Pakistan v Australia, 2nd Test, Headingley, 4th day July 24, 2010

Hope floats after hoodoo ends

Despite the near panic at the end, this win is memorable as the one that breaks the stranglehold Australia have had over Pakistan
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In Pakistan losing every single Test for nearly 15 years to Australia a broader story was being written than just one country's complete owning of the other. In that time Australia have built decisively and maintained ruthlessly a dominance of the game almost unequalled, which is only now beginning to rust. More or less in the same period - but more pointedly from 1999 onwards - Pakistan's years have been dark ones, with them struggling to build anything they haven't themselves taken down immediately. Australia have prospered; Pakistan have flourished, struggled, flourished, struggled and then struggled more.

In a way, the Headingley result actually says as much about Australia's continuing descent than it does about Pakistan. Not only has Ricky Ponting now overseen two Ashes losses, after all, he is also the first Australian captain to lose a Test to Pakistan since John Howard became PM. It can be argued that if anything is a true indicator of their decline, it is this; that no side quite as ludicrously inexperienced as this one has beaten Australia for many years is merely the salt.

No opponent has had as tight and brutal a grip over Pakistan in the modern age as Australia; no opponent has so exposed Pakistan's vast spectrum of frailties physical and mental; no opponent has so taunted Pakistan with the dictum that talent alone is nothing; no opponent has stuffed down their throats as forcefully the truth of sport today, that triumph has a collective, not individual, imprint.

In its own quiet way, shed of the jingoism of Pakistan-India, of the age of the Ashes, and of the ego clashes of Australia-India, Pakistan's modern contests with Australia (to call it a rivalry is to denigrate the notions of equality inherent in that) have also been compelling for what they have revealed about each country's approach to sport.

Until the end of that 1995-96 series, there was a degree of equality about their jostling; Pakistan had won 11 to Australia's 14 Tests. Since then they only ever came close to not being thrashed three times, and each time they lost, in Hobart in 1999, in Colombo in 2002 and in Sydney in 2010, it broke them that much more. By the time of Michael Hussey's semi-final escape in May, they had long gone over the edge: a whole generation of cricketers had come and gone believing, behind the press-conference platitudes and public statements, that Australia cannot be beaten.

No matter that Pakistan collapsed at the finishing line only to stick one pinky over. In its own individual way, as the win that halted that run, it will be difficult to forget

How crippled they are by Australia was evident in this chase. Forty to get with seven in hand, last night in Pakistan, was an equation 50-50, and that was an improvement from the opening day when Australia were 88 all out. The way they went about it this morning, possibly the players thought they had less of a chance. At one point you would've put good money on John Howard's longest hops winkling out the lower order.

But just to provide a blip in that equation is cause for some celebration - and there will be an outpouring in Pakistan. No matter that they collapsed at the finishing line only to stick one pinky over. In its own individual way, as the win that halted that run, it will be difficult to forget.

The optimist will draw greater significance, not least from this being a second win in 19 Tests against all sides. Pakistan chased a small total to win, which is precisely what they haven't done on three occasions in the last year alone. The nature of the chase suggested they're far from getting it down pat, and Pakistan have forever been poor chasers of small totals. To expect that to change overnight is to be a fool, but finding a way to win, experiencing a big win, can do telling things to young players.

Elsewhere he will see the arrival of Azhar Ali and the immediate calm he brings to the top order and feel that here is something out of which a solid one-down can be moulded. He will look at an opening partnership that has provided three century- and five half-century stands in 11 Tests, even as he scratches his chin to wonder how Imran Farhat has contributed to that. Friday was the Farhat of Lahore against India in April 2004, an opener of promise and patience in a four-hour hundred, not the ICL-jigged chancer. He will note that not a single catch was dropped in the outfield over two Tests or by Kamran Akmal. The potential of the bowling attack, meanwhile, will compel even the pessimist to rejoice alongside him.

He'll also say what a fine way to start a captaincy this has been. Few would've imagined Salman Butt to be the man to break this hold but few second-guess Pakistan cricket correctly. Butt had his moments here; some nice hunches, some level-headedness but some scary, panicked moments too.

He should not, though, see the win as some definitive triumph of youth over age and rule out a return of Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan. The middle order has promise but nowhere through the two Tests has it been sturdy enough for Test cricket. It needs the kind of mentoring Inzamam-ul-Haq's presence in the middle provided earlier this decade to both Yousuf and Younis.

The pessimist will simply wait till the end of a still long summer.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MOHAMMEDarafat on July 27, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    I am not a great fan of Osman Samiuddin, but this is a piece... nicely compiled

  • Shahiq on July 27, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    Crap administration by PCB, just two days and still no news about whether Yousuf's in or not !!!! Now, even if they send him, he wont even get enough net practice to play a test match ... And then they will play him , poor chap might not score much, will be dropped for the rest of the series, would be forced to retire !!! What a shame ..... A week before, all the ego of Mr. Butt was gone, he was begging Yousuf to come back. Suddenly, a wonderful performance from the bowlers & all his ego was back, ignoring all the batting problems & then this all followed ... What a same !!!!

  • Mitcher on July 27, 2010, 0:18 GMT

    Art: Buddy, deep breath. I know you're excited but just settle down a little. No doubt a landmark win against Australia but I think to say the Aussies stand defeated after a 1-1 draw in a series in which they played absolutely atrociously might be a stretch. Unless you're happy with one test match in 15yrs. In that case, go on and lose your mind. I only hope the Pakistani players don't see it that way or normal service is sure to resume soon enough.

  • on July 26, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    osman bhai i like ur article very much and alwayz pakistan won and we alwayz read this type of article I LOVE PAKISTAN AND MAY ALLAH BLESS ON OUR PAKISTAN AND PAK CRICET TEAM THANKS!

  • on July 26, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    Well Done Congrats.Pls let them play and enjoy winning against Australia.They will carry the same against England if our PCB not intervine.I know everybody is trying to get credit.I wish them all the best against England.Don't make any changes.Let them have good time and encourage and uplift the whole team by express positive statement.I always belief in my pakistan cricket.We are world beaters.Every team in the world are scared of pakistan.Once again i congraulate for beating Australia.

  • Toescrusher on July 26, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Pakistan cricketing history suggests; if batsmen are not selected from Karachi then there is no way we can ever have stable bating line out - This is a reality the sooner we realize it the better it will be for Pakistan cricket else pessimist and optimistic both simply will wait for miracle to happen in out batting.

  • Vilander on July 26, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    congrats Pak on a fine win..you guys are back with a fine new ball attack. But why are Yusuf and Younis not playing.

  • docht on July 26, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    Yet another negative and pessmistic article from the author. I do not agree with the authors view point on bringing back Yousaf and Younis. Its a relief younis and yousaf are not part our team. Their recent performances have been useless. Even at their peak, they never delievered at cruch times. 2003 and 2007 world cups are just examples; we were relying on them and they failed miserably. Hopefully they wont be a part of the 2011 WC team. When Yousaf scored more than 500 runs in the England series in 2006, we still lost 2-0; he did not win us or save any match. Above all, both of them think of themselves as being bigger than the game. They have violated the code of conduct on more than one occasion. As Salman Butt rightly pointed out, we should stick with our new players and back them.

  • ahmedjawwad4u on July 26, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    What is most depressing to me as an honest Pakistan cricket fan is presence of shoiab malik in team. Can any body tell me any performance by him (except against indian toothless attack in champions trophy) in last five years of consequence. To me, when we are playing with shoaib malik, we are playing with 10 players. He is a safe catcher but he does not save runs in the field. If we are so hope less that we have to play shoiab malik in the team, who refuses to play on difficult pitches, plays in the middle order and wants to stick to some batting position of his choice and yet has an average of 35 (exclude india and see what is his batting average, i think less than 25), than how can we win against australia, moreover it reflects on batting talent in our country.

  • malepas on July 26, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    YES,,Good performance BUT DO NOT FORGET that this was down to the bolwers and blowlers alone who should take credit for this win. Again and Again,people are stressing to bring both Y's back and with this win and the current group in the team will not allow this to happen.I can clearly see that Shoib Malik is now Salman's best friend as he was with Younis and Yousaf, the munit you drop him,he will start plotting against you and stab you from the back as he did with both Y's. I think that Afridi did mentioned him that he is not suitable for test cricket and should only be picked for One dayers and T20.I think the this young batting lineup desperately needs an experienced hand in the middle or they will keep relying on thier bowlers to rescue them out AGAIN AND AGAIN. Kami's keeping has improved and very impressive with overall fielding looks satisfactory. Kaneria looks a spend and impotent bowler now and should be replaced by another spinner.

  • MOHAMMEDarafat on July 27, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    I am not a great fan of Osman Samiuddin, but this is a piece... nicely compiled

  • Shahiq on July 27, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    Crap administration by PCB, just two days and still no news about whether Yousuf's in or not !!!! Now, even if they send him, he wont even get enough net practice to play a test match ... And then they will play him , poor chap might not score much, will be dropped for the rest of the series, would be forced to retire !!! What a shame ..... A week before, all the ego of Mr. Butt was gone, he was begging Yousuf to come back. Suddenly, a wonderful performance from the bowlers & all his ego was back, ignoring all the batting problems & then this all followed ... What a same !!!!

  • Mitcher on July 27, 2010, 0:18 GMT

    Art: Buddy, deep breath. I know you're excited but just settle down a little. No doubt a landmark win against Australia but I think to say the Aussies stand defeated after a 1-1 draw in a series in which they played absolutely atrociously might be a stretch. Unless you're happy with one test match in 15yrs. In that case, go on and lose your mind. I only hope the Pakistani players don't see it that way or normal service is sure to resume soon enough.

  • on July 26, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    osman bhai i like ur article very much and alwayz pakistan won and we alwayz read this type of article I LOVE PAKISTAN AND MAY ALLAH BLESS ON OUR PAKISTAN AND PAK CRICET TEAM THANKS!

  • on July 26, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    Well Done Congrats.Pls let them play and enjoy winning against Australia.They will carry the same against England if our PCB not intervine.I know everybody is trying to get credit.I wish them all the best against England.Don't make any changes.Let them have good time and encourage and uplift the whole team by express positive statement.I always belief in my pakistan cricket.We are world beaters.Every team in the world are scared of pakistan.Once again i congraulate for beating Australia.

  • Toescrusher on July 26, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Pakistan cricketing history suggests; if batsmen are not selected from Karachi then there is no way we can ever have stable bating line out - This is a reality the sooner we realize it the better it will be for Pakistan cricket else pessimist and optimistic both simply will wait for miracle to happen in out batting.

  • Vilander on July 26, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    congrats Pak on a fine win..you guys are back with a fine new ball attack. But why are Yusuf and Younis not playing.

  • docht on July 26, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    Yet another negative and pessmistic article from the author. I do not agree with the authors view point on bringing back Yousaf and Younis. Its a relief younis and yousaf are not part our team. Their recent performances have been useless. Even at their peak, they never delievered at cruch times. 2003 and 2007 world cups are just examples; we were relying on them and they failed miserably. Hopefully they wont be a part of the 2011 WC team. When Yousaf scored more than 500 runs in the England series in 2006, we still lost 2-0; he did not win us or save any match. Above all, both of them think of themselves as being bigger than the game. They have violated the code of conduct on more than one occasion. As Salman Butt rightly pointed out, we should stick with our new players and back them.

  • ahmedjawwad4u on July 26, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    What is most depressing to me as an honest Pakistan cricket fan is presence of shoiab malik in team. Can any body tell me any performance by him (except against indian toothless attack in champions trophy) in last five years of consequence. To me, when we are playing with shoaib malik, we are playing with 10 players. He is a safe catcher but he does not save runs in the field. If we are so hope less that we have to play shoiab malik in the team, who refuses to play on difficult pitches, plays in the middle order and wants to stick to some batting position of his choice and yet has an average of 35 (exclude india and see what is his batting average, i think less than 25), than how can we win against australia, moreover it reflects on batting talent in our country.

  • malepas on July 26, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    YES,,Good performance BUT DO NOT FORGET that this was down to the bolwers and blowlers alone who should take credit for this win. Again and Again,people are stressing to bring both Y's back and with this win and the current group in the team will not allow this to happen.I can clearly see that Shoib Malik is now Salman's best friend as he was with Younis and Yousaf, the munit you drop him,he will start plotting against you and stab you from the back as he did with both Y's. I think that Afridi did mentioned him that he is not suitable for test cricket and should only be picked for One dayers and T20.I think the this young batting lineup desperately needs an experienced hand in the middle or they will keep relying on thier bowlers to rescue them out AGAIN AND AGAIN. Kami's keeping has improved and very impressive with overall fielding looks satisfactory. Kaneria looks a spend and impotent bowler now and should be replaced by another spinner.

  • hasan.cheema on July 26, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    the Era of YK and MY has ended,,, its new age of pakistani cricket...

    Yousaf does not deserve a place in pak team on disciplinary grounds...

    Muhammad Yousaf has retired from International cricket.. jusl like javed miandad

    and Miandad is bigger player than yousaf... so i recommend to bring back retired Miandad instead of Retired Yousaf.

  • gauravkajaria on July 26, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    For all those waxing eloquent on the new "dawn", ask yourself one question: how long until the next match fixing/ball tampering/ball eating/bombing the opposition/injury/drugs controversy/retirement/revocation of retirement/fines & penalties/ revocation of fines & penalties/resignations midway through series/disbandment of cricket board/disbandment of selection panels/mms leaks of disciplinary hearings/players feigning injuries because their brothers haven't been picked/ etc. strikes back?????My personal guess:2 weeks.

  • MuhammadOsama on July 26, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Its only hope that is keeping pakistan Alive...

  • UmairTariq on July 26, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    We should thank ECB for agreeing to the home series of Pakistan in England because I believe this is the only way we could have beaten Australia. Why we couldn't beat the Aussies for the last 15 yrs. Dead pitches being prepared in Pakistan despite the fact that Pakistan strength has always been the bowling. And end result Australia has hammered Pakistan. While on the other hand, bouncy pitches in Australia has completely exposed our batsmen.

  • AleemLatif on July 26, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    I don't think we should get carried away with solitary win over OZs in 15 test matches and given the way we lost last 7 wickets in 2nd innings was absolutely pathetic and again showed us the mental level of most of our batsmen. I mean all credit goes to our pace bowlers Amir and Asif for winning this match for us and Imran Farhat and Azhar Ali for batting sensibly. I was actually startled to see the amount of patience shown by Imran Farhat (whom I have always considered as Khotta Sikka) - this guy can bat good enough if he can leave balls outside the off-stump. But Shoab Malik does not deserve a place in the squad by any means - he should be freed to spend time for honeymoon. Umar Amin should show some mental strength if he has to survive at this level. Have not shown any mental strength during his batting. May be someone has to tell him that play like a MAN otherwise he would keep getting out cheaply with trembling bat in his hand. Azhar Ali - looks like Miandad class on the way.

  • threeheadedmonkey on July 26, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    Pakistan should stick with Butt and the youngsters, not because i think they have a great side currently, but because in the past it's been the mindset and attitudes that caused issues not the talent. Keep the bad seeds away and see what happens with a young squad free of the politics and problems of the older players.

  • Jim1207 on July 26, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    I could not see why so many people are shouting at Afridi!! If he has taken such a decision, it SHOULD be the dirty politics played by some one inside. Knowing the history of such incidents in pakistan cricket, one wonders why people could not understand such a simple thing, as clear as a crystal. Pakistan people should support good people and do something to remove dirty people, lest the same people would be dishing out Salman Butt in no time. First of all, make things clean and then you can automatically become a better team. Debating about the quality, performance and decisions of players when politics abide everywhere does not look good. I surely believe MoYo & YK could not have done bad politics than Shoaib Malik, if the latter deserves a ban-lift and even squad place, why cant these wonderful players get? Surely they have made Pak and every cricket loving person in the world (like me) proud by their cricket than anyone present in the squad now!

  • Jim1207 on July 26, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    I wonder why Ricky needs to go for Toss. It would be better if match referee goes to the pitch with Ricky's opponent and camera and commentary crew, and tosses the coin. If the opponent wins the toss, let him tell his team's decision. If the opponent loses the toss, match referee can announce that Ricky has won the toss and elected to bat. Why bother world's most successful Captain and waste some time, at least we can start the match little earlier!!

  • starsgap1986 on July 26, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    I think we need to rest one of the fast bowling trio for one test in between the series to lessen the overload on them Fawad Alam should be given a few test matches instead of Shoaib Malik or Imran Farhat(so he can gain his momentum back) because if they compete for the place in the team they will score. I don't see what's so special in Younis or Yousuf if they always fail to score on all occasions, why not give youngster a chance.If they fail then it will be up to them to fix it.

  • on July 26, 2010, 1:20 GMT

    Great article by Osman as always. Congrats to Pakistan. Finally, performance has lived up to potential. I am also very happy, as an Indian, to see so many Indians complimenting Pakistan on their victory. We were all very sad when you guys couldn't seal the deal in Australia last time around, but glad you did this time. Get your house back in order, rehabilitate the 2 Ys, and start challenging for the top echelons of world rankings. I would love to see India-Pak cricket played in a spirit of normalcy in both India and Pakistan.

  • ArtPakistan on July 26, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    Well done Pakistan team. You made us proud of you. You displayed outstanding team spirit and have played great. Keep it up.

    Who cares what Australia did 8 years ago and Pakistan did not 10 and a half years ago. What we know now is that Australia stands defeated as of today. And, the team that has beaten this country is no other but our Pakistan team.

    I wish our writer also could have enabled himself to find something positive in our victorious team. Even the Indian writers have.

  • on July 26, 2010, 0:01 GMT

    Pakistan needs to strengthen its middle order. Both Azhar Ali and Umar Amin are unsure of themselves. Umar Akmal is talented, however, he bats with little arrogance and pretense. He knows there is nobody to replace him. Shoaib Malik does not deserve a place considering Younis Khan and Yousef are available. Malik had political leadership backing him therefore he was selected, Younis and Yousef had no political backing and their careers have been ended. Malik is nothing but a "Safarshi". He disturbs the team spirit and he does not bat well. England has a much better Spin attack. Swann is a world class spinner. Pakistan collapsed to Marcus North, who probably is the same class as Malik, perhaps a notch less. Unless Pakistan finds better middle order, I will not give them chance against England.

  • kaiser1 on July 25, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    What pple talk of R Ponting's decision the biggest factor in Pak win? He also made a similar decision in Sydney but still won. And what about Wasim Akram's decision in the 1999 world cup final to bat after winning the toss in the worst conditions than this, would any one take the credit away from Australia for winning the title then. yes they won and were world champions and still they continue the tradition unless and until someone take them head on in the next world finale as England did in the last T20 final and thrash them thoroughly.

  • __PK on July 25, 2010, 22:39 GMT

    ...or perhaps it's just that Austraia batsmen struggle in English swinging conditions. but the bowlers (apart from Watson) don't understand the Duke ball well enough to take similar advantage. So all the other nations of the world need to do it give up their home ground advantage for the even bigger advantage of playing in England and the Australian era is over. Aside from that, Australia will return to dominance for at least another three years.

  • nomikshah on July 25, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    I don't understand where this talk of budding talent keeps emanating from. There is not a single technically correct batsman in the whole lot so there is zero chance for improvement. There might be few haywire knocks here and there but there will never be a consistent performance, not from this lot, sorry. And there is none sitting on the bench who's being denied his chance. Bowling might offer them a chance every now and then but batting would mostly flounder, for want of technique and temperament. I was glad that Akmals did not have a batting role to play in this win because they simply did not deserve to be mentioned. And that Butt has been the highest scorer in the series and Farhat the highest scorer in this match spells more doom for the lineup rather than offer a ray of hope. With this pathetic batting, every score of over 150 or so being offered to the lineup should be considered a bowling failure. Happy dreaming.

  • PakistanicrickFan on July 25, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    @zaffarh Lala i totally agree with. No Doubt MY/YK Had their time with pakistan. We need to show trust in these young Guns. Why are we panicing for ? Come on Guys have some faith in these young lads. Salman Butt knows How to give Right Answer in front of Media. Best of Luck Sallu..Pakistan Zindabad

  • jahmed31 on July 25, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    wow...wow...wow.... Pakistan at last win the battle from long long years pending. What else i want to talk is that Mohummad Yusaf is a batsman. And he will be on top in his records ever after. Secondly its in the nature of PCB that they spoil ,humiliate ,insult them enough too. That the player resigned and terminate his cricket i.e saeed anwar, inzi, Mohummad Yusaf and also rest of the others, Well new blood showed a lot of better than that mess Shoaib Malik. He should be out of team for all type of cricket no need for him. Moreover if you look the fact i feel Akmal Brothers are not working for the team. Might be they are fixing the match or what so ever if you closely look their styles of playing they are given their catches or by themselves without any hesitation. If bringing back Yunis khan is better if not it will be still better but should look after for a better one who should stay on the wicket with better confident.

  • Tariq_Amin on July 25, 2010, 16:02 GMT

    Pakistan team performance is like bangladesh team... They are winning 1 match after losing 15 matches like bangladesh team.... pakistan team always dishearted me... In sydney test Kamran Akmal intentionally (he was against Yusef) dropped four chanses of Micheal hussy and gave australia the victory and in this series he didn't dropped anything. Pakistani players are not sincere with their country...at many occassions they are playing for themselves, not for the country. In headingly they played with unity and won the match... but i am sure this unity will not remain for long time...

  • dmqi on July 25, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    This young team deserves congratulations that sydney debacle did not repeat. But was it close? Yes, it was. Win by 3 wickets with a hit from a bowler. 7 down for 170 runs, 40 runs with 7 wickets, still Malik, Umar Akmal did not survive, Kamran got lucky very narrowly. All these do not show promise, it was a bare survival against a top class team with superb bowling and planning. So, do you need a change in the team. Of course, you do. What is Malik doing there? Does YK has a better record? Listen to all the TV commentators' opinion in the last test. True, the two Y's had problems and that affected the team's performance. Was Malik clean? Yousuf was not a good captain, but was not Younus a much better capatain when he started? It was Inzi from behind and the hopeless PCB and the management who did not understand the situation and take actions. Now they are tough and getting the mouth of Akamls and others shut from garbage talk. You need to be realistic and fair.

  • HabeebRaja786 on July 25, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    Congratulations that at last Pakistan has won a test against Australia in a foreign land.Our batting has always been weak but not to this level.It will be criminal to bring Both Ys to team as it will change the eviroment of dressing room, Salman Butt will not be able to handle seniors in the team.This team on all basis have won the right to play unchange for 4 tests against England.Personally I am fan of both Yosuf and Younis , i reckon their time has gone.Although Australia has enjoyed a great dominance over Pakistan over a decade and a half, please do not forget Australia visited Pakistan in 1997 for the last time.Since then Pakistan have been playing against them in foreign lands.For rest of tour Yasir Hameed should be given a chance at least once in place of either Shoaib Malik or Umar Akmal.

  • justjonty on July 25, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    What a cricket match!! Test cricket!! Need we say anymore. In India, nothing gives us more joy than watching Ricky Ponting's Australia getting beaten. And what a side Pakistan have in the making.For the last ten years there has been a myth that Pakistani's are a talented bunch of cricketers. Apart from Haq, Younis Khan and Mohd. Yousuf, there has hardly been a talent that has caught the eye and now suddenly they seem to have unearthed real quality. Umar Amin did not make many runs but some of his shot through the off side were a joy. Azhar Ali may need to tighten his front foot technique but he looks the part. And this fast bowling attack along with that of England's is the best in the world. My hearty congratulation and I can understand what it must mean to a cricket mad nation like Pakistan. Now it would be nice to see test cricket return to Pakistan, India to have a fast bowling attack and then we could have a classic India Pakistan tussle.

  • surtee on July 25, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    it is indeed a great relief to all Pakistani cricket lover that at last we have won atest against Austrailia.congratulation to all. But the question still remain that is there any place in the team for Salim Mali and may be also Kamran Akmal.Why are selectors reluctant to play Faisal Iqbal ,Asim Kamal or some new players likethey did with AzharAli and Umer Amin.Isther any clout or some unwritten agreement to play Salim Malik ?

  • syedazharzaidi on July 25, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    the result in series could be 2-0 for pakistan if the batters would held there nerves at lords anyway its nice to see this young team doing well, in playing 11 we still need two good batsmen to replace malik and umar amin.

  • on July 25, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    Very well written Osman. Congratulations to Pakistan. Well done - despite the jitters at the end. There is need for the middle order to be strengthened. You suggestion that Pakistan should not rule out a return of Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, is a sensible one.

    In the heat of competition, many mistakes are made. The 'time out' applied to Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan will have given them an opportunity to reflect on their mistakes. There also is a new captain i.e. Salman. Let us see how it all pans out. For starters, Pakistan may wish to remember that this England team is no walk-over; though on a given day, they could do a Pakistan and collapse.

  • on July 25, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    Would it be futile to hope that the wretched pathetic organization we are saddled with in the shape of the PCB will actually take some lessons from this match ? I have been clamoring for YEARS to let a younger team play; surely they could not do worse than the bunch of has-beens we have persisted with whose only interest is to see how badly they can undermine the captain. In fact, it is finally a bunch of fresh faces that have actually done better. Please use whatever bully pulpit you have to ensure that Yousuf never comes back into the team. He was a GREAT batsmen, maybe still is, but he is lazy and he will never let Salman Butt's captaincy survive. Please keep the faith in the youngsters - replace Malik who has no place left, with Younus who is a man of decency and integrity and will solidify the middle order. The PCB shud keep Salman as permanent captain. Drop Farhat despite his obvious connections (surely he doesnt deserve a place on merit) and for once give Yasir Hameed a real run

  • zaffarh on July 25, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I, nor anyone we knew, expected the actual result given the circumstances in which the team found themselves after Afridis sudden exit.Strength is shown most clearly through the difficulties one can overcome, and the team passed that test admirably. How they got to the line matters not;and this win will give them the much needed confidence for the next task ahead. Like aothers i believe that bringing back MY/YK will do more harm then good. They have had their time now its time we put trust in new blood. Lets give the youngsters a fair run, or else we risk the little we have achieved so far.

  • SaifQazi on July 25, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    @ArtPakistan.. calm down buddy, relax. u cant deny the fact that the Aussies have literally strangled the Pakistani team to submission for the last 15yrs, n they did that on the basis of their collective strenghts. it didnt matter wat Pakistan had individually, perhaps on individual basis Pakistan was more talented n skilled than the Aussies bt they still didnt win, with likes of Wasim, Waqar, Anwar, Inzamam, Shoaib in the team.. Imagine a bowler as good as Shoaib Akhtar has cum n gone n wasnt part of a winnin Pakistani side against the Aussies n i say this coz Akhtar, in his pomp was a deadly fast bowler. Osman is right atleast abt the Aussies dominance in the modern era they had ova Pakistan, its not insultin. Even the Pak team knows this.

    As far as YK n MY is concerned, i still feel Younis Khan has sum yrs to gv to Pak, not so sure abt MY. YK can be a mentor n u dont need 2 mentors in PAK side atleast:p

  • sobank on July 25, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    Osman sahab, unlike my many other fellow countrymen, I was scared not because of the 77 of smith but something more dangerous, the time. Many pakistani were frightened of the score but I was not. I started banging my head at the moment just after lunch when smith was not willing to go. Looking nervously at the clock, I knew only and only one thing........... if this thing goes on and pakistan has to bat another morning, we might as well kiss over chances of win goodbye. Morning is the bringer of brutal fate at this ground as the past three mornings in the innings proved. So the next morning comes and voila........ Pakistan was gasping for air.

    To all my dear critics here, without taking the panic and great come back of aussies, please realize that no team was able to stand the morning attack well. Looking at the inexperienced pakistani team, one should applause their effort rather than shoot them down because most of them have not even played 10 tests or ODIs for that matter.

  • on July 25, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Well i want to congratulate our pakistani team they win against Australia in england not in pakistan. I don't understand u usman y u and other people's always mention abt younis and yousef when our middle order is not playing well. Pls check the record they both make scores on asia pitches. No doubt tht they were great but not last 1 or 2 years. Pls try to give chance to some 1 new. Wht we win when they playing in our team. Its better that we r trying our junioragainst team like australia. Just check the scores and run rate of players like Ricky ponting, Michael clarke, Mike hussy, Shane watson, Simon katich, is it not extraordinary tht we bowled them in 88. Usman u have to appritiate alot ours players. Pls don't write again abt yousef and younis i think their time gone. God always bless our time. Amin

  • on July 25, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    Definitely agree with the inclusion of either Mo Yo or YK. So far so good.But greater battles lie in store with an English series as well as the Boks in the U.AE. If we put up a good show in the upcoming 4 tests, the nations failing interest will be laid to rest and a new enthusiasm will ensue. Apart from all the Public Relations points Butt gained from the post-match interview, i still feel he should work harder on staying at the wicket and concentrate on getting bigger scores. The opening partnership looks promising and can add some real needed longevity which has been amiss for decades. Other than that, the pool of bowlers needs to expand to back-up the work the trio has done in the first two tests. Again, hope floats surely after a 1-1 with the Kangaroos.

  • ARSHADAWAN on July 25, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Well done team Pakistan. This is a brilliant victory. but still was not a cinvincing one. FaisaLKarim said that if the two Ys have been in the team pakistan have lost the match. I totally disagree with this comment. Please think that why we know these two great batsmen today. Answer is simple bcoz they have done something very special. they put pakistan out of trouble on so many occassions. They r still the best to pick for the test.

  • SamAsh07 on July 25, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    I agree with FaisaLKarim, had YK or MY been a part of this team, Pak would have lost the match, I had always been ranting in the comments section that both of these Y's era has ended, its time for young bloods to rise, and finally my words came true. This Pakistan team should remain unchanged, although I would opt for a Yasir Hameed instead of a turtle Mr Sania Mirz- oh, I mean, Mr. Shoaib Malik.

  • Nasir_Mahmood_Malik on July 25, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    I am also really happy on this historic win. To be fair this win had a big contribution from Ricky Ponting's decision after winning the toss. Middle order batting is nothing to be proud of. Openers did well but Farhat still has to adopt to test playing, giving away the T20 flare. Same is the case with Umar Akmal. Azhar Ali and Umar Amin look promising. It is heartening to see young players who immediately take on the responsibilty and also can muster test temprament. They definately need to continue. However Shoaib Malik's place is open for a young batting all-rounder (In future I feel Aamir will take over this spot). Bowling doesn't need any tinkering. Although good to have suitable bench strength.

  • on July 25, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    I dont agree with you that Younis and Yousuf should be brought back. They both are history and involved in dirty politics. I think even Shoaib should be removed from the test team as he do not have the test match capabilities and temperament. Bring the 2 Ys in and they will start their politics and their mindset is such that they wont perform under Salman Butts captaincy. PCB should make SB captain for next 3 years no matter what and in the test team should give chance to Fawad Alam or Yasir Hameed in place of Shaoib Malik.

  • amajeed on July 25, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    In deed a great analysis Osman, I feel and agree with you that we need a batting mentor like Miandad or Inzamam in the middle order if want to polish the talent. Azhar Ali, Omer Amin & Omer Akmal have talent and we need to polish and groom it to make them batting genius. Mohammad yousuf has fielding issues mainly because of his age as well but I think Mohammad Younis still has three to four years cricket left in him and his presence in the middle order raise the confidence and will groom the raw talent. This is high time to look beyond personal likes and dislikes for the sake of future cricket of Pakistan. One last thing I want to add is that we must not fool our self with this win. The major contribution in the win was from our disciplined bowling and fielding. Middle order batting don't even exists, the clear example is the slide from 136 for 1 to 179 for 7.

  • Shahraz_London on July 25, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    See BELOW for the team I have been waiting for for months!

    Now that Afridi has retired, I would replace him with AZHAR ALI

    Please bring YO-YO back.

    England wont know what hit em!

  • Shahraz_London on July 25, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    S BUTT- Of all the useless players he's the best, has centuries against Australia. FARHAT/MALIK/ALAM - Farhat, useless, but is there anyone better? -Malik, if he wants this spot, but he shouldn't open his mouth - Alam, allegedly the second best young batsman in Pakistan, if in, give him a clear run of 10 matches)!) Y KHAN -Should have remained captain - now ignore captaincy M YOUSUF - Leader off the field, definitely not on the field U AKMAL - The future S AFRIDI - Captain on the pitch (should remain humble off the pitch) excellent cricketing brain, excellent spinner, has aggression, extra bowler, can change game with bat, Kaneria will bowl better K AKMAL - What idiot dropped him, he just needs some help to work out why he was making drops - loss of concentration - too much pressure? U GUL - Reverse swing M AAMER - It's about time a new Wasim came along, improve your batting M ASIF -You're good but not that good to be arrogant D KANERIA - Under rated, needs to be used better

  • on July 25, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    " Knowing how to win is the first step, we must also know how to make use of victories "

  • kaiser1 on July 25, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    Mo Yo And Yo K have spent entire careers playing against different team including Australia but never been able to defeat aussies inside their territory and at neutral venues as well but never got this kind of result. Mo Yo broke our hearts at sydney by allowing Mike Hussey to score an unbeaten 132 and got bundled out for less than 150 themselves. this is what many want again from MoYo and Yk. I totally disagree with this notion again.

  • mkhalilz on July 25, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    ok.. so im quoting one of the comments here, sorry to all fans of cricket frm Punjab, but below are sold factual statistics... God Bless Pakistan: Pakistan Team Analysis: Salman Butt - Lahore, Punjab Imran Farhat - Lahore, Punjab Azhar Ali - Lahore, Punjab Umar Amin - Rawalpindi, Punjab Umar Akmal - Lahore, Punjab Shoaib Malik - Sialkot, Punjab Kamran Akmal† - Lahore, Punjab Mohammad Aamer - Gujjar Khan, Punjab Umar Gul - Peshawar, Khyber PK Danish Kaneria - Karachi, Sind Mohammad Asif - Sheikhupura, Punjab 9 players - almost 82% from Punjab, and what about Ejaz BUTT, Waqar Younus, Ijaz Ahmed?? all from Punjab.... Are they representing Pakistan??? now we know why Saeed Anwer was left out and Inzemam was selected as captain after 99 world cup debacle, why Rashid Latif was left no where and why Younus Khan is treated how he's treated. Facts speak louder than lame excuses man!!! God Bless Pakistan. May all affairs be undrtkn on merit and democratically rathr thn on prsnal favourism

  • cook on July 25, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan on the win against Australia. But lets not get carried away. Australia put themselves in on a pitch that was doing plenty and settled down as the game went on, so the Aussies got the worst of conditions. But Pakistan needs to keep faith in these players and build the team up, rather than changing players every game. Congrats also to Rudi Koertzen on a great career.

  • irfanzulfiqar786 on July 25, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    either its the inzammam in the 2006 test or afridi decision to abandon the sinking ship ,shoaib malik statements in the international media,after a long time finally i must urge here that salman butt has the ability how to deliver the statements about your country not only he happened to perform well in the ground but also most importantly he knows how to communicate and what words should be used to deliver the teams point of view, i had a visit in pakistani team during t20 world cup in england 2008 , i really found this guy butt very talented ,since then i was telling my friends that this guy has to be pakistani captain , what we need to do now just replace shoaib malik with either younis khan or mohammad yousaf to play the same role what inzi did in the early ninties till the 99 luckily we have got azhar ali and umar amin which are highly capable of playing book cricket, all we need now a mentor in the middle order to polish them , so lets see either yousaf or younis , goodluck

  • on July 25, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    Osman-I just love your writing!

  • viks_j on July 25, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    I think this is not enough. They should win more convincingly after their position on first day. But victory against Australia in foreign condition always special. I hope cricket administrators will keep themselves and payers in discipline.

  • tfjones1978 on July 25, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    I think the article is showing the wrong side of things: (1) Ricky Ponting has NEVER won a series in England (he wins the toss and always bats, so its not surprising we lost given that England has grassy wickets compared to Austs). (2) Its been 125 years since Aust were bowled for less then 100 and won the match, and yet we came 3 wickets from doing so. This was one of the best efforts by a team that were bowled out for less then 100 in the last 100 years! Give credit where it is due! (3) Aust in last 3 years have had a rookie side but have maintained a 80% win rate of tests (or close to), maintaining a high rate. (4) Aust had 2 players playing 2nd test, 2 players returning from injury and a few players out due to injury (exc even Lee as I dont consider him a test player for last 2 years).

    Pak deserved the win, but lets put it in perspective, it was a 2 test series (not 4 or 5) where Australians had 2 bad hours in the game. Its like a runner falling at the start & nearly winning!

  • chinaman1 on July 25, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW MANY OF THE LAST SOCALLED 13 VICTORIES OF AUSTRALIA, WERE IN PAKISTAN, AND IF ANY OTHER TEST PLAYING NATION HAD PLAYED THEIR TESTS IN AUS OR ABROAD ALL THE TIME, HOW THEY WOULD HAVE FARED. AND, HOW MANY TIMES INDIA HAS WON AGAINST AUSTRALIA ABROAD, IN ALL FORMS OF CRICKET. REGARDS ASIF

  • on July 25, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    salaam friends and fun of cricinfo i am every happy to Pakistan won this match but one thing its make me sad he is shaid Afridi he was not there in this match i like him so much

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on July 25, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    I love to read Osman's Articles, but i disagree with Osman here, he wrote that "No opponent has had as tight and brutal a grip over Pakistan in the modern age as Australia; no opponent has so exposed Pakistan's vast spectrum of frailties physical and mental; no opponent has so taunted Pakistan with the dictum that talent alone is nothing...."Many time Pakistan lost the matches when they were very close to Win, as you mentioned about four different occasions,but they also lost test matches against Srilanka New Zealand in the same fashion last year .And also Pakistan lost 13 or 14 consecutive ODIs against South Africa from 1994 to 2001(eve00ntually they beat them in Sharajah).it is not matter of physical and mental weakness only against Australia but against all better teams.Their bowling create a chance to win but batting let them down all the time.In domestic cricket our players show great form but they are unable to handle pressure in front of capacity crowed and good bowling attack.

  • santoshjohnsamuel on July 25, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    While agreeing with Osman, one would also want to add that a Pakistani test victory would have come about much earlier if their batsmen had shown nerves. In the immediately preceeding series in Australia, it was Pakistan who were the better side but for the fact that their batsmen failed collectively after their bowlers set things up. Hope this victory instills a belief that matches can be won -- even if it be against the Aussies.

  • amit1807kuwait on July 25, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Well done to Pakistan! And one wonders how long will Australia ignore the bloopers made by its captain Ricky Ponting. He was bailed out in Sydney by an inept Pakistani side then. But he would remember last years Ashes decider where also Ponting had made the fatal decision after winning the toss. And again, he batted after winning the toss in helpful conditions. What was he thinking? He was playing Pakistani seam and swing bowlers, who are amongst the finest in their craft, he was not playing the struggling Indians, who would also have tested Australia in these conditions!!!

  • subedar486 on July 25, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    No one is thinking about why Afridi has left as a Captain at such a critical juncture. There must, yes I say there MUST be pressure on him from either the management or some selfish players who grouped up against him that let him exit. People, You must understand the dirty politics played by a bunch of bully (either management or some rude players) who team up against a star. I used to play top class cricket in the early and mid 70s as an under 19 as well for Hyderabad and then for Pakistan Universities when I scored more runs than Qasim Umar, Javed Miandad, and others and was selected for the Sind team in the Pentangular tournment that was played in Lahore. I was never given a chance to prove my batting as an opening batsman. That was the last time I played cricket in Pakistan. Fortunately, I came to the United States in 1978 with an engineering degree and completed my PhD 8 yeras later. I have a Global Petro Chemical Consulting company. I was a victim of dirty politics.

  • Vallam on July 25, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    Pakistan's win over Australia is great and fantastic. Pakistan's bowling is always a great strength. They have the systems to produce fast bowlers. If the bowling attack is preserved and if they can find a good leg spinner other than ageing Danish Kaneria- if you accept 29 years and 260 wickets as old horse - the bowling looks really very good.

    Some stability in middle order batting is required. Allow the youngsters to grow even if they fail few times, allow them to grow and build and let Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan - can stay away.

    Let them not do the same mistake what India is doing continuing with the old players-who are no more match winners blocking the developments of many talented youngsters.

    If any team can beat Australia- it has to be a good team. Yes we can detect weakness in Australian batting and bowling now- but they will bounce back, Australians are great competitors and will never give up. An Indian fan

  • Desihungama on July 25, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    Reason we want to bring the 2 YoYo's so as they can guide the other end batsman on when to take a run.

  • starsgap1986 on July 25, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Dont forget guys that our bowling and fielding may have improved but our batting line up is still shaky. Lets give our bowlers a fair chance of defending a respectable total in the future. Younis and Yousuf have got few years left in their career , lets take full advantage of them.

  • starsgap1986 on July 25, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    That was a great article Osman, i agree with you that even after winning this test we should still consider either younis or yousuf's return to the middle order. Just like Afridi would like to concentrate and dedicate his remaining career to the ODIs and T20s , Younis and maybe Yousuf should be brought back in the team to give our bowlers an upper hand in defending large totals. think about it. we only make 258 and hardly 180 but the only thing that was good was our bowling.

  • dmqi on July 25, 2010, 4:28 GMT

    A cautionary note to over hyped Pakistan supporters. The facts are these: Australia or any other team would not take batting 1st innings on such condition, cause of 1st innings 88 runs , although I give due credit to the bowlers. It could have been Pakistan 88 all out if Ponting would take bowling. England will not do this mistake. The pak display on 4th day to score 40 runs do not give an encouraging sign to face the England side. Pak do not have one reliable batsman other than Azhar Ali, not even Salman Butt( see his 2nd Innings). So you need 2-3 solid batsmen. Where are you getting those? Can not borrow from other teams. Find out the answer before the 1st test to start soon in England. Otherwise, the over hype will turn to sad face. If they bring the two Y's back they will have a good team at least on paper. They may not succeed but they have records and experience which is very important.

  • on July 25, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    Well Done Pakistan.

    Our batting is still flimsy but definitely we need to stick to Azhar Ali and Umar Amin and give them a fair run until they prove themselves. Some work needs to be done on both of them and Umar Akmal who sounds like a good T20 but needs to adapt to the Test match culture.

    If needed, replace Shoaib Malik with Younis Khan until Azhar and two Umars come of age.

    The fielding needs improving since in the series most victims were bowled, lbw's.

    Umar Gull, oh dear! Irritatingly annoying with his no-balls yet so indispensable.

  • tksami on July 25, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    No we do not need Y&Y. SHAHID AFRIDI should come back some where at no 5 or 6. He could have scored those 40 runs in 2 overs. Now he can play his natural game without the burden of captaincy.

  • cricpolitics on July 25, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    Let's give credit where it's due. Eeven though the test series has been drawn Pakistan has actually won the total series e.g. two T/20 and one test. It's two more wins than Australia. No dropped catches from Pakistan but there were few from Australia, the lowest score of the series 88 made by none other than Australia, Pakistan's main bowling battery in the top of wicket getters where as Australia's at the bottom of the list. Australia having services of the top three batsmen in test cricket, Ponting, Clarke, and Hussey where as a completely unknown Paksitan lineup. Not bad at all Pakistan, is it?

  • Faakhir on July 25, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    Youth and strict discipline is the answer to all the ills plaguing Pakistan cricket. Today is the happiest day of the week. Pakistan Zindabad

  • redneck on July 25, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    well done to pakistan! they bowled better and their batsman didnt colapse, unlike ours! however would love to have a third test right about now!!! another stupid 2 test series another 1-1 draw, well done to the brains trust on that one! but bright things to come from pakistan cricket, espechally with that bowling attack! octobers series between pak and south africa could well be the battle between the 2 best bowling attacks going round, too bad its being played in a dust bowl!

  • ufriends on July 25, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    Good article by Usman. In pakistan cricket whenever there are flood of issues, PAK team come back with great performance. Looks good. But the big issue starts then; that great performance vanishes in couple of months like dew with wind. They need someone who can preserve the drop of happiness and turns that into abundance sea of success. Question is : Who is capable of doing that? Should we look up to Waqar or Salman or someone else ? We do not have much expectations from PCB. How this should be done ? A. Bring experience back B. Assure young players a long run C. Do not expect wonders from Amir (or all young shoulders) every time he approaches to 22yards stating line. D. Do not get carried away with this victory and look for consistency E. Spin department need to support their pace fellows. There would be many more things which can turn this bunch of buds in a success of garden. Lets give a chance to "time" and hope for the best. - Uttam

  • on July 25, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    Osman,always enjoy reading your article.Maybe the spell has been broken and the frog has become the prince which we were waiting for!!!Well done Salman Butt and the team.We definately need Younis/Yousuf back in the team and we will again be a force to reckon with.Best of luck against England. Mehdi Singapore

  • dyogesh on July 25, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Osman, You just seem to feel the pulse of Pakistan cricket and express it so beautifullly... If cricinfo has best writer awards, you have my vote ! Umar Akmal being the slightly senior and the future star, should bat at no.3 or 4. This is where you want to your best batsman to bat and take control.

  • drcardio1980 on July 25, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    Yousaf & Younas can be accomodated in the team barring their politics, otherwise young team is alright.Afridi ran away instead of being more determined after the Lords defeat but this a sweat victory after Afridi's departure.

  • ratee on July 24, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    I do not understand the negativity of this article, why bring in the old hoses like Younis and Yosuf who want only to participate in test cricket when that suits them.

    This victory should be the basis to build a new team. Pakistan has won this great match while this article seems to look at the past records of failures from which we should learn and not look with pessimism at the future of Pakistani cricket as most of the Pakistani journalists still look at them.

  • RSyed on July 24, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    Great analysis Osman. Whatever this test series was , this win has surely brought some smiles , some positive and some hope. One guy that everybody seems to miss out in their analysis is Mr. Waqar Younis....I think he needs to be applauded for his work with the Trio. I for one can see the difference that he is making with our bowlers.

    Another guy that has not been in the news is Misbah. If Yousuf and Younis can't return then atleast Misbah can bring some assurance in the middle.

  • ArtPakistan on July 24, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    I am disappointed with the article meant to insult a victorious team. Man, even the tail enders kept the nerves and snatched victory from the clutches of a strong team. This victory was not because Australia is getting weak, this was made possible because Pakistan team played great, from the word 'go'. Just look the way they bowled out a strong batting line at 88,,,the side that was capable of making more than 350 in second innings. This is a great victory for a young, talented boys who have the spirit to fight to the end. Sports writers...stop pessimism, by even writing not only negatively but in an insulting way about a team that has won and made its countrymen proud. Just look at the taunting words the writer has used for the team,"no opponent has stuffed down their throats as forcefully the truth of sport today, that triumph has a collective, not individual, imprint."

    And, no one will listen to a pessimist writer and even think of getting Younus and Yousaf back.

  • Damageinc on July 24, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    dont degrade yousuf and younus like that inzamam didn't mentor anyone , yousuf has always been far better than inzamam.

  • on July 24, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    cool captain,world-class bowling, flawless fielding and vastly improved top order batting... dawn of a new era for pakistan cricket...:) ...best of luck green shirts :)

  • on July 24, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    Nathan I agree with you. No matter we lose 2,3 series ... if this team is given a chance to build themselves, they will surely come out on top ..!! And let me add one more name .. Shoaib Akhtar ... i knw hes a match winner but he just does not and let me say does not get to mix with this team ..!!

  • FaisaLKarim on July 24, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    Well written fun article to read. The only point I disagree on with Osman and in agreement with poster 'nathan2010' is that Pakistan must not look back. Do not bother about the MYs and YKs at this time. Let this young team gel together. Azahar Ali has shown enough mettle in the middle to give Pakistan a realistic hope of a solid middle order batsman. Let this young team find its way through. I have this odd feeling that if either MY or YK was a part of this outfit that Pakistan may not have achieved the result that they did. Hard to explain but the old jinx perhaps?

  • cricsecular on July 24, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    Read Geff Lawson's interview in PAKPassion, and other comments elsewhere. So started feeling a good future for PAK Cricket. So against England, they need to field Younis, Yousuf with Azhar and Amin. So the 15 members can be on the squad-choose 11 based on the situation, 1. Butt 2. Farhat (you escaped/convined) 3. Younis 4. Azhar 5. Yousuf 6. Umar Akmal 7. Kamran (Brothers can discuss and plan easily than others in they play together) 8. Amin 9. Malik 10. Yasir (these 3 are reserves) 10. Amer 11. Asif 12. Gul 13. Danish 14. Ajmal 15. One Bowling All Rounder (who can fit?)

    Its time for the other teams to face touch PAKISTAN.

  • on July 24, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    We do not need Yousuf and Younis to mess up again, we just need to replace useless Shoaib Mailk. Shoaib Malik is worst test cricketer I have ever seen in all over the world .

  • on July 24, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    we all talk about yunus and yousuf,but i just cant understand where is fawad alam the guy who scored 168 in his debut test against srilanka in srilanka and he played brilliantly there,why the hell he is out of the side,and what guys like umar ameen and umar akmal are doing in the team

  • umairhuda on July 24, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    Simply beautifulllllllllllllllllll,,,Thanks Usman for such a nice article..Great to win but still we need YOYO in the team,,,This Pakistan team can do anything,,

  • imaniar on July 24, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    Good article. I think it is important to bring back both Yousuf and Younus back. Umar Akmal is not a test class batsman. I know there are several people who will disagree with me and watching him bat I am not sure if he is even a 50 over player. Yes he has the talent but no patience. Let him play T20 for 2-3 years till the senior players retire and slowly work him in.

  • Engle on July 24, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    It is only through the smooth efficient machinery of teamwork that a team manages to overcome adversity. Granted that the 1st day had a large bearing on this victory, however, the minute a grain of political salt is thrown into the mix, and this happens often with conflicting Pak egos, that the team fails to jell. This is still not the ideal mix of players for a winning combination, some maturity and experience is required, especially in the volatile middle order. One of the ' Y ' s could glue that, if only they could accept the immense value of teamwork and leadership over infighting and egos.

  • dr_sachinfan_chennai on July 24, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    Osman bhai I think u are most mature person in Pakistan's Cricketing circle firstly. Thanx for a unbiased article. As for Nathan : Well brother, ofcourse ur right abt not having two Ys but remember u just cant expect kids to bail u out always. Do India play without R.D n SRT, WI with no Sarwan, Chanders or Sl without Sanga n Mahela? These guys are backbones and they need to be in. For ones reason alone let PCB or Fans should not be looking too much into the long awaited victory. And @ Usman : This side has long way to be branded as world beaters. Coz : openers are not proven yet, despite two Ys they dont inspire confidence as Indian or Lankan middle orders who are kings in batting, Akmal is still not a good enough keeper. One great thing is pace attack is best in world now. With that they need to build the side. First for that PCB should be headed by sane people.

  • ahassan on July 24, 2010, 20:28 GMT

    For those who do not understand why Yousuf and Younis should be called back I suggest them to go through a recent article in cricinfo about the middle orders of all the teams for the last few years. Pakistan had the best middle order along with Sri Lanka when Yousuf and Younis were there. They were the best pair in terms of batting performances and they scored with an average of 107.18 per innings as pair which is about 30 runs more then the next best pair. India is #1 test team because they still benefitting from the experience of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman. Sri Lanka recently beat the #1 team of the world because they had Sangakara, Jayawardene and Muralidharan in their team. They do not humiliate their senior players as we do. Salman Butt and few others who are towing the line of PCB should remember that they will face the same fate in future if this unfair treatment of players is not stopped.

  • on July 24, 2010, 20:16 GMT

    great article Mr. Osman .. you have spoken from a Pakistan fan's heart ..

  • ejsiddiqui on July 24, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    Great article Osman, especially this line "It needs the kind of mentoring Inzamam-ul-Haq's presence in the middle provided earlier this decade to both Yousuf and Younis."

    We must bring back these two for the sake of these young guns. They need mentor in the middle of the pitch.

  • engrabdulmaalik on July 24, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistani team and nation.At last,the team has brought smiles on the anguish faces of pakistanis.I do not agreee with those people who say that the current australian team fight till the end.It happend in this test match because their opponents were pakistan.Had it been England,India,Sri Lanka or South Africa,they would have defeated Australia by an innings or 9/10 wickets after their first innings debackle of 88.

  • asim900 on July 24, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    Nice article by Osman..Well we still require the experience in batting afterall it was bowling which won the match for us.India despite of having the best batting in the world could not pose a threat to Lankans in 1st test which shows the importance of good bowling in the test matches..I pray it will be the begining of new era for Pakistan cricket team..

  • cricketmad on July 24, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    Quite simply the best cricket writer on pakistan cricket in the last decade. Keep it up Osman.

  • Tiger-Khan on July 24, 2010, 19:10 GMT

    so I was reading a comment during the first test from one of our good old indian friends which went something like:

    "Pakistan should give up their test status since these kind of performances are turning away fans from test cricket"

    I would like to point out to this gentleman that while we beat AUS in conditions that India cannot even think of doing India was SLAVED at the hands of a Srilankan attack that @ best can be called decent and that to playing on those kinds of tracks that suit them. I would like to advise them not to play us in the coming months as with their Ranji 3rd grade pace attack even my canadian league team would thrash them around...

    LOVELY PAKISTAN!!! ENG BEWARE!!

  • Shahzadhussan on July 24, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    I am happy from this win due to outstanding performance of bowlers, lone contributor of the victory and due to change of some statistical table of wins etc. But equally worried about the shameful batting. If Australia had just 20 runs more at the moment Australians would have been celeberating and a historian whould have added, "a team has won the match after being bowled out at 88". This is the best way of destroying the career of young talented batsmen by consitently making them play under pressure. This is not the way of developing young talent. For the God sake, Mr Ijaz Butt leave your ego for the sake of Pakistan and bring back both Ys at least Yousuf who can build a midle order and mentor younger ones like he was mentored by Inzi and in turn by Miandad. This type of miracles of bowling out team at 88 do nto happen every day and if Y does not come in the team then I do not see any win in upcomming series. Two Ys and Yasir H should replace Farhat, Amin and Malik. Pakistan can win

  • CuteBacha on July 24, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    I would like to make 1 change in this team. If I have a choice, I will bring Yousaf at number 4 instead of Shoiab Malik. I would play Umer Akmal at number 5 and umar Amin at number 6. If Possibile I will give a chance to Yasir Hameed in 1-2 test if Umer Amin doesn't play to the par. I think Umer Amin is a good find but he requires nurishing, Playing at number 6 would give him the opputunity to play with Yousaf and with time he can be a great asset to Pakistan.

  • am15 on July 24, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    I agree in bringing back Yousaf. He can easily replace the one at the all rounder place like Shoaib Malik in current team. Test is the game of specialist. Yousaf coming in place of Shoaib will do a great job in stabilizing the middle order and you can also keep your youngsters in team. Azher has done a great job at number 3. We must persist with him atleast. I dont see the Younis deserve a place. He was out of team because of his form, so he should play domestic cricket to prove his form first. One thing that Pakistan desperately needs to be changed is the PCB higher management. Yaver and Ijaz are doing the worst for the team. In my opinion they are also the cause of triggering unrest and politics among the team members like currently Afridi's retirement. My team against England will be 1. Butt, 2. Imran / Yasir, 3. Azhar, 4. Yousaf, 5. Umer Akmal, 6. Umer Amin, 7. Kamran, 8. Amir, 9. Gul, 10. Kaneria, 11. Asif

  • Waqas_Rahman on July 24, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    @nathan2010:

    Your comment regarding Yousuf and Younis just explains that u know nothing about this beautiful game.

    The best batsmen we have in the team. Team players and true fighter. Its just politics that ruined their career. Even if greats like Viv Richards and Tendulkar were part of the this politics filled team, they wouldnt have been able to remain part of this team.

    Only players in the Pakistan team who averages above fifty. Rest hardy touch mid 30's.

  • dr_salman on July 24, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    @nathan: partly agree that we must support the young talent..absolutely..the older guys ll retire sooner or later one shd always ve backup..but i partly disagree...u dun throw a beginner into a pool n expect him to learn swimming by himself..initially he needs to ve a good instructor..u need senior guys to nurture these young talents n bring them up into good solid batsmen..in our current middle order there is no one for them to look upto..no one to guide them how to face world class bowling...they r just on thier own !!

    n well umer akmal needs to tame his aggression positively..cant go on playin irresponsibly like that...he shd understand his role as an important pillar in middle order !!

  • on July 24, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    i wonder those who want Younas, Yousaf & Misbah back in team now!!! these are defeated minds with there presence in team we were unable to see this day against Australia since last 15 YEARS!

  • on July 24, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    This is a harsh article, but probably a sensible analysis. I am one of the optimists, i guess.

  • on July 24, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Bring in Younis Khan!!!! Not picking Yousuf makes sense, he has been in terrible form and he brings the entire dressing room down with his obnoxious attitude and Tableeghi- Jamaat lectures. Younis on the other hand is a real team man, a real fighter and he is already playing in England in County Cricket. In every decent squad of Test teams you need someone capable of scoring a biggish hundred. Ali and Amin will get there eventually but right now aren't that experienced, Umar Akmal is in terrible form and Malik is only good enough for a 50. Only Butt has the capability but he is way too inconsistent. Bring in Younis.

  • on July 24, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    While watching a young side fight is always compelling, there is one reason why I did not want them to win. I'm araid now that selectors will justify their axing of Mohd. Yusuf.

  • crictonite on July 24, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    You're right, Nathan. The book should be closed on Yousuf and Younis. The fans, if not the PCB, are grateful for what they have done. But bringing them back would be an easy way out and will not solve the long-term problem. Both of them have had their chances, not one but several. Good riddance!

  • on July 24, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    completely agree with nathan2010. Time to move on. The middle order wasnt fragile, the conditions were very bowler friendly. This very batting lineup can easily score 400+ on asian wickets

    The very fact that yousuf and younis were present all those 15 years and we couldnt beat the aussies speaks volumes.

    I think this young team should persist. May be younis can take place of malik, thats about it. Also we should keep M.Irfan in the reserves, incase one of the front line pacers breaks down, he should fill in. He'll be a handful in English conditions.

  • Guruprasad.S on July 24, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    This great win has given the optimist a fresh lease of life. It is a tremendous victory by a fairly inexperienced but (as usual) very Pakistani talented team. One hopes that the batsman bring in as much application as the bowlers.

  • on July 24, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Osman as honest as always...which is the scary thing. This side is still to frail and shoaib Maliks performance is the big let down....he was sent in there to steady the ship not to sink the bloody thing. On a side not why the hype around amin???? lol at him being the new richards

  • Afridian on July 24, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    Pak fans......Yousuf Younis and Afridi...don't rule them out as yet!

  • synergy on July 24, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Very well written article indeed. Pakistan have done very well against Aussies this summer nd the team deservrs credit as well as Waqar who has proved that he is an able coack. Comming to the issue of our batting line up, I think the inclusion of Azhar is proving well nd I am confidant that this lad is going to be there for a long time. As regards Umer Amin, I feel that he is also good but needs some more time to settle down.

    Osman in his article has mentioned about Yousuf nd Younis as well, the current side needs only one out of the four seniors (Yousufm Younis, Misbah nd Shoaib). Misbah nd Shoib have no cricket left in them, Shoaib in fact was never test class nd Misbah has lived out his life so we are left with Yousuf nd Younis nd if I have to choose one it will be Younis to bat at # 4 followed by U Akmal nd U Amin. My vote for Younis is only due to the fact that he is a team man, a selfless person, a good batsman nd an agile fielder thus becoming an automatic choice.

  • on July 24, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    I don't think pak should tinker wid the current linup for whole england series.......the new comers batting in alien conditions did well enough to show the talent they possess n pitchesfor these tests were not 500 runs pitches......once they get some batting friendly conditions they will get big scores also.................

  • on July 24, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Its just a fluke -- Pakistan doesn't have mental strength to cling to win anything -- one session success made them giggle and lost every test -- AUS far superior than PAK in every department even though they lost to the first days pitch condition. I hope AUS beat pakistan another 13 times just to prove me right -- Its nice to watch a dominating team win with superior mental strength :)

  • sahir786 on July 24, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    Great win for pakistan. Winning with such a batting line up is a feather in the cap. Now as far as rest of the summer is concerned,muhammad yousuf should come back along with shoaib akhter these bowlers need some rest & if the conditions are same as these two tests akhter will rip past england. Yusuf is needed to give that comfort zone to umar akmal he is feeling the pressure of being the leading batsman let give play the way he does

  • Desihungama on July 24, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    If we are indeed looking to bring Yousaf back then it must be Yohanna and not the M. Yousaf.

  • nlambda on July 24, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    If Mark Taylor had been fielding in the slips instead of Shane Watson, this match could likely have continued the Aussie dominance. I guess that is also a sign of Aussie decline.

  • on July 24, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    I am a Pakistani and I want to move forward. Yes MOYO have given Pakistan a plenty to be proud about but not everyone is lucky. They faltered and then left behind, I say sorry MOYO but now we've moved on. I say stick with this team and go on about learning new things by making mistakes. U may or may not win but u will surely commit mistakes and hence learn in the process. It's not the wins and losses which really count but for statistical purposes, it's the manner in which they are achieved, always cherished.

  • Azam_Ali on July 24, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    Kaneria is a worry..he gives a boundary ball every over and thus fails to put pressure that is necessary for a spinner to take wkts and help the bowler at the other end..pak can try ajmal or can play with an extra seamer...and bowling to tail should be improved...waqar was the best when it was bowling to tail..Gul has a good yorker ..he should blend his yorkers with bouncers when bowling to tail..ask any bowler these 2 type of deliveries r always a nitemare for them

  • Azam_Ali on July 24, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    @oczak,@usman_nile..guys why having two Y's back???seriously they have passed their prime and with all the politics they had remained involved with why allowing them to enter the team again..Pk wasnt winning and they werent scoring many runs when they were in team in near past.Yusuf has not been playing any form of cricket for last 4 mnths,,not even first class cricket...yunis is playing but he hasnt done anythng significant in the county season..the point is Azhar ali and Umar Amin have been decent enough with their technique and temperament...giv them some time..among batsmen malik and umar akmal should strt to take some responsibilty or else they should be axed..and abt bowling they should start to preserve their fast bowlers by adopting rotation policy..Muhammad Irfan should be given a chance and wahab riaz can be a given a game too..If they tried to play the remaining tour with just the trio we had in this mtch,,we'll end up breaking their backs...

  • badal on July 24, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    A very good article. Congratulations to all Pakistani supporters. I think, we should leave the team as it is, and coach these youngsters, as how to be calm and collective in crunch times. If we some how over come this hurdle, we will many more games.We do have a really exciting and talented team, just need some good coaching. Right now, I don't think any team in the world can match our bowling attack. Having said that, if we can improve our fielding and batting, we will be in one of the top three teams of the world. Most of all our players have to beliieve in themselves. We have to leave the past behind, and look for a bright and exciting future. Good Luck Pakistan.

  • ShaanAgha1 on July 24, 2010, 16:06 GMT

    I'm an ardent cricinfo reader and follow Osman's articles regularly. Most of them are after Pakistan's dismal performance; enjoyed this one a little more for obvious reasons.

  • Awad on July 24, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Osman, its people like you who have kept hope alive when all seemed lost. Pakistan cricket has many detractors and few voices of assurance. Reading articles from worthy journalists like yourself gives a lot of hope to lovers of cricket. It was almost surreal, watching young tyros taking on the tigers and coming up trumps. We need a strong Pakistan for cricket to get its mojo back. BTW, I am Indian and was delighted to see what unfolded at Headingley.

  • Asher123 on July 24, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Well in the end what I say that a better team emerged as winners. Aussies played well but in the end I think their bowling attack was not as lethal and polished as Paksitan, by winning this one Pakistan have overcome a huge mental barrier which will work long in the future as well. Keep it up guys you derseved it!

  • on July 24, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    it was refreshing to see a pakistani skipper not only speaking good english but also making a good statement of situation of the game. one hope thatare many more to come.well played pakistan.

  • qalandar4 on July 24, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    Superb article Osman --and you are right to spare a thought for Younis and Yousif. This board should be shot: with those two (Yousuf in particular has a much better record batting in England than Australia), this series might well have been 2-0 in Pakistan's favor.

  • krik8crazy on July 24, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan on a well deserved win. Pakistan have been competing very well and exposing Australia's weaknesses since the past several games now. In this match, Pakistan managed to do well throughout the match and ended up as the winner. Finally justice is done - Pakistan have won a game that they deserved to win. Salman Butt has been doing very well as the senior batsman in the side that others can look up to. He also seems to handle captaincy as smoothly as he bats. I wish him and his young team more success in the future.

  • Jarr30 on July 24, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan!! Coming from an Indian. I hoping that Pakistan beat Aussie. I also feel that Shoiab Malik was such waiste.DROP HIM.

  • Himayun on July 24, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    This historic win has proved that 10 of the 11 players have contributed like a team. Each of these 10 has done their best in this test. The only exception is mediocre Shoaib Malik.

    The way he took singles and rotated the strike to the Pakistani bowlers in the first innings says a lot about this "most experienced" batsman in the team. It is a miracle that our bowlers did not get hurt while facing Australian spacemen. On the contrary, how a rookie Steve Smith batted against Pakistan under worst conditions and not only saved his tail enders but kept the score moving and took his side to a competitive position.

    The whole nation feels the absence of Younus and Yusuf except the two "Butts". Let us eat a crow and do the right thing and bring these super bats in the team. Himayun Mirza, USA

  • gujratwalla on July 24, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    Not a bad article!It is a miracle and a clear indication of the talent Pakistan has that they beat Australia after the torrid state of afffairs in PK. cricket.I just hope our youngsters learn from the Australians.What splendid fighters.I am against bringing back the two Ys because i don't believe they will perform.Why not give our young team a clap on the shoulders and give them a chance.I think this winning team should continue but Ajmal should in for Kaneria.Malik should give way to Hameed,dropping Amin down the batting list.Cheers for a new beginning and goodbye to the old greats.

  • Shahiq on July 24, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    The last time I was a bit dissapointed with Osman's article , comparing Afridi's vulgar batting with Yousuf's ... Neways , this time , I feel satisfied ... Very true ... Services of Yousuf & Younis is required, but I guess only one can find a place now , otherwise the younger Akmal needs to sit out .... But if I would have been the captain , I would have done exactly that , played with Butt, Farhat, Younis, Yousuf, Azhar & Amin rather U Akmal ... He's talented no doubt, but he needs to learn to play test .. Anyways, it just been two bad tests for him .... If both do return, it will be dilemme for Butt & co. though ....

  • Nayeem_Kohir on July 24, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    Shoib Malik should take a cue from Shahid Afridi and limit himself to only one dayers and Twenty-20 cricket. I would like to see Mohammad Yusuf instead of Shoib Malik in the test team. Otherwise the rest of the team is perfect. If Yunus Khan can return, then it will be either Umar Amin or Yunus Khan making it to the final eleven.

    Test XI: Salman Butt, Imran Farhat/Nasser Jamsheed, Azhar Ali, Md. Yusuf, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Kamran Akmal, Md. Aamer, Gul, Asif, Kaneria/Ajmal

    One-dayer XI: Salman Butt, Nasser Jamsheed, Md. Yusuf, Umar Akmal, Shoib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzak, Kamran Akmal, Md. Aamer, Gul, and Ajmal

    Twenty-20 XI: Shahzaib Hossain, Nasser Jamsheed, Salman Butt, Umar Akmal, Shoib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzak, Md. Aamer, Gul, and Ajmal

    I think Umar can be tried as an opener in the one dayers and Twenty-20 and if he gets going and last the innings, he would take the game away from the opposition. Umar could be lethal as an opener.

  • usmanmansur on July 24, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    please drop shoaib malik and bring in yasir hameed as shoaib is not a test player and he brings alot of politics with him not good for team harmony

  • on July 24, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    I absolutely agree, we shudnt get ahead of ourselves. It was a good and a much much needed victory.however, alot needs to be done.If this is indeed the start of something new, i hope it gets the right guidance. We definately need Moh. Yusuf back. Umar Amin also looked composed but Azhar has a hint of class abt him as well, esp. when he is driving. Gul has to find form quickly, they might not find english batsmen this out of form. Kaneria is a worry as well, he is far too inconsistent and if my eyes didnt fail me, i thought i saw the first googly of his spell after 13 or 14 overs.a leg spinner shouldnt be this predictable.Butt also become overly defensive at points and too relaxed at times, allowing singles. Lets hope for better days, Farhat can keep his cool and bat responsibly throughout, lets hope Azhar ali and Umar amin keep blossoming, lets hope Yasir hameed wasnt just part of a group airline deal and does get an outing,lets hope the fielding standards remain high.lets hope!

  • Joji_ on July 24, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Typical Osman article. Unbiased and eyeopener. Loved the last three paragraphs. !!!

  • on July 24, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    What a pertinent analysisy, not only of the state of Pakistan Cricket and it's impending ascension, but also the state of Australian cricket who're seemingly transitioning into something far less desireable.

    I fully agree with the notion that Pakistani cricket fans should feel optimistic about a fresh team with a level-headed young captain at the helm. Salman Butt's post-match speech was inspiring yet calm. It didn't have the wayward freneticism and imposingly religious manner of Shahid Afridi's (and to a lesser extent Inzamam, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik's) post-match speeches. I think we're firmly into a new era, where Pakistan is willing to integrate and be transparent and not hide behind superstition, religion or administration.

    Of course, cynicism may well be justified, I for one am happy to be optimistic. If only for a little while...

  • nathan2010 on July 24, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    I don't understand why the Pakistan fans and even their sport writers want to take a step backward and bring back two chronic losers M.Y and Y.k. Support your young and exciting team stick by them, give them a chance in a year or two you will have a very competitive team. If your board does make the mistake of bringing those two back you will be back to the same old habits of losing and infighting.

  • usman_nile1994 on July 24, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    Great article. In the end u r right about Younis and Yousuf. Pak team would be unbeatable if they combine a team of seniors and juniors. My dream unbeatable team 1. Butt 2. Farhat 3. Azhar Ali(if he fails then Y.Hameed) 4. M.Yousuf 5. Younis Khan 6. Umar Akmal(Umar Amin in case of failure) 7 K. Akmal 8. M. Aamer 9. U.Gul 10 .Saeed Ajmal 11. M.Asif

  • oczak on July 24, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    Bring back Yousuf Yuhanna (M Yousuf) and Younus Khan

  • owaisvirani on July 24, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    I think blending this team with the experience of Younis and Yousuf for a short period can do great for the upcoming talent. Azhar Ali has shown good heart and Umar Amin also did well in the first test. They are good players and will benefit from this experience in playing in England against good teams. Pakistan should consider this as a new beginning and hopefully can do well agains the England side. The bowling battery is doing really well and can dislodge any team. A good support from the fielders and decent batting can create a good unit who can beat any team in the world. The stutters in the end of the innings were some that can only be cured from experience and good mentoring from senior players and coaching staff. Hopefully this side will loose the habit of loosing and get into a habit of winning matches.

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  • owaisvirani on July 24, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    I think blending this team with the experience of Younis and Yousuf for a short period can do great for the upcoming talent. Azhar Ali has shown good heart and Umar Amin also did well in the first test. They are good players and will benefit from this experience in playing in England against good teams. Pakistan should consider this as a new beginning and hopefully can do well agains the England side. The bowling battery is doing really well and can dislodge any team. A good support from the fielders and decent batting can create a good unit who can beat any team in the world. The stutters in the end of the innings were some that can only be cured from experience and good mentoring from senior players and coaching staff. Hopefully this side will loose the habit of loosing and get into a habit of winning matches.

  • oczak on July 24, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    Bring back Yousuf Yuhanna (M Yousuf) and Younus Khan

  • usman_nile1994 on July 24, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    Great article. In the end u r right about Younis and Yousuf. Pak team would be unbeatable if they combine a team of seniors and juniors. My dream unbeatable team 1. Butt 2. Farhat 3. Azhar Ali(if he fails then Y.Hameed) 4. M.Yousuf 5. Younis Khan 6. Umar Akmal(Umar Amin in case of failure) 7 K. Akmal 8. M. Aamer 9. U.Gul 10 .Saeed Ajmal 11. M.Asif

  • nathan2010 on July 24, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    I don't understand why the Pakistan fans and even their sport writers want to take a step backward and bring back two chronic losers M.Y and Y.k. Support your young and exciting team stick by them, give them a chance in a year or two you will have a very competitive team. If your board does make the mistake of bringing those two back you will be back to the same old habits of losing and infighting.

  • on July 24, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    What a pertinent analysisy, not only of the state of Pakistan Cricket and it's impending ascension, but also the state of Australian cricket who're seemingly transitioning into something far less desireable.

    I fully agree with the notion that Pakistani cricket fans should feel optimistic about a fresh team with a level-headed young captain at the helm. Salman Butt's post-match speech was inspiring yet calm. It didn't have the wayward freneticism and imposingly religious manner of Shahid Afridi's (and to a lesser extent Inzamam, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik's) post-match speeches. I think we're firmly into a new era, where Pakistan is willing to integrate and be transparent and not hide behind superstition, religion or administration.

    Of course, cynicism may well be justified, I for one am happy to be optimistic. If only for a little while...

  • Joji_ on July 24, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Typical Osman article. Unbiased and eyeopener. Loved the last three paragraphs. !!!

  • on July 24, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    I absolutely agree, we shudnt get ahead of ourselves. It was a good and a much much needed victory.however, alot needs to be done.If this is indeed the start of something new, i hope it gets the right guidance. We definately need Moh. Yusuf back. Umar Amin also looked composed but Azhar has a hint of class abt him as well, esp. when he is driving. Gul has to find form quickly, they might not find english batsmen this out of form. Kaneria is a worry as well, he is far too inconsistent and if my eyes didnt fail me, i thought i saw the first googly of his spell after 13 or 14 overs.a leg spinner shouldnt be this predictable.Butt also become overly defensive at points and too relaxed at times, allowing singles. Lets hope for better days, Farhat can keep his cool and bat responsibly throughout, lets hope Azhar ali and Umar amin keep blossoming, lets hope Yasir hameed wasnt just part of a group airline deal and does get an outing,lets hope the fielding standards remain high.lets hope!

  • usmanmansur on July 24, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    please drop shoaib malik and bring in yasir hameed as shoaib is not a test player and he brings alot of politics with him not good for team harmony

  • Nayeem_Kohir on July 24, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    Shoib Malik should take a cue from Shahid Afridi and limit himself to only one dayers and Twenty-20 cricket. I would like to see Mohammad Yusuf instead of Shoib Malik in the test team. Otherwise the rest of the team is perfect. If Yunus Khan can return, then it will be either Umar Amin or Yunus Khan making it to the final eleven.

    Test XI: Salman Butt, Imran Farhat/Nasser Jamsheed, Azhar Ali, Md. Yusuf, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Kamran Akmal, Md. Aamer, Gul, Asif, Kaneria/Ajmal

    One-dayer XI: Salman Butt, Nasser Jamsheed, Md. Yusuf, Umar Akmal, Shoib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzak, Kamran Akmal, Md. Aamer, Gul, and Ajmal

    Twenty-20 XI: Shahzaib Hossain, Nasser Jamsheed, Salman Butt, Umar Akmal, Shoib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzak, Md. Aamer, Gul, and Ajmal

    I think Umar can be tried as an opener in the one dayers and Twenty-20 and if he gets going and last the innings, he would take the game away from the opposition. Umar could be lethal as an opener.

  • Shahiq on July 24, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    The last time I was a bit dissapointed with Osman's article , comparing Afridi's vulgar batting with Yousuf's ... Neways , this time , I feel satisfied ... Very true ... Services of Yousuf & Younis is required, but I guess only one can find a place now , otherwise the younger Akmal needs to sit out .... But if I would have been the captain , I would have done exactly that , played with Butt, Farhat, Younis, Yousuf, Azhar & Amin rather U Akmal ... He's talented no doubt, but he needs to learn to play test .. Anyways, it just been two bad tests for him .... If both do return, it will be dilemme for Butt & co. though ....