Saad Shafqat
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Pakistan's batting is in a crisis

The tour of South Africa was disappointing, not least because of perplexing selections and an out-of-sorts top order

Saad Shafqat

March 26, 2013

Comments: 95 | Text size: A | A

Asad Shafiq hits out, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 1st day, February 14, 2013
Asad Shafiq: due to take on the mantle of Pakistan's batting mainstay from Younis Khan's capable hands © Getty Images

Once again, it is wound-licking time in Pakistan. Everybody knew the team faced a stern examination in South Africa, but not many expected a Test series whitewash. Expectations from the ODI series were even higher - especially after New Zealand had recorded a series win in South Africa a few weeks earlier - but there was disappointment on that front too. And while Pakistan did record an emphatic win in the solitary T20I, victory in a one-off shootout is small consolation for a team whose recent fortunes had largely been on the upswing.

Most of the what-ifs centre on the second Test, in Cape Town, which Pakistan nearly won. Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq posted brilliant hundreds to forge a landmark partnership, and Saeed Ajmal found a turning pitch that fetched him a match tally of ten wickets. Yet Pakistan lost the plot twice in the match: first when they let Robin Peterson's score balloon to 84, minimising Pakistan's first-innings lead, and then again when they suffered a third-innings batting collapse that kept South Africa's eventual target down to a modest 182. Despite these generous concessions, Pakistan came to within four wickets of victory against the world's best batting order.

While it lasted, the retaliation in Cape Town was a stirring comeback. After getting blitzed for their lowest-ever total in the opening Test, at the Wanderers, it had seemed Pakistan would fold in the rest of the series. But they competed with dignity and defiance at Newlands, earning their opponents' respect. Hashim Amla, South Africa's batting lynchpin, said that Pakistan had pushed them to the limit. Had those what-ifs turned out differently, the outcome of the series might well have been altered.

By the time Pakistan arrived for the third Test, in Centurion, however, their morale was demolished and any pretence of fight or competition had been abandoned. Mentally they were defeated even before the toss, and they eventually succumbed by an innings.

This pattern of a loss in the opening Test, followed by a grittily conceded narrow defeat in the second Test, and finally a devastating rout in the final Test, is not new for Pakistan. It happened in Australia in 1999 when Pakistan pushed the hosts to the wall in the second Test, in Hobart, and again in 2010, when they all but won the second Test of the series in Sydney.

Positives and negatives are embedded in this pattern. At one level, it demonstrates that the team possesses the ability and ingredients to tackle the mightiest lions in their own lairs. Yet it also shows that Pakistan lose their grip after coming very close to a phenomenal success. This has all the markings of a choke, and after they choke, Pakistan lose the will to breathe. Choking isn't something typically associated with Pakistan, who have an impressive record of coming out ahead in close finishes. But Hobart 1999, Sydney 2010, and now Cape Town 2013 are testimony that, when they are within touching distance of an outstanding Test success at the home of top-ranked opposition, Pakistan's killer instinct comes unscrambled.

As if this weakness isn't enough, the team also inevitably manages to deliver a number of self-inflicted wounds. Dropped catches, ground-fielding lapses, needless extras, and run-outs are more or less par for the course for Pakistan, but on this tour unimaginative selection tops the list.

You know you've badly missed a trick when the opposition is left shaking its head over why Mohammad Irfan didn't play in the opening Test, in Johannesburg, which offered the most pace-friendly surface of the entire tour. Irfan's intimidating brand of lift and swing, so impressively displayed in the later matches, could have been devastating there.

It is also perplexing why the team management overlooked Abdur Rehman for the Cape Town Test, which offered the best spinning pitch of the trip. By all accounts, it seemed tailor-made for Ajmal and Rehman to recreate the kind of magic they had produced around this time last year in the UAE. Even the South African commentators noted that the pitch reminded them of the kind of surface one might come across in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. With Junaid Khan injured, there was a natural opening for Rehman to be inducted. Yet for some inexplicable reason, Pakistan chose to play the mediocre paceman Tanvir Ahmed instead, choosing not to take full advantage of the situation.

Hobart 1999, Sydney 2010, and now Cape Town 2013 are testimony that, when they are within touching distance of an outstanding Test success at the home of top-ranked opposition, Pakistan's killer instinct comes unscrambled

At the individual level, Irfan and Junaid in the bowling, and Shafiq among the batsmen, have emerged with credit from this tour. Shafiq was Pakistan's best Test batsman, scoring a hundred and a fifty, both under highly demanding circumstances. Younis was not far behind Shafiq, although judged against what was expected of him, he was a disappointment overall. As Younis' career approaches its twilight, Shafiq increasingly looks like Pakistan's future batting mainstay. It has been drowned out by all the other frustrations of this tour, but his partnership with Younis in Cape Town was symbolic of a mantle being passed.

Apart from these few glimmers, there were a number of disasters. Shahid Afridi played all five ODIs, for collective bowling figures of none for 210 from 37 overs, with zero maidens. His last international wicket was in a T20 against India in December, and he has now bowled 247 deliveries without taking a wicket. For a man with a career strike rate in the low 40s, that's a flashing red light. He did make a blistering 88 in one of the ODIs, but didn't hang around long enough to finish the game, and Pakistan eventually lost. Afridi is arguably the greatest limited-overs player ever produced by Pakistan, but he now needs to vacate the allrounder's slot for a younger talent, perhaps Ehsan Adil or Hammad Azam.

Pakistan's perpetual wicketkeeping crisis did not abate on this tour. Sarfraz Ahmed was preferred over Adnan Akmal and given a proper and settled run in all three Tests, but he conceded 22 byes and was dismal with the bat; it remains questionable whether he truly belongs at this level. Kamran Akmal took over in the limited-overs games but largely failed as a batsman and, despite a few acrobatic catches, missed some crucial chances behind the stumps. Adnan's return to the Test squad is therefore certain. Meanwhile, a radical rethink is needed for the wicketkeeping slot in ODIs and T20Is.

The biggest disappointment of all proved to be the top order. After his heroics in India, much was expected of Nasir Jamshed, but though he played some breathtaking strokes, he never showed any appreciable longevity at the crease. Mohammad Hafeez played a brilliant match-winning knock in the T20 game and managed a fifty in a losing cause in the third ODI, but his Test scores of 6, 2, 17, 0, 18, and 0 horribly exposed his technique against pace. Azhar Ali, at No. 3, had looked out of sorts in India and he carried that awkwardness into the South African series.

Crisis in batting looms as the most critical issue as Pakistan contemplates its future engagements, most immediately the Champions Trophy in England, followed by a tour to the West Indies (where Pakistan have never won a Test series), and hosting South Africa and Sri Lanka later in the year, probably in the UAE. Instead of getting distracted by shiny trinkets like the Pakistan Super League and expensive foreign coaches who continue to flop, the country's cricket bosses need to spend their time and energy tracing Pakistan's batting crisis to its roots. Only then can we begin moving towards a rational and effective long-term solution.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

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Posted by rockstarinnellai on (March 29, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

i fell SA bowling is just too much for PAK to one can stop STEYN. i wish SA win an ICC title soon...

Posted by hamqad on (March 28, 2013, 18:44 GMT)

It sounds like a broken record now, but I think at least Younis and Malik (Misbah and Afridi to follow) need to vacate their ODI spots to kick-start the rebuilding process. To be honest, Pakistan has been re-building for half a decade now, but with old, worn out building blocks. Its a tough call to make, but someone in the administration has to man up and realize that there is able replacement available, and all that is required is to blood it in and keep it there; Azhar, Shafiq, Akmal, Shehzad, Hammad Azam, and plenty of others who are on the fringes of national selection. I honestly thought Whatmore will be the man to make that call.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

Batting is the problem for Pakistan. Team need 3 to 4 batsmen with a consistent average of above 42. There is a strong need control the temperaments. They seem to feel under pressure most of the times. Concerned whether they would be included in the side for the next match. Frequent changes do not help either. A reasonably good batsman should be given a chance for at least 3 matches before he is left out.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

pakistan need to replace old players with young talents like ahamed shehzad, shehzab hussain, umar akmal, harris sohail, fawad alam,asad shafiq, Sharjeel Khan. too many chances given to imran farhat, younis khan, wahab riyas. these players are talented but not consistent enough to play for pakistan. selector must think future of pakistan.

Posted by PakCricSpin on (March 28, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Pakistanis don't train hard enough. They lack the discipline of training regardless of selection. A sports person is a fanatic in his field. He does not care for pay cheques or selections. He cares first and foremost for perfecting his art. And *this* is what Pakistani cricketers lack. Training.

Posted by dmqi on (March 28, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

current score card: Batting C Bowling B plus Fielding B minus Wicket keeping C Captaincy B Selectors, C

You do not have any A grades. SA has A in all departments. So has England.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

It is time Younis Khan and Misbah retire from International cricket or may be limited only to test crikcet, and play test cricket for another year. There is no place for Misbah and Younis Khan in one day format of the game. Umar Akmal, Nasser Jamsheed, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Ahmad Shahzad, Shahid Afrid, Kamran Akmal/Adnan Akmal/Sarfarz and Mohammad Hafeez should form the core of the Pakistan batting line up. Mohammad Hafeez comes into picture because of his bowling skills coupled with handy batting skills. Mohammad Hafeez should be stripped of captaincy. Shahid Afridi should be reinstated as captain of shorter formats of the game. Misbah can continue as captain of test matches until he retires, which should be sooner than later. Umar Akmal should be groomed as the next captain of the Pakistan cricket team, and it is best to open with Umar Akmal, or at least play him in the top three. Pakistan should alternate hard hitting batsmen with steady batsmen in the batting order.

Posted by spellbinder76 on (March 27, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Fire the selectors:

PCB should fire all the selectors and ask for recommendations from someone like Rashid Latif and Moin Khan who are very involved with the training academy and know the performance and form of the cricket players. They should select 30 probables and it should be left to the captain, Vice captain, cpach and tour manager to select the 15 for the tour. Those four may also become the tour selection committee.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

Pakistan has the batting talent to match any other cricket nation in the world, but the problem lies with the selection committee, team management, and decision making. How can you play someone like Shoib Malik and Yunus Khan ahead of the likes of Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq in one day and T20 games. Umar Akmal has been wasted by changing his batting positions too often and did not let him settle. Umar Akmal can be considered to open the innings for Pakistan and he can play the role of a Sehwag and Sachin or even do better than him. Persist with him at one position for a stretch of matches. If he is give stretch for a few matches, he is constantly shifted in the batting order. Pakistan should have used different batsmen as openers in South Africa, may be Azhar Ali with Kamran Akmal with the rest of the batsmen to follow. Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, and Umar Akmal should play all formats of the game for Pakistan. Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal can be considered to open the innings for Pakistan.

Posted by cerratic on (March 27, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Are there no other better wicketkeeper/batsmen in the whole of Pakistani cricket other than the Akmal brothers? Kamran has single-handedly lost games for Pakistan on many occasions.

Posted by hotcric01 on (March 27, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

They are wasting their best young batting talent Umar akmal.He is also the best fielder in the team.Abdul razzak and hammad asam should be brought back to the side because pace bowling allrounders are mor important in future events.Afridi's golden time is over!

Posted by Kamranaliawan on (March 27, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

Pakistan Batting line up has always been in CRISIS for the past 14 years....I hope PCB will understand this and take appropriate action on it....I won't be surprise if PCB send the same pathetic squad for next series.....Please PCB it's Wakeup Call to get Young Guns to show some fighting spirt.....

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

Pakistan is Truly surviving at international level because of its bowling, otherwise pakistan is in a major crisis right now. No reliable or technically correct opening batsmen(actually since saeed anwar and aamir sohail left the scene), no permanent No 3 batsman(a crucial position), no good wicketkeeping Batsman(no solution for this one, i think akmal should try to play only as a batsman, he doesn't has wicket keeping germs in him), no reliable Allrounder who can finish off the game( like abdul razzak did for us for years along with Inzamam ul haq, but dont know why he's kept out, im sure he has still got it and he's 100% reliable then afridi) basicall our all problems are related to batting. As cricket is batsmens game so you tend to survive in cricket if you have strong batting as bating covers up everything, like india does.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (March 27, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

Umar Akmal, Asad Shafeeq, Haris Sohail, nasir Jamshed and Mohamamd Rizwan "wk" is the answer. Pakistan Must Find A good allrounder for the replacement of abdur razzaq that gap is still there. Use Anwar ali for time being along with irfan and junaid.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

There are so many flaws in Pakistani team at the moment. If we look at cricket, it has three main departments, batting,bowling and fielding. For a team to win against a quality side it should be a better team in at least two above mentioned departments. Here in Pakistan case, our batting and fielding is pathetic. Even Bangladesh fielding is better then ours. We should not expect to win a match with such kind of fielding and batting.

Posted by ABLcric on (March 27, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

As usual good analysis by Saad. But, surprisingly the word Misbah is not used even once in the whole 1300 words article. He deserved few appreciating sentences for his good knocks, staying cool and not reacting wild and managing a team during rough and tough time. I also wished more concrete suggestions for ICC trophy. PCB and selection committee need to do a good homework before the selection of team for ICC trophy. The issues of openers, wicket keeping, pinch hitting all rounder, solid no.3 position, a finisher batsmen, and then good bowling combination considering the English conditions.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

I cannot believe anyone suggesting Ehsan Adil for international cricket. the guy only played 13 First class games and 8 List A games with an ordinary record. he needs to prove himself at a domestic level and from his one test match he seriously needs to improve fitness and his pace. which also reflects his lack of cricket at domestic level.

Ahmad Shahzad, is also being suggested here. Ahmad shahzad played 19 ODI and 11 T20I for pak. his average in 19 ODIs is 26 at a strike rate of 67. if you take out the 2 hundreds he scored, the average is 16 in 17 innings. Nasir Jamshed n Hafeez are doing a better job than that so he should be probably given a few T20s until he learns to play consistently. he seems to be a dasher and thats not what we need.

Harris Sohail played 53 first class matches at an average of 52.75 so thats one person that deserves a chance. Babar Azam is another one who deserves a chance along with Jamal Anwar and Hammad Azam. Raza hassan needs to play every match.

Posted by taslu613 on (March 27, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

this is the high time for pakistan to think over their batting seriously.time to bring some fresh bloods in batting like babar azam na hammad azam.I dnt think south africa played very was pakistan who gave them chance to come back into the match with drop catches and poor short selection.How long pak will persist with younis khan and misbah ul haque.i think they should be part of test cricket only. they are not suitable for one dayers.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 1:37 GMT)

I was surprised to see writer's comment about Kamran Akmal's keeping in 5 ODI against SA. I think he did brilliant work hater given this chance and he also got batting form gradually when he batted at#3. So I believe he must be continued at keeper instead of Adnan Akmal..we have tested Sarfraz Ahmad in 3 test matches ...he not only dropped catches but failed as a batsman too. So there should be no more experiment for wicket-keeper ...give more confidence to Kami and he is ok. I was shocked to see touring selection committee's decision ..not to give a single ODI game to Umar Akmal...such a great talent being wasted at the cost of Younas Khan.....Bring back Umar in all three formats ... no doubt Umar is the best fielder in our team.

Posted by avmd on (March 27, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

Its a burning topic but I was surprised with writer's choice of potential replacement for Afridi. Ehsan Adil and all rounder, really ? The lad is aleast 2-3 years from international cricket. And the much over rated Hammad Aslam ? Can Saad Shafqat tell me any performance of significance by him since under 19 WC 2010 ? Much was expected from him since but his bowling or batting is not even of first class standard. The players who should be give a long run as all rounders are Mansoor Amjad and Anwar Ali. Particularly Masoor is a perfect replacement for Afridi, a good leg spinner and very good batsman.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

I dont know how Younis has played 250+ ODI having a batting average of only 30 while batting at prime position of number 3 and 4. Even Bangladesh and Zimbabwe's number 3 and 4 have better batting average than Younis. I dont remember even a single match winning inning against a decent opposition in 250+ matches he played. Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal are much deserving batsmen. Both has much better avg and strike rate than Younis.

Posted by cisco420 on (March 26, 2013, 22:49 GMT)

Hammad Azam has to come back and should given a chance instead of umer . Ahmed shezad should be also back

Posted by vish2020 on (March 26, 2013, 21:20 GMT)

and thats new problem? they only play well against India and then give up all other times.

Posted by MRPakistani69 on (March 26, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

i hope my comments are published. pakistan need to get rid of akmal brothers. there must be enough talant with the glowes. if they dont have then use umar as batting wicket keeper. it wil fair if hes misses chances. other wise i dont agree people saying dont look at is atitude. he is mos talented but if he dont use his haead then there is no need for that kind of talant. i agree people who said about razzaq.pakistan needs hem if afridi keeps playing. because one of them score. other thing i think they should have played with ahmed shahzad. he can play fast bouwling. my elven will be like this in the odi. nasir jamshed,ahmed shazad, m. hafeez.younis,misbah,umar akmal, abdul razzaq, shaid afridi, umar gul, junaid or m. arfan en s. ajmal.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

Dev watmore needs to drop few of these plyers afridi is past his sell by date so is misbah and youns they cant even rotate the strike might be good to keep them in test team but in one day if you cant hit boundries at least keep the board ticking. That farhta every time he tried to play the short ball he missed it he needs to be dropped as well. Pak made peterson look like world class spinner. Pak is really missing an allrounder who can score 30-40 runs batting lower down the order and can bowl 7-10 overs and get 2 wickeets since razzaq has gone we have struggled the tail is so long after the top 4 have gone you cant even trust any one to get runs. we need 2 new young out and out quicks probably 3 solid batters 2 allrounders good keeper as back ups and keeping 2015 WC in mind as the current players like misbah,younus,hafeez etc wuill struggle in australia

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

Had younus not dropped the catch of AB dont think this colum would have existed pak would have easily end up winning that game. Hafeez will have nightmares for the reat of his life about styen. The main problem is when pak loose wickets they loose 2 or 3 in quick succession. K akmal got out soon younus was on his way malik got out and then afridi got out second ball the guy has played 350 plus games and dosent even know how to play according to the sitution. pak should drop hafeez, misbah, youns, k akmal and wahab riaz where has the exciting pak team gone when we used to take the opposition apart and since did we start relying on spin so much has the talent in pak died??? get people like babar azam, sami aslam, mansoor amjad, hamad azam, mohammad rameez aka rambo in. U akaml can come in the team only if he is willing to keep and forget about his bro every time they ask u akmal to keep his BACK problem kicks in. Zaka asharf made lots of promisses to the fans so time to act.

Posted by Omarrz on (March 26, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

No point of trying to change the techniques of current crop. PCB has to invest in raw school talent on the kids from ages 7-10. No coach, foreign or local, can change the faulty techniques of current batsmen. Focus on 2025 and you will have an invincible team then.

Posted by abmughal on (March 26, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

very well written sir ..... but for me problem is even bigger

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

hahaha a comedy of errors comes to mind after reading all these comments, had this same team one the ODI series, you all would have been praising them like anything. Get over it!

The only problem was our approach towards the game in various situations. All these players are world class, and have done well in the recent past for pakistan. We always play with a defensive mindset,... a laid back approach to say the least. we must be aggressive and pro active regardless of the situation.

The world Cup is less than 24months away now, and we dont have time to experiment too much. keep in mind the wc is in Australia, so we need a blend of experience and youth to come out winners. Misbah and Younis khan wont be there in 2015 that is for sure. Afridi is a must for 2015, he cant be replaced easily.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (March 26, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

There is no shame in losing to world best team in the world. I am fine with this batting line up. However it's time for Misbah and Younas to make the way for youngsters in ODI team. Umar Akmal needs his place back in ODI team and Hafeez should captain the ODI team. Every thing will be fine. Oldies are not good enough any more.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

thers is a need to improve domestic level cricket , we need more systematic approache at our national academies, our young players are not mentally prepared for int. level , pakistan team as a batting unit tends to be more defensive we need striking players , a knock of 92 from imran farhat was nothin n i dun know why he is repeatedly given chances , umar akmal is just a show off its weird that people still want him in the team

Posted by Imranzia on (March 26, 2013, 18:45 GMT)

This is bound to happen when we unearth new talent just to bench them. We carried Fawad Alam for two years and he averages near the 40 mark in the limited opportunities he got. When we are content in playing players with an average of 20-30 then we shouldn't expect them to score more than 250. We were playing three off spinners and three left arm fast bowlers and Afridi couldn't turn a ball. How did we expect the right hand batsmen to get out. Amla and Ab milked us of there legs. Other than that it was Abdul Rehman who troubled the Proteas more than Ajmal in the UAE.

Posted by Haider on (March 26, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

The selection of the final 11 was completely wrong. I am still baffled at some of the choices made.

Hindsight is 2020 but an inquiry should be done as to the combination of the playing 11. 1) Not playing Irfan in the first test 2) Playing Tanvir who looked like a joke instead of Abdur Rehman (on a turning surface) 3) Playing with 2 seamers in the first ODI and choosing to bowl first. (Even though the third seamer did not do well in rest of the games, I see no logic as to why we only went in with only 2 seamers). 4) Not playing Umar Akmal. I still do not get this. I know he probably has an attitude problem, but Umar Akmal is an automatic selection in any playing 11. His skill and talent outway his character issues. I know alot of people do not like him, because he rubs them the wrong way but that is not a reason to drop someone. Umar Akaml is a proper batsman, not a pinchhitter. He should be batting at 3 or 4.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

I think the selection should be on merit. For batsmen, the criteria should be the potential to play long innings such as scoring a double hundred. With that regard, we only have Jamshed, U. Akmal, and Asad Shafiq. For lower half (7-11), it should be their ability to score a century and we don't have any! With that criteria, Misbah, Younis, Shoaib Malik, Afridi, and even Hafeez have no place in the test team based on their merit!

Posted by inzisaloos on (March 26, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

The cupboard isn't bare. We have good young talent. We need to be bold by picking them and giving them exposure to international cricket. This is the only way that they will improve. The team too can grow together as a unit if we adopt this policy. I offer the following who have displayed some promise and should now be given a chance to develop with the national squad: Babar Azam (18, a star of last year's Under-19 WC), Sami Aslam (17, LH, prolific at Under-19 level), Usman Salahuddin (22, very good FC average), Umar Amin (23, LH, has int experience, performs well at domestic level), Shan Masood (23, LH, having a good domestic season), Haris Sohail (24, another LH, knocking on the door, FC average an impressive 52). This is on top of other talented young batsmen who have shown at different times that they have the ability at international level: Umar Akmal, Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad. Add the experience of Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali into the mix and there is much room for optimism.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Surprisingly the autor is really putting in great words for Asad Shafiq when I think that the tour was a failure for everyone inclusing him. His partnership with MYK came at the est possible time to bat with the pitch doing nothing and the new ball spells were over. The ONLY challenge that the partnership had was the next new ball which they failed miserably. Both lost their wickets in the first 2 overs. Its like parsing Afridi for his USELESS 88 . That is what needs to change. The advantage that he has is that he bats lower down which is considerably easier in tests and difficult in ODIs.They should have played HArris Sohail or any other domestic performer and Umar Akmal has to be a part of this ODI definitely. Shafiq and Azhar Ali should be kept for tests . Obvioulsy we should kick MYK in ODIs and Boom Boom should be asked to GHOOM GhOOM and get lost !!!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

the best thing pakistan can do is that select an team which has people full of experience of playing in foreign conditions like calling back mohammad ameer,ran naved who has been doing well in english county

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

Afridi should remain until WC 2015 and Abdul Razzaq should be brought in, both should and must remain in T20 and 2015 WC.

Every team needs experience to call on and these 2 plus Shoaib Malik should be the experienced seniors. Misbah, Younis and Mohammaed Yousef should be entrenched in the Test team.

Abdul Razzaq Must Captain both one dayand T20 Teams and stick with this team until the next WC.

Pakistans Best 11 (ODI-T20)

1.Ahmed Shahzad 2.Hammad Azzam 3.Nasir Jamshed 4.Abdul Razzaq 5.Umar Akmal (WK) 6.Shahid Afridi 7.Shoaib Malik 8.Saeed Ajmal 9.Umar Gul 10.Junaid Khan 11.Mohammmed Irfan ====================================

Posted by SamNY2013 on (March 26, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

Those defending Akmals for keeping, please ask yourslef this question does our wicket keepers compare to AB, Prior, Dhoni, Sangakara, McCullum? There are your difference makers who are also matured, keepers Paksitan produces are not even close - how can you compete when there is such a huge difference in maturity and game skills

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

Pakistan team needs serious restructuring for next series. This is what I suggest. Imran Farhat Ahmed Shehzad Mohammed Hafeez (C) Nasir Jamshed Asad Shafiq Umer/Kamran Akmal (Wkt) Abdur Razzaq Umer Gul Saeed Ajmal Muhammad Ifran Junaid Khan. We need two left handed and two right handed batsmen in team. There is no place of Younus, Misbah, Afridi, Malik. If Nasir/Asad/Shahzad can keep the wickets, we can bring another batsmen or bowler in the team instead of U/K Akmal. I think asking Shahzad for keeping wickets is not a bad option.

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 26, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

@paps123 Umar Akmal gives his wicket by playing non cricketing shots, some time he play reverse sweep and get out, and then in next match he try to scoop ball over the wicket keeper, or try to play ball out side off over fine leg. he has disciplinary issues too when see that he is asked to do wicket keeping, so he make some pretext and pretend to be unfit because he dont want to grab place from his brothers.

Posted by MyTsHaRp2011 on (March 26, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

To be honest guys Misbah's time is up he is definitely not the way forward we should get someone younger and replace him. I still can't believe Younis drop of AB which clearly cost us the chance to finally win a series in South Africa. I can't believe this comment above to kick out Umar for 5 years are you MAD if that is the case what the hell has Afridi done in the last decade apart from the T20 World Cup ?????? Ahmed Shehzad and Nasir Jamshed to be permanent openers Hafeez I agree should be down the order possible 3 this is what i think it should look like: Nasir Jamshed Ahmed Shehzad Mohammed Hafeez (C) Younis Khan U Akmal (Wkt) Asad Shafiq Shoiab Malik S Afridi U Gul S Ajmal M Ifran

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

1. nasir jamshed 2. abdur razzaq 3. fawad alam 4. umar akmal(wk)/ ab devillers 5.misbah 6. m hafeez 7. asad shafiq 8.afridi 9. ajmal 10. irfan 11. junaid

3 bowlers.. 4 all rounder... 1 batsman wk ...2 top order striker of seeming ball for austrailian pitches

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

People who are praising afridi for his single innings of 88, is he in the team for his batting no he is a bowling allrounder who can bat. He admits it himself and he failed in that regard by not picking a wicket in 247 balls so he is taking the space in the team of a bowling allrounder and its because of his irresponsible shot selection that Pakistan has lost many matches so ypu cant consider him as a batting allrounder

Posted by Desihungama on (March 26, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

Saad. It is quiet perplexing when Ahmad Shahzad does not get a single game in ODI's. I think there is more to what naked eyes can see. Players with chance to perform are purposely being kept out for the fear seniors might get called out. How can one say Pakistan's fast bowling is depleted when likes of Sadaf, Anwar and Ehsan Adil are not given consistent runs. Only bowlers getting consistent runs are those that we know are not able to make a mark like Cheema, Tanvir, and Gul. Sohail Harris was sent back. I think with Misbah gone this whole thing will burst.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

@factoryard, he is just 100% right. i love and admire and endorse all what he said. very nice.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Pakistan lost ODI and TEST series as expected because everybody knew it that against world no.1 team pakistan cannot fight back with a weak batsman of the world like Younis khan. Why selectors are giving chance to Younis khan its out of everyone's mind.You cannot give chance as a senior player to player like younis khan who cannot handle his bat properly after such a long lasting career he doesn't know how to play in a pressure situation. We have players like Umar akmal we just need to give him more chances so he can be super star for pakistani team and offcourse Nasir jamshed who is brilliant player. Our bowling was outstanding we have young emerging players like Junaid khan he is truly talented after Mohammad amir,Mohad irfan can be very good for pakistani team for some time if he stays fit.these few players should be permanently part of pakistani team . If pakistani team gets rid of younis khan and kamran akmal i am 100% sure we can win any match against any team.

Posted by paps123 on (March 26, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

If Younis plays 60 balls and scores 30 and then gets out, its no problem. If Umar Akmal gets 30 of 33 balls and gets out, he has thrown it away and should be dropped. Why??? Akmal is younger, plays lot more strokes, best fielder in Pakistan side, has a very good ODI record considering the poor fellow is made to bat always at 5 or 6. PAK results in SA were impressive considering their thinking. Gone are the days when PAK used to produce young talents like Inzi or Wasim Akram. Gud luck

Posted by Fogu on (March 26, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

From a BD fan who has always been a big supporter of PK, all is not as bad as it seems. Yes SA can make any team look bad in SA. Just follow the trails of destruction they have left over the last few test series in SA. Yes, PK needs better opening batsmen and a reliable WK. once that is settled rest will fall in place. At the same time, PK needs to find and groom replacements for Younis, Malik and Misbah. Except for SA, PK is competitve everywhere else. They have great bowlers which gives them an edge against the rest of the test teams. Good luck PK!

Posted by Stark62 on (March 26, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

Let's compare some Fc averages: Shafiq- 39.00 and Azhar Ali- 36.60...... Alam -55.96, Umar- 48.94, Harris- 52.75, Salahuddin- 47.21 and Yasin- 44.47

Should Azhar and Shafiq be in the Test squad ahead of those guys?!?!

If FC average is not a barometer of a players skill, then what is?

I remember Amin playing a good knock for once in his life time, in a T20 tournament and was immediately selected ahead of those guys mentioned above, which is pathetic and shameful to say the least.

Pak batsmen haven't disappeared, it's just that the selectors are very biased and have their favourites!!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

strange when people always talked about Shahid Afridi but don't mention other players who were equally responsible for pakistan loses in many matches. look at the performance of Shoaib ,Younas & Hafeez in this series all of them scored less then Afridi, remember Afridi batted in 4 matches whilst all the above players batted in all the 5 games. yet Afridi is second among all the batters in this series. he still has more than 2 years cricket left in him, all he needs is to improve his bowling & more appropriate with his short selection. he is a great cricketer & still can easily play the WC 2015. time for Younas & Malik to go as they have not been performing for the last 15 matches. Afridi was out of touch in previous games now he has shown some promise & hopefully continue to blast in the upcoming games. keep it up lala you still can perform better than anyone.

Posted by Sinhaya on (March 26, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

I am quite beginning to wonder who will be the best replacement for Misbah and Younis Khan as they are unlikely to last long. Misbah though he is nearly 39 years old should not ponder retirement any sooner. He seems fit to play for another 2 or 3 years. I think the reason for Pakistan to lack good young batsmen is the fact that there is no home test matches to get used to in the first place. Playing in UAE is not enough. Looking at Pakistan, it seems unlikely that the fans can see any international cricket any sooner. I dont think Sri Lanka will visit Pakistan end of this year for the full tour as UAE seems the likely venue.

If Pakistan got Durban for either of the 3 tests, they would have won for sure. Looks like batting will continue to be a weak link for Pakistan. One lesson from this tour is that no matter how great SA are in tests, keep playing attacking cricket.

Posted by Sinhaya on (March 26, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

From what I saw in this series I have to say that in the tests, the lack of good start by Pakistani openers put a lot of pressure on the rest of the batting lineup. The way the SA pace bowlers came to bowl at the Pakistani batsmen, a fall of a wicket looked very likely at anytime. I know Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq batted superbly in Cape Town but that was not enough. Misbah my favorite Pakistani player should have played more aggressively in the 2nd essay in Cape Town and added more runs as that test was the greatest chance for Pakistan to win than the other 2. Hafeez should never have opened in the test matches at all cos he looked nothing but a walking wicket against the likes of Steyn. In tests, batsmen must lay a good platform so that bowlers have something to bowl at. Sadly that was not the case for Pakistan. Also, the bowling attack barring Ajmal failed to impress in the tests. I thought that Gul and Junaid Khan could have done more.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

Misbah is right, Pak really need some drastic changes in the batting line up. I'd say, rather than batting line up, its the batting attitude that need to be addressed.

PCB must make the people clear specially Hafeez, Kamran that Misbah will be the ODI and Test Captain atleast for next Worl Cup.

Fielding is an other concern, if Younis doesn't miss the dolly catch, the results probably would have been different.

Kamran Akmal need to perform the Magic Shows in Schools and even in public places because he has really Got the Magic Gloves which neither can bat nor can hold a catch or a stump.

Shoaib Malik should make a permanent member of Playing XI, i bit unluck here Asad Shafique as he the right man for the right job but currently there is no place in middle order for him.

Umar Akmal must be kicked out, at least for 5 years until he gains some maturity.

Hafeez must be played in lower down the order, probably at 6 or 7.

Ahmad Shehzad can be given a chance for a longer term.

Posted by factoryard on (March 26, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

It's time pakistan do a south africa move, make umar akmal, with some more training, the limited overs keeper. If shoib malik play he has to play as an allrounder, meaning he has to bowl a few overs, if not play a more establish batsman like shafiq.Hafeez has to bat #4 cuz he can't handle the moving ball upfront especially cuz he has a tendency to play a bit across the line instead of playing straight. Too many spinning allrounders get hamad azam trained as the fast bowling allrounder. I know its a shame how umar akmal let the team down the way he gets out but he is the one has all the strokes to score against the big teams, so make him an AB devillers, keep & bat.

Posted by LillianThomson on (March 26, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

Pakistan's batsmen performed to their potential: Shafiq was good, Azhar, Younis and Misbah were okay, Jamshed hadn't had enough cricket outside Asia and Hafeez proved what Bob Woolmer knew years ago: he is the poor man's Shoaib Malik.

The problem was bad planning in the Tests. The tail was far too long: they probably need to groom Umar Akmal as a keeper who can improve his glovework but can average 40 with the bat. Ehsan Adil needs to work hard on his promising batting, and after his excellent stint in Australia they need to groom Usman Qadir as a decent legspinner who can average 30-35 as a batsman in Tests.

When a team has a top six as mediocre as Pakistan's the tail must be able to bat. With a view to the 2017 Test championship they need to build towards Umar Akmal keeping at 7, Adil at 8, Qadir at 9, Amir at 10 and Junaid at 11.

Posted by PakCricSpin on (March 26, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

The problem with Pakistani batsmen is very simple. Discipline and lack of practice. Rameez Raja once revealed that the culture in Pakistan is simple. If you are selected for a particular match you will do some practice 2 days before the match. If you did not get selected you will just lie around and shoot the breeze. There is no professional intent from the Pakistani batsmen to up their game. They just want to get selected for the next match and collect their cheque. The same goes for the bowlers. They need to seriously practice their skills regardless if they are in the squad or not; if they are playing the match or not. If you just rely on raw talent then its just a lottery.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

Umar akmal and nasir jamshed are the most talented batsmen in Pakistan at the moment. Groom them. Give them more test experience. They will play better in ODIs too after getting a handful of tests. Future of test batting: Nasir, Umar, Asad and Azhar. For ODIs, the Nasir, Umar, Asad and Ahmed Shehzad. We definitely have to find a new wicket-keeper batsman. Hammad Azam/Razzaq or if somebody is better than him should take the all-rounder spot. This guy Akbar-urRehman from Karachi looks impressive too but he is 29. Misbah, Younis, Farhat, Malik, even Sohail Tanvir good bye. Still feel Kamran and Afridi might have something in them but that's being too optimistic. Hafeez should not be guaranteed the opening spot just because of his bowling.

Posted by mtalhas on (March 26, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

there is one more crisis which is ready to make headlines, captaincy. Misbah did a decent job for the team. But once he retires, hafeez will take over which will ruin things further as he does not even deserves to be a part of the team.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

Oh no! Your just exaggerating and not giving credit to RSA bowlers. Pak have a good batting unit. I'm sure India will be in a similar situation when they tour RSA this year.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (March 26, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

Your dropped calls: N Jamshed, Hafeez, Farhat............. Good bye calls: Y Khan, Afridi, Malik............Pack your bags calls: Rehman, Asad Sahfiq.........but then Pakistan cricket..........Last Call all changed again.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

I guess our selection was very poor,time to say good bye to Yonous, Misbah, Malik, Kamran, Hafeez, Farhat etc and we should include Nasir jamshiad, Ahmad Shehzad, Shafiq, umar akmal, Harris Sohail, Hammad Azam, Raza Hasan. We should give them full time and confidence whatever the results but imagine if this team polished till next wc we have a very good chance .. No offense to any one just want my team to win and play like Pakistanis..

Posted by Usmananwar32 on (March 26, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

You have rightly pointed that it is time for the new generation to take over the mattle from the old hands. Younus and Misbah may continue in tests but they are not of much utility in ODI's. Afridi can also not be trusted to go till 2015, his bowling has deterioted and his fitness is also not upto the notch. Umer Amin, Haris Sohail, Nasir Jamsed,Shhan Masood, Umer Akmal, etc all are good but need to work hard on certain technical aspects of their game. I reckon that a seoson in county shall do them a worlds good.But the most worrying point for Pak is lack of a seam bowling allrounder as well as the dearth of wicket keeper batters. I believe that PCB shall arrange some programmes for the all rounders and the wicket keepers to help them improve. Last but not least, their should be mental consolidation and killer intent in these boys.

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 26, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

@ZA77 why people are expecting century from Afridi at 8th position? He scroed his centuries in Asia, Nasir jamshed Also scored his centuries in Asia, Shoaib Malik Also scored in Asia, Misbah yet to score his ODI century, imran Farhat scored only one century in his career. Umar Akmal scored only one century, the most of the time get out in 30s, When top order is failing you cant expect 8th no and 9th no player to win for you, they just can do what Afridi did in high scoring match (88 of 48). Fact is that when younis khan was captain he trusted Afridi and sent him one down and afridi scored two consecutive 50s to win T20 world cup for Pakistan, when he was trust by Captin Wasim Akram and was sent one down he scored 102 of 37 balls to step pakistan to final. It was Afrdi who make you to the semi final of the world cup with his bowling in India otherwise you were going to loose match against Zimbabwe...

Posted by imtiz on (March 26, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

No doubt Pakistan has mediocre batting line up but their problems are far deeper than that.

1. They are by far the worst fielding unit in international cricket. On top of that they have an amazing ability to drop catches of key opponent players. They give away 20-40 runs with their poor fielding.

2. When they are batting, it becomes almost impossible for them to frequently rotate the strike. Pushing hard to convert singles into twos and twos into threes is never their priority.

Pakistan will continue to be a mediocre team with occasional brilliance once in a while, that's about it.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Why u would mention hammad azam and ehsan adil ? when you have a deadly all rounder like Abdul Razzaq. u should keep the experience with youngsters if you will have totally new young team you will get knocked out by any team.

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 26, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

Very Funny pointing Younis, Misbah and afridi, but what Hafeez is doing in team, just averaging 27 and Strike rate 69 in ODIs, he played 32 test matches and Shahid Afridi test record is better than his test record, Hafeez played all three tests here, a T20 and 5 ODIs, scored only 249 runs (12 innings collectively in this series average 20, Afridi scored with average 36), now the other useless player is shoaib malik he never score when required from him, he initially joined pak team as spinner in place of saqlain mushtaq but he can't bowl 10 overs, and hafeez also can not be trusted as full time bowler to bowl 10 over quota in ODIs. Afridi has not picked wicket in last few matches but still he can be trusted as full time bowler, give him more confidence bring him to opening, , unleash him to destroy bowling attack of opposition, and let Hammad Azam play not at the cost of Afridi but at the position which is left by Razzaq n now filled by Wahab Riaz in last two ODIs.

Posted by Shahbaz Alam on (March 26, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Plz Afridi is not in that category. The most underrated player is Abdul Razzaq he win more matches for Pak than so called Afridi. The player who know that it is the last ball before powerplay and still he swining his bat madly. very strange. Symonds is more more greater player than afridi but Aus. just kick him out on discipline. Bring razzaq in who can groom Ehsan or other allrounder. It was on the cards that SA would be the biggest test for Pak. But need more sincire efforts

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (March 26, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

our batting always fail in testing conditions.. :/

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

for odis & champion trophy, pakistan need to find a batting medium pace all rounder. hammad or who ever.

They need to find a batting keeper, but if not then it will be kamran as all others so far have failed in batting. with pakistani batting line up they cant afford to play simple keeper with out batting.

Younas & malik should give way to umar akmal/asad shafiq/ umar amin/ haris sohail.

Pakistan need to find a good batting medium pace allrounder in place of afridi for champion trophy. Afridi can play in sub continent when pitch requires more spinners.

in todays game of cricket 3rd seamer should always be a batting medium pacer. with pakistan's weak batting its definitely required.

and they can also go with extra batsman and play the all rounder as 3rd seamer if required.

Hafeez should drop to middle order and play anchor role. Misbah had good series and will play so he and hafeez in middle order.

Nasir should open with kamran if kamran in.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

we didnt have any decent batsmen to play decent batsmen to play aggressively in odis....if somebody was expecting draw or win test/odiz would be a fool... our bowling clicked at times with junaid, irfan and ajmal but never look threatning...overhaul the batting line....put youngsters in it...dont worry of loosing with them..these hafizs, misbahs, younisz, afridiz, malikz, kamran are done and dusted. For God sake avoid them in future...invest in younsters like ahmed shehzad, jamshed, azhar ali, asad and others from domestic please...

Posted by ZA77 on (March 26, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

How many times, Afridi won tournaments for Pakistan. In 1996-97, man of final and then in recent Asia Cup, man of the match. At crucial times, he always unable to pereform. He never able to bat on time or when situation demand the most from him. How he played more than 350 one day matches. Still getting chance in team, amazing. Pakistan score 205 and in final once again he proved himself failure. Now this time another record 29 ducks in his career. In his whole career he never turned any tournament with thet help of his bowling. His more than 60% innings are between 0 - 19. For single figure, 40% innings belongs. He scored 4 centuries and 24 fifties in Asia. Beside Asia, 2 centuries and 10 half centuries in 132 innings. Hafeez is another example. Is he suitable for opening, can he handle outswings of swing bowlers on bouncy and fast tracks. Only 5 runs on most cruical situation, when situation demands the most. Reason is simple, depending upon specialists always turn critical situation

Posted by oayaz01 on (March 26, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

Afridi the greatest ODI player, Saad do you really know you know what cricket is? Had Afridi played for any other country than Pakistan he would have been out of the side 12 years ago. The guy has played 350 ODI's on just one century and all those who think his 88 was the best thing after sliced bread should know that it was an inning played when there was no pressure on him, when pressure was exerted in 4th and 5th ODI, he failed as expected, and his bowling is only good against Bangladsh and Afghanistan.

Posted by hellothereeveryone on (March 26, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

Pakistan's batting problems have haunted them forever and is nothing new as indicated. Pakistan batsmen may be talented but have always lacked consistency which is a feature of a good batsman. On top of this most of them dont approach the game and situation in a professional way. May be lack of proper education and training is a reason for this attitude. Last time Pakistan had a dependable batting line up was under Imran Khan's captaincy who selected individuals on pure merit and never let a safarashia come into the team. On top of this the current selectors and team administration doesnt seem to have an eye to pick the right talent or they have vested interest. Its high time for the board to do something to correct the situation otherwise Pakistan team will continue to suffer despite having some of the most talented players in the world. Best of luck to Pakitan cricket team and board and I hope they perform their duties honestly.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

good article;

totally agree with the points mentioned in there. For Odis, selection of players was really questionable. Younas, afridi, Malik. MAny fans would say that afridi scored 88 off 48 balls but the problem is inconsistency. what came after that innings? in 4th match he cam and gone 2nd ball trying to hit, in 5th he did same when 15 overs were remaining. and in 4th it could have gone worse for pak if SA didnt missed chance to run out malik.

if he is playing as bowling allrounder then the stat show how good is his bowling. before that last wicket he has taken 6/7 in more than 10 odis.

Younas should leave odis now. simple is that.

Pakistan need a good batting medium pace allrounder. spinners not good in these type of wickets. Champion trophy is also in england. after razak paksitan need to find 1. but they have moved to select 4 spinners in team.

Posted by HRZV on (March 26, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Hafeez failed miserably in tests and ODIs but the axe fell on Jamshed. AND that is because selectors wanted IMRAN FARHAT ILLYAS in the team. What did Shoaib Mailk do in 5 ODIs? BUT Asad Shafiq was overlooked. How many spinner/batsmen do you need in this team? I am not against age but if your captain is afraid to face fast bowlers, he should be watching cricket from the comfort of his couch.

Posted by HRZV on (March 26, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

How can you expect this team to win its captain is happy with a draw. Throughout the series, Misbah scored mostly off of Robin Peterson and failed against every other bowler. He did not face Styen or Morkel. If he is the best batsman and a rescuer, then why doesn't he come up the order and show leadership by example. Younus, showed the courage to come at No.3 and faced the best new ball fast bowler in the world and manage to score a century (along with Asad) which almost gave us the test, but again due to Misbah non-attacking mindset we lost that match. He is 38 years old, cannot score off fast bowlers, has no desire to win. He is playing for himself. He needs to go.

Posted by shaantanu on (March 26, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

Afridi is probably the greatest ODI player pakistan has produced......u cant be more wrong........In my view Wasim Akram was the best.He was a whole package.Theres only one word i will say for him "Respect".n he has earned it.......Afridi is probably the most overhyped cricketer pakisatn has producd wud be more apt.

Posted by IndiaChampspakchumps on (March 26, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Let's accept the fact that pakistani batsmen cannot play pace and swing. Even if another test is played now, pakistan will lose. Let us not fool ourselves with the excuse that pakistan lost because of inadequate practice. The fact remains that pakistan have never won in south africa, australia and west indies. They have not won in england in 17 years. Their so-called bowling supremacy has been completely neutralised by the incompetence of their batsmen.

Posted by applethief on (March 26, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Very sound advice and analysis. But I'd say that the reason Pakistan don't have the chokers tag isnt because they have a reputation of coming out ahead, but because no one ever really expects them to win in the first place. There are no disappointments, only pleasant surprises and par for the course losses

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

Well said Saad Shafqat.... I was totally dumbfounded when Younis was selected for the last one day as well.... It was high time that either Asad or Umar Akmal were tried.... I have been a die hard fan of Younis for a very very long time but I think it is time that he is dropped from the One Day side at a minimum....

Posted by Naseer on (March 26, 2013, 6:45 GMT)

we have got to question the cricketing wisdom of Misbah and whatmore, because team selection has been extremely illogical, Not selecting Irfan in first test, not selecting Ab. Rahman in 2nd test and not replacing Younis with Shafiq, are unbelievable things to see, Ab. Rahman inclusion would have difintily turn the match in pak favor, because conditions suited him, and he along with Ajmal in tendom have done heroics for pak, therefore he deserved a chance no matter whatever conditions are, testing two new bowlers against No 1 team on its home turf is really a shamful idea, no logic can justify this, it is only the madness of Misbah and unfamiliar to of watmore with Pak cricket, he does not know the nature of Pak cricket , does not know the strength and weakness of the team therefore he cannot pick the right eleven, and the result is there.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

I do NOT understand the logic to include Afridi & Younis. Afridi is purely a bowling all-rounder & he was not performing with the ball and bat. Younis is purely a test batsman his record in odi is below average.. If we had Asad & Umar instead of Afridi & Younis the result would have been different.. We should accept the fact that we don't have javed, inzamam, anwar or yousuf anymore.. fawad alam should've been included in the test squad. fawad is not an odi player & he averages 54 in first class. Also Akbar ur rehman (who averages 39 with the bat & 25 with the ball) was neglected. Younis should confine himself into tests only. Afridi is not a reliable batsman nor younis can do miracles in odi.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

I do NOT understand the logic to include Afridi & Younis. Afridi is purely a bowling all-rounder & he was not performing with the ball and bat. Younis is purely a test batsman his record in odi is below average.. If we had Asad & Umar instead of Afridi & Younis the result would have been different.. We should accept the fact that we don't have javed, inzamam, anwar or yousuf anymore.. fawad alam should've been included in the test squad. fawad is not an odi player & he averages 54 in first class. Also Akbar ur rehman (who averages 39 with the bat & 25 with the ball) was neglected. Younis should confine himself into tests only. Afridi is not a reliable batsman nor younis can do miracles in odi.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (March 26, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Pakistan has very good bowling unit but there batting fails more often than anything. They won against England in Dubai due to their bowlers. The Pakistani batsmen didn't achieve much on that series as well but their failure was not discussed widely because of the series result. Pakistan will remain a competitive but inconsistent team until they found consistent batsmen

Posted by Sunny_cold on (March 26, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

"Afridi is arguably the greatest limited-overs player ever produced by Pakistan"

seriously saad shafqat?

i think he is mot over rated player ever produced by Pakistan he played his whole career under the shadow of his fastest 100 and he never came out of it.

after 350 matches he never learned how to pay along the ground and striking does not mean to play every ball in the air.

if there is a team called MOST OVER RATED PLAYERS OF ALL TIME then afridi will rewarded captaincy of that team ....

btw i am Pakistani and its hard to see players like him called super stars after so so many failures in career and very few successes.

if he played for any other good team his career would probably ended even before 50 matches like the way he played.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

In test Match i think more then batting it's fast bowling that is in crisis. But in ODI batting is in crisis due to some non consistent and blind batsmen. To me if the play Izhar Ali and Asad shafiq in ODI team,the batting will get stronger.

Posted by getsetgopk on (March 26, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

Excellently written article by Saad, straight and to the point. Apart from the selection blunders, its a bit harsh on our batsmen to perform in conditions where the ball swings as much as I've ever seen. Our players normally dont play in conditions like this and dont have the luxury of practicing in such conditions. Back at home, the wickets are usually slow and dull with no place bounce or swing. How can one realistically expect our batters to come good in SA in such a setup. They were playing in swinging conditions after about two years. None have played in SA before except for YK. We did ok in T20 and ODI's but Pak was playing a test match after 6 months of gap and just one practice match that too against some low club side. NOt to mention we were taking on SA in their own backyard who have just recently humbled both Auss and Eng on their own turfs.

Most of the batting issues are a result of bad administration, a coach and a captain alone can't solve all of them. Prioritize tests!!

Posted by Advin on (March 26, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

Afrdi is the greatest ever ODI cricketer produced by Pakistan? Surely that honour should go to Wasim Akram !

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 2:28 GMT)

PCB should concentrate more on our boys than worry about Afghanistan. We need quality batsmen and even bowlers. The lack of Cricket at home is starting to take the toll as well. We need to make sure that we don't lose hope and we keep producing quality batsmen. The first thing that PCB should do is make bouncy pitches at home. That alone will go a long way.

Posted by Sajjad322 on (March 26, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

Younas,afridi shoaib malik should be kick & imdiately add some new blood,otherwise same results awaited in future.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 2:05 GMT)

Great analysis. I really hope PCB guys read this, and act upon it. Just to add, why on earth was Malik playing when he has failed so miserably in all his outings since 2011?? One decent score after many failures, which can be made by every other domestic player if given a chance.

Why was Ahmad Shahzad not chosen for the ODIs, when he was the most comfortable batsman against South Africa over entire tour?? Where are all the Seamer allrounders when we needed them so much - Razzaq, Hammad, Anwar Ali, (Azhar Mahmood).

And for God's sake plz NEVER pick Wahab again. He has no variety, no line or lenght, no swing, and no learning- he just has a decent pace, but we are not India that we desperately want pace in whatever pathetic package it comes...

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

A great article by Mr. Shafqat. He rightly pointed out Pakistan's batting weaknesess. But, Pakistan is still a developing side and the good thing is that we have talented players of the likes of Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal who can replace Misbah and Younis whenever they decide to hang their boots. The only thing we need to worry about is finding a good keeper for the limited overs squad, because Kamran is just not good enough. Still, it's been a decent performance in the ODIs. We should also remember that NZ are much better equipped at playing in the bouncing SA tracks than the sub-continental teams. We should remember that no Asian team has won an ODI or Test series in South Africa.

Posted by mtalhas on (March 26, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

Its good that Pakistan lost the series in a disappointing manner. It would help to make the board realise what they need to do. But that would be the case if they are willing to do anything. More than batting, wrong selection created problems. It is hard to digest that batting is a problem when cricket is widely played in Pakistan. It was selection of mediocre players and allrounders (instead of specialist batsmen) which led to the fall. Average age of Paksitan team has risen to 30s from 20s which is not good for long term. The batsmen in the squad are mostly flat track bullies with an average in 30s where teams like IND,SA,AUS have batsmen with avge in 40s of 50s. I dont remember when was the last time a solid player was given a test cap.

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