October 9, 2013

What Hafeez's Test career tells us about failure

He has broken into the Test side three times and departed each time making the same mistakes. Has he simply reached the limit of his ability?
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Remember Asim Kamal? For those who might have forgotten him, for 12 Tests in the mid-noughties, Kamal was a likeable little left-hander. He debuted late (at 27), was never going to play ODIs and had this butter-smooth cover drive, off one knee, which looked like it had been stolen from a flashier, more glamorous batsman. He was meek, he was from Karachi (which is an almost mutually exclusive occurrence), but he fought hard, and he also felt sorry for himself too much.

What gave him greatest credibility, though, was the nature of his performances. He wasn't great domestically, but boy was he ever one for tough situations. He made 99 on debut against a strong South Africa attack; he made 60 not out in a losing cause against India in Rawalpindi with his arm nearly broken; his 91 in Mohali a year later, where he helped double Pakistan's first-innings score with the tail, is a long-forgotten gem; one innings before, he had creamed 15 pristine fours in an 87 against Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill. He had eight fifties in just 12 Tests (when Azhar Ali was going through his run of not making hundreds, just fifties, I thought lots of Kamal), batted smartly with the tail, and when the pressure wasn't on, he flopped.

Bob Woolmer didn't really rate him, though he was probably just sticking to the policy line as dictated by Inzamam-ul-Haq. Inzamam, and consequently Woolmer, thought he lacked heart. I interviewed Kamal, one night before what turned out to be his final Test. Two days later, on a pitch soaked with runs he was leg-before for 5, that nice little in-curver from Matthew Hoggard that had done Matthew Hayden's head - and ego - in earlier that summer in 2005. Five fifties and a 48 in his last 11 innings and Kamal was gone, Pakistan's infatuation with Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq and Faisal Iqbal in such bloom, it led them to believe they were more viable options at six.

Kamal came to mind because Mohammad Hafeez's latest foray into the adult world of Test cricket has ended. In most ways, Kamal and Hafeez are diametrically opposite. Kamal wasn't given enough chances despite consistently proving he deserved them; Hafeez has probably been given too many opportunities despite never really convincing. Though it wasn't a zero-sum equation, it is normal to wonder what could have been had Pakistan stuck with someone like Kamal and not Hafeez?

Cricket, sport, life do not function on what-ifs, and yet both men are, in the final reckoning, similar because they are debris in the waste of Pakistan's batting this decade. That poses some central questions. Why have Pakistan kept going back to players like Hafeez, like Shoaib Malik, like Imran Farhat, like Mohammad Sami? Why have they been afraid to invest in guys like Kamal, like Fawad Alam, like Mohammad Talha?

And, as a result, what does it mean to keep failing repeatedly at the highest level? What does it mean to, like Hafeez, come into the Test side three times (each return after eerily neat three-year gaps) in exactly a decade and still leave not having made it? What does it say about the captains and selectors who keep going back to him? What does it say about the structures through which he returns, like domestic cricket or the National Cricket Academy?

Failure can be simply an inability to sustain success and not just an inability to achieve it in the first instance

The question was put to a selector last week: why hasn't Hafeez managed to sustain improvements in his game? Why has he looked good for a period, when he debuted or whenever he returned, only to eventually regress each time? Even accounting for the opposition, he looked a prospect when he made his debut against Bangladesh. Then when he returned in 2006 with a sweet 95 at The Oval, he looked reborn. And then again, from 2010 to 2012, he looked so essential to Pakistan's rise. In between he went to the NCA, sweated it out and said it improved his game. He bided his time domestically, kept his head down, scored runs. He batted in different positions. He improved his bowling. And yet here we are, still watching him replicate dismissals from a decade back, trying to figure out failure and a really unusual career trajectory.

The selector said that it was because what had gone - thirtysomething Tests, thirtysomething average - was about the extent of Hafeez's ability. There was no level beyond that. What he could do, he did. It seems like an obvious conclusion, only complicated by how long it has taken to form. And that really clouds up the question of what is failure. Hafeez did what he could in Tests and on a few occasions Pakistan benefited. He might yet come back and do it all over again.

But as much as it was an answer, it was also self-damnation, because the selector himself is party to whatever is Hafeez's career. Why did he keep getting selected? Why even ask? After all, most selectors this decade have been in, out and in again, just as Hafeez has as a player. Each time they have come with their preferences and prejudices renewed. Also, it's not as if selectors have been particularly powerful, not in front of the captain at least. Inzamam didn't like Kamal so he didn't play, collateral damage in a compromise with selectors over other places in the squad or XI. Misbah liked Hafeez, so he played and others missed out; Malik felt threatened by Hafeez, so he didn't play too often. Misbah, it is said, doesn't think much of Fawad Alam, so he doesn't play (which, given Pakistan's batting, is ridiculous). They may have valid reasons but it's ludicrous that the captain, who by dint of his job hardly sees any cricketer outside of his squad, in domestic cricket for instance, should have such a say.

One thing the career of Hafeez, and so many others, does say is that failure need not be instant. It is a process, every bit as much as success is, except it isn't as easy to recognise; it is not some easily packaged destination but a journey that takes time, and it too, like success, has many fathers. In fact, failure can also be simply an inability to sustain success and not just an inability to achieve it in the first instance. In fact, as Kamal might have guessed, success can still be failure. The problem is that recognising those who might make it, who might succeed, takes time, just as it does with those who might fail.

(As a sad but fitting endnote, that interview with Kamal never actually got published.)

Osman Samiuddin is a sportswriter at the National

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 9, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    "They may have valid reasons but it's ludicrous that the captain, who by dint of his job hardly sees any cricketer outside of his squad, in domestic cricket for instance, should have such a say."

    Spot on. I have never understood why the captain should be a selector. Selectors select and the captain works out the strategy and leads them in the field. Why should a captain's personal bias deny a cricketer who has performed in domestic cricket an opportunity in internationals? Unfortunately though this is never going to happen in the subcontinent and this is not just restricted to cricket. It extends to politics, movies and pretty much everything across the board. The guy at the top knows and is the best at everything.

  • on October 14, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    Fawad Alam... Really??? Come on Osman we have lot more than him.

  • RabiHassan on October 14, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket has better player than Hafeez, as you reminded about Asim Kamal, I can think of Shoukat Mirza another cricketer from Karachi who were not given chance. The list can go on but alas we only read about them in blogs. Faisal Iqbal should be given a chance instead of Hafeez.

  • on October 13, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    it means that hafeez has been given test match chances too many times but still can't prove that he is a test player, end result, look for the replacement, Pak team has already got a good lot of quality spinners, so his bowling ability wont be missed in the test matches

  • Mohsinnn on October 12, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    Good to see Osman again on Cricinfo pages. Aamir Sohail is a miserable man but he has a point when he goes against the popular mantra of portraying Imran as a superhuman. And he is partially right about the influence of Imran's cronies on destruction of Pak's domestic cricket. Imran's misguided and half-baked theories about Pakistan cricket have got unchallenged because they never have been tested.That does not make his success theories valid. What Imran banks on is his own interpretation of 'what made him successful'. What if he was succesful for reasons other than what he proclaims. For instance the talent and cricketing knowledge and experience of his other team-mates always goes unnoticed.What if the gradual regression of cricketing talent was a natural order of things no matter how perfect the administration was. australia and WI may testify to that.

  • k.sohail on October 12, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    didn't enjoyed the article after reading fawad alam's name....

  • cricketeria on October 10, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Pakistan's selectors, and management etc. change several times a year. How can we expect continuity in selection when there is no continuity in the selectors' own selection? Hafeez was never a great batsman. Sorry, but good players make the most of their chances. Even in England, when Eoin Morgan didn't perform, he was dropped, even though Morgan is better than Hafeez. Captain should NOT be a selector. Aus are suffering cuz Clarke is selector, else they'd still have Katich. Asim Kamal is a bad example. Asim failed back when we had Inzi, Younis, and Yousuf. We didn't need him then. Today we need even an Asim, but it's too late. We need to give batsmen a fair chance. Please don't drop Azhar Ali & Asad Shafiq. Let them develop. Please forget about all the age 30+ batsmen i.e. Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir. They're finished. Let's aggressively groom youngbatsmen. Send talented 18-year-olds to England county cricket, Aus shield cricket, etc. Plz print

  • bouncer709 on October 10, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    In present wicket keepers, Mohammad Rizwan has highest average 44.32 in FC, as compared to Adnan Akmal FC: 26.54, and Sarfraz Ahmed FC :40, and Mohammad rizwan age 21 is youngest too. In the current side match against SA, he scored 31 not out. He is a complete batsman. But there is only one problem with him, and that is he represent Peshawar. All He needs to wait till Misbah and Hafeez get kicked out as captains, so Younis khan or Shahid get charge of the team.

  • bouncer709 on October 10, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @M. Kamran Afzal: Well people think same about Misbah, he is the player who seems more struggling in the crease to get a single, but still remain there. Even about Saeed Anwar, in his initial career, Imran Khan was not having trust in him, Imran khan thought he is just fluke, that is why Saeed Anwar started his career in 1989, but he manage to show his class after 1992. But it is fact that player having hight first class average will have high average in Test too. even if his average drops in international level he will still remain better than mediocre players.

  • bouncer709 on October 10, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    It is fact that all the players, have almost the same averages in International level as they have in First class, (Hafeez FC: 34.63, Test:33.78), (Asim Kamal: FC: 34.22, Test: 37.73) (Younis khan:FC 50.26, Test:51.89), (Saeed Anwar: FC: 45.19, Test:45.52), (Misbah FC: 49.90, Test: 44.57) (Muhammad Yousuf FC: 47.96, Test:52.29) , (Inzamam ul Haq FC: 50.10, Test:49.60), (Shoaib Malik FC: 36.42, Test: 33.45), (Umar Akmal: FC: 48.94, Test :35.82), (Afridi: FC: 31.45, Test: 36.51), (Taufeeq Umar:37.08, Test:38.72), (Fawad Alam: FC: 55.96, Test: 41.66).

    So it proves that all the great players have higher averages in FC and same in International level, and currently, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam (most deserving), Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, all they have high averages in FC, so selectors must stick with these players and give them chances they will prove it. and selectors should select 10 batsman with highest averages and if they need rotation they should rotate within these batsmen.

  • on October 9, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    "They may have valid reasons but it's ludicrous that the captain, who by dint of his job hardly sees any cricketer outside of his squad, in domestic cricket for instance, should have such a say."

    Spot on. I have never understood why the captain should be a selector. Selectors select and the captain works out the strategy and leads them in the field. Why should a captain's personal bias deny a cricketer who has performed in domestic cricket an opportunity in internationals? Unfortunately though this is never going to happen in the subcontinent and this is not just restricted to cricket. It extends to politics, movies and pretty much everything across the board. The guy at the top knows and is the best at everything.

  • on October 14, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    Fawad Alam... Really??? Come on Osman we have lot more than him.

  • RabiHassan on October 14, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket has better player than Hafeez, as you reminded about Asim Kamal, I can think of Shoukat Mirza another cricketer from Karachi who were not given chance. The list can go on but alas we only read about them in blogs. Faisal Iqbal should be given a chance instead of Hafeez.

  • on October 13, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    it means that hafeez has been given test match chances too many times but still can't prove that he is a test player, end result, look for the replacement, Pak team has already got a good lot of quality spinners, so his bowling ability wont be missed in the test matches

  • Mohsinnn on October 12, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    Good to see Osman again on Cricinfo pages. Aamir Sohail is a miserable man but he has a point when he goes against the popular mantra of portraying Imran as a superhuman. And he is partially right about the influence of Imran's cronies on destruction of Pak's domestic cricket. Imran's misguided and half-baked theories about Pakistan cricket have got unchallenged because they never have been tested.That does not make his success theories valid. What Imran banks on is his own interpretation of 'what made him successful'. What if he was succesful for reasons other than what he proclaims. For instance the talent and cricketing knowledge and experience of his other team-mates always goes unnoticed.What if the gradual regression of cricketing talent was a natural order of things no matter how perfect the administration was. australia and WI may testify to that.

  • k.sohail on October 12, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    didn't enjoyed the article after reading fawad alam's name....

  • cricketeria on October 10, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Pakistan's selectors, and management etc. change several times a year. How can we expect continuity in selection when there is no continuity in the selectors' own selection? Hafeez was never a great batsman. Sorry, but good players make the most of their chances. Even in England, when Eoin Morgan didn't perform, he was dropped, even though Morgan is better than Hafeez. Captain should NOT be a selector. Aus are suffering cuz Clarke is selector, else they'd still have Katich. Asim Kamal is a bad example. Asim failed back when we had Inzi, Younis, and Yousuf. We didn't need him then. Today we need even an Asim, but it's too late. We need to give batsmen a fair chance. Please don't drop Azhar Ali & Asad Shafiq. Let them develop. Please forget about all the age 30+ batsmen i.e. Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir. They're finished. Let's aggressively groom youngbatsmen. Send talented 18-year-olds to England county cricket, Aus shield cricket, etc. Plz print

  • bouncer709 on October 10, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    In present wicket keepers, Mohammad Rizwan has highest average 44.32 in FC, as compared to Adnan Akmal FC: 26.54, and Sarfraz Ahmed FC :40, and Mohammad rizwan age 21 is youngest too. In the current side match against SA, he scored 31 not out. He is a complete batsman. But there is only one problem with him, and that is he represent Peshawar. All He needs to wait till Misbah and Hafeez get kicked out as captains, so Younis khan or Shahid get charge of the team.

  • bouncer709 on October 10, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @M. Kamran Afzal: Well people think same about Misbah, he is the player who seems more struggling in the crease to get a single, but still remain there. Even about Saeed Anwar, in his initial career, Imran Khan was not having trust in him, Imran khan thought he is just fluke, that is why Saeed Anwar started his career in 1989, but he manage to show his class after 1992. But it is fact that player having hight first class average will have high average in Test too. even if his average drops in international level he will still remain better than mediocre players.

  • bouncer709 on October 10, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    It is fact that all the players, have almost the same averages in International level as they have in First class, (Hafeez FC: 34.63, Test:33.78), (Asim Kamal: FC: 34.22, Test: 37.73) (Younis khan:FC 50.26, Test:51.89), (Saeed Anwar: FC: 45.19, Test:45.52), (Misbah FC: 49.90, Test: 44.57) (Muhammad Yousuf FC: 47.96, Test:52.29) , (Inzamam ul Haq FC: 50.10, Test:49.60), (Shoaib Malik FC: 36.42, Test: 33.45), (Umar Akmal: FC: 48.94, Test :35.82), (Afridi: FC: 31.45, Test: 36.51), (Taufeeq Umar:37.08, Test:38.72), (Fawad Alam: FC: 55.96, Test: 41.66).

    So it proves that all the great players have higher averages in FC and same in International level, and currently, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam (most deserving), Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, all they have high averages in FC, so selectors must stick with these players and give them chances they will prove it. and selectors should select 10 batsman with highest averages and if they need rotation they should rotate within these batsmen.

  • ramesh_sound on October 10, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    This is the curse of the TV era. A lot of fans on the fringe, are elated by ODI, T20,IPL performances. In India, Badrinath's career is almost over, but Yuvraj keeps getting selected.Yuvraj is a phenomenal player under certain conditions and one does not know why he struggles in tests. But Yuvraj, Raina keep getting opportunities, while more correct players like Rahane need to thrive in IPL to get noticed. Hodge is a very good player, but Australia would keep trying Hughes and the likes. Somehow, Pakistan has not been able to let the decent medium pacer, line and length spinner, defensive batsman have a long run. Seems to have a wish to keep going for the flamboyant.

  • on October 10, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Osman seems to be in a very philosophical mood today.

    I, like Misbah, don't watch too much of domestic cricket. I, like Misbah, don't think much of Fawad Alam... except that my opinion doesn't matter. While I have always found Fawad to be an "effective" player, I don't think I have seen many batsmen who appear to be struggling on the crease as much as he does. After you see him play for five overs, you're left wondering "how the heck is he still there" and "how the heck is he scoring all those runs". But that might just be my personal opinion.

    The issue with poor Asim on the other hand is that we Pakistanis are used to "brilliance" - we remember singular moments of brilliance, and forget consistent yet effective "mediocrity". You'll be hard pressed to find many players in Pakistan team who didn't make some sort of a splash almost immediately after they joined the senior team. Kamal unfortunately didn't, and suffered.

  • sAm2sAm on October 10, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    I am glad that: 1) Hafeez is out 2) Oman is writing again fro Cricinfo...I missed his writings very much :)

  • hamqad on October 10, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Spot on. Be it the selectors, or the captain, it is this inability to recognize a player's potential that is holding us back. I understand when its takes a selector/captain 3 to 5 years to recognize that a player is limited in ability, but 10 years is unforgivable. Most players do not even play at the top level for more than 10 years.

  • on October 10, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    My heart feels a pinch when I read this, it really does.

  • TonyRai on October 10, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    What about Toufiq Umar? A very good batsman, just kicked out because... Oh well, Pakistani selectors don't really need a reason, as you've just mentioned...

  • on October 10, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    Sadly, and for far too long, Pakistani cricket has been a general reflection of the country itself, riven by factional and regional infighting, dominated by a few central personalities with their own agendas, favourites and axes to grind, and completely undemocratic in terms of how it is governed, and how decisions are made. Despite having produced so many wonderfully talented cricketers over the years, Inzamam, Saeed Anwar, Yousuf Youhana, Wasim, Waqar, Moin Khan, they have failed to live up to the sum of their parts, or match the achievements of their rivals over the border, despite India often possessing an inferior team. The issues i have mentioned above sadly bear much responsibility for this consistent failure.

  • santhoo24 on October 10, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    "Failure can be simply an inability to sustain success and not just an inability to achieve it in the first instance" a very thoughtful quote.

  • cricketvenkat on October 10, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    I quote - "It seems like an obvious conclusion, only complicated by how long it has taken to form"

    Agree. The article too imitates the same process. Like it or not Sir, too long to reach an obvious conclusion.

  • AnotherCricketer on October 9, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    Hafeez is an inconsistent player, period. He is not a batting specialist and shound't hog a place as an opener. Given his performance and batting numbers, he belongs to a bowling all-rounder spot. And yes, the doctors are not allowed to self-diagnose and treat themselves. Why should a cricket captain have a free hand at match execution?

  • hoodbu on October 9, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    No tenure for the Professor. Haha!

  • on October 9, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    Mr. Asim Kamal has an average of 34 in First class and 37 in Tests. He was a very good batsman but was unlucky to play in the era of MYK, Yousuf and Inzi. I think your article is totally unreasonable. The position that Kamal was fighting for was usually occupied by an all rounder. With 2 openers and 3 solid players in the middle order pakistan was looking for an all rounder in that position so he was fighting for the spot with Razzak/Afridi/Shoaib Malik ...... Please stop writing such biased and unreasoinable artuicles. You must have read some comments about people being targeted because of the city that they rep[resent which I feel is untrue. I am from the same city and I want to ask those people why Faisal Iqbal keep on being selected, where did shan Massod come from and why is shafiq being persisted after failing ( I think he should be persisted with in Tests but ODIs ... seriously ??).

  • on October 9, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    @Sudarshan Raghavan. It all started when Gen Zia gave Imran Khan a free hand, and as result IK became bigger than the selector, manager, and chairman. He ended careers of Qasim Omar etc, and made careers of Abdul Qadir. Naturally all those who followed him wished that power, but only Inzi got it.

  • inswing on October 9, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    The reason why Hafeez got so many chances is simple. He is an excellent ODI player. People feel that someone that good in ODs can't be that bad in Tests, and it is just a matter of time before he clicks. It turned out not to be the case.

  • Navaidzuberi on October 9, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    It is really hard for a player to perform, if he knows that someone is waiting for him to fail (lobby / captain / selectors / influential administrator etc). Biggest example is Misbah. He consistently failed in early part of his career, despite having all the talent to excel. Just because "NOT LIKED" by someone who matters. When he played with authority, as captain, he excelled as per his potential. In Asim Kamal's case, just few failures and out of team for good. Hafeez's continuous failures despite full backup and support proved that he simply doesn't have the required talent to excel at test level. But might come back again, as the support is still there.. Now the blue-eyed-boy in the making of "those who matters" is Umar Amin. I am sure, he will be made a permanent member of the team, atleast for a while. Good, if he is being backed because of real talent.. Pakistan team can do wonders, if handled without biases and favoritism.. But to see this happening, is kind of dreaming..

  • getsetgopk on October 9, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    I never liked him from the very beginning, was never a good batsman, his batting shielded his failures for far too long. It was quite obvious and I have been saying that all along, he isn't the batsman upon whom one could rely. Hafeez's failure is not a failure, he didn't fail, as you said, he did what he could, it was the selectors job to recognize that Hafeez isn't for international game and that is both a tragedy and of course a failure. Not the first time and certainly not the last so again, as you said, why even bother? So whats my favorite cricket team these days? Oh wait, i dont even like cricket any more.

  • Dannymania on October 9, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    Great article.Awesome type up! Hats off to Osman for coming up with this. Now, We cant do much about Inziman(Who didnt "Like" Kamal), or Malik(Who didnt like hafeez), but we could still do something about the stigmata thats misbah, on the face of the pakistani team.Please remove this stigmata so that our cricket could benefit from talent. It is a well known fact that Misbah is weak when he plays against the left arm bowlers, Both fast and spin bowlers. Ever wonder why the pakistani team has so many left arm bowlers now?

  • arshadmomin on October 9, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    Good point.

    What I would add is that, a pakistani in cricket, and otherwise, works more with flair than anything else. India has produced Tendulkar and Sehwag, but can any of them show half the Charisma of Afridi. Dhoni has proved himself a great captain, but he will never be an Imran Khan, even on losing day. Misbah and Hafeez are sensible guys but they will never be able to win it for Pakistan. They are low on the flair factor. Misbah tries to turn it on, but can never get it right. Younis Khan on a losing day still looks a better captain. He has the pakistani element. He has the flair.

  • Shahzadhussan on October 9, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    One of the reasons of depriving Kamal from more chances was favoritism/approach for Faisal Iqbal. I do remember when Kamal was on the rise he was just stopped by selecting Iqbal on his place. The biggest example of ruining some on's career by a captain is Muhamaad Yousuf's by the captain Shoaib Malik. Now Hafeez is out of test cricket, next biggest challenge is how to get rid of Misbah from limited over cricket. By the way Faisal Iqbal and Imran Farhat are still around and where the hell this Shan Masood came from. Deserving players like Fawad Alam, Umar Akmal, Haris Sohail are being pushed hard to remain away from national side.

  • on October 9, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    This is a very gd clmn indeed regarding the h0micide 0f cricketing talent in Pakistan. bt the m0st ast0nishing & hrting thing is that n0 0ne is raising any v0ice f0r the m0st talented batesman with the highest 0neday & test average & strike rate. i mean 0mar Akmal, t0m0rr0w again we will be repenting that we last a very natral batesman wh0 is really li0n hearted.

  • on October 9, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    I am from India but very big fan of hafeez.but the reality is he is not good to play at test level.he is fantastic oneday and t20 player so he should concentrate on these formats only.The live example before us is yuvraj singh .he is real ambassdor of one day and t20 cricket but he too failed at test level.So he is not even in selection probables for test cricket.Test Cricket requires specialists.A batsman who can bowl or a bowler who can bat is not meant for test cricket.The problem with hafeez in test cricket is that he neither genuine order batsman nor main bowler.The main problem with pakistan cricket is the ability to take bold decisions.In india sehwag,gambhir,zaheer khan,harbhajan singh has been dropped.They are fighting in domestic cricket to come back in team.The other problem with pakistan test team is that these days they are playing so slowely with the run rate of around 2 ,which makes it very difficult for the team to score run.

  • on October 9, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    Historically Pakistan has been known for its bowling talent - particularly fast bowlers.Batting has remained an area of concern for them , for quite some time. The problem with their batsman is that they lack patience. No one is willing to play the waiting game , hold one end up, play out the tough sessions. Not for nothing has their batting been often compared to a cycle stand- you push one and the rest will automatically fall down. Pakistan's case also shows that it is a myth that you get better at playing fast bowling by consistently facing good fast bowlers in domestic cricket or at nets. It is more of a "culture" thing. They produce superb fast bowlers, just like India produces superb batsmen. Its a pity that both cannot produce the other half!!!

  • on October 9, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    I have seen Hafeez Play 10 Years ago and my rating against him is still the same. A very fluent player. Lovely Timer of the Ball and when you bowl 2 or 3 good ball with the new ball on a helping pitch, he will get out, other wise he will really tear the bowling apart. Double Century against Srilanka on a Placid Pitch against a mediocre bowling attack was an example while the failure in South Africa and Zimbabwe is the same continuing trend with which he started his career. I just hope he proves me wrong in the future.

  • sweeperATcover on October 9, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    I think we are probably asking too much from Hafeez. Why he has to open? He is a perfect candidate for the all rounder slot. Bat at 6 and bowl every now and then. Pakistan does not have a genuine all rounder any way, at least in tests.

    Remember Hick, Ramparkash and many others. Prolific run scorers but could not live upto test level. Test is a real test. You are up against the best of the best. Hafeez is not the first opener to be dismissed frequently by a top class bowler (Styen). Don't you remember, Gooch vs Alderman, Atherton vs Mcgraw etc.

    I think it will be a great mistake to let Hafeez go at this moment. Make him an allrounder, take benefit from his experience.

  • sirfali on October 9, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    its very easy to understand the difference between Asim Kamal and Hafeez, and there are many other examples like that. Its very simple, Asim Kamal belong karachi and as in all other areas in pakistan, players from karachi are almost banned. they try to keep only one player from karachi so when people complain that players from karachi are not given chance, they take name of that one player and say see he is playing. so its very simple, only one player from karachi can play, and for last 10 years shahid afridi (who is actually pathan) is playing on that quota. rest can play only first class.

  • on October 9, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Asim Kamal did not get the chances that some other players have got. In the case of Hafeez, he would perhaps be a better option as a bowling all-rounder as suggested by a few others. He could bat at No. 7 or 8 and provide a full fifth bowling option. It is too early to discard him from the team.

  • adnan_siddiqui on October 9, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    In test cricket, the professor should only be given a chance to serve as a commentator because he sure as heck cannot perform in the field in test cricket. He is a great T20 / ODI player and he should refrain from ruining his reputation by keep showing up in test team on basis of non-cricketing reasons. Sometimes you cant do everything right, so one should stick to things that you are capable of doing right. Folks like Micheal Bevan, Lance Klusener were specialists. So is the case with Hafeez. He shouldnt be tried in test cricket any more.....

  • umairmalik2410 on October 9, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    another person that should be added to the list above is Kamran Akmal who had to make every bowler in the Pakistan team want to kill himself before he was eventually dropped, which ironically is something he did in almost all of the matches that he played.. dropping catches.. Asim Kamal not getting his chances probably summarizes the problems with the PCB and Pakistan cricket as a whole.

  • jw76 on October 9, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Hafeez's fine ODI record as a sound rather than flashy batsman shows that he does have the ability to do better in Tests. The question is simply why doesn't he?

  • pull_shot on October 9, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    When u talk about potential he averages 34 in first class ok pak has good bowlers in domestic lets add another 5 to it then 39 which is not good for opening batsman especially sub continent

  • bohurupi on October 9, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    At the end of the day, Pakistan cricket has suffered probably more due to the off-field reasons, selection in particular, than its on-field performances. A great cricketer in the making, Pak selectors ignored and nipped Asim Kamal off at his budding... while Hafeez despite his lack-luster performances during the last several years had been able to retain his position in the team for unknown reasons. What a shame!!!

  • Vakbar on October 9, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    I think this is an interesting article that ignores a very important fact: the myth of "pakistani talent". In the last 10 years, since Younis established himself, Pakistan has failed to produce even one world-class, or even recognised Test Class, batsman...not even one. So Hafeez kept getting selected because options were, and remain, so limited that a 30-something average is better than the 20-something from the likes of Farhat, Nazir and Butt. The cupboard has been entirely bare for over a decade. And all those pining for this guy or that (e.g. Alam) will soon find that they are as inadequate as the rest.

    So the real question is: WHY? why is pakistan completely incapable of producing Test Class batsmen? There are those with some talent (Shezhad, U. Akmal), but they're nowhere near test class, and others of modest ability who knuckle down (Shafi, Azhar ali), but in reality a generation of Pakistani batsmen failed to learn from sitting in a dressing room with Inzi, Y & Y

  • on October 9, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Mohammad Jamal Khan Saddozai, I think you missed the point Osman tried to make here. He mentioned a player (Asim Kamal) who played international and PERFORMED! He didn't include him on his domestic record. Also if you read more closely he's furthering the idea of selecting with more merit.

  • on October 9, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Despite the criticism Hafeez had received recently due to his dip in form, I still think he is a very valuable part of the test team and is a very good all-round cricketer. In test cricket, I hope he can evolve himself into a bowling all-rounder and occupy the number 8 spot instead of Abdul rehman, that way, he can add depth to our lower order batting and we wont have to rely on him as a top order batsman and he can contribute with his off spin in tests as well.

    I do agree that the likes of asim kamal, fawad alam, saleem elahi, hasan raza and even shoaib malik, Abdul razzaq and azhar mahmood have been wasted due to unfair selection policies and poor player management and coaching from the PCB.

    However, Kamran akmal, Imran farhat, taufiq umer, asad shafiq and wahab riaz are not good enough and should stay away from the test team from now on.

  • on October 9, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Hafeez survived in the team largely because he was viable 5th bowling option. Asim Kamal was solid but us Pakistani fans are never satisfied with just solid we want flashy, we need more batsmen like Misbah and Azhar who fight it out in all conditions. As for captains picking teams thats always been the case with Pakistan cricket and I doubt taht will change, even going back to the days of Imran Khan when players like Qasim Umar were ignored while individuals like Mansoor Akhtar got plenty of chances despite failing consistently.

  • CricketChat on October 9, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Despite frequent batting failures in all formats, it's his slow bowling that helped Hafeez stay in the squad longer than he otherwise would have. Hafeez provided the captain an extra full fledged bowling option, should he be required. I think he can actually play as a bowling all rounder these days. He just doesn't seem to have the defense you need as an opener, especially, in tests.

  • ImmadAzim on October 9, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    Quite right, exactly brought out the reason for not upto the potential performances by Pakistan cricket teams over the years.

  • on October 9, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    I am feeling for another Asim Kamal at the moment i.e. Taufic Umar. All time Best Pakistani opener against SA having (730 runs in six matches with 60.83avg, 4 fifties, 2 centuries).

    Hafeez is a different player in limited overs game however he is poor in Tests. We also ruined Azhar Mahmood, who was great against SA and score a century on debut against them.

  • on October 9, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    I couldn't understand Pakistan's selection mantra. They keep playing those who are not deserving & ignore those who perform well beside being technically good. Osman mentioned Asim Kamal, I also want to remind you of Yasir Hameed who really deserved to play much more than he did.

  • reality_check on October 9, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    It's who you know that gets you in Pakistan cricket team and not what you know.

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Asim Kamal...how we have wasted him.I was always confused why nobody ever took up his case, kudos to the writer for doing so... Inizi didn't like Misbah so Misbah didnt play, Misbah doesn't like alam so he doesnt play, Wasim didnt like waqar so he didn't play.For all Imran has done for Pakistan cricket, the extremely powerful almost dictatorial captain is his legacy.

  • PakEditor on October 9, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    There is another central question. What is organised sport? Better yet, what is organised sport to Pakistan? Is it a mere reflection of the aspiration of 180 million people. Or is it an extension of the institutional culture of the country? I think it's the later and Hafeez's (sorry) story then becomes totally acceptable.

    Can I also say thank you to cricinfo for giving us the opportunity to read articles from the Freddie Mercury of English-language-web-based-cricket-writers, again.

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    I wonder how many matches pakistan have won with hafeez, farhat, malik nd kamran akmal in the same team and in the same time . hardly 10 matches.

  • on October 9, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Osman I get your point, but it seems you are more a mouthpiece of the Karachi boys rather than looking at the boys all round Pakistan, if you go by stats and averages there are players from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa who have merited a place in the playing eleven. This is about the best boys in the playing 11 not a quota system who who plays from Karachi and who plays from Panjab.

  • AltafPatel on October 9, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Hafeez is biggest failure for Pak in current era. Amazed though he is given chances and chances and Afridi, Razzak etc. not so. Except minnows like Zim, WI, Hafeez never showed performance even as average batsman or bowler.

  • on October 9, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    All these fans were looking forward to see Hafeez aka "The Professor" to be the next captain. Suddenly, opinions changed. The state of Pakistan's cricket is terrible. fans are asking PCB to remove Misbah as captain. I am just waiting for that time to come when Misbah will be removed as the captain and the fans will start freaking out due to the gap left to be filled.

  • TheProfPak on October 9, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Not only Asim Kamal, but many other players' careers have been ruined by captains after the great Imran Khan. Wasim had rift with Waqar, so Waqar couldn't get what he could. Waqar had some problems with Yousuf, so he couldn't finish his career on high. Inzi feared Kamal to take his own spot in middle, so he didn't let Kamal cement his place in the team, and now Misbah didn't rate Fawad Alam, so he is being wasted. Many players from Misbah's regional team are getting frequent chances in the national team despite not fulfilling merit. The story will continue unless, we don't have captains who can keep out their bias for the good of Pakistan Cricket team. We need a captain like the great IK.

  • on October 9, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Good Article man! Nice to see that someone remembers ASIM KAMAL despite the fact that he is from Karachi..... The biggest difference about the opportunities given to both batsmen is the location. Hafeez is from Punjab thats why he is getting chances on regular basis despite poor showing on Test level. On the other hand, just because of Karachi residence ASIM KAMAL didn't get much opportunity. I am 100% sure that it is not ending of chances given to Hafeez, our biased selectors will give him chances in future again.

  • on October 9, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Great article usman bhai, you were very missed here, rightly because of articles like this........keep it up

  • on October 9, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Good article by Osman. Hafeez is given too many opportunity to cement his position as new skipper in team. Unfortunately, he never deserve a place especially as opener in test and ODI. He is useful allrounder in limited over cricket, but not specialist opening batsman. For Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, and other players from Karachi are always victim of politics. The same country politics which has destroyed every institution in Pakistan has long infected our national cricket. Cricketer and its body lack professionalism, and as Dave Whatmore said" Pakistani players lack nationalism."

  • on October 9, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Problem lies also on the mentality of players as well, every team has those players who will only play that one good innings to keep their place in the squad every time the idea of dropping them is circulated . Hafeez was no different, even Sehwag from India along with Gambhir developed a similar attitude towards their cricket, towards their batting. In Pakistan, other's like Hafeez, Malik, Farhat will play one good innings every 10 innings or so, I am also sensing that lack of seriousness coming from Nasir Jamshed. All current international teams need a full time shrink to work on attitude improvement of players. Player's like Asim Kamal and Fawad Alam are a waste and are reflective of the culture of favoritism that works in the PCB. Inzimam and Yousuf during their captaincy played a lot of favoritism in team selection and ruined many careers. I hope one day their held accountable.

  • on October 9, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Pakistan and India make the mistake of fetching all rounders as they don't have the best set of batsmen and bowlers respectively for abroad conditions except for few series (they are not groomed well). Asim Kamal was a terrific batsman but subcontinent teams go for flair and not for class or grinding, this is why Hafeez has been kept so long. They want straight drives or high sixes of no significance. This is where Aussies differed and hence ruled every other team for a decade as they had bowlers who can bat and batsmen who can bowl but they're not termed all rounders. Pak's selection policy is always bizarre, the one country that has the best talent but never excels.

  • on October 9, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    @Wasim Ghumro, mid-noughties is same as in an around 2005. It's not the same as 'nineties' mate.

  • on October 9, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Some one is saying , he is good allrounder in tests ,can he tell us what is his credintials as bowler in tests ,intests there is no need of container , he is simply club level player at best and can never prosper inlong version of game ,so he should be kicked out of test team forever ,there is no need of bits and pieces player in test arena ,good one by the writer i cent % agree with this article.

  • CherryWood_Champion on October 9, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    Spot on Osman ... I was really impressed with Asim Kamal when I watched him score against India. Indo-Pak series is always about pressure ... and any one who excels that pressure should be good enough to walk into the batting X1 .... Somehow Pak is finding it difficult to produce batsmen of Zaheer, Mudassar, Salim Malik, Javed Miadad, Mohammed Yousuf & Inzy's calibre .... people who have the temperament to stay at the wicket .... It is such a shame that most of the fans prefer Boom Booms and not Tuk Tuks.

  • on October 9, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Kamal and Yousuf could have kept Pakistan top three in the test rankings for at least 3-4 years from 2006-2010.

  • on October 9, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Brilliant! Missed write ups by the greatest writer Cricinfo ever had :)

  • Rahul_78 on October 9, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Disappearance of Asim Kamal from Pakistan Cricket has been puzzling me for years. I am from UAE and have tried to ask about it to many of my Pakistani friends who play active cricket here. Many were clueless and others didnt know exactly what happened. Now finally Osman has come up with some clues to the mystery. It is a shame that Pakistan lost out on one of the better test class batsmen due to poor judgement on Inzi's part. But one wonder why no one from Coach to Selectors or Fans asked and tried to keep Kamal in the squad. The fascination of Pakistani public with dashers like Afridis, Akmals has hurt its cricket big time. Their most consistent batsmen across all format is Misbah and day in day out many fans are after him to be kicked out. With the mercurial and super talented bowling attack Pak has it will do well to preserve with the guys like Asif Kamal,Azhar Ali. It puzzles me to think if Dravid would have been born in Pak would he have received equal adulation as he got in India

  • on October 9, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Very well said about Kamal (he failed when pressure was not on). To best of my cricketing knowledge Misbah would also been an utter failure had pressure not been there most of time he came to batting. He often came to bat at 30/3 that is the sole reason he keeps going

  • on October 9, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    Great article Osman. I guess the fault lies with us fans for watching the national cricket team play, instead of boycotting it completely as it had stopped being a national team a long time ago and a personal business ventures for the selected few. Every Pakistani fan with knowledge about the game, asks about Asim kamal. There was another lad Mohammad wasim, who had a dravid like temperament and suffered similar fate. It is the case with all departments in the country. Ofcourse these obvious lapses are highlighted more in the case of the cricket team for obvious reasons. Look around at other inept departments being run in the country, and I guess you'll get your answers. Kamran Akmal, Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Farhat, these have been the symbol of the worst years of Pakistan cricket with people like Iqbal qasim playing with the sentiments of millions who watch this game as the only entertainment left.

  • on October 9, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    hafeez can still be very useful on abu dhabi pitches where he can easily be used as a bowling all rounder and he bat down the order as there is no all rounder in pak squad...and asim was really a talent that we wasted...

  • Romanticstud on October 9, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    The problem is not just with Hafeez ... Pakistan need to develop a fluent top order ... that the middle order can build totals out of ... When South Africa in the mid nineties had Kallis and Gibbs in the side everybody said a lot about the selection of the two ... Kallis after 7 tests had an average of 22 and Gibbs had an average of 17 ... although Kallis could bowl he was not convincing, but the selectors stuck with them ... Imagine South Africa dropped Kallis ... and put in someone else ... Another problem is that Pakistan don't play at home ... They should play more games in the UAE ... maybe then they will be able to perform more consistantly ... Imagine a Pakistan side with a solid top order and the best bowling attack in the world ... They are close in the bowling department ... with Irfan, Ajmal and co ... they need another Inzamum or Mohammad Yousuf ... to hold the batting together ...

  • Mel-waas on October 9, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    The reason Hafeez Lingered so long in the test side is because he was the vice-captain, a spot he earned mainly due to his performances in limited over's cricket as an allrounder. It was not Hafeez's batting that cemented his place but his economical bowling. Hafeez is not an Asim Kamal & his career is far from over he is still T-20 captain and part of the one day side. He is not Test class batsman that's true. Now Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat are clear cases of Nepotism aka safarish(needs no further explanation). As for Mohd Sami he is a perfect example of 'there is more to pace bowling than just speed'. He was selected time and again because selectors imagined another Shoaib Akhtar in him.

  • SyedArbabAhmed on October 9, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    Hafeez's average is poor even in domestic how could you expect him to perform in international cricket as an opener? common sense

  • ranaswinning11 on October 9, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    well...it seems mr osman is just watching test cricket...and only like pak vs sa or lately zim series....he never watch any odi or t20 at all...look at other formats of cricket as well before writing this kinda articals...people like them I don't know comes from where and criticize just for one thing...if u looking at hafeez test career then plz look that how he has been used as bowler in test...he is not a part time spinner. ..he can bowl like any other spinner in test as well when he never got...and if it was abt zim series then someone look at asad shafiq...I don't know how people says he is technically sound...common man...look at his fist class and list A avg...he is nothing more than a avg domestic player...if pakistan got extra ordinary batsman the I can understand hafeez omission...but he can be used as a bowling allrounder in test as well...batting lower down the order he can be more handy...but God knows selectors and managment havnt got brain at all

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on October 9, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Simply the Best Article by Osman as usual. Asim Kamal was really good player but unfortunately he had not luck like Hafeez.

  • KarmatBaig on October 9, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Hafeez is a mediocre talent and selectors have wasted far more talented cricketers like Asim Kamal because of personal likes and dilikes of the captains. Selctors should select thebest team and give the captain to fight on the ground just like the Australian policy. When they had this policy they were at the top.

  • on October 9, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    I think it is a little harsh on Hafeez although I agree with the article. It is not his fault they selected him. He is a touch player with an attractive style who thrives on flat pitches, giving a false impression that he is Test match material for all conditions. I would say he's still a good option to succeed Misbah as the ODI captain, but he should definitely make way for another player in the Test team, and not recalled until he scores double centuries for fun in domestic cricket.

  • on October 9, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Not a very well thought article. There is no comparison between hafeez and ksmal. Kamal used to play in the middle order and v unfortunately came to recognition when Pakistan had its strongest middle order. It's the same case as moin and rashid being available at the same time. Secondary mentioning fawad alam is really baseless and biased. He is not the to domestic performer ( check the domestic stats of last year) neither he has a decent technique. You should have rooted for harris sohsil, taufeeq unar or akbar ur rehnan instead but I guess you are too biased to think that way.

  • on October 9, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    I feel sorry for kamal as well, have seen him playing that inning with broken arm, bowlers were looking ineffective against him . For those 2 years he was looking very solid n I always wonder why kamal is not in team where except inzi, yousaf and younis no one was better than club level.

  • on October 9, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Along with Fawad Alam, what about Umar Akmal. Aren't we wasting him just because Misbah don't like him. I think he is the most talented batsman in Pakistan since Javed Miandad.

  • on October 9, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Asim Kamal didn't play in mid-noughties. He played between 2003 and 2005.

  • on October 9, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Asim Kamal didn't play in mid-noughties. He played between 2003 and 2005.

  • on October 9, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Along with Fawad Alam, what about Umar Akmal. Aren't we wasting him just because Misbah don't like him. I think he is the most talented batsman in Pakistan since Javed Miandad.

  • on October 9, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    I feel sorry for kamal as well, have seen him playing that inning with broken arm, bowlers were looking ineffective against him . For those 2 years he was looking very solid n I always wonder why kamal is not in team where except inzi, yousaf and younis no one was better than club level.

  • on October 9, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Not a very well thought article. There is no comparison between hafeez and ksmal. Kamal used to play in the middle order and v unfortunately came to recognition when Pakistan had its strongest middle order. It's the same case as moin and rashid being available at the same time. Secondary mentioning fawad alam is really baseless and biased. He is not the to domestic performer ( check the domestic stats of last year) neither he has a decent technique. You should have rooted for harris sohsil, taufeeq unar or akbar ur rehnan instead but I guess you are too biased to think that way.

  • on October 9, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    I think it is a little harsh on Hafeez although I agree with the article. It is not his fault they selected him. He is a touch player with an attractive style who thrives on flat pitches, giving a false impression that he is Test match material for all conditions. I would say he's still a good option to succeed Misbah as the ODI captain, but he should definitely make way for another player in the Test team, and not recalled until he scores double centuries for fun in domestic cricket.

  • KarmatBaig on October 9, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    Hafeez is a mediocre talent and selectors have wasted far more talented cricketers like Asim Kamal because of personal likes and dilikes of the captains. Selctors should select thebest team and give the captain to fight on the ground just like the Australian policy. When they had this policy they were at the top.

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on October 9, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Simply the Best Article by Osman as usual. Asim Kamal was really good player but unfortunately he had not luck like Hafeez.

  • ranaswinning11 on October 9, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    well...it seems mr osman is just watching test cricket...and only like pak vs sa or lately zim series....he never watch any odi or t20 at all...look at other formats of cricket as well before writing this kinda articals...people like them I don't know comes from where and criticize just for one thing...if u looking at hafeez test career then plz look that how he has been used as bowler in test...he is not a part time spinner. ..he can bowl like any other spinner in test as well when he never got...and if it was abt zim series then someone look at asad shafiq...I don't know how people says he is technically sound...common man...look at his fist class and list A avg...he is nothing more than a avg domestic player...if pakistan got extra ordinary batsman the I can understand hafeez omission...but he can be used as a bowling allrounder in test as well...batting lower down the order he can be more handy...but God knows selectors and managment havnt got brain at all

  • SyedArbabAhmed on October 9, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    Hafeez's average is poor even in domestic how could you expect him to perform in international cricket as an opener? common sense

  • Mel-waas on October 9, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    The reason Hafeez Lingered so long in the test side is because he was the vice-captain, a spot he earned mainly due to his performances in limited over's cricket as an allrounder. It was not Hafeez's batting that cemented his place but his economical bowling. Hafeez is not an Asim Kamal & his career is far from over he is still T-20 captain and part of the one day side. He is not Test class batsman that's true. Now Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat are clear cases of Nepotism aka safarish(needs no further explanation). As for Mohd Sami he is a perfect example of 'there is more to pace bowling than just speed'. He was selected time and again because selectors imagined another Shoaib Akhtar in him.