Pakistan news

'We have won back respect' - Ajmal

Umar Farooq

July 31, 2013

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan and Shahid Afridi are relieved after Chris Gayle's fall, West Indies v Pakistan, 4th ODI, St Lucia, July 21, 2013
Shahid Afridi: 'We wanted this win and I am sure that this will help improve the image of the team' © AFP
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Players/Officials: Saeed Ajmal | Shahid Afridi
Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of West Indies

Following a disappointing Champions Trophy campaign in which Pakistan failed to win a single game, they bounced back in the West Indies, winning the ODI and T20 series. Reflecting on the tours on arrival in Pakistan, senior players urged fans to savour the team's recent success and forget the past.

"We didn't give our best in the Champions Trophy," Saeed Ajmal said on arrival in Lahore. "But we have won back the respect and had a strong comeback. They (West Indies) were playing at home and were stronger and it wasn't easy to beat them as you have seen how close the games were. But we worked hard, every player did well and the collective efforts led to the team's win."

When put under the spot by a journalist who stated with a touch of cynicism that the victories came against an underperforming West Indies team, Ajmal smiled and said, "Do appreciate us sometimes".

Four players - Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad remained in the West Indies to feature in the Caribbean Premier League. After losing 3-2 to South Africa earlier this year, Pakistan beat Scotland and Ireland in closely fought contests before heading to the Champions Trophy. Pakistan bounced back strongly in the West Indies, taking the ODIs 3-1 and sweeping the T20s 2-0, maintaining their unbeaten ODI series record in the Caribbean in the last 20 years.

Shahid Afridi too spoke on the significance of the victory. "This was a much-needed win," Afridi said in Karachi. "We played well as a team and won. It was needed after the performances in the Champions Trophy and South Africa. We wanted this win and I am sure that this will help improve the image of the team as well as the players. When you play well it erases the bad memories."

When asked about the allegations of fixing in the West Indies ODI series leveled by the Mail on Sunday, Afridi said he was unaware of the report. "Who says so? Where has it appeared?" Afridi asked. "I don't know, really. But I must say savor this win when you have done well and forget other things."

After their Champions Trophy exit, Pakistan dropped experienced players like Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal and opted for youth. Their batting woes did resurface for a while but they closed out the ODI series with two impressive chases, led by their captain Misbah-ul-Haq. Umar Amin and Haris Sohail did well with the bat, while the 34-year old left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar had a dream debut in the first T20. Umar Akmal marked his return after a year with 175 runs at 58.33 in the ODIs. He was relatively safe behind the stumps - save for missing a run-out that helped West Indies tie the third match - effecting ten dismissals including two stumpings.

Ajmal, who picked up 10 wickets including 8 in the ODI series, praised the contributions of the youngsters. "We have seen a lot of youngsters coming in and we have given them the maximum opportunities in this series. I am hopeful about our future and backing them to stand on their own feet. We are looking forward to keeping up winning the momentum."

Pakistan next assignment is an away tour to Zimbabwe for two Tests, three ODI and one Twenty20, a visit that was postponed from December last year. Zimbabwe Cricket is yet to release the itinerary, but ESPNcricinfo understands that Pakistan are expected to depart in the third week of August. Pakistan will then host, in the UAE, South Africa in October-November followed by Sri Lanka in December.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Umar Farooq

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Karthik78 on (August 1, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

Winning against WI is great. Irrespective of rankings, WI is great team to beat that too in their home conditions. India, SL and WI tri series wasnot easy outing for SL and India against WI. They need to fight till last league to assure WI out of tournament. Also after the tri series loss, WI would have tried too much to win against Pak. So Pak can be proud of beating WI. Out of top 8 ODI teams, any team can win against any on their day.

Posted by keptalittlelow on (August 1, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

@Subhash Venugopalan : I agree with you, good analysis.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

Whoever thinks that beating a 7th ranked team (West Indies) is nothing should also know that the winning team is ranked 6th (Pakistan).

Posted by Ray24 on (August 1, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

It's great that Pak won, but this is a weak WI side. Theyw ere just recently beaten by SL and India very easily in their backyard, so to think we have done something major is a fallacy. For Pakistan, Umar Amin scored in one game only before throwing his wicket away. He does have talent, but it needs nurturing otherwise the stronger teams will just pick him up. Asad Ali was very average, he's slow and doesn't seem to have the street smart cricketers' ability - should not be persisted with. Haris was better than Umar in my opinion, but he needs more outings. He tends to play away from the body which will get him in trouble as soon as he faces quality bowlers. Asad Shafiq was again dropped after a couple of games. Out of the current batsmen he has the best technique. If he can improve his strike rate, he can be the anchor of the team when Misbah retires. Positive all in all, but definitely nothing to be very proud of.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

Champions Trophy is indeed history. And i agree with the statement of Shahid Aafridi to savor the recent success acheived in West Indies. One should not forget that West Indies is the current World T20 champion and defeating them 3-1 in the ODI series and 2-0 in the T20 series that too in their own backyard? If this is not satisfying enough then nothing ever will. Respect is indeed won....and for those who are still not satisfied....well then i guess somethings are better left undone.

Posted by getsetgopk on (August 1, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

Well the bowlers always had respect and most recently even pity that they never got any support whatsoever from batsmen. If a bowling unit that can defend anything between 200 to 230 is not just a good bowling unit but THE best there is on this planet and acknowledged by all. Ajmal the magician is the best spinner in the world and let the english whinge some more but truth be told. Fast bowlers like Irfan, Junaid not far off from the rest like anderson, morkel. Steyn is a different category though!

Posted by agam99 on (August 1, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

Respect for winning against West Indies ? yeah right. Well what more we expect, u can compete against teams of ur own caliber. All remember how Pakistan was treated by top sides in CT.

Posted by hakoonj on (August 1, 2013, 0:16 GMT)

Mr. Ajmal - get real man, I mean yes our team has improved from the disasterous show at the CT but by beating a 7th ranked Windies team (now ranked 8th) in one ODI series by no means gives us respect. The top teams like Eng, Ind, SL, SA and AUS expect to win these kind of series without any serious hurdles. Real respect will come when we see how you perform against SA later this year, Pak have yet to beat SA in an ODI series in history. That would be some accomplishment.

Besides all that this tour was pretty fruitful as we FINALLY tried out some new players and although some didnt perform that great yet (like Harris Sohail, Asad Ali and hammad Azam) i hope that they are persisted with in the Zimbabwe series to atleast give them a fair shot of being in the team. InshAllah they will perform well!

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 19:20 GMT)

Pakistan should use the Zimbabwe series to maintain the momentum and strengthen some key positions rather than too much experimentation. Umar Akmal may not be a long term wicket keeping option for 50 overs game, hence would be a good opportunity to give Rizwan a place with the gloves. Also, a lower order all rounder is a must, hence they should give Hammad Azam an extended run. Wahab Riaz should be dropped and Babar Azam given a chance. The team should be :

ODI : Nasir Jamshed, M Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohd Rizwan (wk), Hammad Azam, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohd Irfan. Reserves : Asad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Aizaz Cheema

T20 : Ahmed Shahzad, M Hafeez (c), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Asad Ali, Mohd Irfan. Reserves : Zulfiqar Babar, Junaid Khan, Babar Azam.

Posted by liaqathussain on (July 31, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

Ummm winning from Westindies doesn't merit to much mr Ajmal,

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

Ahmad shehzad needs a parmanent place in team . He will sparks soon. We Miss Raza Hasan too in bith T20 and ODI.Azhar and Younous should Focus on Test.

Posted by Saadcricketlover on (July 31, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

for the zimbabwe tour i want see sohaib maqsood, sharjeel khan, babar azam and raza hasan in the squad afridi should be rested in the odis babar azam has been performing as an allrounder in the domestic so he should be there in odis instead of afridi who should play the t20, A. shafiq has been in poor form and shud be rested S. maqsood shud be given a chance sharjeel khan can be experimented as an opener in one of the odis raza hasan shud be given odi debut because he was gud t20 cup 2012 and is much younger than zulfiqar babar

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

a win is a win and it was hard series. so many close games, so 1 can not say that it isnt impressive.

Haris looked good. Umar amin looked good in t20s, Afridi had 2 good inings and the good thing was that those were very sensible innings. In between them , well he looked like a no11 on the crease. But over all good performance. Top 3 had got only 1 fifty each. so i think top 3 have not done so well. nasir had 1 fifty after getting 5 chances in field. ahmed had a good last odi and then in 2nd t20. hafeez had only 50 in 4th odi, nasir might be talented but after india tour he has had a bad time, nothing much in SA, in CT a single 50, and this series also. he should perform.

Hafeez also i think need some break now. continuously under performing.

Umar akmal came good and consistent.

For ZIM i think send some more new guys like shoaib maqsood. rizwan should also be given another chance. Hammad azam also needs to step up.

Posted by gtr800 on (July 31, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

This victory shouldn't cause jubilation in Pakistan. It's against a weak WI team who didn't play well in the CT or the tri series. Pakistan have to improve a lot on their batting, they found pitches that suited them and their spinners could work to some effect. Their bowling has never been the issue, but if you always have to rely on your 39 year old skipper to make runs it's shows that they have a lot of problems to face them.!

Posted by malepas on (July 31, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

First of all, it was a good victory against a very good WI team who has the most destructive ODI batting line up in the world, we have seen glimpses of that for sure, so good work there but still a long way to go. Now I see a lots of people saying to take youngsters to Zimbabwe, I don't agree with that, to start with, PAK is playing against SA and SL in UAE straight after this series and our players who only play Test cricket have no practice for almost 6 months since SA tour, they would need to have some practice before these tough series, so I'll play Younas, Azhar,Shafiq,Umer,Toufeeq in batting and likes of Junaid,Asad ali,Rahat ali, Ehsan Adil and I'll rest Irfan to save him for UAE. You can also rest Misbah from ODI leg as well. Umer Akmal must play these Tests to get him ready for UAE. PAK should think keep Umer in TESTS as keeper as well.

Posted by Scrop on (July 31, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

No win is less, but I would attribute Pakistan's win at Caribbean is mainly because WI is as unpredictable as Pakistan, and it was easier deal for Pakistan to overcome them, even though at their home.

Lets talk abt consistency, if Pakistan can maintain that, it would be worth to savor the wins!!

Posted by huhohuhohuho on (July 31, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

Pakistan should rest afridi,hafeez and should select players like sohaib,babar, zulfiqar,and sharjeel. My team would be shehzad, jamshed, sohaib, umar amin, haris,misbah, u.akmal, anwar ali, ajmal, junaid, irfan back ups babar azam, zulfiqar azhar, hammad.

Posted by applethief on (July 31, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Meh, edging a poor West Indies side isn't all that impressive, although it is nice to see the team winning again. If they were really interested in winning back respect, then they should've played a test series

Posted by Jda123 on (July 31, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

If Pakistan batsmen were good, my gosh they would be an excellent team, but having the likes of Hafeez still in the batting order and Afridi who at times can throw his wicket away like that, it kinda tough.

Posted by WeeBee on (July 31, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

Well! i partially disagree with the statement because you cannot compare Westindies Tour with ICC Champions Trophy. If Pakistani Team wants to regain respect they have to play well in next T20 WC.

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

against Zimbabwe Pakistan should try out some young talent.

my playing XI against Zimbabwe in ODIs

Ahmed Shehzad, Jamshed, Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Omer Amin , Adnan Akmal, Hammad Azam, Junaid, Raza Hasan, Zulifqar Babar, Irfan

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

for the zimbabawe tour the one player i do want to see in the team is sohaib maqsood seen his record/stats on cricinfo and they are outstanding pak should send a young team to zimbabawe give players who havent done well in the past a chance send asad shafiq, azhar ali, raza hassan, sohaib maqsood so they can build confidence ahead of the dubai tour against SA and SL. Send a pacey bowler or two and give the seniors time off or they can train in NCA espically hafeez who will face styen again. team for zimbabawe should be 1 nasir 2 shazad 3 azhar ali c 4 sohaib maqsood 5 umar akmal wk 6 harris sohail 7 hammad azam 8 asad ali 9 abdur rehman 10 ehsan adil 11 irfan send babar azam , sami aslam, raza hassan asad shafiq and mohammed rizwan and two new pacey bowlers on tour

Posted by spot_on on (July 31, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

Yeah beat the Windies and win back your respect. poor choice of words. Beat top teams to gain back your respect Ajmal & Co.

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (July 31, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

Pakistan should sent a young team to Zimbabwe and rest Misbah, Hafeez, Ajmal, Afridi and Irfan. They should try Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Rameez Raja jr, Raza Hassan, Sadaf Hussain, Usman Sallahudin...

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

TEAM PAKISTAN did poorly in Champions Trophy due to wrong selection of batsmen in the top order of Farhat, Hafeez and Malik. In my opinion the established batsmen in the top five should have average in the 40s with acceptable strike rate. Unfortunately this is not the case with Hafeez. Team Pakistan did well against WI but batting still needs to improve and right batsmen selected. My team would be as follows: 1. Junaid, 2. Shehzad, 3. Azher (VC), 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Misbah (C), 6. Hafeez, 7. Afridi, 8. Gul, 9. Wahab, 10. Ajmal, 11. Junaid. In the reserve I would have 12. Irfan, 13. Babar, 14. Umar Amin, 15. Hammad, 16. Kamran. If it is a wicket suiting spinners Babar could play instead of one of the fast bowlers. Irfan could make the XI if one of the fast bowler is not in form. I would prefer Kamran as wk / batsman and he could replace either Hafeez or Afridi as they are both inconsistent performers. Both Hammad and Umar Amin have potential for future.

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

It Was A Great Win For Team And People In Pakistan Also Really Enjoyed Now Time To Give Rest To Our Main Players And Send Young Tewm To Zimbabwe

Squad For Zimbabwe Tour Should Be Nasir Jamshed Ahmad Shazad Muhammad Hafeez C Umer Akmal Adnan Akmal WK Hamad Azam Haris Sohail Umar Amin Sohaib Maqsood Usman Qadir Asad Shafiq Asad Ali Junaid Khan Muhammad Talha Zulfiqar Babar

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

It's time to party. Pakistan have become undisputed world no. 7.

Posted by Chaudry_Cricket on (July 31, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Its good to see pakistan back to winning ways even if it was just against the W.I it will give the boys a confidence boost. Regarding the tour of Zimbabwe the pcb should rest Misbah, Ajmal, Irfan, Hafeez.

They should select an odi squad with Junaid as stand in captain The team should be

Sharjeel Khan Nasir Jamshed Ahmed Shehzad Mohammad Rizwan (W.K) Umar Akmal Haris Sohail Umar Amin Usman Sahlahuddin Sohaib Maqsood Hammad Azam Junaid Khan (C) Asad Ali Anwar Ali Mohammad Talha Sadaf Hussain Raza Hasan Usman Qadir

Posted by   on (July 31, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

we want are pakistan team back in the winning streets and we will cheer pak

Posted by 96NotOut on (July 31, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

You just can't do anything to please the Pakistan fans, right? Loved Ajmal's reply to the journalist. :)

Posted by MAN_AT_WORK on (July 31, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

If you say so! winning one series with an unpredictable ( with respect) WI.

Posted by RANA1610 on (July 31, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

"We didn't give our best in the Champions Trophy," Saeed Ajmal said; But why?

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