Guest Column Guest ColumnRSS FeedFeeds  | Archives

Imran Nazir's last chance

He has got several chances over his decade-plus in the international game, but this World Twenty20 could be his last opportunity to make a mark

Mazher Arshad

September 23, 2012

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Imran Nazir swivels on one leg to steer a ball to the on side, Bangladesh v Pakistan, Group F, ICC World Twenty20, Cape Town, September 20, 2007
Imran Nazir's international career now spans more than 13 years, but it has had far more downs than ups © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Imran Nazir
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Pakistan

Of current international cricketers, only a handful made their debuts in the '90s. Teams such as Bangladesh and England don't have any such survivors, but Pakistan have four - the most for any team. All four are playing in this World Twenty20, and Imran Nazir is one of them. Nazir's career dates back to the days when Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar and Saqlain Mushtaq were bowling in tandem, and Bill Clinton was still the president of the USA.

Nazir opened with Saeed Anwar in 21 ODIs - the pair are the only Pakistan batsmen to have scored 150 in limited-overs internationals. Yet, 13 years later, Nazir frustrates you with his lack of maturity. If you talk to him about his being an underachiever, Nazir rues his early debut - at the age of 18. However, many Under-19 contemporaries of his, early starters most of them, have gone on to become formidable opponents: Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh, Graeme Smith and Virender Sehwag to name a few.

Like Mohammad Amir and Umar Akmal were in 2008, Nazir was one of the most celebrated U-19 players from Pakistan in 1999. An international debut beckoned when he stood out as an opening batsman on the U-19 home series against South Africa. The next month he was playing a Test match in Lahore, one remembered for the first Test hat-trick by a Pakistan bowler. Nazir was in contention for the 1999 World Cup, but another opener from his debut Test, Wajahatullah Wasti, got the nod after making twin centuries.

That is not to say Nazir didn't get opportunities. Nor were they unearned. Apart from his brisk 64 on debut, he put on some fine performances early in his career to suggest definite talent. For a while it seemed Pakistan had found an opener to partner Anwar after they had done away with Aamer Sohail. In his second Test, Nazir scored his maiden Test century against Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. Not to forget his innings in crucial ODIs in finals in Sharjah and in Brisbane. And that six off Shane Warne is almost a defining image of the good Nazir.

Good Nazir, though, has appeared all too infrequently, as averages of 33 and 25 in Tests and ODIs suggest. You hark back to those early days and wonder what went wrong with the abundant talent. Did the expectations ruin him? Or was it the careless batting, accentuated by the advent of T20 cricket? (Remember that no country took to T20 as Pakistan did.)

Regardless, given the shortage of able openers in the country, Nazir did keep making comebacks, like in the Asia Cup in 2004, in the ODI series against South Africa in 2007, and the Champions Trophy of 2009. He is also one of the few to have been rehabilitated after playing in the ICL. That talent, though, kept refusing to translate into performances, so much so that even T20, a format seemingly made for him, couldn't help him establish himself in the side.

How often has he thrown it away after a stylish innings, how often have the expectations of fans been flirted with? And he does enjoy a big fan base in Pakistan - until the team started winning again, his popularity stood next to Shahid Afridi's alone. Every time he is dropped, though, his fans are left thinking why they ever wanted him back in the first place. And how often has he been baited by shrewd field-placing, like in in Lahore in 2007, when Graeme Smith bared the off-side field to get him driving and then placed Justin Kemp at short extra cover for the drive, which materialised as forecast.

Nazir is back again on the strength of his performances in domestic T20 leagues. This year he was the second-highest run-getter in Pakistan's Super Eight T20 Cup, second-highest in the first BPL, and he also scored 114 runs at an average of 38 in his four matches in the SLPL. The attacks there, though, often feature at least one ordinary bowler, as perhaps proved by Nazir's scores of 0, 2, 4, 22, 0 and 1 in his last six T20 international innings. If Nazir makes it to the final XI, it will be more on potential than form. And it is quite possible that he might come up with a fine innings against New Zealand or Bangladesh. It is just as likely that he might follow it up with another indifferent patch. A version, if you will, of three or four stylish shots followed by a hit straight to a catching man.

The selectors may have gambled by picking him, but Nazir can do with a more calculated approach. He has a lot to learn from the highlights of his initial days in international cricket. In Brisbane, for example, he was 13 off 28 by the end of the tenth over, and yet ended with 66 at a strike rate of 90.41. Both his Test centuries featured cautious starts too. There is no reason he can't take some of those virtues to T20; even Chris Gayle does. If he plays the metaphoric loose shot again, though, given the number of opportunities he has been given, it might well be the last we see of him.

Mazher Arshad is a freelance writer based in Pakistan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by mohammedshuja on (September 25, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

Well played Pakistan. To be honest the bowling department has to be worked on immediately. Pakistan has a history of the world class fast bowling but still at this stage we dont have any good fast bowler to represent us at the international level. Was Mohammed Aamer our only spearhead that the country has produced in recent years? Where are the names like Sadaf Hussain, Anwar Ali, Junaid Khan? Having players like Sohail Tanvir at the world class level is not happening. Hafeez also needs to get out of the selfish attitude of being the jack of all trades.Razzaq's and Malik's skills are not been able to flourish due to limited exposure to the game. I would also pick up Ahmed Shehzad in place of Asad Shafiq in Squad. If I had to pick up the batting order and the team it would be follows: 1) Imran Nazir 2) Nasir Jamshed 3) Mohammad Hafeez 4) Kamran Akmal 5) Umer Akmal 6) Shoaib Malik 7) Shahid Afridi 8) Abdul Razzaq 9) Yasir Arafat 10) Saeed Ajmal 11) Umer Gul

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (September 25, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

HERE U GOT IT 72 in 36 balls. SO now shut up plz

Posted by liskal on (September 25, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

Imran nazir is the graeme hick of pakistan....fabulous yet frustrating..

Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Imran Nazir is another unfullfilled promise of Pakistan cricket, there have been examples of cricketers blossoming later in their careers lik Ijaz Ahmed, Mohammed Hafiz etc but Imran has spent a lifetime (of an international cricketer) without people taking him as a stable cricketer, I have seen couple of his interviews and he does comes across as a man who still thinks he is a boy and due to his humble background I think whatever success he has had .... its got to his head .... his fan base made him think that he is a star when he is not (he could have been though).

Its too late rectifying his technical flaws (etc huge gap b/w bat and pad, playing upish all the time), since he clearly is a gamble I would rather have gone with a much younger cricketer like the guy they were claiming to be the new Afridi ( I cant remember his name).

Posted by ifrakurshid on (September 25, 2012, 12:24 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

Yes Surely !! and definitely a last chance for the imran nazir..As he is still playing a reckless shorts not showing any maturity after so many years..he has to understand that at international level he has to show some respect to the bowlers don't try to hit on every ball wait for the bad deliveries to come, improvise the short rather then hitting it hard,because in different leagues where he performed well he never come across all the time to the bowlers of international standard so he can easily hit them out of the ground..if he understand this,he must be a better player then now

Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

I think Nazir batting as well in the t20 format and one day format. He playing well in the SLPL and worldcup matches. So he is not been a confident on his batting performance. So he can do any format.We have lots of openers in the squad. So he can understand. 12 years experience i think it is not a great news. I think this is the last chance on his current series.

Posted by Shauzm on (September 25, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

Even he is out of form these days but then too he is scoring 20-30 Runs in each T20 match, so i think he is perfect choice for T20 Format.

Posted by   on (September 25, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

I totally agreed with Mr.Ghazanfarr .ALLAH BLESS HIM.

Posted by cric-doctor on (September 25, 2012, 2:47 GMT)

Imran Nazir such a gifted player but performance wise below par just like afridi,expectations are high from the fans but fail to delivered.i even forget when the last time afridi hit a six, in razzaq case i feel sorry for him b/c pakistan never utilized him such a talented player,he always been shuffled in batting order & also in the bowling department God knows when he going to bowl or may be they safe him for the final over.he didnt bat in the whole game & suddenly u saw him batting in the super over. . I REALLY FEEL FOR RAZZAQ & dont know what to say about AZHAR MEHMOOD.

Posted by omarkhan78 on (September 24, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

Hawkseyefocused. Pakistan australia and south africa cant all be in the semi. only 2 of them can go through. Try again.

Posted by adnan_rifat84 on (September 24, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

Well done Mazhar bhai hope cricinfo will make you an other Pakistani writer for them, your stats are always good for us, well done keep it up..cricinfo please this man i believe would be from middle class and a die hard fan of cricket so make him as part of your team..

Posted by   on (September 24, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

It's also a last chance for Messers Shoaib Malik, Abdur Razzaq, Muhammad Sami, Kamran Akmal, Suhail Tanvir and SHAHID AFRIDI. All these players will have to show performance before A class opposition and not only against minnows.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

Patience, bad shot selection and not turning 20's to 50's etc has caused Imran Nazir glitches in his career. But luck also counts, his batting is of a gamble as is shahid afridi, luck played the part of afridi who learned a bit of decent spin and got himself tagged as an all-rounder, who came to pinch hit in the end. Shahid Afridi has also shown inconsistency with teh bat, but some of his bowling covered up for it. I guess this career is at a time when he has to wrap it up with a few memorable knocks in T20, maybe a few ODI's if he gets a chance. No need to ponder over the past, but he wouldve been a very talented opener had Imran Khan been the captain,coach, selector or some member of the board and nourished him earlier in his professional cricketing career progression.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

I would like to say that the start of your career is almost the same as of Imran Nazir's career.... I hope you will keep your good form up !!

Posted by MianMoosa on (September 23, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

well well well in presence of hafeez jamshed shehzad k.akmal its looking very difficult for imran nazir to cement his place in odi team,,,,, t20 is only team left for him but that place is also dependnet of one bad innings,, one bad shot one bad innings & jamshed will be in his pace.. i feel so sad for imran nazir that despite with so much talent he does,not cash it... in 1999 he was 18 now he is 30.. dear i dear these are so many years,, still hope that he perform for pakistan... and also congrats to mazhar bhai to write a column in cricinfo.... hope to see him soon in cricket expert opinion programme

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

he needs abit confidence to be given to play his game but in teams interest. but it seems hafeez gives him too much advice and influence too much to destroy his talent. however he should work hard and choose right short to play and make use of his talent and take it as his last chance.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

in fact my comments are not related specifically to this article, but having this forum at hand, I would like to draw attention to one major mistake being done by Captain Muhammed (Abdul) Hafeez / team mngmnt. That is the non-utilisation / non-selection of Abdul Razzaq in the playing 11. U must agree that he, on his day, surpasses the best of clean hitters and he is such a gifted batsman..recall his role as one-down in a 1-day world cup...he can keep end intact as well give a braethtaking charge leaving spectators gasping... this might be the last chance when we can make use of this talented cricketer...I am strongly of the view that he should be in the team in place of Yasir Arafat.

Posted by Ghazanfarr on (September 23, 2012, 17:48 GMT)

aslamoualikum; Imran Nazir is a one of the best talented player of pakistani team but no any time performed continuously, in and out his career is between in two words, if Imran nazir have to serious his career than he must to learn how to stay at wicket he would be greater then chris gyle. he is more than talented then Shahid Afridi. a real opener after Saeed Anwer is only Imran Nazir. Imran Nazir is great batsman but he is much over confident. so he should play his own game not like Shahid Afridi. best of luck Imran Nazir i want to see him next 10 years in pakistani team.

Posted by baba.zulfi on (September 23, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

A very true article about Nazir.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

@collin Dsouza: well raised point, i don't know either on what pass he is the part Pakistan ODI's and T20 teams.

and excellent point by mazher Arshed about imran that he didn't get matured till date.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

well it is up to him alone...talent,hardwork and intelligence go hand in hand for a PROFESSIONAL crickter(well any sports)... you cannot make it without any one of them... imran nazir ain't short on talent but he sure is on intelligence... you can still hit sixes without rash shots which people like gilchrist, warner and gayle prove... a stable head with eye on the ball till the last instance is all you need rather than looking at the boundary even before completing the shot... boundary hitting is not the problem but the "afridi-ism" is...

Posted by Ali-Shahzad on (September 23, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Very nice article. Keep it up.

Posted by khurramsch on (September 23, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Is this same Mazar Arshad who always sends in some good stats during matches?

Posted by drnaveed on (September 23, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

agreed, but i think ,if we fail to win this 20-20 world cup ,than he will not be the only player to loose his place in our side. abdul razzak , mohammad sami ,afridi , umar akmal, sohail tanveer , their performances will be closely monitored by our cricket board , regarding their places in our cricket team.pray that we win this 20-20 world cup,so we will be able to see them again in action , after the world cup.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Well, The problem with the talent in Pakistan is that they dont learn from their mistakes.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

Imran nazir was a great player when he come to the team. when javaid mian daad punish him on his uncertain shot, and he remain aways 4 year form the team. after then he lose his confidence.. now he can also make a good deal with pakistan team if the other senior encourage him and support him.. hope he will bat well today. but today i m Hoping a good batting by Shahid Afridi.. even i also want to see Razaq to play his natural game but due to same presure as on imran nazir its difficult for his perform today again

Posted by SPA001 on (September 23, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Yes I agree it is a balanced article in some ways but the fact remains that Imran Nazir, after showing glimpses of rare talent in the period 1999-2002, has been a poor investment. He arrives at the crease with too much on his mind, almost a confused man, who despite international experience, refuses to analyse himself. Alongwith the likes of Imran Farhat and Salman Butt, Imran Nazir represents a mediocre batch of opening batsmen to emerge from Pakistan in the last decade. Imran Nazir, having despatched ordinary bowlers playing ICL or for Sialkot Stallions, can not expect his agricultural methods to work for him against superior international attack. He is advised to devote more time in the club cricket scene in Gujranwala, Sialkot and Lahore,where he would often be compared with the best talent on the ineternational scene, regardless of his continued failure to deliver for the national side even in the shortest format (t20). By the way he might be a good bet in a two-over slog.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

Imran nazir attitude in person isnt tht good, he got too much fame in his early days, which might have made him ignorant enuff to push him into this kinda guy.

and i see umer akmal going the same path too..until his brother mentors his way out!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

Hope to see you on Television soon, Mazhar Bhai.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

His basics are not correct. So it will be difficult for him to survive at this level. Any decent side will know how to get him out. It is a do or die for him. Goodluck to Pak for todays encounter.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Insha ALLAH he will play a good inning today my and all the nations prayers are with's time to click on...... let's hope for the best InshaALLAH......

Posted by iaali2 on (September 23, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

T20 is a short game and one piece of brilliance can be the difference between winning and losing. In the final when Misbah almost took the game away from India barring his lap sweep at the end... There is very little mention of Imran Nazir almost single-handedly smashing the bowling to all parts. It was India's reluctance to allow him a runner which let to his downfall in the form of a Run-Out.

I agree that he has had too many chances but if you have taken the gamble of bringing him in the side you need to take the pressure of failure away from him and tell him to go out there and play his natural game he is going to be in the team for the long haul of the tournament.

I hope he comes off for the sake of Pakistan's success in the tournament and also for the plain and simple fact that it will beFantastic Entertainment !!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Imran Nazir has lost the game that he had not expected to make it better

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

Well i dnt agrree all of yiu were saying that he is god gifted player. if ha has tales and he is in team then its responsibility of NCA,Coach , Team to guide him to train him to suggest if he had to do every thing then why we have NCA as well as other professionals in PCB whose sole responsibility to train the tennants

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (September 23, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

Nazir's career is a bit of a tragedy really. A real waste of talent, especially because he never really dazzled on the big arena, considering he did have the talent and star power early on as other big names in pakistan when they started. The initial hype for Imran Nazir was similar to the initial hype for Shoaib Akhter and Afridi when they first broke the scene ... Imran just never really did anything worth remembering, other than that crazy ICL season where he went ballistic (which was pretty awesome), but that quality of bowling, meh ..

And about Shoaib Malik, another commentor asked. well, Shoaib is another confusing character for the past decade or so. He is multi-talented and does have a lot more to show on his CV compared to Nazir, or even many others like Hafeez, Kamran Akmal etc. Shoaib has done well at times in the past in big games, and he is a wily operator, but the fact of the matter is, he has failed many more times than not at the international level. New blood needed

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

I have always been a great fan of Imran Nazir, he should be given the license to play his natural game irrespective of the situation. You cannot force batsmen like Imran Nazir to play against natural game. In old days Pakistani openers used to blast in the initial overs and then Inzaman and Youhana used to come in middle overs and remain at the crease. Pakistan has lacked this for a long time. For the t20's, Imran Nazir should open maybe with Afridi, and for God sake hafeez should come atleast at number 6, he only plays his shots on his day otherwise we all are forgetting how slow batsman he was in the early 2000's. We are definately missing Shahzeb Hasan and Ahmed Shahzad in this tournament

Posted by Faizan_memon19 on (September 23, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Excellent Article Mazher Arshad.

Posted by Ezem on (September 23, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Very nice balanced by author...i enjoyed reading it same as I m reading HARSHA BHOGLA's artilcle...u should be here permanantly...

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Good stuff Mazhar bhai!! Hope to see more of you on this website :)

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

living in the darkness of our own ignorance . if a player hadn't preformed in 12 years of his career .Was part of many defeats because of his lack of performance as an opener even a year of 100 blistering centuries is not enough (not gonna happen). He wasted opportunities that were thrown at him didn't accepted them wasted our time ruined are ego every one deserve a second chance but not 9th

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

yeah..... so much importance is being given to him....y??

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (September 23, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Excellent article. One of the better ones recently on cricinfo. I remember when Nazir first broke the scene, he was an extremely gifted shot-maker, very aggressive, lightning reflexes, wild cut shots. The kid had ridiculous talent and was an extremely stylish batsman. But unfortunately he became more of a show-boater than a reliable player for Pakistan. His downfall has been his selfishness and immaturity I guess. Still, worth a game or two in this tournament, just for entertainment value. There is immense pressure on him, I hope, to deliver in the very first game he tries. I agree with the author, this is his last chance. I think he has to dazzle to be called back for the second game. Interesting stats in this article. His U-19 stats are pretty crazy. Didn't realize Amla's brother was in the same tournament. Would be nice to see a thorough article like this on Afridi, I know its been done before, but a good critical article would be nice. Highlight the glory but pointing out the now.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (September 23, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

What a waste of talent. I like his batting too but Dont risk playing him. Its a very serious bussiness WC here. I would rather play shafeeq in midlle order for his place. pakistan has already too many openers. hafeeez nasir and kamran should be on top. than shafeeq, malik and umer akmal in middle order and than razzaq and afridi to finish. this looks more balanced batting side.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

n guys what do u say about shoib malik.... i haven seen him perform since a last time except one odd innings against minnows

Posted by khurramsch on (September 23, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

yes agree, and so far his return vs aus & warm up matches proved to be another failed attempt. looks like he is now only domestic or leagure player. i would say not all t20 this match vs NZ should be last chance, you have other openers in team so replace him with asad in middle overs. this t20 squad was picked on experence / past records not current form. & if hafez/jamshed/kamran fail then it wil be difficult for pak to comeback. afridi is out of form with both bat & ball, umar is also failing regularly, razak got 2 chances to bat but failed vs aus & end.

Posted by MFNadeem on (September 23, 2012, 7:36 GMT)

Dear Mazhar Arshad, T20 cricket is not all about statistics. It is about how much a certain player impacts a situation in a match. I am sure that Imran Nazir is an impact player. If he stays for a few overs, he can change the course of a game. This quality cannot be found even in the Professor.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

I remember he was the most attractvie player of the ICL he is my faveroute too.

Posted by Kmuzaffer on (September 23, 2012, 6:53 GMT)

I must say, this is one of the most balanced and accurate articles published here and also on Imran Nazir. The author looks to draw his analysis from the facts instead of finding facts to support his personal liking and a conclusion; definitely a rarity these days. Keep it up Mr. Arshad.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

He has not learnt in 12 years how to play an Inswing. One inswing and he is gone.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

if pakistan do not make it to among the top four it will be controversial selections including that of imran nazir mohd sami and razzaq as the cause

Posted by Advin on (September 23, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

I have never known a time when Pakistan is so lacking in talent.In the past there was always exciting fast bowlers coming through or some young attacking batsmen.Without Saeed Ajmal,they would not now beat Bangladesh.

Old warhorses like Afridi,Razzaq,Nazir,Gul,Younis,etc are well past their prime and there seems no clear replacement.This was a team that had bowlers like Wasim,Waqar and Shoaib to back up batsemn like Anwar,Inzy and Yousuf in the recent past.

What exactly is the reason? Is it the lack of internationals in their home country? It cannot be the lack of a proper cricket structure as Pakistan always had that problem.

Posted by urprashant on (September 23, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

The writer himself gave the perfect explanation of his repeated combacks-the shortage of able openers in the country. So why wonder!!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

I still can't believe they let Sami back in the team, Imran Nazir might of had his due of chances but Sami has had more than enough chances. First Person they need to axe is Sami

Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

True, as matter of fact, I do not see if he deserves the place in the national side, he is a match winner on his day but that day is very rare.

Posted by M.Muneer5 on (September 23, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

I pray for him. May he play rest of his career for PAKISTAN. I'm great fine of NAZIR.

Posted by mohammadahsanlaiq on (September 23, 2012, 5:37 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

it should be his last chance anyway, also Go Mazhar Arshad, this is your first article i read on here

Posted by HawksEyeFocused on (September 23, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

The 4 teams that will make to the semis are 1. South Africa 2. Pakistan 3. England 4. Australia......Mark my words!!! My money is on either Aus or Pak!!! Bother are giants and giant-killers at the same time!!!

Posted by abi121 on (September 23, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

30 years old, debut in 1999, avg's 24 in ODIs, 20 in T20Is, 32 in FC, 31 in T20s - the words hype and overrated must be extracted from Imran Nazir. First of all, how did a player with avg of 32 get a test cap? And yeah when Afridi can play tests, everyone can. BTW, why does Pak fans like all sloggers? Afridi, Nazir?

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print

    A year of triumph and disaster

Martin Crowe: Misbah, McCullum, and the ICC's efforts against chucking were the positive highlights in a year that ended with the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death

    Two fortresses called Brisbane and Centurion

Numbers Game: Australia haven't lost at the Gabba since 1988, while South Africa have a 14-2 record in Centurion

Zimbabwe's decade of hurt

The Cricket Monthly: Ten years ago 15 white Zimbabwean cricketers went on strike. The game has not been the same since
Download the app: for iPads | for Android tablets

    'Lara v McGrath was a great battle of our generation'

Dravid and Manjrekar discuss Brian Lara's adaptability

Would Brearley have picked Cook as captain?

Nicholas Hogg: Cook lacks certain qualities the ex-England captain listed as those fitting of an ideal leader, in particular, charisma

News | Features Last 7 days

The perfect Test

After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.

Kohli attains batting nirvana

Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat

Australia in good hands under proactive Smith

The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game

What ails Rohit and Watson?

Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena

Karn struggles to stay afloat

The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be

News | Features Last 7 days

    BCCI's argument against DRS not 100% (164)

    Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough

    Karn struggles to stay afloat (114)

    The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be

    Kohli attains batting nirvana (110)

    Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat

    When defeat isn't depressing (57)

    After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test

    What ails Rohit and Watson? (51)

    Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena