New Zealand v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Napier January 31, 2011

The curious case of Younis and Misbah

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Match Facts

February 1, Napier
Start time 14:00 (01:00 GMT)

Big Picture

Christchurch witnessed a quintessentially Pakistani style of play: start slow, build a base, retain wickets, and explode in the end. It used to be the norm in 1980s before Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail changed that in the 90's, but once again, without a settled opening pair, Pakistan are returning to the roots. Not many teams can launch into a frenzied and mesmerising attack in the end overs like Pakistan can. Abdul Razzaq swinging like there is no tomorrow, Shahid Afridi swinging like there is no next moment, and the scarred opposition living on the boundary's edge, waiting for the violence to end. As Luke Woodcock put it: "I've seen a bit of it on TV but to actually see it first hand, playing against him [Afridi] for the first time, it was a pretty special knock and he took the momentum away from us."

Mohammad Hafeez hit his maiden hundred in his 61st game, Ahmed Shehzad dazzled briefly in the second ODI, and Umar Akmal showed glimpses of the imperious flair he possesses. But what about Pakistan's experienced middle order? For long, Younis Khan's critics have said that he bats in ODIs like he is batting in a Test and vice versa. For long, Misbah-ul-Haq's critics have said that he bats in all formats like he is batting in a Test. Their supporters will cite Christchurch as evidence of their effectiveness. Let Younis and Misbah play the middle overs, preventing a collapse, and set the base for the marauders to take over. The critics want the same thing but they wonder why the holding job can't be performed with more purpose? Can't Younis and Misbah take singles, keep the strike rotating, and score at a decent pace? Their career strike rates are just over 75, which is actually ideal for the job they do, but the criticism, especially against Misbah, is that he only makes up towards the end of his knock. The sedate approach at the start increases pressure on the others and triggers self-destructive ways or so the argument goes. It will be interesting to watch their approach in the next game.

Their opposition, New Zealand, are experimenting, searching for the ideal line-up before the World Cup. The biggest puzzle is the position of Brendon McCullum. On the flat-beds of the subcontinent, considering that he is a regular Test opener, would it be better to play him at the top or keep him for later? Martin Guptill has been in great form, and Jesse Ryder is best while opening, so why not plug McCullum lower down to make use of the batting Powerplay? And what about Jamie How, who looks good in most innings but never carries on? He will get one more chance in the next game, this time in the middle order, and he needs to grab it.

Tim Southee and Hamish Bennett are the two chosen ones for the fourth ODI. It was slightly strange to see New Zealand make Bennett bowl against the breeze in the last game. Will they give him a chance to go down wind and try and use his pace to unsettle the batsmen? Luke Woodcock, who had a good debut, lost out as Vettori and Nathan McCullum return. The pressure is on Nathan to put in a good performance to keep Woodcock behind in the pecking order.

Napier, the venue of the fourth ODI, has been a burial ground for the bowlers and if the pitch remains flat and full of runs, Pakistan hold the edge over New Zealand.

Form guide


New Zealand: LWLLL
Pakistan: WLLWL

Players to watch out for …

Jesse Ryder has a great strike-rate (95.41) in ODIs but he has a better grasp of how to build an innings in Tests. If he can reprise that temperament in ODIs, his transformation into a world-class ODI player would be complete. The back-lift is minimal, the foot work precise, and the shot-selection is maturing rapidly. Ryder can be the backbone of this line-up in the World Cup.

Umar Akmal has the shots, but does he have the temperament? There is a thin line between arrogance and confidence and he seems to be forever living on that edge. Pakistan would hope that Umar can fast track the transformation from boy to man and be more consistent.

Team news

Waqar Younis, Pakistan's coach, said there would only be one change: will the spinner Abdur Rehman get a chance, or will they try to bring in Asad Shafiq or Shoaib Akthar?

Pakistan (probable): 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq, 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Abdul Razzaq, 9 Abdur Rehman/Sohail Tanvir, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Shoaib Akhtar/Wahab Riaz.

How and Kane Williamson will both play in the middle order. Bennett and Southee will be the seamers while Vettori and Nathan McCullum are the spinners in the XI.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Jesse Ryder, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Ross Taylor , 4 Scott Styris, 5 Kane Williamson, 6 Jamie How, 7 Brendon McCullum (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Hamish Bennett.

Stats and trivia

  • Seven of the last 10 ODIs in Napier have been won by the side batting first.

  • Afridi's five sixes in the third ODI took his tally to 285, the record for most sixes in one-dayers. Sanath Jayasuriya is second with 270. It was also the 16th time that Afridi hit five or more sixes in an innings. Jayasuriya did it 11 times.

  • Younis Khan averages only 29.30 from 18 games against New Zealand. In New Zealand, he averages 18 from three games.

Quotes

"Both teams search for consistency, and both teams struggle to get it, so we know we can turn their confidence around pretty quickly and hopefully put it in our favour. I think we need to look at that"
Vettori is hopeful New Zealand can pressure Pakistan into a collapse.

"If you look at the way we bowled to him [Afridi], we gave him a number of opportunities to clear the ropes. We missed a chance to catch him, you just can't afford to do that, so the onus goes on the bowlers to hit their lines and lengths ... You can accept if they get hit from those areas, but if you are bowling half-volleys and length balls in the Powerplays you are going to be in trouble."
Vettori on how to negate the Afridi threat.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Dr.Hasan on | February 1, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Writing this post match. I wonder what mr legend king has got to say about misbah now ? Misbah is pure class and a gem of a batsman in any and all conditions. Well played Misbah !

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    1. Salman Butt, 2. Mohammad Hafeez, 3. Younis Khan, 4. Misbah-Ul-Haq, 5. Umar Akmal, 6. Kamran Akmal (+), 7. Shahid Afridi, 8. Abdul Razzaq, 9. Mohammad Aamer, 10. Shoaib Akhtar, 11. Mohammad Asif --- This is easily the best Pakistan ODI team. Shehzad is the backup batsman, Ajmal and Rehman are the backup spinners, Gul in the backup seamer. This is the same as the World Cup squad, except Butt, Aamer, Asif in for Shafiq, Tanvir and Riaz.

  • POSTED BY MarkM33 on | January 31, 2011, 23:34 GMT

    NZ and Pakistan are so alike it's almost unbelievable. Quite different players but the way both teams are as good and as bad as each other amuses me. Nobody will ever be able to predict who will win as both have that ability to self-destruct OR put in an absolutely brilliant performance.

    I think NZ will bowl better which will give them a greater chance. I can't see Afridi, Umar Akmal and Razzak hitting out as successfully as they did in Christchurch. Having said that, Napier is a 300+ ground so it should even Misbah and Younis should be able to score quickly. The pitch is a road and the boundaries are short.

    In order for the teams to play to their best and for a good spectacle, I hope Pakistan bat first, which their team setup seems to favour, and NZ chase (obviously) which has always been their forte. Assuming that's the way it pans out, I'm picking either a close game with about 650 runs scored or Pakistan will implode on themselves and it will be an easy NZ win.

    Go NZ!!!

  • POSTED BY kevinross on | January 31, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    As Imran Khan puts it " You play to avoid crises not play for crises". I think we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here. If Hazfeez didnt score a century then a loss for the 3rd ODI was already on the cards.

    There should be no doubt that "Pakistan always win when they attack" We dont know how to play defensive cricket .

    When your Top order collapse under score of 50..90% of the time it creates a domino effect that wether Afridi , Razzaq cannot escape.

    Seniors need to take responsibility and open. Razzak should open (he is the most under utilized) and take power play first 5 to 10 overs. the goal should be to start of by devestating the attak of a team in intial stages ever giving them a chance to creep up on you. We need experience players to open and lay foundation for the Middle and lower order because our middle order and lower order can not perfrom in pressure. In india when you will be chasing a 300+ run margin.. Only the above startgey would work.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | January 31, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    If Younis and Misbah are the backbones. I rather be crippled. For ODI's let me be clear. For Tests, they can take their time to stroll in the park all day while I yawn and nap.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    YOunus khan for a century! Paksitan FTW! :D

  • POSTED BY shooting on | January 31, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    All this talk about Misbah's inclusion seems abit uncalled for, he is one of very few players in the Pakistan team who can anchor the team when the rest around him are dropping their wickets. Im not a huge Pakistan fan but they do have potential to win this upcoming tournament if they play their cards right. Misbah, Younis, Gul and Hafeez are musts in any side selection going forward into the World Cup tournament. Im very much looking forward to seeing how Jamie How does at number 6. I wish Kane Williamson well in this upcoming match, hope he can score a hundred here, itd really booster his confidence for the World Cup and we would likely see alot more of his hundred's in the tournament.

  • POSTED BY cricketchopper on | January 31, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    An ideal Pakistan XI for world cup: Salman, Hafeez,Younus,Yousuf,Umar,Kamran,Afridi,Razzaq,Aamir,Gul,Shoaib Akhtar

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    All said about younis and misbah fits both of them. They are truly not one dayers. May be younis can be considered but Misbah certainly is not a one dayers. He likes to build up score without any firing in it. Hence makes it all unattractive and real boring. He is a good scorer and you can depend upon hime when you have to save one end but that is not a real requirement in one dayers.

  • POSTED BY King_Sherry on | January 31, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Start slow, build base & explode approach is fine & will work when you are posting a target, but more often then not team will fail when chasing and. That is why Pak is a poor chaser.

  • POSTED BY Dr.Hasan on | February 1, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Writing this post match. I wonder what mr legend king has got to say about misbah now ? Misbah is pure class and a gem of a batsman in any and all conditions. Well played Misbah !

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    1. Salman Butt, 2. Mohammad Hafeez, 3. Younis Khan, 4. Misbah-Ul-Haq, 5. Umar Akmal, 6. Kamran Akmal (+), 7. Shahid Afridi, 8. Abdul Razzaq, 9. Mohammad Aamer, 10. Shoaib Akhtar, 11. Mohammad Asif --- This is easily the best Pakistan ODI team. Shehzad is the backup batsman, Ajmal and Rehman are the backup spinners, Gul in the backup seamer. This is the same as the World Cup squad, except Butt, Aamer, Asif in for Shafiq, Tanvir and Riaz.

  • POSTED BY MarkM33 on | January 31, 2011, 23:34 GMT

    NZ and Pakistan are so alike it's almost unbelievable. Quite different players but the way both teams are as good and as bad as each other amuses me. Nobody will ever be able to predict who will win as both have that ability to self-destruct OR put in an absolutely brilliant performance.

    I think NZ will bowl better which will give them a greater chance. I can't see Afridi, Umar Akmal and Razzak hitting out as successfully as they did in Christchurch. Having said that, Napier is a 300+ ground so it should even Misbah and Younis should be able to score quickly. The pitch is a road and the boundaries are short.

    In order for the teams to play to their best and for a good spectacle, I hope Pakistan bat first, which their team setup seems to favour, and NZ chase (obviously) which has always been their forte. Assuming that's the way it pans out, I'm picking either a close game with about 650 runs scored or Pakistan will implode on themselves and it will be an easy NZ win.

    Go NZ!!!

  • POSTED BY kevinross on | January 31, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    As Imran Khan puts it " You play to avoid crises not play for crises". I think we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here. If Hazfeez didnt score a century then a loss for the 3rd ODI was already on the cards.

    There should be no doubt that "Pakistan always win when they attack" We dont know how to play defensive cricket .

    When your Top order collapse under score of 50..90% of the time it creates a domino effect that wether Afridi , Razzaq cannot escape.

    Seniors need to take responsibility and open. Razzak should open (he is the most under utilized) and take power play first 5 to 10 overs. the goal should be to start of by devestating the attak of a team in intial stages ever giving them a chance to creep up on you. We need experience players to open and lay foundation for the Middle and lower order because our middle order and lower order can not perfrom in pressure. In india when you will be chasing a 300+ run margin.. Only the above startgey would work.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | January 31, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    If Younis and Misbah are the backbones. I rather be crippled. For ODI's let me be clear. For Tests, they can take their time to stroll in the park all day while I yawn and nap.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    YOunus khan for a century! Paksitan FTW! :D

  • POSTED BY shooting on | January 31, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    All this talk about Misbah's inclusion seems abit uncalled for, he is one of very few players in the Pakistan team who can anchor the team when the rest around him are dropping their wickets. Im not a huge Pakistan fan but they do have potential to win this upcoming tournament if they play their cards right. Misbah, Younis, Gul and Hafeez are musts in any side selection going forward into the World Cup tournament. Im very much looking forward to seeing how Jamie How does at number 6. I wish Kane Williamson well in this upcoming match, hope he can score a hundred here, itd really booster his confidence for the World Cup and we would likely see alot more of his hundred's in the tournament.

  • POSTED BY cricketchopper on | January 31, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    An ideal Pakistan XI for world cup: Salman, Hafeez,Younus,Yousuf,Umar,Kamran,Afridi,Razzaq,Aamir,Gul,Shoaib Akhtar

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    All said about younis and misbah fits both of them. They are truly not one dayers. May be younis can be considered but Misbah certainly is not a one dayers. He likes to build up score without any firing in it. Hence makes it all unattractive and real boring. He is a good scorer and you can depend upon hime when you have to save one end but that is not a real requirement in one dayers.

  • POSTED BY King_Sherry on | January 31, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Start slow, build base & explode approach is fine & will work when you are posting a target, but more often then not team will fail when chasing and. That is why Pak is a poor chaser.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Why are both quotes by a kiwi??? And oh yeah, by the way, anyone know in how many hours the match starts??? Thanks, Bye, Allahafiz

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    players are not feeling secure. younis is much better then misbah. playing slow is misbah tactics for fail afridi and company. First make your opener stand strong which make down order play well. also bowling should be more strong as well.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    Pakistan should try for Shoaib instead of Wahab who wont be able to perform.Younis khan and Misbah again have an average or a little better luck only today.Keeping the wickets intact any team's batsmen would not hesitate to go in for big shots.What matters is that you must know how to hit in the beginning and learn it from Sanath Jaisurya adn Virender Sehwag.Any way the planetary indications in today's match are showing comparative much improvement for Newzealand players.Let us see how they much they can overpower Pakistanis who are brimming with confidence as of now.

  • POSTED BY MTA82 on | January 31, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    As far as Misbah is concern, I think he is among the best. This can be seen from the averages of his career in ODI, First Class and List A. He understands the situation and play according to it. You can see he has average of 37 in T20.. this is extraordinary and he is the reason of Pakistan reaching in the final of first T20 world cup. He is really a good batsman. We can't afford fall of wickets. Hopes are good with Younus KHan as well. Maybe Asad can replace him but he is without experience so can not be trusted much in the world cup. He should be given chance agaist New Zealand to qualify for WC playing 11 instead of Younus otherwise Younus has the capability to perform good.

  • POSTED BY myaqoob on | January 31, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    This for all the people who dont like Misbah in the team .Most of the time When Misbha comes to bat Pakistan's score card reads like 30-3,60-4,100-5. So what should we expect from senior player either to consolidate or to slog like afridi who scores 50 after every 12-13 innings.Our opener hafeez has an average of 21 in odi's. No need to play ahmed shezad yet .My team for rest of the odi's should be ..also i would bring Razack to bat at number one position. Mohd Hafeez Kamran Akmal Abdul Razack Younis khan Misbah ul haq Umer Akmal Shahid Afridi Wahab Raiz Umer Gul Shaoib Akther Saeed ajmal

  • POSTED BY pakfan2010 on | January 31, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    i like to see shafiq in the middle order instead of misbah. i feel shafiq will keep the score ticking much better. also yousef is a better odi player than younis. my team hafeez,shezad,yousef,shafiq,u akmal,afridi,razzaq,k akmal,amir,ajmal,gul. everyone in this team is capable of scoring a run a ball. azhar ali,misbah,taufeeq, rehman,asif and younis should be test match players only.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    Pakistan strategy only works if they bat first. If they are chasing a score of 270+ they would falter invariably. Pressure on the later batsmen would be too great for them to play natural game. People advocating Misbah and Younis approach are naive about Cricket, its dynamics, its pressures. Misbah and Younis should be able to adopt according to the situation and I have found that neither of them is willing to do so. Misbah mindset is very defensive.

  • POSTED BY Jerukhan on | January 31, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Younis and misbah are vital to stabilising the middle order, even if they play a little slow. The late middle order are better when they have less overs to negotiate. Pakistan's best hope is to bat gradually and save wickets until the last 15 overs and then Umar Akmal, Afridi and Razzaq can tee off.

  • POSTED BY pipsonian on | January 31, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    Pakistan have a very good opening pair in the ranks i.e Asad Shafiq and Ahmed Shehzad and i don't know why every good player has to bat down the order for first few years which is quite opposite to other teams. Look at Lara, Tendulkar, Kallis, Hayden, Ponting etc. Since they were most talented when they came in, they were given the opportunity to bat at the top of the order so they can score more runs and gain confidence. When you look at Pakistan, all our best batsmen have ruined their careers by batting down the order i.e Inzamam, , Yousuf, Javed, and now U. Akmal and Asad Shafiq. I think Hafeez should be removed from the team and Asad and Ahmed should be given a longer run in order to prove themselves. Hafeez has been tried and tested and he is no good at this level. This is international stuff.

  • POSTED BY BoomBoom_Khan on | January 31, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    NZ is basically playing with one fast bowler "Southee" and one spiner "Vetori" the rest are not even good on paper. One can only hope that Hamesh turns out to be a good bowler in the WC. But honestly, I don't see that happening on subcontinent pitches. I don't know why fast bowlers retire at their peak when they are in the best position to serve the country, yes, I talking about Mr. Bond. NZ bowling attack is good against Pak because most of the players are suicidal and ultra agressive. But I like them any way :) Looking forward to a great show. Good luck!

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    Pakistan new new approach start slow build a base save the wickets and exploded in the last to mismrize the opposition is worked very well and this should be continue in the coming two ODIs, Shahid played very well and did not dare care what ever decided for the captaincy. Younis and Misbah should work together and not play like Test, at least they should take singles and doubles to move the score easily and the down order batsmen not under pres.or. I hope the PCB will decide the captaincy affairs as soon as possible so the players should not be double minded

  • POSTED BY rabifm on | January 31, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    I fully agree with article about Mesba-Ul -Hoque. Who is not a one day player and does not have a form. His batting is horrible and dispicable as one day player. This is due to the Pakistan Coricket Controll Board, who is composed of bunch of idiots and stupid people and their dictating all the players like a military people of Pakistan. I think the Pakistan Goverment should consider sacking this PCB immediately and make a new one. And Mr. Misba-ul Hoque should not be selected for any one day match. Thanks Rabifm

  • POSTED BY cricket_lover25 on | January 31, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Pakistan batted well on a good batting track. Shezad played an awful shot to get out ( I think he was still thinking he was 30 n.o from last match). I think this batsman has potential but he needs to assess conditions more and get his eye in before he attacks. Hafeez played a really good innings probably the best I have seen from him (not many lol), he left the ball well and played good selective shots but he needs to continue like this and not be loose outside off stump. Afridi did his job for once but I was more impressed with Umars range of shots and scoring rate. This shows how Pakistan can play if they use there brain and play to a plan (long may continue).

  • POSTED BY El_Toro_Loco on | January 31, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Misbah & Younis bring stability to the batting line up for the power hitters i.e. Afridi, U Akmal & Razzaq to unleash hell in the last 10~12 overs. No to Yousef since he's not in form & a lousy fielder. I agree both Younis & Misbah should keep scoring 1s & 2s at 4~5 runs per over, until 35th over. Remember the power hitters cannot perform if they're exposed early in the innings e.g at score 134/5 in 27 overs, because they can't play defensively and end up throwing up their wickets. My line up is; 1)Hafeez, 2)Shezad, 3)Younis, 4)Misbah, 5)K Akmal, 6)U Akmal, 7)Afridi, 8)Razzaq, 9)U Gul, 10)Wahab, 11)Rehman.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | January 31, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    MESSAGE FOR THE NEW CAPTAIN,

    Learn to use batting powerplay before the cannons are lost. It looks as if you people just forget about it. In the first ODI, it was only taken when 9 wickets were gone. that means you can lose a wicket and then powerplay stays unused.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | January 31, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    We all know that MISBAH hits some wonderful shots towards the end of his innings before getting out to some extraordinary style. It means, he can surely score fast but the problem is that he always comes in when you are afraid of falling apart and then he has to take responsibility and only play sure shots. The same goes for Younis. Our biggest problem is our opening pair. An other thing, Kamran Akmal should bat down the order, so we have Kamran, Umar Akmal, Afridi and Razzaq to do it the pakistan way. At least one of the 4 will fire and we will have the job done. And if a bit is left that will be taken care of by Wahab, Sohail and Gul

  • POSTED BY nafees.qureshi on | January 31, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    Pretty difficult indeed to pick & choose between the 2 sides. Both have a tendency to implode and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory! I'll give Pakistan a slight edge over the Kiwis because they have more firepower in their bowling department. Batting first will be the key as both the team lacks the character to chase a mammoth total and plan the innings when batting second. Win the toss, put 280-300 on the board, unleash Gul with his toe crushers and there you are...for Kiwis the recipe for success remains the same however Gul is replaced by someone called Vettori.

  • POSTED BY poderdubdubdub on | January 31, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    Yusuf was a brilliant class act in ALL formats of cricket, we all enjoyed watching him bat, always. In my view Yusuf was in the same class as Zaheer and Majid Khan. Although Tendulkar and Yusuf are almost same age, yet Yusuf has BIG fitness issues (because Cricket is not his main focus in life), and therefore should not be considered for the World Cup.

  • POSTED BY Saqib_Sheraz on | January 31, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    @wasim Yunis is our asset!

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    I ll wake up early to watch the match :) hoping for a good show from the team in green :)

  • POSTED BY ejsiddiqui on | January 31, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Horses for courses, YK and Misbah are good when you need consolidation but when you need acceleration then keep them apart. e.g. Send U.Akmal between them.

    We don't expect hitting form the work go from these two, but they should have a decent run rate so that it should not add extra pressure on players to come.

    See the innings Ranatunga in 1996 World Cups, he use to score run a ball fifties without any boundary.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    I think Pakistan played remarkably well but i always like imran nazir in the opening pair he is a lot better then Mohammad Hafeez. no doubt his century helped pakistan victory but to look a the other side. that was his first ODI century in 61 matches now common we need somebody better than that and we have Mohammad Yousuf sitting outside. What kind of non sense is this? He is one of the most exp and reliable batsmen pakistan have and because of PCB our shining star is not even in the sqad.

  • POSTED BY leowhispers on | January 31, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    i agree with Aina Maria Waseem, i also think that yousuf should be brought back to the wc squad, so that v can have every type of player regarding style and class and temprament.Best thing about yousuf is that in start of his innings he is little bit slow but once he got settled, he can reduce ball-run difference rapidly, by playing classic shorts......... He is just an ideal batsmen in cricket for me.... GOD bless him with honour and respect.... All the BEST wishes for him and Pakistan cricket....

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Its unfair criticising Younis and Misbah about there slow run rate. Everytime they come to bat, there is a collapse in the making and they need to survive and rebuilt. I cannot recall a match when Pakistan is 100 for 1 in less than 20 over when they come to the crise. Its always like 15 for 2 or 35 for 3 and they have to play carefully. I am not a fan of Misbah but at the moment he is doing his job, and that is to build inning and give chance to the trio of power hitters. All we can hope is that our top order including Kamran, Hafeez and Shahzad

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    i would like to remind u that if there is an blocked end u put extra pressure on others ...misbah have lost his big hiting power once he showed in t 20 world cup in sa ...i remember younas and yousaf use to put run a ball partnetship more often than not ..but with misbah in the team and younas himself not in full flow we need yousaf in the team ...and abt blasting in the end .i would its a nice thing when it comes good but if we lose the hiters quickly than it looks really stupid with 180/7 with 8 overs to go ..so its better to pace the inng well for consistan ODI success

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    Josh team..........New Zealand.......

  • POSTED BY poderdubdubdub on | January 31, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    @sunnymachoo, No one disagrees that Misbah is a great test match saving batsman, however he is not the one suited well to 50 over match. Misbah plays/wastes a number of overs creating Pressure for the others who are then Expected to take the total to a winning one, thats not fair is it? Pakistan's ODI powerpack consists of Afridi-Razzaq-Umar Akmal. Even if one of them clicks Pakistan are in a strong position, so to deprive one of the 'powerpack' members for the sake of Misbah is not wise really, so Misbah MUST be rested till the next test match, please.

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | January 31, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    If Misbah would not give the support, Pakistan's innings would not pass 250 as Afridi and Akmal would not get chance to take big hit. He is the Key player now in both the test and the 50 over match. You can try Yousuf in place of Younus who is ideal for test.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    shoaib akhtar is finished. the only reason he has a spot in the 15 man squad is because of amir/asif spot fixing scandal. He still has decent pace but even that is not what it used to be in his prime. there is a huge difference between 90 mph and 100 mph, also considering the fact that he seems to have no idea of what line and length is required of him. When was the last time you saw him winning a match for pakistan ? looong time back ...

  • POSTED BY zn264 on | January 31, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    With our A team back, this should be a walk in the park for the Black Caps...we always perform well in Napier! Lets bat first and put on 300, Ryder will dominate on this wicket as will Williamson. Time for some big scores...which out for Rosco too, NZ by 30-50 runs. PS Styris has a big part to play if he is bowling 10 overs!!!

  • POSTED BY MRNASIR on | January 31, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    ohh ppl please let misbah and ynis stay they are capable let them find their momentum before world cup

  • POSTED BY Aftabkhan24 on | January 31, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    Well i am happy.. both Thumbs are there (Misbah and yonus) , yonus just need a moral lift , i am sure in next match he will show us his best....

    All the best guys

  • POSTED BY Khurram_Rehman on | January 31, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    I think we can afford two batsmen in the middle order whether it be Younis, Misbah, Yousaf or Asad Shafiq. But none of them shall be batting at No. 3 rather at 4 and 5 because when at no.3 all of them slow down the rate to such an extent that the opponent gets the early advantage and starts dictating terms and it also starts building too much pressure on th batsman at the other end. Neither should kamran Akmal bat at No. 3 because he never has performed at any occasion at this position therefore getting out quickly and adding extra bit of pressure on the batsmen to come and letting the opponent get on top. Umar Akaml shall on the other hand bat at no. 3. Although he too isn't very reliable. But he has got more shots than Kamran Akmal. Also he can only add to or maintain the scoring momentum he will not add the pressure by stopping the flow of runs. He is fearless and can take the attack to the opposition and has a greater tendency to play longer innings as compared to kamran Akmal.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Cant the Pakistan fans see when they see a good thing? What matters is that this is a good team for the series and the WC regarless of who has a better strike rate. This team has a good balance between experience and youth, so lets drop the topic of Younis Vs Misbah, and just back the team. I as a Pakistan fan would back anyone in the team if they perform regardless of their age and past strike rates. Good Luck Pakistan for the series and teh WC. Inshallah victory will be ours.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    lets see whats happen tomarow? why asad shafiq is not replaced wth misbah or younis....

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    younis khan is perfect for ODI's and Misbah is the need of the pakistan but putting M.Yousuf out of world cup squad is ununderstandable..........pakistan has young guns but they have never been consistent.........Akmal brothers need to be perform and the team will rock on....

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    this match will win one side in next match the other side win then the grand finale will be prepared.i will be very happy to see the condition like that

  • POSTED BY drsaadi on | January 31, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    both of these two should be in one day side as both are seniors and above all our team combination is building

  • POSTED BY murti123 on | January 31, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    cmon afridi we want a century from u of 35 balls!! CMONNN!!

  • POSTED BY Cricketfan08 on | January 31, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    I think the decision to play Misbah or not in ODIs is a very simple one. On a very flat track where you do not fear losing many wickets, he should not be played. On other surfaces where the ball is expected to do a bit, he should be played. His temperament has been useful on many occasions and frustrating on a few occasions. I would play Asad Shafiq on flat tracks.

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    @sunnymachoo...what I meant by losing is we lost the winning oppurtunity, we should have easily won that test, why can't we make 270 odd runs in a day with more than 90 overs ??? its pathetic batting, are we so scared...oh come on give me a break.....Anyway, Asad Shafiq can score 40 to 50 runs without wasting 100 balls, which Misbah does, all he knows is how to score 40 runs out of 80 balls and than give away his wicket...... so why not give the youngster a chance and that will give him confidence for the world cup, we have to experiment now, not when we are in the world cup....

  • POSTED BY hasansmylz on | January 31, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    I think Younus would be a better choice at 3 but definitely Misbah something special to justify his place in the current team.........a very well balanced team Pakistan and looks like teams are gonna have tough times against these Men in Green with quite familiar playing condition in the upcoming WC

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    I have noticed that people have started insulting Younis by comparing him to Misbah. "being in form" means a run-a-ball for younis and an 80-ball 50 for misbah :@ just replace Misbah with Yousuf in the squad. Nobody can then complain about age (misbahs not young), experience, sheer talent, or match-winning capability, and most importantly, match-winning INTENTION!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    in the last game it was 56 for 3 when misbah came on to bat and that time we cannot afford to loose any other wickets so that time it was necessary to stay at the wicket and not to loose any wickets and he played very sensibly i don't know whats the prob with the people to misbah when he play according to the situation and people critisize him...he can score fast and quick when the team needs to his scoring rate is better than younis and yousuf....

  • POSTED BY longlivepakistan on | January 31, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Thanks waseem_indian...bad decision to put shoaib akhtar out from 3rd odi,he's key bowlar for pakistan and he should want some matchs before worldcup....and at age of 35 his bowling speed is faster than Young indian,srilankan,w.i etc bowlars....! Best of luck afridi and plz try ur best to take some wickets in next match...b.w from pakistani students!

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | January 31, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    I hope Pak will win the series 3/2......... Good Luck !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY rjmajid on | January 31, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    Debate remains the same over Misbah and Younis untill we lose the world cup. After ward we have nothing to lose and will be able to experiments. This is phenomenon of poor leadership of pakis over the years. This man Younis khan and Misbah should have been dropped from ODI's way back but they are still there untill the big lost.

  • POSTED BY zain-gee on | January 31, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    hi guyes ! very intresting debate abt 2 heavy weights. In order to maintain batting dept & options I suggest both should be in eleven sides, keeping in view of 1st ODI against kiwis recently we don't concentrate on young bloods. Any how S. Akhatr is not deserving for automatic slection because his rythem & fitness is very much concern so keep W.Riaz , S. Tanvir in final eleven.

  • POSTED BY happyvally on | January 31, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    bit of news for the afredi,s fan pcb chairman has dicided to keep him captan for the world cup.ijaz but will annouce after the next match.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | January 31, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    @Rahul_78 I can guarantee that is going to happen! One of the teams will crush the other tomorrow and think they are awesome. Then the next game the other team will dismantle them. Both of the teams are as equally flawed as each other.

  • POSTED BY chmirfan on | January 31, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    the peoples who comments about misbah and younas that they are too slow, they must remember we are here talking about 50 overs cricket not 20 overs cricket and i think peoples could not understand this article , its our traditional style of cricket, slow in middles overs and cashed it at the end. other wise these boom boom players cant stay in the wicket for 5 overs.misbah and younas doing perfectly right job only i can add here for selectors muhammad yousaf is better option for this job than younas khan.dont fo get the first game, where only misbah left on the wicket and all these boom boom disapeared in 10 overs.hope for the best.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | January 31, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    How man of you want to bet that kiwis are going to walk all over pak in this match and then pakistan will return the favor in next one. This is the way these 2 teams have been playing with each other for long time now...

  • POSTED BY Shahnawaztarar on | January 31, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    hopes for pakistan are ahmad shahzad and hafeez at top and u akmal afridi and razzaq in the middle and lower order nothing else as misbah and younis could not do any thing.

  • POSTED BY funnykid on | January 31, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    A very interesting debate about Younis Khan and Misbah ul Haq's place in the present Pakistan ODI team. In my humble opinion, Pakistan cannot afford to play them both in an ODI, they are very similar in approach and their policy of putting a dead bat to everything, most of the time, has proved counter productive. After wasting so many overs, when they get out trying to force the pace, the team gets nothing in the end. Pakistan team think tank must consider this aspect before playing both. They would be better off by choosing only one of the two.

  • POSTED BY Shahnawaztarar on | January 31, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    It is shame for selectors that there is no one in the team averaging more than 40 runs per innings in whole team. i thing only m yousaf is the batsman who averages more than 40 and you did not selected him in the team as he was fit and playing well in domestic. now it is over. but look at misbah who could not take singals and rotate the strike. he is only capable to put pressure at the other end. yousaf was for better that younis and misbah. now please get misbah out and put asad shafique at five and give confidence to umar akmal to play at nuber 4 and held the inning together. misbah should be limited only for the test matches.

  • POSTED BY Indian_Waseem on | January 31, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Good luck pakistan..... My favourite teams are pakistan and Lanka for the upcoming WORLD CUP

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    ma dream team for pakistan is..... 1.kamran 2.shehzad 3.hafeez 4.younis khan 5.shoaib malik 6umar akmal 7.shahid afridi 8,abdulrazzaq 9.umar gul 10.mohammed aamir 11.mohammed asif

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | January 31, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Kick Msbah and Younis out of the ODI team!

    Their slow rate of scoring isn't good enough. At least make an effort to go run a ball but they like to take their time and they put pressure on our big hitters like the Akmal's, Afridi and Razzaq.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    GO Green GO............................ boom boom u r rock

  • POSTED BY poderdubdubdub on | January 31, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Misbah is a great test batsman, however he is a hinderence in an ODI. The result is that Razzaq does not get a fair chance of batting. Pakistan's ODI powerpack consists of Afridi-Razzaq-Umar Akmal. Even if one of them clicks Pakistan are in a strong position, so to deprive one of the 'powerpack' member for the sake of Misbah is not a wise step, so Misbah out please.

  • POSTED BY sunnymachoo on | January 31, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    @legendKing first of all, we never LOST 2nd test against black caps. Secondly, yes you are right, Misbah is ultra slow. But at the same time he gives stability to our batting. Had he not been there in that series against SA and NZ, maybe we could have lost a test or two. It was his calm performance that actually saved us from a number of defeats. If we had lost 2nd test against NZ, and levelled series (which we won), we would be blaming our batsmen for aggressive approach and stuff like that. Bottom line, we need Misbah who has proved to be match saver at several occasions!

  • POSTED BY Fareen on | January 31, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Ya Ya they won the last match but they really need to improve.K.Akmal should open with hafeez and asad shafiq should bat in between Younis and misbah.People who are saying Misbah should be dropped...just try to remember 1 thing...Pakistan are king of losing wickets constantly....shafiq u.akmal shehzad...how come you people depend on them?....Younis and Misbah give them HUGE stability which will be very crucial in the WC.But as they're same,someone should bat between them.And wahab riaz should be dropped and s.akhter should be back.

  • POSTED BY TalhaAkhter on | January 31, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Excellent article.. Misbah and Younis are both Pakistan's serious batsman and I dont think removing them would be a great move, becuse Pakistan at many times, as we have seen comes to a situation where experienced players are needed to tackle the situations and Younis can tackle very firmly. So I think they both should get the piece of Pie!

  • POSTED BY KKNIAZI on | January 31, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    I think those who are criticizing Misbah and Younus for slowing down things are the ones who call MIANDAD a legend without realizing he did the same, infact even slower. I think this is the best way of approaching ODI, though sometimes it does backfire, but on many occasions it pays. Shorter tail is a key to such an approach. I believe, 20/20 cricket, even though PK team used the same technique successfully in 20/20 as well, has caused a brain freeze to lot of cricketeting minds.

    For those, who are pointing the difference between Razzak and Razzaq, please get a life. Its the same name with different spellings.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Asad Shafiq deserve the chance on Younas Khan

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    Misbah is batting for himself instead of Pak, he is trying to get Captaincy no thing else, We ll see, who ll be declared for WC....

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | January 31, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    If players play for the pride of the nation, only then Pakistan can achieve consistency, they play when then think that their place in the team is in jeopardy.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Thaqeb Jamil i am totally agree with you both of the bowlers are backbone, cream, power, and marvellous player of the Pakistan team... how come Haroon Logart allow them ...... impossible its really impossible.... if pakistan will play like last match they will really do it ........ Pakistan is teh world no 1 team and they have the ability to beat any team in the world..... specially India. No doubt India has a good squad but they must have to pray that accidently they will not come in front of Pakistan,,,,,,,,,, Oh my GOD ..... than whats happened ....... its my dream of the year 2011..... rest all upon GOD what he wants we really dont know......

  • POSTED BY zain-gee on | January 31, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    In my opinion Pakistan should keep same eleven for perfect combination, however Kamran should be replaced to Abdul rehman if required & his younger brother keep the gloves.

  • POSTED BY mkissb on | January 31, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    nice article .. it will be very important match for both the teams to check their consistency..i will go for Asad shafiq by replacing Younus khan for one match. YK is out of form for a while and its too long...

  • POSTED BY GoodSelector on | January 31, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    dude the pakistani all rounder is ABDUL RAZZAQ, u said abdur razzak who is the bangladeshi left arm spinner. Also misbah is good in ODI's if they didnt have him they wouldn't last the 50 overs he is pretty consistent, as for younis khan he has way more ability then what he shows in the ODI's his test record is fantastic and his ODI record only averaging 30 with a slow strike rate is a shame for such a good test player. Also umar ackmal is a great ODI player he can get the innings moving really fast and can take the game away in a few overs much like afridi but he is more consistent and that is his job to provide the X factor along with razzaq and afridi who all have a a thrash towards the end. Razzaq and afridi also bowl making it a dangerous line up. also wahab riaz shud play he is a really handy player

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    why is Shahzaib hassan no tin the wc squad, he can a real threat on sub continental tracks.........

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    I TOTALLY AGREE, MISBAH SHOULD BE OUT ASAD SHAFIQ OR SHAZAIB HASSAN SHOULD BE INCLUDED...

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Misbah out please. My team for world cup : Shazad Hafeez Kamran Yunis Umar Asad Afridi Razzaq Wahab Umar Gul Shoiab Akhtar/Ajmal ( depending on the track )

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    Misbah is trying to play slow and be the captian he does not think about the team....so selfish....

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    please bring in Asad Shafiq in place of Misbah, why cant Pak be bold like Indians, Dravid, Laxman dont have a place in one day sides.....take out the old 37 year old Misbah out....

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Misbah doesn't deserve to be in the side, he is too slow, even slow for test cricket, it is bcoz of him we lost the 2nd test in New-Zealand.....

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Go Pakistan Go... you can do that.... all are prayers with you guyz... best of luck..

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    I guess we need younis and misbah like that, they need to play slow, pakistan cant bat with 5.0 runs/over all 50 overs coz they lose wickets, we can have enuff accleartion from hafeez, shehzad and akmal in the opening IF ASIF and AMIR comes back (which Haroon Logart will not allow), i guess I can see the team liftin the trophy.

  • POSTED BY happyvally on | January 31, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    pakistan winning the last match will be in the ground with lot more confedence.they can do with one change bring abdurehman in becaz team must have two spiner hafez is good but still not a regular one.i will say pakistan will win.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Abdur Razzak is a Bangladeshi left arm spinner, ABDUL RAZZAQ is the player I think you're talking about

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | January 31, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    good series, keep it up. Lets see who wins. Tight series.

  • POSTED BY sunnymachoo on | January 31, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    You are right, Misbah and Younis may be slow but they are game savers in real sense! They are the ones who stop our side from collapsing any further. And Pakistan team really needs this pair at middle order.

  • POSTED BY Faizan-Ul-Haq-Fareedi on | January 31, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Good Changes From NZ.. But Pakistan still one of the Danger Team as they have Afridi, Razzaq( New Boom Boom) and Akmals Brothers, But K.Akmal Out of Form but If he Gain Form Tommorrow so that will be Horrible for NZ... GooD Luck to Both Teams...!!!

  • POSTED BY Crikiter on | January 31, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    thanks for such a nice review, this is what every pakistani is worried about and if the tail collaspe because they are going against the bowlers, they blame the tail for not performing, why cant the middle order simple rotate strike like Inzi and Yousaf were doing in past.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan.........................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I Hope u WIn again.......................!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan.........................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I Hope u WIn again.......................!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Crikiter on | January 31, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    thanks for such a nice review, this is what every pakistani is worried about and if the tail collaspe because they are going against the bowlers, they blame the tail for not performing, why cant the middle order simple rotate strike like Inzi and Yousaf were doing in past.

  • POSTED BY Faizan-Ul-Haq-Fareedi on | January 31, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Good Changes From NZ.. But Pakistan still one of the Danger Team as they have Afridi, Razzaq( New Boom Boom) and Akmals Brothers, But K.Akmal Out of Form but If he Gain Form Tommorrow so that will be Horrible for NZ... GooD Luck to Both Teams...!!!

  • POSTED BY sunnymachoo on | January 31, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    You are right, Misbah and Younis may be slow but they are game savers in real sense! They are the ones who stop our side from collapsing any further. And Pakistan team really needs this pair at middle order.

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | January 31, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    good series, keep it up. Lets see who wins. Tight series.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Abdur Razzak is a Bangladeshi left arm spinner, ABDUL RAZZAQ is the player I think you're talking about

  • POSTED BY happyvally on | January 31, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    pakistan winning the last match will be in the ground with lot more confedence.they can do with one change bring abdurehman in becaz team must have two spiner hafez is good but still not a regular one.i will say pakistan will win.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    I guess we need younis and misbah like that, they need to play slow, pakistan cant bat with 5.0 runs/over all 50 overs coz they lose wickets, we can have enuff accleartion from hafeez, shehzad and akmal in the opening IF ASIF and AMIR comes back (which Haroon Logart will not allow), i guess I can see the team liftin the trophy.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Go Pakistan Go... you can do that.... all are prayers with you guyz... best of luck..

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | January 31, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Misbah doesn't deserve to be in the side, he is too slow, even slow for test cricket, it is bcoz of him we lost the 2nd test in New-Zealand.....