Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai February 1, 2012

Shafiq not feeling the pressure

59

Of all the encouraging signs to emerge for Pakistan in their series against England - and there have been many - the batting of Asad Shafiq could have the most long-term significance.

The 26-year-old Karachi batsman, Shafiq, scored 101 runs in total in the second Test - a hefty contribution in a low-scoring match - and with Azhar Ali produced a second-innings stand of 88 that, with the game in the balance, turned out to have a decisive impact on the result. For two relatively young men to produce such a performance under pressure bodes very well for Pakistan's future.

To make Shafiq's batting all the more impressive, he came into the game under a little bit of pressure. There had been suggestions that Umar Akmal, the highly talented 21-year-old from Lahore, might win a recall. Despite scoring an undefeated century against Bangladesh just a couple of Tests previously, Shafiq had only contributed one other score over 50 in his 13 previous Test innings. He needed to justify the faith shown in him.

Shafiq accepts that he is not the finished article. He took some of the gloss off his first innings half-century with a reckless sweep and failed to capitalise on all his hard work, but he insists that such experiences are part of the learning process.

"Mistakes are bound to happen," he said. "I tried my best to bat for longer but, once in a while, such a rush of blood will happen. I will learn from such mistakes.

"In the second innings, I was out to a good ball from Monty Panesar. It was not a rash shot; it was a good ball. But I don't feel any pressure. I play for Pakistan, not myself. So whichever position my team needs me in, I will bat there and I will play for Pakistan and give my best."

To date, Shafiq has just one century: that innings of 104 in Chittagong. He feels he is improving, though, and has chosen one of the men whose place he has taken in the Pakistan team as his role model.

"I learned a lot from my century against Bangladesh," Shafiq said. "I am learning day by day. I model my batting on Mohammad Yousuf. He is my idol. I have watched most of his innings and, when he scored a lot of runs in one year, 2006, he became my favourite batsman. I learned a lot from watching his style and I hope to bat like him. I want to play as positively as possible and score as many centuries as possible."

Shafiq was impressed with the England bowling. "Their bowling attack was very tight," he said. "They did not allow us to score at even three runs per over. Batting in both Tests has been tough. But, we have gelled very well as a team and played those last two Tests very well."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    I think Pakistan has great talented cricketers.What PCB has to do is to select those players who play for Pakistan. We have so many entertainer like Shehzad Ahmed,Shahbaz Hasan but we have very few cricketers who play according to situation of the match. A quality player is the one who imrove and work on his mistakes and faulty technique. We also should give chance to player who deserve it. There should not be place for favoritism or nepotism in selection.

  • Cricket_Live on February 4, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    All you big talking guys and passing big comments about test cricket and how umar akmal is not fit for test cricekt, have you actually think this through?? he is in his early 20's if you pay little attention. you wanted him to be born test cricketer? or infact he has to learn the patience and temprament you guys keep talking about while playing more and more cricket?

    We collectively have a fundamental flaw and its called, being too judgemental all the time. Umra Akmal has talent, confidence and can rotate strike at will, no point mentioning he can hit big to spinners and fast bolwer with equal ease. So what is needed to make him the greatest batsman he deserves to be? more time on the wicket on the highest level. Only then he can justify the potential GOD has granted him. He needs us on his side and i assure you.....he is the next big thing for pakistan cricket without a shadow of doubt.

  • Mr.Dude on February 3, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    No, just no.

    This is TEST, not a T20, Umar Akmal, right now, he's a T20 player. To play a test, you need to be able to stay at the wicket, and not get out every 5 balls, hitting like 3 4's and getting out. In a test you need to be able to score high, while staying at the crease, something Akmal cannot do.

  • pak2015 on February 2, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Pakistan is fundamentally a better team then England. We can always beat them. England over estimates itself. We will inshallah win 3-0. Pakistan however needs to analyse its batsmen. If we can improve in this department to even average, we will dominate all forms of the game, even Australia. Umar Akmal and maybe even Kamran, i believe have what it takes to take on this challenge but need to become serious mature batsman and consistently put at least 50 on the board every time they come out. If they can do this no doubt WC 2015 is ours.

  • on February 2, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Cricket is all about performance, I would take a work horse over some flamboyant player who thinks he's the best thing that happened to mankind since sliced bread. People praised Sarwan from W.I the same way but where is he now, Chanderpaul the workhorse has left him behind. Umar Akmal might have the glamour shots but I'd take a guy who can grind a score in tough conditions then a guy who can beat bowling when HE is on. I think Shafiq said it best, I play for "PAKISTAN and not for myself", whereas Akmal, Afridi, Akhtar, Salman, Asif and Aamir they play for themselves first and country second. I have never seen Afridi graft an innings, Shoaib Akhtar always used to pull muscles when there was nothing left in the pitch and lets not talk about Butt, Asif and Aamir. Pakistan is a talent producing machine, lets give those who put country first, a chance, this new team with Misbah and Mohsin (M&M) guiding them is awesome, not big on superstar but they know how to win!

  • explorer76 on February 2, 2012, 19:51 GMT

    @mrhamilton - I agree, characters like umar akmal who spread disunity should not be allowed in the team regardless of their talent. And in any case umar akmal has shown no sign of maturity and willingness to work hard and not throw away his wicket. He just comes in, plays some shots and gets out. Not someone you want in a test side. Maybe in ODI, but definitely not in tests.

  • on February 2, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    We all Pakistani's guys, So please, there is no difference between Lahore and Karachi. Who would perform well, deserve to stay in team. for me at the Pakistan have only world class batsman, Mohammad Yousuf. I am hoping to see him in Pakistan team very soon........ Inshallah

  • on February 2, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    i totally with reality_check...Pakistan should include Umar Akmal in the 3rd test but not at the expense of Asad Shafiq. Junaid Khan was hardly used in the 2nd test so why keep him around just to occupy space. Drop him for Akmal. Go with Gul and two specialist spinners in Ajmal and Rehman plus Hafeez who in his own right can be a full time spinner. Umar Akmal will give extra fire power to the batting which most likely will be needed in Dubai.

  • mueenhameed on February 2, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Hello...guys.....please Its a Pakistani team..it does not matter whether talented players are from Lahore or Karachi. Asad Shafiq played well in last test so he deserves his place in test team but Umar Akmal is more talented than any player in current team If most cricket PUNDITS believe that Taufiq is not good enough against spin then let Azhar open with Hafeez and Umar Akmal should play at #3. It was Ejaz Butt's FORMULA not to play 2 Akmals in team which was stupid idea. He was a mentally sick man. Experts of every corner of cricket world are praising talent of Umar Akmal. I believe Umar Akmal must be given chance in Dubai test

  • Israr75 on February 2, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    With such a fragile middle order I don't understand why we don't play Yoousuf infact him in the team and one new young hopeful like Asad of Ali could learn alot. Not only that you would also have the stability rather then pushing 2 young guys to replace someone like Yousuf.

    We was very luck the fact we won this test. Although well played by the Ali and Asad they still got to prove there worth. One off innings doesnt make them outstanding batsman.

  • on February 4, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    I think Pakistan has great talented cricketers.What PCB has to do is to select those players who play for Pakistan. We have so many entertainer like Shehzad Ahmed,Shahbaz Hasan but we have very few cricketers who play according to situation of the match. A quality player is the one who imrove and work on his mistakes and faulty technique. We also should give chance to player who deserve it. There should not be place for favoritism or nepotism in selection.

  • Cricket_Live on February 4, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    All you big talking guys and passing big comments about test cricket and how umar akmal is not fit for test cricekt, have you actually think this through?? he is in his early 20's if you pay little attention. you wanted him to be born test cricketer? or infact he has to learn the patience and temprament you guys keep talking about while playing more and more cricket?

    We collectively have a fundamental flaw and its called, being too judgemental all the time. Umra Akmal has talent, confidence and can rotate strike at will, no point mentioning he can hit big to spinners and fast bolwer with equal ease. So what is needed to make him the greatest batsman he deserves to be? more time on the wicket on the highest level. Only then he can justify the potential GOD has granted him. He needs us on his side and i assure you.....he is the next big thing for pakistan cricket without a shadow of doubt.

  • Mr.Dude on February 3, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    No, just no.

    This is TEST, not a T20, Umar Akmal, right now, he's a T20 player. To play a test, you need to be able to stay at the wicket, and not get out every 5 balls, hitting like 3 4's and getting out. In a test you need to be able to score high, while staying at the crease, something Akmal cannot do.

  • pak2015 on February 2, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Pakistan is fundamentally a better team then England. We can always beat them. England over estimates itself. We will inshallah win 3-0. Pakistan however needs to analyse its batsmen. If we can improve in this department to even average, we will dominate all forms of the game, even Australia. Umar Akmal and maybe even Kamran, i believe have what it takes to take on this challenge but need to become serious mature batsman and consistently put at least 50 on the board every time they come out. If they can do this no doubt WC 2015 is ours.

  • on February 2, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Cricket is all about performance, I would take a work horse over some flamboyant player who thinks he's the best thing that happened to mankind since sliced bread. People praised Sarwan from W.I the same way but where is he now, Chanderpaul the workhorse has left him behind. Umar Akmal might have the glamour shots but I'd take a guy who can grind a score in tough conditions then a guy who can beat bowling when HE is on. I think Shafiq said it best, I play for "PAKISTAN and not for myself", whereas Akmal, Afridi, Akhtar, Salman, Asif and Aamir they play for themselves first and country second. I have never seen Afridi graft an innings, Shoaib Akhtar always used to pull muscles when there was nothing left in the pitch and lets not talk about Butt, Asif and Aamir. Pakistan is a talent producing machine, lets give those who put country first, a chance, this new team with Misbah and Mohsin (M&M) guiding them is awesome, not big on superstar but they know how to win!

  • explorer76 on February 2, 2012, 19:51 GMT

    @mrhamilton - I agree, characters like umar akmal who spread disunity should not be allowed in the team regardless of their talent. And in any case umar akmal has shown no sign of maturity and willingness to work hard and not throw away his wicket. He just comes in, plays some shots and gets out. Not someone you want in a test side. Maybe in ODI, but definitely not in tests.

  • on February 2, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    We all Pakistani's guys, So please, there is no difference between Lahore and Karachi. Who would perform well, deserve to stay in team. for me at the Pakistan have only world class batsman, Mohammad Yousuf. I am hoping to see him in Pakistan team very soon........ Inshallah

  • on February 2, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    i totally with reality_check...Pakistan should include Umar Akmal in the 3rd test but not at the expense of Asad Shafiq. Junaid Khan was hardly used in the 2nd test so why keep him around just to occupy space. Drop him for Akmal. Go with Gul and two specialist spinners in Ajmal and Rehman plus Hafeez who in his own right can be a full time spinner. Umar Akmal will give extra fire power to the batting which most likely will be needed in Dubai.

  • mueenhameed on February 2, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Hello...guys.....please Its a Pakistani team..it does not matter whether talented players are from Lahore or Karachi. Asad Shafiq played well in last test so he deserves his place in test team but Umar Akmal is more talented than any player in current team If most cricket PUNDITS believe that Taufiq is not good enough against spin then let Azhar open with Hafeez and Umar Akmal should play at #3. It was Ejaz Butt's FORMULA not to play 2 Akmals in team which was stupid idea. He was a mentally sick man. Experts of every corner of cricket world are praising talent of Umar Akmal. I believe Umar Akmal must be given chance in Dubai test

  • Israr75 on February 2, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    With such a fragile middle order I don't understand why we don't play Yoousuf infact him in the team and one new young hopeful like Asad of Ali could learn alot. Not only that you would also have the stability rather then pushing 2 young guys to replace someone like Yousuf.

    We was very luck the fact we won this test. Although well played by the Ali and Asad they still got to prove there worth. One off innings doesnt make them outstanding batsman.

  • on February 2, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    @Muhammad Usman. Oh brother, what did you just say? you are asking to call back Sarfaraz Nawaz!!!. If Sarfaraz "Nawaz" still deserves a chance then why not call "Imran Khan" back as well. When we compare them, Imran's statistics prove him a much better candidate of a return.:D

  • on February 2, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    wot a shame.....M.YOUSAF coudnt find a place in pakistan criket team....how can people forget their great batsman.....there is no one in pakistan team who is more desrving n more talented than yousaf......is this really the way we shud treat our national heros.....

  • satish619chandar on February 2, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Umar Akmal could up the scoring rate but more than that, Pakistan need solidity and fighting spirit which Asad showed to great extent in last game.. Bowling of Pakistan is just awesome.. This patient Pakistan is doing better than the flamboyant Pakistan team as they are not collapsing and allow their awesome bowling attack to bowl with a good score..

  • on February 2, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Lets not make it a provincial thing. Its Pakistan that we are concerned with here and Asad Shafeeq for me has done enough to remain in the test squad ahead of anyone let alone Umar Akmal. For a long period of time, we haven't had many players that played test matches the way they should be played, slowly and with patience. Now with the Grace of God, we have quiet a few in the squad right now, Younis, Misbah, Azhar and Asad, so lets stick with them because they exactly know how to approach a game. Under pressure situations, big shots do help but the person who occupies the crease for the most time, frustrates the opposition the most.

  • Hussain_KSA on February 2, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    I am very much sad to hear the comments which you guys are passing that Lahore and Punjabi guys got a lot of chances; and Asad Shafiq is on the danger zone because he is not from Lahore/Punjab. My Brothers, no body going to drop Asad Shafiq, and in my opinion we can drop Taufeeq and Umar in; then Asad Shafiq should have to open the innings as I heard that he is the specialist Openner!

  • mrhamilton on February 2, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    @muhammed usman, are you mad? why drop taufeeq right now for your umar akmal and why drop adnan akmal. There really are many mad and unsatisfiable pakistani fans out there

  • mrhamilton on February 2, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Only in Pakistan could the media and fans be constantly on misbah and his young batsmens backs. Azar and Asad deserve long runs and so far r doing well. Hafeez and Taufeeq have also prospered. Simply madness to tinker with this batting. Umar Akmal has shown zero talent for test batting and thinks its very funny when he gets out for a single digit score having tried to score a six with every ball. one days are the limit of Umars talent and he is also a very obnoxious conceited person who spreads disunity...no the only akmal who should ever be mentioned in a test team is teh talented and sober adnan.

  • mars2009 on February 2, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    @ Sami Ullah - We are listening name of Hassan Raza from last fifteen years , in this fifteen years he could play only 7 tests whereas Azhar already played 20 tests since July-2010. Moreover, no Sindhi or Baluchi ever played for Pakistan. In the FAMOUS TOUR OF ENGLAND 2010 , in one test there were 9 players only from Lahore.

  • drdani on February 2, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    well done asad shafiq !! he'll hav a bright future ahead of him IA !! @Sami Ullah .. agreed bro. @immi2711 .. grow up yar !!

  • reality_check on February 2, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    Pakistan should include Umar Akmal in the 3rd test but not at the expense of Asad Shafiq. Junaid Khan was hardly used in the 2nd test so why keep him around just to occupy space. Drop him for Akmal. Go with Gul and two specialist spinners in Ajmal and Rehman plus Hafeez who in his own right can be a full time spinner. Umar Akmal will give extra fire power to the batting which most likely will be needed in Dubai.

  • gunnerr4life on February 2, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    @KarachiKid I agree with you . Tanvir Ahmed is just one example .. But what about Fawad Alam ( amazing test player ) , Ramiz Raja jr . ( who was not given a single ODI against Zimbabwe ) .. and there are few more . Umar Amin was given 14 consecutive innings but he failed . where as , Shahzaib hasan got 4 innings and Khalid Latif got 2 . Fawad Alam is out of the test team even after scoring 168 in Srilanka . This is a pity !

  • on February 2, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    @ immi2711 buddy do not make it a provincial thing, nobody is talking about dropping Asad Shafiq .if at all people are talking about taufeeq umar which would be the logical choice. . Asad Shafiq has a long career ahead of him . that is why despite scoring not many runs apart from a century against Bangladesh he was rightly given continuos chances but the fact remains that none of these youngsters has yet cemented their place in the squad by playing a long responsible inning. They all have potential though. Asad ,Azhar and Umar will form Pakistan's middle order in the future.

  • liaquat.malik on February 2, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    Umar Akmal is the best talent Pakistan has produced for quite some time, he just needs time in test team to polish his abilities, compare his performance with Asad & Azhar.

  • on February 2, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Umar Akmal finds himself in wilderness and will have to wait and bide his time to get a chance. All of this is not that bad as it enforces the concept of merit and discourages any notions of favoritism and politics. Umar had his chances but as it turned out, wasn't quite ready for test cricket and lost his place. The current line up is steady and if not scoring 400 every innings, at least not collapsing for less than 150! I am a big fan of Umar Akmal but there is no place for him in the test 11 for the time being. Just like Adam Gilchrist had to wait for 4-5 long years to get into the test 11, but when he did, we all know how he made the most of it!

  • eagle-pk on February 2, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Umar asad and azhar should be remain in squad no matter what we need proper batters for all types of game.they ll get matured being in playing 11 continuously. picking up a batsman for specific match doesnt improve skills.

  • immi2711 on February 2, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    My friend Shafiq...I feel bad for you. Yes you are better than some of the other youngsters in the team, but you have ONE big problem.....my friend you ARE NOT FROM PUNJAB...and you are surrounded by hound dogs, that are going to scrutinize your every step, so they can drop you. Neither Azhar or Taufeeq has done enough to justify there place in the 3rd test, and look who are they talking about dropping...YOUUUUUU...becos Azhar n Taufeeq hail from our great crap province of PUJAB.... Having said this, we do need someone like UMAR in the team, he is a game changer, he can give you that quick burst of runs, he can change opponents game plan, so you need a guy like UMAR...Surely they can drop Azhar or Taufeeq, but they are NOT gonna.. WHYYY, cos they are .. wait ... wait...wait for it, from our PIND baba...

  • KarachiKid on February 2, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    By the way i saw in one news channel that shoaib malik might be brought at the expense of asad shafique. If this happens I will know that with continually ignoring Tanvir Ahmed and now Asad Shafique, this will be perceived by Karachiites as openly anti-Karachi attitude of PCB officials.

  • KarachiKid on February 2, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    I see some serious Umar Akmal fans here. I for one, would not touch this batting lineup. After such a long time, our team is making 300+ scores for past three or four series. When Umar Akmal, Muhammad Yousuf, Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal and Imran Farhat were in the lineup, Pakistan were dismissed for under 100 score on three or four occassions. Why do people want to break the winning formula by brgining in Umar Akmal who has been given 5 back to back series and he proved nothing. If his first test century is the yard stick why not draft in Fawad Alam who also score 164 in first or second match. Yes bowling wise we need to rest Umar Gul and perhaps Junaid Khan. If we have to rely on spin to win matches, I would rather have Tanvir Ahmed and Cheema. Tanvir is a brilliant new bowl bowler who will get you a few wickets and then spinners can take it up. Umar Gul fails to qualify as test class. Both Umars, Gul and Akmal should be kept in ODI and T20 setup only.

  • on February 2, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Umar Akmal better than shafiq, to some extent shafiq has a good potentiality but staying on the wicket without making runs, its useless. Umar Akmal should be given an opportunity to play third and final test in place of Taufeeq Umar, Toufeeq should be dropped for third and final test. Umar Akmal has good temparament, Asad Shafiq has good potentiality while Azhar Ali has good technique, these three should learn from Rahul Dravid and Ricky Ponting, In india Virat Kohli is a good find with overall india's batting line up. These three should also play in all three formats of cricket, Azhar Ali should include in the squad of T20 as well as one day international cricket. For the final test Junaid Khan should also be dropped.

  • on February 2, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    Pakistan should play with concentration otherwise england can show strength in this match..................................

  • on February 2, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    umar akmal should come in only after misbah-ul-haq anounces his retirement. I think this test is the perfect time for him to make the call as he has lifted the spirit of cricket within the pak team....a grt leader......and hence misbah will get a grand sent-off. Unnecessary changes would affect the current balance of the team......stick-on with the winning combination.......cricinfo- pls publish

  • Goochu on February 2, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Umar Akmal can keep wickets, and if he can show some maturity he is bound to play a Gilchrist role in Pak team. My team will be Taufeeq, Hafeez, Azhar, Younis, Misbah, Asad, Umar (wk), Wahab, Abdul Rehman, Ajmal, Gul.

  • on February 2, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    @ mr gab.pk i think u didnt see his keeping in 2nd test match he was keeping superbly he didnt give away byes .......although his batting is not impressive but i think he will imrove gradually as he will get experience he is the best keeper at this time...

  • Fiduz on February 2, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    As far as I remember, I have seen Asad playing all his domestic cricket as either opener or 1-2 down. He has never came at 6 but because of the pressure been put by the Board, Media and groups favoring Akmal borthers he has been tried at that position and has proved his merit. Why do we need Umar Akmal in test side if the current side make 100 or 150 more odd runs we wouldnt have said this. The time is for Younus and Taufiq and probably Azhar again to put some runs. Better option would be a line-up like this 1) Hafeez 2) Taufeeq 3) Asad Shafiq 4) Azhar Ali 5) Younus 6) Misbah 7) Adnan 8) Wahab Riaz 9) Saeed Ajmal 10) Abdul Rehman 11) Umar Gul

    I can also smell some controversy / issue arrising from English Media as soon as Wahab plays his match to ruin all the efforts / winning ambiance created by the united Pakistan team.

  • dmqi on February 2, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    The 2 pacers from 2nd test must be dropped. They were not effective at all. Bring another pacer and a batsman. Wahab and Umar my pick. Hafiz can open the bowling, so there is no need of a second pacer. Azhar should do some bowling too. Why people are negative about Umar, forgot his match agains NZ? He should get chance to learn. There is no doubt about his ability, it is the question of application.

  • dmqi on February 2, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    I was very disappoited by the bowler Junaed with his poor bowling, easiest catch drop and his under lip mostache, not a popular thing among cricketers. DROP him and bring UMAR AKmal. We need to see Umar in some action. Many cricket fans want to see him in 3rd test. Be fair. May be YONUS or Taufique should take a break(rest) and give him a chance, I am a big fan of younus khan. But I want to see thses young players, Azhar, Asad, Umar playing together. The future of Pak batting

  • The_big_j on February 2, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    This Pakistani batting lineup should not be changed even if Pakistan lose the next 5 games they play... They have a very balanced side. The bowling however, you can substitute depending on the conditions and ect.. but unless if someone is injured or not feeling well don't change the batting line up. Umar Akmal is not a test player, he has to learn how to play long innings that can be valuable to the teams cause and not play for his own benefit. Hafeez, taufeeq, azhar, younis, misbah, shafiq

  • explorer76 on February 2, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    @haq33. I agree that a bit of individualistic arrogance is fine. However it becomes a problem when it interferes with team play. The last time I saw umar play, he came in when another set batsmen was already at the crease and had already made 40 odd runs. However umar made every attempt to keep all the strike to himself and showed no interest whatsoever in taking singles to rotate the strike. If at some point he was at non-striker's end he would be anxious to get back to strike even if it meant taking a risky single. He just wanted to score all the runs himself and not have the other batsmen take any strike. In my opinion this type of attitude is bad for the team. Cricket is a game built around partnerships, working together.

  • Dadu786 on February 2, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    Drop Taufique and bring Umar, my squad will be Azhar, Hafeez, younis, Umar, Misbah, Asad,Adnan, Rehman, Wahab, Ajmal, Gul.go for kill.

  • gab.pk on February 1, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    I agree with Aziz regarding Akmals.

    I don't know why our selectors and team management feel bound to keep one akmal atleast in every format of the game. This is a total injustice to a fine wicket keeper batsman like sarfaraz ahmad , he is a much accomplished batsman as his records show in first class. I think he is being intentionally misused by the team management to keep him out for good. Even Salman ahmad is a much better keeper than adnan who was hap&hopless while keeping against ajmal, the art of keeping is tested against spinners not just by routine catches off fast bowlers

  • CorneredTiger92-09 on February 1, 2012, 21:55 GMT

    I am a big fan of umar and asad but i think asad has the right mind to play test cricket but i would like to see umar play in the 3rd test. Hafeez Taufeeq Azhar Ali Younus Misbah Asad Umar Adnan Ajmal Gul Rehman would be my team. Inshallah with whatever team, Pakistan will win 3-0

  • haq33 on February 1, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    It's a matter of technique. This isn't about attitudes ("individualism" vs "selflessness"), as there have been many great batsmen occupying either end of this particular spectrum, as well as everything in-between. Individualistic arrogance is fine AS LONG AS it brings results and gently riles the opposition. Umar's aggressive technique against spin is precisely what is needed in these matches. Even the technically great Younis Khan was floundering against Monty. And I don't need to remind you all of England's total back-foot lockdown thanks to our own spinners. Umar should get his chance, perhaps not at the expense of Asad though, who did brilliantly. In fact, we should drop one seamer and bring Umar in.

  • explorer76 on February 1, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Umar Akmal is not a responsible cricketer, I would not never imagine brining him to replace someone like asad who is a much more reliable cricketer. Whenever I watch umar play, he seems to be more interested in personal glory than team play. I prefer the current pakistan team attitude which is focused on team rather than individuals.

  • on February 1, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    shafiq may be not as attacking as umar, but is definitely a good find, and making runs when the pros were gone cheaply and sketching out the platform for win is a formidable achievement. People should also understand that keeping in tests needs lot more perfection and stability than odi or t20, adnan seems good behind stumps, if he can keep his mouth a lil shut, no umar akmal for keeping in tests atleast

  • noplay on February 1, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    Look, there is no comparison between Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal. Asad is pleasant and hardworking and Umar has his own versatility. But the same people who say Asad should be kept for onsistency must apply the rule for Akmal as well. And remember Umar is four years younger. Anyway that was a nice birthday present Asad got last week

  • on February 1, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    MN-USA umer isnt a specialist wicket keeper like adnan . i get your point that we need a good keeper batsman but umer akmal isnt a good keeper specially in long format of this game which is the test match

  • on February 1, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Based on the first 2 tests, my recommendation will be to play 1 pacer and include umer akmal to solidify our batting because so far we haven't user pace as such, having one pace bowler in the form of umer gul is enough with 3 world class spinners.

    Best of luck team Pakistan, insha'Allah looking forward to 3-0 whitewash :)

  • PAK-92 on February 1, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    The openers haven't had a great series with the bat, but I got a feeling that the Professor will come good this match. Shafiq may not have 'the shots' like Akmal but temprementally he is better and deserves the number 6 spot. Umar Akmal has been given several oppertunities but has failed to deliver in test cricket. I suggest a good solid season in first class cricket where he can work on his temprement and score lots of runs. I also suggest he signs for an english county so he can improve his technique in unfamilliar conditions. Maybe if he can improve his glovework, he can play instead of his brother. We also should try and bring in other up and coming young batting talent into the team, to give them exposure to test cricket. Maybe one player every series, giving one of the seniors a rest. Anyone remember Fawad Alam? A talented test match batsman who was wasted as a t20/odi player. He had a great start to his test career, now he is anonymous. His first class record speaks for itself.

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    I Think umar akmal can come in the place of taufiq umar and azhar Ali can open with Hafeez and junaid should be replaced by wahab

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    yes MN-USA is right. Adnan Akmal can do nothing, no batting temporament, not a quick wicket keeper, BUT wicket keeping can demage umer akmal,s batting stamina

  • umairasgharbutt on February 1, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    good player need more international exposure

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    MN_USA, I'm sorry but I don't believe Umar would be able to keep Saeed Ajmal's bowling in a TEST MATCH. Not that I'm a big fan of Adnan, - actually, none of the Akmals are worthy of keeping in Test matches in my opinion, - but, I think Adnan is still better than Umar as far as keeping is concerned and you can't afford to give quality batsmen too many chances in a Test match, especially when they are struggling (I'm talking about the English batsmen)..... and keptalittlelow, Umar Akmal is a thoroughbred, REALLY? (In test matches?)

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    We should drop Taufeeq Umer permanently and bring Asad Shafiq as opener and bring back Umer Akmal . Taufeeq Umer is not a class batsman, he always struggle facing quality bowler . And the other worry is , we need 7 pure class batsman, but we have only six excluding Adnan Akmal. Adnan Akmal should be replaced with Sarfraz Nawaz. Give Sarfraz Nawaz a time he will definitly improve. He is the best keeper i have seen after Moin Khan.

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Good lad asad keep working hard and stay humble.... to those who are saying drop adnan and bring in umar that would be a big mistake test cricket needs a specialist keeper maybe bring in safraz he is better.

  • MuhammadIqbal on February 1, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    No doubt Umar Akmal is very talented but Asad Shafiq is more responsible and consistent batsman in test cricket particular and under Coach /Captain guidance Asad is more useful in test cricket ,

  • cricket_fan_1980 on February 1, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Umar will get his chance soon, he is not a good enough keeper for tests. we need a specialist keeper. Bad keeping brings the whole team morale down. Umar is only 21, he has a long long long way to go. We need to groom both Asad and Umar in the highest way possible. Let Umar shine and get experience in ODIs and T20s for a while. In the last test vs England though, I think we can afford a 4-man bowling attack, take out the second seamer, and let Umar flex his muscles a bit.

  • Take_A_Single on February 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Asad has better temprament than Umar. Umar will get his chance once Younis or Misbah retires. I really hope our openers give us a good start next time. This will reduce bit of pressure on our middle order.

  • MN-USA on February 1, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I would suggest including Umar Akmal in place of his brother Adnan. Umar can keep gloves and his batting abilities will strengthen the batting line. I have seen Umar keeping in limited overs and looks decent behing the wickets. His batting will be a plus. I don't think him playing in place of Shafiq is a good idea. Firsly: Shafiq needs consistency in his place in the team if he is to get experience. Secondly: Umar Akmal is not mature enough for test cricket..his unpredictibility in batting will do more harm than benifit to team Pakistan....that's my two cents of thoughts.

  • keptalittlelow on February 1, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Yes Shafiq is okay, but Pakistan must not waste the highly talented Umar Akmal. Shafiq is a work horse while Umar Akmal is a thoroughbred.

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  • keptalittlelow on February 1, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Yes Shafiq is okay, but Pakistan must not waste the highly talented Umar Akmal. Shafiq is a work horse while Umar Akmal is a thoroughbred.

  • MN-USA on February 1, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I would suggest including Umar Akmal in place of his brother Adnan. Umar can keep gloves and his batting abilities will strengthen the batting line. I have seen Umar keeping in limited overs and looks decent behing the wickets. His batting will be a plus. I don't think him playing in place of Shafiq is a good idea. Firsly: Shafiq needs consistency in his place in the team if he is to get experience. Secondly: Umar Akmal is not mature enough for test cricket..his unpredictibility in batting will do more harm than benifit to team Pakistan....that's my two cents of thoughts.

  • Take_A_Single on February 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Asad has better temprament than Umar. Umar will get his chance once Younis or Misbah retires. I really hope our openers give us a good start next time. This will reduce bit of pressure on our middle order.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on February 1, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Umar will get his chance soon, he is not a good enough keeper for tests. we need a specialist keeper. Bad keeping brings the whole team morale down. Umar is only 21, he has a long long long way to go. We need to groom both Asad and Umar in the highest way possible. Let Umar shine and get experience in ODIs and T20s for a while. In the last test vs England though, I think we can afford a 4-man bowling attack, take out the second seamer, and let Umar flex his muscles a bit.

  • MuhammadIqbal on February 1, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    No doubt Umar Akmal is very talented but Asad Shafiq is more responsible and consistent batsman in test cricket particular and under Coach /Captain guidance Asad is more useful in test cricket ,

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Good lad asad keep working hard and stay humble.... to those who are saying drop adnan and bring in umar that would be a big mistake test cricket needs a specialist keeper maybe bring in safraz he is better.

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    We should drop Taufeeq Umer permanently and bring Asad Shafiq as opener and bring back Umer Akmal . Taufeeq Umer is not a class batsman, he always struggle facing quality bowler . And the other worry is , we need 7 pure class batsman, but we have only six excluding Adnan Akmal. Adnan Akmal should be replaced with Sarfraz Nawaz. Give Sarfraz Nawaz a time he will definitly improve. He is the best keeper i have seen after Moin Khan.

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    MN_USA, I'm sorry but I don't believe Umar would be able to keep Saeed Ajmal's bowling in a TEST MATCH. Not that I'm a big fan of Adnan, - actually, none of the Akmals are worthy of keeping in Test matches in my opinion, - but, I think Adnan is still better than Umar as far as keeping is concerned and you can't afford to give quality batsmen too many chances in a Test match, especially when they are struggling (I'm talking about the English batsmen)..... and keptalittlelow, Umar Akmal is a thoroughbred, REALLY? (In test matches?)

  • umairasgharbutt on February 1, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    good player need more international exposure

  • on February 1, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    yes MN-USA is right. Adnan Akmal can do nothing, no batting temporament, not a quick wicket keeper, BUT wicket keeping can demage umer akmal,s batting stamina