rehman is not even atcking. that opning 6 overs by rehman made each bowling change wierd. tht meant razak bowled in 13th over. gul bowled half overs before 15th.then afrid made mistake by using gul before end. & coz he hasnt bowled razak with new ball he has to give some one few overs at end . thats what went wrong & then akhter & razak bowled very bad. best thing open with razak & akhter, then gul and spiner & gul at the end.just stay with ur bowling changes doing in last 18 matches. y opning with spiner now

Posted by khurramsch on (March 10, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

well yes all izzz not well. i think they should do experiments in group stages. better is to drop shehzad as in 4 inings he didnt score runs but didnt look good at all. while hafez looks good during his stay . opening with kamran will move every 1 up the order means younis, misbah & umar. coz kamran at 3. top 3 are failing & just putting presure on later. and who to play inplace of shehzad should be decided on game day either bowler/batsman. but they ned to drop shehzad. with 8 batsmen they crosed300 just once in recent series, & failed before 200 in last 2 games so no use of 8. its realy confusing.& it all seems pakistan will end at 4th in group which means india/south africa in quarter

Posted by baasad on (March 10, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

Why not Asad Shafique is being considered for wicket keeping. In his profile at cricinfo his wicket keeping expertise are mentioned

Posted by yxsultan on (March 10, 2011, 12:37 GMT)

I agree with Waqar Younis........Do not need to panic what needs to be done is that the players should come together and support each other as a team. I do not know how to put it decently but Kamran need support from the players and coaches and the guy needs to restore his confidence. I never seen anyone behind the stumps performing so badly for Pak. In US, i have seen enough sports and have seen enough twists and dramas to know that players do go thorugh their bad patch and all you need is one big game. The problem has to be addressed after the world cup and for now we all can hope he performs. In my humble opinion they should drop Shehzad and promote Kamran to open, promote Younis to No.3 and include Asad Shafiq at no.4. I think the best example of a team struggle to perform and they went through that patch as a team is Austarlia 1999. We need to promote and ask our captains to restore the confidence in palyers instead of forcing them to make changes which cause disharmony and chaos

Posted by anah on (March 10, 2011, 12:20 GMT)

Afridi's team can only progress to semi-final by removing kamran akmal from behind the stumps

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 12:10 GMT)

yes inshAllah pakistan will reach semi final and final inshAllah we will win the world cup

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 12:08 GMT)

I think shahid afridi should be one down and lead the side from the front as he did in the t20 worldcup. Kamran can play on seventh. and he can still be aggressive and will be less pressure on him while batting in that way the combination would not be changed and pakistan can do well.

I know although Afrifi would not click in every match but still we have younus and misbah to back up for early 2 wickets. and after 40 akmal brothers and razzaq can do the damage.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

Afridi's overconfidence is staggering!

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

I cant get it ... ASAD SHAFIQ have done w.keeping in pakistan national cricket and also in his attributes he is knows as w.keeper instead of point fielder... Pakistan management should remember and look into the players profiles before taking any decision.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

Pakistan has to pull up their socks in their game against Zimbabwe because if they loose aain their chances for QF seems to be bleak as Zim are capable for an upset in a combination of Pakistan sloppiness.Further I cant fancy this Pakistan side can beat Australia

Posted by ShKhan on (March 10, 2011, 11:53 GMT)

Its hard to imagine what 'Kami' has in terms of leverage that allows him to persist where he should clearly not. But whatever that ace in the hole maybe, it seems that there is no getting rid of the ulcer. What they should do is make the best of what they have and like 'Imi' suggested in some post match analysis or another, they should immediately put the keeping gloves on Umar's hands and use Kamran as an opener in place of shahzad. I personally feel the pitches are tailor made for an Afridi blitzkrieg from the top but i doubt he has the confidence to back himself as an opener so If the Paki think tank chooses to utilize the brains they have been given the lineup from now on should be as follows:

1. Hafeez 2. Kamran 3. Younis 4. Misbah 5. Umar Akmal (w) 6. Razzaq 7. Afridi 8. Junaid Khan 9. Umar Gul 10. Shoaib Akhtar 11. Ajmal

Still get batting depth with bowling gravitas! Junaid khan might as well be given a shot against zimbabwe.

Posted by G4rgoyle on (March 10, 2011, 11:31 GMT)

I can certainly see the challenge for Afridi however he seems to be living in a fool's paradise. Kamran's problems are not new, and to expect that those problems would miraculously go away is completely unrealistic. Even if they survive the group stage, with such performance and thinking the chances of survival in the next stage are almost nill.

Posted by AmjadZork on (March 10, 2011, 11:31 GMT)

My Playing XI: Hafeez, Razzaq, Asad, Younis, Misbah, Umar(wk), Afridi, Kamran, Ajmal, Gul, Shoaib.

Posted by JB34 on (March 10, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

My biggest worry is not Kamran Akmal or openers, it is the Captain. Every one makes mistakes, but a sane human being learns from his mistakes. Afridi came to international cricket 16 years ago and everyone has been saying since that he can be a great batsman, he just needs to use his head. But he has stubbornly refused to do so. Such a person never deserved to be a captain.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with him as Captain now and this will be the main cause when Pakistan crashes out of the tournament. He has made many mistakes as Captain and he will persist on making same mistakes.

Posted by coaspak on (March 10, 2011, 11:14 GMT)

I think Afridi is wrong. They need to change the team make up and do it quickly. Get Wahab Riaz in, boost the bowling - fast bowling which has been your strength. Give Asad Shafiq a try to open with Razzaq and bring Shehzad as 1 down and then Younis and Misbah. Butter fingers goes and his brother can take over. Learn from the Imran Khan playbook - specialists - the best at what they do will win you matches. Razzaq never was and never will be a frontline opening bowler. And for the love of God give the ball to Saeed Ajmal - who attacks and can be handy with the bat as well. Till when will Pakistan persist in keeping their head buried?

Posted by AamirHameed on (March 10, 2011, 11:12 GMT)

Afridi needs to improve himself as a captain. We lost the match because of his captaincy too. Why did not he use Razzaq with the new ball? Why did not he kept Umar Gul for the death overs? Shoaib should be used in small spells. Again he should have promoted Razzaq before him. Razzaq is much more patient with his batting and would have consolidated and then he can hit big sixes to close out the game. Regarding Kamran Akmal, I do not consider him a Wicket Keeper. We are fooling ourselves by giving him Gloves. Umar Akmal can do a better job and we can bring in Saeed Ajmal for slow pitches/Junaid or Wahab for Green pitches like the last one.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2011, 11:12 GMT)

lol what is happening out there

Posted by Eliya_Abbas_ on (March 10, 2011, 11:08 GMT)

Boom boom Afridi is a LEGEND!!! Shud open the inningz for us ;)

Posted by hasnain24 on (March 10, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

Play kamran as an opener and having umer akmal keep wickets pakistan can experiment at this stage further they need to push Abdul Razzaq up the order at 6 or 7 to play another bowler like wahab riaz also ajmal MUST be drafted in cause he is a much better bowler than Abdul rehman cause of his ability to bowl at the death i hope pakistan mangement keeps its head and make the right decisions if they have any hopes of lifing the cup .

Posted by abzaa74 on (March 10, 2011, 10:55 GMT)

respect his performance and commitment lots but i think he is deluded if he thinks that kamran can still keep or even bat in this tournament. for one thing his confidence is completely gone and needs a break

Posted by AyazJ on (March 10, 2011, 10:53 GMT)

And in the semi final - kamran will show his moments again lolz.. leadership demands tough decisions and we cant have too many leaders. so my dear afridi sb step up and make same decision and not playing wahab is not the right way to go.. please he has much better with the ball than razaaq/shehzad has with the ball and he has got some runs too. And if hafeez is opening because he bowls well you can try wahab as a opener as welll

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

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