Pakistan v England, 3rd ODI, Dubai

Misbah troubled by wicketkeeper issue

George Dobell in Dubai

February 17, 2012

Comments: 74 | Text size: A | A

Umar Akmal gave Pakistan hope, Pakistan v England, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi, February 15, 2012
Umar Akmal can win matches with bat but can cost them with gloves © AFP
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Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted that the frailty of Pakistan's batting is affecting the balance of the ODI side and obliging them to select an inferior wicketkeeper.

Misbah, Pakistan's captain, said the travails of the batsmen were responsible for the decision to press Umar Akmal into service as wicketkeeper. While 21-year-old Umar is a talented batsman, he has looked raw - at best - with the gloves and missed important chances in both games as England took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four match ODI series.

In the first game Umar missed a tough stumping offered by Ravi Bopara when the batsman had just 1, while in the second he dropped a straightforward chance offered by Alastair Cook when he had scored 28. Bopara went on to make a half-century; Cook went on to make a century. Had Umar taken either chance, Pakistan may well have won.

Pakistan do have other options. The 26-year-old Adnan Akmal, one of Umar's older brothers, has established himself as Pakistan's first choice wicketkeeper in Test cricket. His problem, however, is a relative inability with the bat - he has scored two half-centuries in a 59-match List A career - while Umar is good enough to win a place as a specialist batsman.

While the rest of Pakistan's batting line-up continues to struggle - they have registered a score of 250 or more just three times in their last 27 ODIs - it renders it difficult for the selectors to compromise the team's batting strength further by recalling a wicketkeeper who is unlikely to contribute meaningfully with the bat.

"It's a really difficult decision for us to keep a wicketkeeper - especially such a talented wicketkeeper who performed well - out of the side," Misbah said. "But it's due to the pressure on our batting line-up. It's not clicking so it's troubling us at the moment. It's really a problem for us.

"The balance of the side is the problem. In the Sri Lankan series we had the same problem. We are not having contributions from the lower middle-order. It is really an area of concern for us to play a specialist wicketkeeper. In future, we have to concentrate and find a permanent solution to that problem. The PCB, the selectors and the team management, we're all looking for that."

Pakistan also have the option of recalling Kamran Akmal. While Kamran, at 30 the oldest of the three Akmal brothers, has not played international cricket since a poor display in the World Cup, he has five ODI centuries to his name and offers something of a compromise between Umar and Adnan. The fact that Kamran was mentioned in the spot-fixing trial that saw three of his former team-mates - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - jailed may also have counted against him. No charges have ever been brought, however, and Kamran continues to produce good performances at domestic level and in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Misbah did offer some mitigation for Pakistan's struggles. He said that losing the toss and batting under lights was a substantial disadvantage and that his side's faults had been magnified by the conditions in the UAE.

"Chasing has always been a problem for Pakistan," he said. "Even with great players in the batting line-up we've struggled most of the time. When it comes to UAE conditions it's difficult. With two new balls and batting under lights in the evening, the ball moves around a bit. Sometimes it skids; sometimes it seams. It's really difficult for teams - particularly Asian teams - batting second. But as professionals we have to adjust.

"England's fast bowlers are bowling really well and the performance of our fast bowlers is not like that. It's maybe due to bowling first rather than second - it's totally different bowling under lights - so I'm really pleased the way our bowlers are performing."

Misbah also defended the selections of Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik. Perhaps, though, there was a little more passion in his defence of the former than the latter.

"Imran has played three games for us," Misbah said. "He has scored one fifty against Afghanistan and in the last game he scored 47. So how can you say that he's underperforming? Everyone in the batting unit has to take responsibility

"Our batting line-up is underperforming and we need a sixth bowler. That's why we asked for Shoaib Malik . He gives us five or six overs and, in the lower middle-order, he can add some runs. Sometimes you take decisions but they don't pay off, but you still have to take decisions.

"At the moment, the way everybody is performing, we have to improve. Throughout the Test series and in the ODI series, both teams are really struggling in batting. Most of the time, it is the bowling that is saving the teams.

"England have performed very well in both ODIs. They have beaten us in every department. They have bowled, batted and fielded well. Their fielding has been a major difference. We are still short of performances likes theirs. We need to improve."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

yes the entire balance of pakistan team is very ugly umar akmal is the next big thing in pakistan cricket but he must be handled well by pcb, he must bat up the order , there is no point making him bat at no 6, kamran akmal must be brought back into the side and given a permanent spot to bat and pakistan cricket board must undestand that he cannot be dhoni or gilly, his batting style is more of a grafter rather than pintch hitter so he must bat at 5 misba at 4 , hafeez has performed well with both bat and ball, imfan frath is no solution he neither has temprament not the technique, all his big runss are against minors, it wil be great to replace umar with him at top of the order and younise at no 3and if malik comes in at no 6 pakistan must play 3 smeamers and 2 spinners (afridi & ajmal ) , this wil give them good bolling attack which is their strength

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

I don't understand why Afridi isn't up the order in the batting line up? He could come in at 3 or 4. He has the potential to score at a run a ball without taking any crazy risks. If he batted up the the order with Akmal, they can give pakistan a solid partnership up till 30 overs or so.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

Kamran akmal has been a decent opener and even a better lower order batsman than even full time batsmen and that's the reason I feel he at least should be playing as a batsman in the ODI and t20's. At least I unlike some miss him.

Posted by AlbertPintoGussaHua on (February 18, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

@Malti65.............DITTO! I completely agree. Misbah needs to come up with better excuses than these.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

@ Amani Imran on (Feb 18 2012, 10:24 AM GMT) :-- I AGREE. If pak are to start building the team for WC 2015, then they should get rid of the old failures in ODI, Misbah & Younis. Though Misbah & Younis are very good Test match players, but they are absolutely not required in the ODI setup. ALSO IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT PAK DUMP UMAR GUL AND GET IN SADAF HUSSAIN, J.KHAN, M.TALHA. ETC. Also decent opportunity should be given to Sarfraz Ahmed (wk).

Posted by codegreen on (February 18, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Any wicket keeper batsman in pakistan cant match the class of kamran akmal in batting , he is only 30 , and he shud open with hafeez , yes he drops catches but he definitely doesnt belong to category of Salman, Sarfaraz ,Zulqarnain and adnan {PAthetic 4 in batting terms}

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

asimpervez24 on (Feb 18 2012, 00:16 AM GMT) :- YOU ARE RIGHT reagarding Jamal Anwar great stats But he has very few matches behind him. STATS --> http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/260037.html

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

can any one ask why Misbah is in the team??????? Misbah - bad captain, don't know how to set fielding, don't know how to take single doubles, no clue bout batting order, keeping is problem but speclist keeper is not in playing elven, his inclusion creating unbalance in the team, play selfish game, dont know how to use fast bowlers, don't know how to finish the game ............. misbah scores 40-50 and Pak lost both games - get rid of him and make Afridi, I hope Moshin not mess round as Waqar and Let captain do what he likes!!!!!!!

Posted by PeterDrucker on (February 18, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

Pakistan can win if they ignore referenced players like Shoib Malik & Imran Farhat. Although Imran Farhat scored some runs in his last inning but never look like a professional international player and was playing like tennis ball player. Shame on his father in law Ilyas chief selector of Pakistan. He should give opportunity to other players as well like Imran Nazir, Ahmad Shehzad, Awais Zia etc or should search more competent players out of 18 crore Pakistani.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

I damn sure PAK will make Akmal a flamboyant player just like afridi, razak etc etc...PAk has seen enough flamboyant players. its time for a player lik inzi,yususf,miandad.....

Get Umar up the order give him a specialist batsmen role, who has the ability conquer any attack in the world. Don develop him as finisher.Hes is the current best player, he has to play more overs.

I like Azhar and Shafiq too.... My Ideal top 4 will be Hafiz,shafiq,azhar,umar then rest of the waste players of pak.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

If Misbah woud have been sincere, then instead of asking for Shoeb Malik he would have aslked for SADAF HUSSAIN and SARFRAZ AHMED from the selectors.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

@ Monis Muhammad Rizvi on (Feb 18 2012, 07:59 AM GMT) :- Some players in the team made sure that other keepers don't stay around for long. Zulkarnain Haider was threatened, this is well documented. Mohammed Salman was not so impressive. Sarfraz Ahmed was not bad, but not given fair opportunity. That leaves you with all the Akmals.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

New batsmen wicket keeper should come.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

@ aiksa on (Feb 18 2012, 08:54 AM GMT) :- The commentator that you refer to is Australia's IAN CHAPPEL. And it was during New Zealand's match in the World Cup 2011 when he said that if Kamran Akmal was a better batsman than Don Bradman still he would not be able to compensate for the losses he causes behind the stumps.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 18, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

SARFRAZ AHMED is the Answer to WicketKeeping problems and SADAF HUSSAIN is the answer to pace bowling (Umar Gul). Talent is there, but somehow being delayed.

Posted by Malti65 on (February 18, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Mr.Misbah, I think old age is catching up with you. You don't seem to understand what you are saying. You admit that you lost the matches because of bad Wicket Keeping, but you dont want to rectify it. You say batting has been your biggest problem and that is why you want 6 bowlers. WHAT WILL YOUR SIX BOWLERS DO, IF YOUR KEEPER WILL NOT TAKE CATHES AND REFUSE TO STUMP AND RUN OUT THE OPPOSITION & your other fielders will be eaually pathetic. Firstly you allow the opposition to score 30/50 runs more purely because of of substandard fielding, dropped catcehs, missed stumpings etc. Then you say that your batting is not good enought to chase down the enhanced Target. So you need 6 bowlers. SORRY SIR, BUT I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE LOGIC. I think you are merely trying to fit in your friend S.Malik at any cost.

Posted by Paagal_Pappu on (February 18, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

why dont they try to dramatically shakeup the batting line-up... with their current situation, change can only be for the better.... like open with afridi or bring him one-down (and drop imran farhat)... if he can score a quick 30-40 even, it will help the later batsmen take time to settle and adjust without having to worry too much about the run-rate and throw away their wickets in the process... and try FAWAD ALAM, that guy can bat MUCH better than shoaib malik and is also an okay spinner, not any worse than shoaib malik at least... and at some point in time, get rid of misbah's captaincy in one-day... he has the perfect temperament needed for Pakistan's test captaincy, but his leadership in one-days only hurts Pakistan... we shouldn't forget his completely ridiculous approach to his batting in the word cup semi-final against india...

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

What about Zulqarnain Haider, need to get rid of akmal family

Posted by ChakdePak on (February 18, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

We can still play a specialist keeper with umar Akmal in the team. Get rid of pathetic Imaran farhat and move Azhar to open. Bring adnan in his bating will improve with experience. Also it will move umer akmal up the order at 5th position or he can be sandwiched between Younis and Misbah. I have noticed that Umer mosty comes at a stage when RRR is high so he has to take risk and he cant play his natural game. He will be more effective if plays in pressure free situations. This is my opinion, friends have the every right to differ. My XI would be: 1. Hafeez, 2. Azhar, 3. Younis, 4. Misbah/U.Akmal, 5. U.Akmal/Misbah, 6. Afridi, 7. A.Akmal, 8. Wahab Riaz, 9. Umar Gul, 10. Saeed Ajmal, 11. Aizaz Cheema/Shoaib Malik (if they want to play 4 spinners)

Posted by SamAsh07 on (February 18, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Zulqarnain Haider, where is he? Recall him!! Last I checked he was ready for call-up but wanted to train at domestic level.

Posted by khurramsch on (February 18, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

wht type of coordination is this selecters select a keeper & team management not bothered to let him play. they have tried zulqanain, sarfraz, adnan & 1 other in past 11 months no 1 has any batting. why cant they get some one else from domestic?& they need to look for a good pace medium bowling allrounder instead of malik. malik is these days not a batsman or bowler.

Posted by aiksa on (February 18, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

Cook dropped at 28, went on to make 100+ costing over 72 runs to Pakistan. Poor keeping is costing us a lot of runs in every game. A run saved is a run made. All the more reason to have a specialist keeper. Commenting on Kamran's poor keeping, one commentator said he didn't deserve to be in the team if he was as good a batsman as Bradman because the damage done by his poor keeping was more than what he could contrbute as a batsman. If 5 or 6 batsmen can't do it, 7th won't do it either. we MUST have a SPECIALIST keeper, whether or not he can bat. PERIOD.

Posted by khurramsch on (February 18, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

yes balnace of pak team is not right. in 2nd odi 5 man tail. yes i will consider afridi as half in tail.but stil they were in chase & messed it up. they just needed to b cool at 44 required of 36 but afridi madly swings. the reason for this tail is that pak never thought to develop a meduim pace allrounder after razak.last year they played many small teams but never bothered to try couple of medium allrounder.now they can boost batting by selecting hammad as a second seamer if they want 4 spinners. also apart from hafez, umar akmal, & sometimes afridi all others in top 7 are same slow paced which will effect in run chase.

Posted by ChakdePak on (February 18, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

Rightly said Zu Bair, also check score of his last ten matches: Recent matches Bat & Bowl Team Opposition Ground Match Date Scorecard 47 Pakistan v England Abu Dhabi 15 Feb 2012 ODI # 3240 10 Pakistan v England Abu Dhabi 13 Feb 2012 ODI # 3238 52 Pakistan v Afghanistan Sharjah 10 Feb 2012 ODI # 3236 4 Pakistan v Bangladesh Dhaka 3 Dec 2011 ODI # 3220 12 Pakistan v Bangladesh Dhaka 1 Dec 2011 ODI # 3218 16 Pakistan v Bangladesh Dhaka 29 Nov 2011 T20I # 216 19 Pakistan v Sri Lanka Abu Dhabi 25 Nov 2011 T20I # 215 10 Pakistan v Sri Lanka Sharjah 20 Nov 2011 ODI # 3215 70 Pakistan v Sri Lanka Dubai (DSC) 18 Nov 2011 ODI # 3214 3 Pakistan v Sri Lanka Dubai (DSC) 14 Nov 2011 ODI # 3213

Umer Akmal is definitely a talanted batsman but he is costing more to pak with his fielding. He let off Cook on 28 and he scored 74 more runs. If he had taken the catch (an easy one), pak would have to chase at least 50 runs less. We can play a specialist

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Well Played IMRAN FARHAT Keep it up Wish you all the best

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

Let's look @ this situation Dhoni is the Captain for Ind he keep wks & also captain's.Take a feather from Dhoni & Umar learn how tho keep wkts. Great Legendary fromer WK Wasim Bari, let him take coaching tips from him. I see Umar as the future captain of Pak also. To name few more WKS Rashid Latif, Salim Yousuf,Taslim Arif, Moin Khan & even Kamran & Adnan Akmals. It is unique that all the Akmal Brothers keep wks. Correct me if I am wrong that it is the first time in the history of cricket all the three Akmals are WKS. All of them ae RHBs.Pak is a very good team. Best of Luck Pak. Cricket is always the winner.

Posted by neerajprasher on (February 18, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

i think pakistan stop playing cricket at all

Posted by ihaq1 on (February 18, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

wicketkeeping has always been a problem for teh akmals whether it is kamran, Umar or adnan...adnan relatively a better keeper...kamran used to drop too many...Umar akmal stands frightened behind teh wicket to spin bowling...like kamran he expects teh bowl to keep a straight line...when standing up to a spinner one must know how to move ones hands and be flexible... any cricketer can keep like that...asad shafique is a wicketkeeper too ...try him...the spinners should also keep their variations and spin for teh one dayers...

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

For Gods sake Replace Younis Khan with Asad Shafiq and replace Rehman with Shoib Malik. With Malik at place of Rehman, you can play with Adnan Akmal and Umar Akmal both. Younis khan and rehman are bad apple.

Posted by Charlie22 on (February 18, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Actually it is a matter of fact that when you are using a specialist batsman as a keeper, he will not provide you the best services, rather than his specialty in batting will also effected. But Misbah should have a great approach to the fault of his team.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

why don't they look for a keeper other than Akmals?? and why Hammad Azam is selected if he doesn't deserve a chance in final 11?

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

For todays match i think its better to play Umar Akmal as one down. Azhar is still not ready for ODI cricket atleast not as long as Younis and Misbah are playing in the middle order and cannot possibly be preferred over Asad Shafique. Go with Umar Akmal as keeper for this series at least because playing Adnan of Sarfaraz will be suicidal seeing the already weak batting line up.Play Hammad Azam as third seamer and a handy bat. Our spinners are having no effect on english batsmen in the odis we should understand that now so no use playing Abdur Rehman. In the long run we have to find a specialist opener to replace Imran Farhat, we really really really need to find a specialist keeper batsman. All those saying recall Sarfaraz im sorry but he has never showed great or even good batting talent, I know keeping is important but there is no (and never was) such thing as a specialist keeper in cricket. We also need a fast bowler urgently Gul is good not great and I think he has reached his peak

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

Pakistan ODI team should be: Hafeez, Ali, Younis, Umar Akmal, Misbah, Adnan, Afridi, Azam, Rehman, Gul, Ajmal.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

Top 03 need to be replaced, Why Ahmed Shehzad or Nasir Jamshed or not opening the batting for Pakistan? They are doing very well in BPLwith later among the top two run getters till to date. Pakistan is team known to produce quality pace attack, where are all gone? Afridi & Ajmal are enough for ODIs, 2 quality pacers and then a slot for bowling (Pace) all rounder and then for keeping all rounder and 5 specialist batters. Two main stayers for the likes of Misbah etc. 1 left & 1 right hander fluent stroke players like imran nazir etc. Afridi itself gives u a room for additional batter.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

hamad azam is the best choice to replace malik and rehman as he can bat and bowl if chance is provided.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

Misbah says we have wicket keeper problem,one thing he should understand that when umer akmal missed stumping chance of Bopara and he scored 50+ and missed the catch of Cook and he made 100+,if there would be specialist keeper and he would have taken these chances both games would be in pakistan favour, now i want to say that instead of giving england the chance to score runs by dropping them give yourself chance by playing specialist keeper and dont woory whether he score runs or not,both the drop chances cost you 120+ runs and player went to made 120 runs in two games,if the specialist keeper takes the cahnces come to that means he scores runs by grabbing them,these are the tacticle things which needs to be addressed by senior players,captain and particularly by coach,and one thing for Misbah dont play a waiting game,play aggressive game,attack England in field and in batting as well,if you play Shoib Malik send him early between You and Younis and tell him to play his natural game.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

I think Kamran akmal should be selected as keeper again. He should be given a chance of series at least. Umer Akmal should be included in batting line up, up the order, may be at 2 down or 3 down. Adnan akmal is best for Test series as keeper. And also you have to go with your best seem bowlers, Wahab and Gul. Wahab can bowl better with new ball. Give him chance with new ball. Kamran Akmal can also perform as opener. He should be in.Imran farhat can be dropped and shoaib malik also.

Posted by MohamedShaibaan on (February 18, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

I am a Sri Lankan. but I am full support for Pakistan. i want to say Shoaib Malik's Batting very very bad. Malik is not suitable for Pakistan team. Pakistan Team Fast Bowlers also very Bad. first include KAMRAN AKMAL, NAVEED UL HASSAN, NASSER JAMSHED, IMRAN NASEER in to Pakistan Team. Drop UMAR GUL, SHOAIB MALIK, AIZAAZ CHEEMA, IMRAN FARHATH. presently shafiq, umar akmal, hafeez, azhar ali also very good Young Players.

Posted by Mr.Gibbs on (February 18, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

Kamran Akmal should be recalled, it will take ages for Pakistan to find a replacement! it is not easy for Adnan Akmal to fit in the side and also for Umar Akmal to wicketkeep in the ODI's, to be very frank pakistan bowlers have bowled well to keep Eng tight to between 230-260 it is agood performance but Misbah is a very defensive captin..he does not attack, given in the test matches he had all the field up and england couldnt score of ajmal or rehman..he has to attack, his bowlers can take wickets, but if the field offers so many easy runs then batsmen will score easily and more freely, and wht is the problem with the slow starts, its power play Pak need to capitlaize in the first 15 overs and score not less than 80-100 then only they can post a decent target!! Good Luck PAKISTAN!!!

Posted by nzcricket174 on (February 18, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

I thought the Kamran Akmal mistake had already been made like...4 times already? Would they seriously consider recalling him again? If Zulqarnain Haider is available to play he should be considered.

Posted by deww on (February 18, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

@Prashan Wijesundere, leave misbah n younis what happens when sangakkara and jayawardene retires? one guy muralitharan retired and srilanka got messed up..

Posted by Zoomzoom on (February 18, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

Misbah has to change his approach towards the game. He was very defensive in all the games, not attacking at all particularly when it requires, letting otherside score runs at their will. In batting either we bog down totally or slog every ball. Keep the score board moving by taking ones and two. Look at Cook and Bopara how he crafted their innings, keep the score board moving even if they were not getting boudaries.

Posted by smudgeon on (February 18, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

Hmmm, perhaps it's time for Misbah to pick up the gloves too! He's got the right temperament for a wicket-keeper: stodgy, reliable, and almost impossible to get past :) Seriously though, I know the game has changed a LOT since the days when the keeper was a specialist position, but why not just pick your best XI (6 batsmen, 4 bowlers, 1 keeper)? What's the difference between a specialist bowler who bats at 11 and a specialist keeper who bats at 11? The fact is that the Akmals aren't up to snuff with the gloves, and byes, dropped catches and missed stumpings in cricket are costly, particularly in the short forms where you have limited chances to beginw ith. If you've got a keeper who drops Sehwag on 1 when he goes on to make 150, does having a keeper who can hit a few runs going to balance that out? Meh - if you don't have a Gilchrist or a Dhoni to select, then you should probably just pick the dude who's got the safest hands...that's my two bob's worth.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (February 18, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

My lineup for the third ODI. Pakistan Team Management USE THIS AND WIN. 1)Hafeez 2)Farhat 3)U.Akmal 4)Younis 5)Misbah 6)Afridi 7) HAMMAD AZAM 8) A.Akmal(keeper) 9) Wahab 10) Ajmal 11) Gul. DROP A.Ali and Rehman, they played well but can't fit into combination. Go with specialist keeper Adnan. Use Umar Akmal at 3. DROP CHEEMA because he looked unfit and highly unimpressive even though he took 2 wickets in the last game. Wahab can bowl well if guided properly plus he can hit a few lusty blows with the bat here and there. Hammad Azam is the final piece of our playing 11 puzzle. He bats, bowls and fields well. 3 proper seamers in Gul, Wahab and H.Azam, 3 spinners and a really deep batting line up. PLEASE USE THIS LINE UP FOR ONCE AND YOU'LL SEE THE DIFFERENCE. PLEASE PUBLISH CRICINFO

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (February 18, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

For T20, I agree Umar Akmal can be suitable as it is a short game and it will give him some practice and selectors can judge whether he would be suitable for the ODI format. In ODI, I believe, other than Akmal and Afridi they should fill all other positions with fringe players to give them exposure to international matches and selectors will have a chance to look at them for ODIs and tests.

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (February 18, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

If that is what the dilemma boils down to - either Umar Akmal or Adnan Akmal - the solution is straightforward. Umar Amkal is there for the batting mainly, but he is not doing a lot on that front and arguably his keeping is affecting his batting. On the other hand, his misses have cost plenty. So, if these are the choices, just pick Adnan Akmal. If you want to try one more thing, then bring in Hammad Azam (for his medium pacers and batting) in place of one of the bowlers Umer Gul or Aizaz Cheema. I am afraid not much else can be done with the team now without making it worse.

Posted by mgardizi on (February 18, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

If Misbah wins the 3rd ODI toss he needs to move Hafiz (3) bring Afridi (2) and Farhat to (1) by moving Afridi (2) will help pakistan team to make some runs during the 5 powerplay hours. Please correct me if i am worng!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

They shoudl never drop Asad Shafiq , I can see him as the future main stay in the middle order. They should never take Rehman as lower order batter after wht he displayed in the last match. Shoib malik is abttr option here defntly. And in terms of keepr batsman, they should stcik with Umar for some more games, unless he is as bad as Kamran, they better stick with him always. But is Adnan that bad a keeper batsman?? He played a crucial innings in the Test against Srilanka, right??

Posted by sweetspot on (February 18, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

Come on Misbah. Focus on the positive, and get the job done session to session. Get 4 wickets quickly and you will be just fine. What is England without Cook's contribution? COME ON PAK!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Yes Misbah, you are right. Decisions may not turn out to be good, but still you have to take decisions.And you know what? You have to take the decisions now. Form a team suitable to the ODI conditions. Play genuine pacers and wicket keepers. Do not extend the battling line up to like 8 batsmen; it is just exposing the lack of confidence in a fragile line up. Bat Umar Akmal up - without handing him the gloves. Sarfaraz Ahmed/Zulqarnain/Adnan should be keeping wickets at number 7, without 4 genuine bowlers coming later.

My XI: Hafeez, Nasir/Awais/Azhar, Umar, Younis, Misbah, Afridi, Keeper, Ajmal, Gul, Talha, Junaid.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

With all the talk of changing the head coach, what we really need is a proper fielding coach. Ijaz Ahmed was never a world class fielder, yes best in a Pakistani side when we had the likes of Inzi, Salim Malik etc - how the heck can Ijaz Ahmed justify his position. Batting and fielding have been our problems since a long time now, Batting is a mix of talent, temperament and technique, however I believe fielding has a lot more to do with hardwork and some technique too. Hardwork is for the players to bring and technique for the coach. With Ijaz Ahmed in that slot, Im not surprised our fielding never improves. With great bowling and fielding our batsmen most likely wont get big enough targets that they wont be able to achieve. We fore sure need to improve the batting too, but I would like to see us replacing Ijaz Ahmed first and bring in a proper fielding coach as we have tried possibly all combinations in our batting lineups and none have worked very well.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

Seriously Imran Farhat is doing well ? Scoring 47 with two chances and strike rate of 62 is well ?? Misbah did you not see how he got himself out ?? For how long can you ignore his pathetic fielding ?? Come on man get rid of this guy and make room for specialist keeper. And YES how can you even think of winning ODI matches if top 4 of your players are scoring at SR of 60 ?? You guys really really need to change your game plan.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 3:59 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan who loves Pakistan, I want to say that batsmen often make a mess for Pakistan by failing in small chases. Once Younis and Misbah retire, there will be a big vacuum to be filled. Azhar Ali, Shafiq and Umar Akmal are good but still not as good as Miandad, Inzamam or Salim Malik. I hope Hammad Azam can be a great batsman

Posted by Tiks_12 on (February 18, 2012, 3:23 GMT)

Well Pakistan can definitely go ahead with Umar as the keeper! For the time being, they do not have an excellent keeping all rounder, they need to give Umar a few games and see how he performs. As long as he is not pathetic for say more than a season I dont see a reason to make a change. I remember Rahul Dravid doing a similar job for India when they didn had a keeper issue. Try Umar out and see how he does atleast for another series. Then decide about it.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

I think Adnan Akamal is excellent keeper also not that bad as a batsman.Umar Akmal should be given one more chance as a specialist batsman.He should be sent after Younus khan in batting order.Our three top orderbatsmen should atleast give 80 runs in 20 overs.Younus khan should also make enough contribution. He is the senior most and backbone of our batting. He should avoid playing cross shot or deflection on leg side so early.As I mentioned before our tailenders should have a capability to bat 15 overs in case of our batting collapse.Afridi should also take responsibility as an alrounder.He should by now learn when to attack and when to defend.I suggest one change in Pakistani side. Adnan Akmal should be brought inplace of cheema or Rehman. inclusion of Adnan Akmal in place of cheema or inplace of Rehman is the only change should be made in Pakistani side of second ODI.

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (February 18, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

Team_Spirit_Pakistan, Malti65, Gilly4ever, Syed Khurram Quaseem are 100% on the mark. Pakistan team should not be suffering like this in ODI after putting fear factor into the England batsmen during the Test series. Kamran Akmal may have been displaced, and should forever remain, but Umer Akmal is much the same with his keeping. Should bring Sarfraz Ahmed back into the side he was becoming a regular one-day keeper before, why change that? Also allows Pakistan to have 2 keepers in Adnan Akmal and Sarfraz in healthy competition and maintains match sharpness. Disappointed in Pakistan's fielding, too many singles were allowed and I understand Misbah is thinking that England batsmen will drain themselves and be unable to hit big shots as they are weak in this department, but England's strength is in running between the wickets - and Pakistan strength is in the bowling unit which SHOULD BE backed-up with tight fielding and a decent wicketkeeper!

Posted by psu19976 on (February 18, 2012, 1:42 GMT)

include adnan, drop younis, maybe include hammad, drop gul

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 0:59 GMT)

Hafiz has to take more responsibility with the bat now. He is throwing away his wicket after getting set in. Playing aggressively is a wonderful thing when combined with common sense. Cook is winning matches without being aggressive. Hafiz should play as second fiddle until he takes Pakistan to a strong position. 120/2 in 25 overs is way better than 150/6 in 25 overs. If you are an opener and you are still there by the closing overs, 9 out of 10 times your team is going to win. My recipe for Hafiz - Play safe and let the others take charge of scoring until Pakistan is flying away...

Posted by AbdullahShaikh on (February 18, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

There are some players like Imran Farhat, Younis Khan, Umar Gul and Akmal brothers who will get unlimited opportunities. And the other/newer boys will be penalised for the abovementioned players. New players like Hammad Azam, Sarfraz, Shafiq etc are thrown out so easily and quickly.

Posted by woodhaven on (February 18, 2012, 0:54 GMT)

bring zulkarnain haider.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Totally agrees with Team_Spirit_Pakistan - I don't understand that why Pakistan can't play Adnan Akmal as Test Wicket-Keeper, Sarfaraz Ahmed as ODI and Umer Akmal as T20 Wicket Keeper. Although Adnan Akmal has improved his glove work considerably but Sarfaraz has always been more safer and agile with his gloves work. Also his batting is far better. His current domestic form is also outstanding so why can't he be drafted into the team? Pakistan can afford Umer in T20s as wicket-keeper but with recent glove work he is going to lose more matches than win them for Pak.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

I am totally baffled by the assertions that Umar is under pressure while keeping. Let me remind you that Dhoni one one of the finest Indian batsman is a first choice keeper too, Gilchrist, Mark Boucher from SA,Brendon McCullum fron NZ even former Pakistani keeper Moin Khan all are perfect examples. None of these guys were perfect with the gloves but they always gave extra ordinary performance with the bat. Umar needs some more grooming and experience with the keeping. The problem is not Umar it is the top order that is creating pressure on the lower middle order. When Umar comes to crease the RRR is always high for him to play safe.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 18, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

They should try to pick the best keeper, if possible. If the keeper is a bit worse at batting, it is better than costing the match through missed catches, missed stumpings and generally causes the whole team to be poor with their fielding. A slightly inferior keeper might be tolerable if he is much better with batting but part-time keepers are rarely tolerable.

Posted by asimpervez24 on (February 18, 2012, 0:16 GMT)

what i dont understand with this pakistan team so many domestic players out there but none get selected. lets go through options kamran akmal:- good batsman should be in the team because of his batting definitley not because of his keeping

umar akmal:- too much pressure for a batsmen to keep aswell just check stats on dravid and mcullum.

sarfraz ahmed:- good keeper not a good batsmen if only he could improve his batting

adnan akmal:- same as sarfraz ahmed but he should be first choice in test matches.

well leaves one player out there that has never been considered the rawalpindi rams youngster JAMAL ANWAR:- average above 40 it is 47 in list a, young only 21 could be a problem solver for years to come, nearly beat a world record. hes got all qualities in him when it comes to list a should be given a try definitley

Posted by bobagorof on (February 18, 2012, 0:07 GMT)

Surely if Pakistan has passed 20 only twice in their last 27 ODIs it points to a major failing in the batting. This should be addressed by changing the batting, not the wicketkeeping.

Posted by Malti65 on (February 17, 2012, 23:53 GMT)

Goodness me !!! When i read the first part of this article i was happy that Misbah realiesed his mistake. By the tjme i reached midway i realised he hasn't quite understood the problem. And by the time i was reaching the end of this artilcle i became convinced that through out the SL series and Bangladesh Series why Sarfarz Ahmed was not allowed to settle down. In one match against SL Umar Akmal ran him out. I thought he did not perform badly. But was dropped and gloves given umar. Now it appears that they are contemplating of bringing Kamran Back. Have they forgotten what happened in Aus, Eng and WC 2011. How he dropped catches like hot potato ? My My My . . . I just cannot believe my eyes.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 23:24 GMT)

fielding,lower middle order and a keeper batsman ! the need of the hour!

Posted by 14.08.1947 on (February 17, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

I think the best solution would be, if they play on with SAFRAZ AHMED.Even he didnt score that much as a Batsmen, but we have to think about the future.When he gets a couple of more matches, that he will absolutely groom.It is a matter of time.Safraz is also good with his gloves...Otherwise we are wasting the talent of Umar Akmal...It is a big big pressure to keep the wickets and to score winning runs for a natural Batsmen like Umar Akmal...I just hope,that Kamran Akmal will never play for Pakistan,because we lost a lot of matches wiht him..I think we started well to blood out a new young Wicketkeeper with MOHAMMAD SALMAN & SAFRAZ AHMED..We still have back in Pakistan NAEEM ANJUM who is also fine behind the stumps..Main thing is,that we need to build a grat united team for the next World Cup 2015 in Down Under!!!Till then GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN.

Posted by ExplicitPlatinum on (February 17, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

I don't see a problem in bringing in Adnan Akmal, he will release pressure from Umar Akmal has Umar will concentrate on his batting. But can someone tell me if Hammad was included for the ODI squad? Like, is he sitting on the benches? I know he is included for the T20's but not sure for ODI's...

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 22:35 GMT)

Umar didn't score 100 to pay the difference, therefore He shouldn't be the wicketkeeper in the first place. If its about the batting why not bring kamran akmal back, somehow He was a match winner with the bat but with the help of wicketkeeping He made the great shoab akhthar retire.

Posted by MWaqqar on (February 17, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

Misbah interview is more like the Pak team of past. Pak team has come down with a thud. All the talk of being No 1 in near future was a mere pipe dream.

Posted by dmqi on (February 17, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

When Pakistan had a good opening pair? Decades ago, Sayeed Anwar and amir Shoel. When did they have a good wicket keper? Moin khan/Rashid Latif-decad ago. Now why Pakistan can not go outside Akmals as wicket keeper, no one knows except selectors. Every team tries a new player but Misbah/Mohsin could not try few players against Bangladesh even. So the management has a problem not to try alternative. If captain and coache's/selector's imagination is restricted to a narrow line, situation like this is bound to happen. Lack of foresightedness. They had to give rest to Younus, out Malik, and try new bowlers. Just wait for australia tour, you will feel the severe pain.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 22:25 GMT)

Pakistan has got good match winner but poor captaincy and coach is costing the game... Misbah CAptincy will make it difficult to win against good team 1- M hafeez 2- A Ali/ I Farhat 3- Umar Akmal 4- Asad Shafiq 5- Afridi 6- Younis Khan 7-Misbah/S MAlik 8-Adnan Akmal 9- Umar Gul 10- S Ajmal 11- W Raiz / Cheema Misbah should not be in the team in ODI & T20... he lacks creativity .... Afridi was aggressive and creative but coach and team management didn't support him otherwise he would have taken team another standard ...... Afridi should be captain!!!

Posted by attilathecricketer on (February 17, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

I seem to remember the lower middle order bailing Pakistan out v SL in Sharjah. Afridi was brilliant that day - I was privileged to be there. What about Sarfraz who batted sensibly to support Afridi that day?

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