Pakistan news January 7, 2013

Warm welcome for Pakistan team


Pakistan returned home to a rousing welcome after winning the ODI series against archrivals India and drawing the Twenty20 series 1-1. Large throngs of people waited outside the Lahore International Airport to greet the team on their success in the historic tour.

Pakistan, after dominant performances throughout the series, came close to taking the ODI series 3-0 in Delhi. But India fought back and avoided what would have been their first whitewash since 1983-84. Pakistan, however, flourished throughout the series and were, distinctly, the better side.

"The significant part of the series was the young lot stood up to take the team's veins," Misbah said. "Throughout the series, the young and new players contributed in the victories.

"I will give credit to the whole team but there were few youngsters like [Mohammad] Irfan, Junaid [Khan] and Nasir Jamshed - who have really impressed. They have proved themselves against world's best batting line-up and have outclassed them. They have a bright future and if they continue to perform like this, they will go way forward."

Nasir Jamshed, 23, led the batting with consecutive centuries in Chennai and Kolkata and ended up as the leading run-getter in the series with 241 runs. His Man-of-the-Series-winning performance helped him climb 45 places in the ODI rankings to a career-best 31st.

"It was the great tour for me not because I have scored runs but the centuries I scored helped my team to win the matches," Jamshed said. "Riding on my current form I would like to continue the runs feast in the upcoming South Africa tour."

Mohammad Hafeez, the T20 captain, too had a magnificent series. He became the number one allrounder in ODIs following success with both bat and ball in the series.

"It was series we have been waiting desperately," Hafeez said. "The team played with full focus and proved how good we are. It's the victory of the whole nation and the highlight of the series were the trio - Irfan, Junaid and Nasir."

As the team, along with the PCB chairman, Zaka Ashraf, emerged at the arrival gates, the chants of Pakistan Zindabad (Long live Pakistan) and the beats of traditional drums resonated in the chilly winter evening. In a brief ceremony at the gates, Ashraf garlanded both the captains - Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafez - and said that it was a special win beating India in India.

"It's a unique honor for us that we defeated India in their own country," Ashraf said. "Our team is very disciplined and organised, the way our captains have performed, I think they deserve congratulations from everyone in the country. The way they have fought in India, they deserve appreciation."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricket on January 10, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Please stop selecting guys like W.Riaz, M.Sami, S.Tanvir they have been failing consistently. Also please drop Umar Gul. The new boys are performing spledidly well. Get in some new boys like Rahat, Sadaf, M.Talha & Asad Ali.

  • Cricket on January 10, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    @ Umair Khan :

    I dont think any Akmal should be consisered for the future matches. Anyways Adnan Akmal was considered during the Pak - Eng series in the UAE & in the onedayers he was just another Akmal. He just couldn't put bat to ball. finally in the later matches he had to be dropped & the gloves were given to U.Akmal & that hurt the keeping & his batting. He just wasn't fit to keep wickets & bat.

    SAFRAF AHMED had not performed badly in the limited opportunites he got down the order. He should have been persisted with. In anycase Sarfraz has a batting average of a batsman in the first class matches. Sarfraz should be preferred in the Test matches also.


  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    The only Akmal worth considering is Adnan Akmal. Umar Akmal's bizarre waltz down the aisle and K-Akmal's Dilip Doshi impersonation at the crease should be enough to get them ousted.

    I am surprised at the accolades being heaped on the Pak team. As a fan I am glad we won the ODI series & that we looked the better side. But in the final analysis, we drew a T20 series against a horrible bowling attack (I use the word attack loosely), and if we take out Jamshed 's ODI innings we are looking at a 1-2 loss at best. The oaxoims that (a) we are an excellent bowling side and (b) we have batsmen capable of screwing up a 165 run chase against a mediocre attack both remain.

    The most gratifying aspect of the series was the remarkable improvement in Pakistan's fielding/catching with misbah's dropped catch the exception that proved the rule. Another positive was Hafeez and Misbah's captaincy positive captaincy (especially compared to Dhoni's constipated leadership).

  • IFTIKHAR on January 9, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Well done Pakistan but i was amazed and shocked at the way our batsmen batted in he last ODI.This was not in keeping with the aggressive attitude in the previous 2 games.Misbah was shocking and the Akmal brothers a disgrace.Younis Khan too is nearing the end of his career,Azhar ali should have been retained and it is sad that Asad Shafiq and Abdul Razzaq were not there.I think we should blood some new batsmen and bowlers.Misbah is not the batsman he was and his place in the team as such is questionable.Shoaib Akhtar did well but he too is a player of semi-test standard.Pakistan's batting is not strong enough to beat South Africa.

  • Cricket on January 9, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    Again Sadaf Hussain has taken 7 wickets for Rawalpindi. What else must he do to get noticed ?

    Sadaf, Rahat, Asad Ali, M.Talha have been taking wickets in lots consistently, yet the selectors are dragging their feet when it comes to selecting these guys. And I dont know how guys like Sohail Tanvir, M.Sami etc keep getting selected. Also high time that Gul is dropped and these younsters are given a fair chance.


  • Dummy4 on January 9, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Brilliant Pak Simply Brilliant!

  • RANA on January 9, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    Hafeez should play on 5th position, Because he is so fragile in opening. Misbah should play at no 3.

  • Dummy4 on January 9, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    about afridi discussions, guys i think afridi as a bowler can be included when pak play in UAE, BAngladhesh or SL. but when you play other countries you need 3rd fast bowler as we have seen in this series. If you are playing 3 fast bowlers and you dont have any good medium pace allrounder in team for whatever reasons(razak/hammad) then you have only 7 batsman and 4 bowlers with hafez. ( example : this series) by including afridi as a bowler will make your batting more worse than its now. Afridi can be included as a batsman when his batting is in good shape. which is not over past 12-18 months. he has to get his batting form to get in team to play in other countries where we need 3rd fast bowler. some people suggesting he can be included in place of younas,azhar, misbha, these 3 are test players, yes should be replaced at some point but not with afridi with proper batsman.

  • Cricket on January 9, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    @ Bilal Raza on - I agree with you that U.Akmal should be dropped from the ODI team. But I do not agree with you that he should continuei in the T20 team.

    Regarding Afridi I completely disagree with you. I think people like Afridi & Razzaq are undisputed kings in the limited overs format of the game. There were so many test bastmen like Y.Khan, Misbah, Azhar Ali in the team who just messed up the batting order and they hardily performed anything. Afridi is an impact player.

    Also the Akmal brothers were a complete liabilty on the team. The entire work load had to be managed by Jamshed, Hafeez, Junaid, Irfan, Ajmal. The rest were all free loaders.

    After all this how can justify the exclusion of Afridi at the expense of free these loaders. What benefit have the Akmals given to the team.

  • Syed on January 9, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Great performance by the Pak team, as far future is concerned team looks good, they need some good keeper, who can bat also and some more good batsman in the middle order, bowling is looking very good with the addition of Junaid, Irfan, Gul, Ajmal, Hafiz, Afridi can also be consider in future.