Emerging Cape Cobras v Pakistanis, Cape Town, 1st day February 10, 2013

Impressive Irfan makes case for Test debut

  shares 68

Pakistanis 127 for 4 (Misbah 44*, Bothma 2-19) trail Emerging Cape Cobras 156 (Kleinveldt 36, Irfan 4-20) by 29 runs
Scorecard

Pakistan's seven-foot-plus seamer Mohammad Irfan made a strong case for a Test debut in a two-day match against the Emerging Cape Cobras, taking four wickets. The ten-day break between the first and second Test gave the touring team time to fit in another practice match and try different combinations ahead of the second Test in Cape Town which starts on Thursday.

The opposition is made up of players who feature in the provincial competition - still regarded as first-class but not franchise cricket - and are of a similar composition to the team that got a run against the New Zealanders late last year. Notable among them are Matthew Kleinveldt, cousin of Rory, Sybrand Engelbrecht who has played some franchise cricket and left-arm spinner Siya Simetu.

But they were no match for the Pakistani attack despite the visitors resting Umar Gul and Junaid Khan and were bundled out for 156. The visitors gave their bench strength including Tanvir Ahmed and Ehsan Adil some match time, along with Rahat Ali, who debuted at the Wanderers. Rahat was economical and incisive and took 2 for 27 but Irfan stole the show.

Irfan broke a 62-run stand between Kleinveldt and Keegan Petersen to spark a mini-collapse. The emerging Cape Cobras lost four wickets for 23 runs and their middle-and lower-order could not stand up to the Pakistani attack.

Irfan took 4 for 20 while Abdur Rehman spun his way to 3 for 31. Tanvir was expensive but Ehsan also kept the run-rate low and could present Pakistan with another option for the second Test. Sarfraz Ahmed had another solid showing behind the stumps and took three catches and a stumping.

They will still have concerns about their batting though. The openers did not manage to negotiate the new ball as Misbah-ul-Haq would have wanted them to when he identified that as the main area for Pakistan to work on in the break. With Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed both allowed to put their feet up, Imran Farhat was given a run but made just 11.

Azhar Ali was promoted to the top, presumably so he could spend time against the new ball, but he too did not last long. A 48-minute 11 is all he had to show. Younis Khan's lean run continued and at 29 for 3, the Pakistanis would have been biting their fingernails with worry. Johannes Bothma, a 24-year-old quick from Boland, had two of the three scalps.

Faisal Iqbal, who did not play in the first Test, showed some fight with a sprightly 33 but it was down to the captain and Asad Shafiq who remain at the crease overnight. Because the match is not an official first-class game, both sides can field 13 players and the Pakistanis may consider giving Hafeez, in particular, and Jamshed batting time on the second day.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 11, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    The tall frame of Mohammed Irfan is very imposing. Add to that the pace that he has added. The bouce that he can get at 145 kmph he can be really intimidating to the batsmen. It can force errors on part of the best batsman also. Misbah is lucky to have such a bowler in the team. But he is foolish to keep him on the bench. Any other captain would have given the first chance to Irfan. In India Irfan was bowling regularly at 145 kph.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | February 10, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    After this performance I certainly think Mohammed Irfan should be in the next test match. It will definitely bring our fielding down but you can't blame a & foot man for being a bad fielder although catches will be easier for him. Anyways he will make it on the team because of his bowling if he bowls good and gets 2 or 3 wickets then it doesn't matter much if he misfields a few times. Remember when he bowled to India Dhoni would immediately put his helmet back on. I hope he can perform well if he gets a chance.

    Our batting on the other hand must improve with mainly Younis khan and Azhar ali being the problem if they can have a 50 run partnership between themselves then we have a chance of winning. Also Hafeez must play better and smarter cricket making sure he doesn't lose his wicket early and prove why he is called the proffessor. Basically to even have a chance of beating SA we need our senoirs to ay good and our younger players will gain confidence and play good as well.

  • POSTED BY Surajdon9 on | February 11, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Proud of our Bowling Unit now its time for Batsmen to Improve during 2nd Test.My Playing XI: Hafeez, Jamshed, Azar, Younis, Misbah, Shafiq, Sarfaraz, Gul, Irfan, Ehsan, Junaid...All the Best Pakistan.Come On Green Army Come on....

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | February 11, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    Bowling is the main strength that Pakistan have so they should choose a bowling attack that can leave a lasting impression. Pakistan batting does not seem to be coming together even during the next two tests while bowlers are capable of giving memobarable figures. I think Pakistan attack can be Umergul, Irfan, Ehsan Adil, ajmal and rehman. The other team can be sarfraz as keeper then younis, misbah, asad, hafeez and faisal iqbal.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | February 11, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    OH NO!!

    Iqbal and Farhat didn't do too badly in this practice match, meaning if a batsmen is injured/dropped then one of the two parchi players will a get chance to play and that would be very unfair on players, who have performed very well at FC level.

    Why don't the selectors just quickly induct Alam, Umar or Yasin to the test squad?!?!

  • POSTED BY LEOFURQAN86 on | February 11, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    My playing XI for 2nd test : 01) Hafeez. 02) Nasir Jamshed. 03) Imran Farhat. 04) Younis Khan. 05) Misbah. 06) Asad Shafiq. 07) Sarfraz Ahmed. 08) Umar Gul. 09) Junaid Khan. 10) Irfan. 11) A. Rehman. Should Azhar out for Farhat and rahat out for Irfan and pls dont surprise for Ajmal bcoz he is handy bowler in subcontinent and supporting pitches i self beleive he is not able to tak wickets against SA but i personally feel A. Rehman much better danger than Ajmal specially against South african batting in their home conditions i should want to pick him in XII for second test and Pakistan will win second test with this combination. Good Luck Pak and specially to selectors for choose right options for 2nd test if they want to win

  • POSTED BY Solid_Snake on | February 11, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    gsingh7->I guess you forgot that he played FC matches in Pakistan & there was no such fitness problem to him there..Just by hearing about his height,people start commenting how unfit Irfan is for test matches.If we never give him a chance in international test match,how are we gonna know about his fitness..

  • POSTED BY dontlikecricket on | February 11, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    I still cant believe some people comments posted here like Misbah is a bad captain (funny enough he is one of the most successful test captain from Pak in recent times), Ajmal was not attacking enough, Irfan should have played (although there is a big question mark on his test fitness level and result would not have been any different). Well what about SA was the better team and played well throughout the test? They are number 1 team who has defeated previous number 1 in their own back yard and Defeated Aus recently.They have four top batsmen in Smith, Amla, Kallis, AB and 3 top bowlers in Steyn, Philander and Morkel. Any team which has atleast 7 top players in the world will most likely to win. Saying that despite Pak performance in SA, they are match enough for anyteam in the world on slow wickets. As I said few times before the series, if Pak manages to draw even one test, it's good enough result at this stage of Pak cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    I guess Irfan's fitness always troubled him and in a test match it might prove itself to be decisive. Well! Aizaz Cheema wasn't a bad bet but no worries. For my liking! we need another opener-esque batsman at number 7 if in case a second new ball is required. Younis must come after Misbah. Azhar needs some much needed rest. Because here on these wickets one needs some fire power too otherwise hanging on one end for say 70-80 balls with a solitary single digit score won't help any cause. Professor and Jamshed should be followed by Misbah, Shafiq and Younis Khan. Keeper-man has been listless with bat and see that AB proved as a trump card for Saffers. Gul, Rehman, Ajmal, Junaid and Irfan for my liking is a more sensible bet in the lower order.I think many times over and over again an extra batsman never won matches for Pakistan. So 5 specialists bowlers is a better bet.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    irfan performing well......should given a chance..on the other side there is lack of batting .....younus azhr and hafeez should perform well in 2nd test........asad is now on his way.....well wishes for pak team for 2nd test.....

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 11, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    The tall frame of Mohammed Irfan is very imposing. Add to that the pace that he has added. The bouce that he can get at 145 kmph he can be really intimidating to the batsmen. It can force errors on part of the best batsman also. Misbah is lucky to have such a bowler in the team. But he is foolish to keep him on the bench. Any other captain would have given the first chance to Irfan. In India Irfan was bowling regularly at 145 kph.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | February 10, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    After this performance I certainly think Mohammed Irfan should be in the next test match. It will definitely bring our fielding down but you can't blame a & foot man for being a bad fielder although catches will be easier for him. Anyways he will make it on the team because of his bowling if he bowls good and gets 2 or 3 wickets then it doesn't matter much if he misfields a few times. Remember when he bowled to India Dhoni would immediately put his helmet back on. I hope he can perform well if he gets a chance.

    Our batting on the other hand must improve with mainly Younis khan and Azhar ali being the problem if they can have a 50 run partnership between themselves then we have a chance of winning. Also Hafeez must play better and smarter cricket making sure he doesn't lose his wicket early and prove why he is called the proffessor. Basically to even have a chance of beating SA we need our senoirs to ay good and our younger players will gain confidence and play good as well.

  • POSTED BY Surajdon9 on | February 11, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Proud of our Bowling Unit now its time for Batsmen to Improve during 2nd Test.My Playing XI: Hafeez, Jamshed, Azar, Younis, Misbah, Shafiq, Sarfaraz, Gul, Irfan, Ehsan, Junaid...All the Best Pakistan.Come On Green Army Come on....

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | February 11, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    Bowling is the main strength that Pakistan have so they should choose a bowling attack that can leave a lasting impression. Pakistan batting does not seem to be coming together even during the next two tests while bowlers are capable of giving memobarable figures. I think Pakistan attack can be Umergul, Irfan, Ehsan Adil, ajmal and rehman. The other team can be sarfraz as keeper then younis, misbah, asad, hafeez and faisal iqbal.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | February 11, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    OH NO!!

    Iqbal and Farhat didn't do too badly in this practice match, meaning if a batsmen is injured/dropped then one of the two parchi players will a get chance to play and that would be very unfair on players, who have performed very well at FC level.

    Why don't the selectors just quickly induct Alam, Umar or Yasin to the test squad?!?!

  • POSTED BY LEOFURQAN86 on | February 11, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    My playing XI for 2nd test : 01) Hafeez. 02) Nasir Jamshed. 03) Imran Farhat. 04) Younis Khan. 05) Misbah. 06) Asad Shafiq. 07) Sarfraz Ahmed. 08) Umar Gul. 09) Junaid Khan. 10) Irfan. 11) A. Rehman. Should Azhar out for Farhat and rahat out for Irfan and pls dont surprise for Ajmal bcoz he is handy bowler in subcontinent and supporting pitches i self beleive he is not able to tak wickets against SA but i personally feel A. Rehman much better danger than Ajmal specially against South african batting in their home conditions i should want to pick him in XII for second test and Pakistan will win second test with this combination. Good Luck Pak and specially to selectors for choose right options for 2nd test if they want to win

  • POSTED BY Solid_Snake on | February 11, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    gsingh7->I guess you forgot that he played FC matches in Pakistan & there was no such fitness problem to him there..Just by hearing about his height,people start commenting how unfit Irfan is for test matches.If we never give him a chance in international test match,how are we gonna know about his fitness..

  • POSTED BY dontlikecricket on | February 11, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    I still cant believe some people comments posted here like Misbah is a bad captain (funny enough he is one of the most successful test captain from Pak in recent times), Ajmal was not attacking enough, Irfan should have played (although there is a big question mark on his test fitness level and result would not have been any different). Well what about SA was the better team and played well throughout the test? They are number 1 team who has defeated previous number 1 in their own back yard and Defeated Aus recently.They have four top batsmen in Smith, Amla, Kallis, AB and 3 top bowlers in Steyn, Philander and Morkel. Any team which has atleast 7 top players in the world will most likely to win. Saying that despite Pak performance in SA, they are match enough for anyteam in the world on slow wickets. As I said few times before the series, if Pak manages to draw even one test, it's good enough result at this stage of Pak cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    I guess Irfan's fitness always troubled him and in a test match it might prove itself to be decisive. Well! Aizaz Cheema wasn't a bad bet but no worries. For my liking! we need another opener-esque batsman at number 7 if in case a second new ball is required. Younis must come after Misbah. Azhar needs some much needed rest. Because here on these wickets one needs some fire power too otherwise hanging on one end for say 70-80 balls with a solitary single digit score won't help any cause. Professor and Jamshed should be followed by Misbah, Shafiq and Younis Khan. Keeper-man has been listless with bat and see that AB proved as a trump card for Saffers. Gul, Rehman, Ajmal, Junaid and Irfan for my liking is a more sensible bet in the lower order.I think many times over and over again an extra batsman never won matches for Pakistan. So 5 specialists bowlers is a better bet.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    irfan performing well......should given a chance..on the other side there is lack of batting .....younus azhr and hafeez should perform well in 2nd test........asad is now on his way.....well wishes for pak team for 2nd test.....

  • POSTED BY enigma1979 on | February 11, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    its not such a great shock that the cobras are out for 78. if you look at the full scorecard on cricinfo, right at the bottom it says 'innings limited to 39 overs by agreement' so in actual fact, this is not test preparation but something between T20 and ODI....

  • POSTED BY RankPace on | February 11, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    Shocks Galore !!! Now from the practice match I understand that Younis is opening in the 2nd innings because of injury to Nasir Jamshed. The batsmen are getting injured in lots. What ever is left in the batting is shrinking quickly.

  • POSTED BY RankPace on | February 11, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Mohammed Irfan match figures -> . 19-6-40-7 , that gives an avg of 5.71 & eco of 2.10.

    I know that this is a practice match against the club team, but still he has performed better than all the other bowlers. He has taken wickets regularly. And he has suceeded against a group of players who are used to playing on these surfaces. It looks like he has adapted himself well to this surface. With his intimidating height, bounce & pace if he gives result even 50% of this in the test match still he will be a handfull.

    .

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | February 11, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Pak fans should look at the team's miserable batting performance against a C-grade bowling attack instead of rejoicing over the wickets picked by some fast bowler. Don't know why Mohd Yousuf is not playing anymore. Yousuf was the only quality batsman from Pakistan over the last two decades. Rest of them are bits and pieces sloggers.

  • POSTED BY RankPace on | February 11, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Having taken wickets in loads & that too quickly, I think Irfan has not only proved himself, but this performance should twist Misbah's arm and force his selection into the final eleven for the 2nd test. There is no point in delaying his debute.

    .

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    I hope this big lad plays. And I know for a fact that he will be played very well and at least another scoring opportunity for the proteas. He is new to test cricket and our batters are used to facing morkel and other bowlers of his height. If he bowls too short on our pitches he's going to fetch regularly.

  • POSTED BY SaadRocx on | February 11, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    I would not mind Mohd Irfan in the team..but Tanvir Ahmed could have been a better choice..No Rahat Ali plzzzzzzzzzzzz.........

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Fawad Alam is good, gutsy and has a way above average than our current openers - but please don't select him. Yousaf is a better batsman than Younas - but don't select him, he looks too much like Hasham Amla! Faisal can bat and gut it out - but he is related to Javed! Abdul Rehman - He can bat so please don't select him! Hafiz - He is a really descent spinner, but only select him as a batsman, select a second spinner in Ajmal/Rahman - that way you don't have to include an extra batsman...which you could so easily do on SA pitches...cause they don't take spin and you don't need two front-line spinners in a team (Hafiz & Ajmal). Whatever happened to Hammad Azam; wasn't he a better option that a second spinner!!! Saying all that, I think Pakistan lost because of a lack of Test match and accalamatization issues - otherwise they looked good, even in their score of 49!

  • POSTED BY LEOFURQAN86 on | February 11, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    My playing XI for 2nd test : 01) Hafeez. 02) Nasir Jamshed. 03) Imran Farhat. 04) Younis Khan. 05) Misbah. 06) Asad Shafiq. 07) Sarfraz Ahmed. 08) Umar Gul. 09) Junaid Khan. 10) Irfan. 11) A. Rehman. Should Azhar out for Farhat and rahat out for Irfan and pls dont surprise for Ajmal bcoz he is handy bowler in subcontinent and supporting pitches i self beleive he is not able to tak wickets against SA but i personally feel A. Rehman much better danger than Ajmal specially against South african batting in their home conditions i should want to pick him in XII for second test and Pakistan will win second test with this combination. Good Luck Pak and specially to selectors for choose right options for 2nd test if they want to win

  • POSTED BY matchfixerpkn on | February 11, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    this is wrong asumption..african batsman will never fail agianst bouncy bowlers...indeed they will enjoy..thats proved for last 10 years... bolwers likes of kulasekara, sreesanth ,venkatesh prasad have better record in s africa than other fast bolwers... on that record ....pakistan shoiuld have given oppurutnity to abdul razak or kind a bowler.

  • POSTED BY RankPace on | February 11, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    I agree with Ayaz Khan. with an average of 42 in test cricket Fawad Alam can never be termed as a failure. There have been others with lowe avarages in the Pakistan team. More over a first class average of 55 is impressive. Also he is a leftie.

    .

  • POSTED BY matchfixerpkn on | February 11, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    he is not going to prove any thing better than junaid agianst s africa... pakistan missed the trick of bringing abdul razzak ...he is the best bet in african condition ..with ban and ball...

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | February 11, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    irfan is unfit for tests due to slow frame, also pak wud not have saved first test with him in team, just wishing sa gud luck and win series 3-0 , that will make their top spot safe till india tour sa

  • POSTED BY mainul079080 on | February 11, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    @Stark62 i agree with you and also @getsetgopak and @sport4youth

  • POSTED BY RankPace on | February 11, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    Atleast for the record sake it will be an interesting decision to have the worlds fastest bowler playing for a coptain.

    Anyways Mohammed Irfan has shown that he is not just about the record of height. He has definately added a lot of pace as seen on the indian tour. He certainly gets an awkward bounce with his pace & height. This is the ideal stage to test him. What is Misbah waiting for ?

    .

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 11, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    It looks like some people have very short memories. WAHAB RIAZ was given more than sufficient opportunities. He has pace but no control. The Mediocore West Indian batsmen had hammered him during the WI tour of 2011. Uptill now he has given only two good performances. 1st on this debut test in England when he took 5 wickets. And 2nd during the World cuip in Mohali when he took 5 wickets against India. Other than that the batsmen all over the world have punished him for his wayward line and length. Finally he had to be dumped when it was clear that he is not showing any improvement. The other guys like M.Irfan, Juaid Khan, Sadaf Hussain, Rahat Ali are miles ahead of Riaz. A player should not be selected on an isolated performance of 9 wickets.

  • POSTED BY LEOFURQAN86 on | February 11, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    My playing XI for 2nd test : 01) Hafeez. 02) Nasir Jamshed. 03) Imran Farhat. 04) Younis Khan. 05) Misbah. 06) Asad Shafiq. 07) Sarfraz Ahmed. 08) Umar Gul. 09) Junaid Khan. 10) Irfan. 11) A. Rehman. Should Azhar out for Farhat and rahat out for Irfan and pls dont surprise for Ajmal bcoz he is handy bowler in subcontinent and supporting pitches i self beleive he is not able to tak wickets against SA but i personally feel A. Rehman much better danger than Ajmal specially against South african batting in their home conditions i should want to pick him in XII for second test and Pakistan will win second test with this combination. Good Luck Pak and specially to selectors for choose right options for 2nd test if they want to win

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    Pakistan have chances of snowball in hell for the remaining tests. I would be surprised if much over rated professor can score 150 runs and I am talking about the combined score of the series for him. Our batting is awful. This fact can not be overstated. Also Ajmal really disappointed with his negative bowling in first test. He never attacked the South African batting even when they were struggling in the first innings. I have absolutely no hope of a fight back in the second test. We may bundle out Saffers for a under a hundred but we can still get out for fifty. No matter what our bowling does, our batting will sabotage their good deeds.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    if irfaan would have been given a chance then it would be good news for pakistan because no african batsmen had played him before and he have enough skills in his bowling to make african batsmen anxious....!!!!

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | February 11, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    I am in favor of bringing both Irfan and wahab. A new combo is needed against the strong SA batting. Pak is too weak for SA.

  • POSTED BY Sir.Ivor on | February 11, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    I had the privilege of seeing this giant in action against India recently. He is really big and it all looks like a parent playing with school children when Irfan is around. He does'nt field or bat much. So if he has to be in on Thursday, Pakistan must take him as much for his height as for his bowling skills. The problem will be his bounce though. If the wicket is so bouncy as they are in S Africa the ball may not need to be played at all ! But he can be a handful if he bowls full length. he has the pace and a bit of movement.It will be an interesting move to select this once in a million cricketer.

  • POSTED BY javed.agrawala on | February 11, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Let me state this at the outset I am a great fan of the great Younus Khan. Ejaz Butt has ruined this man's career based on baseless allegations to which any respectable person would pick up cudgels on. Younus should be monetarily compensated for this vindictive and totally unbecoming act of our then chief of cricket. Imagine first giving a life ban! A great player like him can come into form at any time and will but if not in this second innings should we be waiting for this in Cape Town? This series will be over after. His form is woeful and confidence down. He cant even attack his way out to form as his repeated failures in the recent past, including India, patrons, side games and the first test. There is no guarantee that his replacement will succeed but there appears the more likely possibility of the left handed Farhat making an aggressive fifty at three. Irfan should play... little doubt now as we have to take chances to salvage something from this tour! Younus will be back!

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    He should have played the 1st test, Rahat Ali came out of nowhere..

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Bring back Umar and Adnan Akmal and Wahab Riaz. Wahab took 9 wts in an inning including a hatrick in the domestic competition.

  • POSTED BY PakPacer on | February 11, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    I think they need to update Irfans profile on cricinfo he's left arm fast not medium fast. They should have a more recent pic up there too this guy is gonna make an impact in the net 2 years.

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | February 11, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    Younus has had a wonderful record to date but I believe he is past his best. On these surfaces you need a batsman that is agile and quick mover. Younus doesn't seem to have the same level of energy and agility left in him. He plays his shots well when he settles in but this SA attack wont give him that opportunity. The moment the batsman come out in the middle they need to be on their A game right from the word go, there will be no loose deliveries and no freebies. Same thing I believe for Omar Gul. He's had a nice run in international cricket but has always remained what he was ten years ago. Never improved or added anything new to his bowling. Doesn't swing the ball and seam movement is just about at a comfortable level for top class batsmen. My bowling attack for the next match will be Irfan, Junaid, Ehsan Adil and the magician.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    selectors should have sent Wahab Riyaz, the guy can bowl quick, good fielder, very fit and can bat a bit. Azhar and Hafeez have to prove a point in SA, both struggle against moving balls, Hafeez should go to one down, Azhar should open and if he can spend sometime then that will give some breather to middle order. Having said that i still believe PAK will come back and fight harder. Good Luck Pakistan!

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | February 11, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    The problem remains: the batting is too slow-scoring for South African conditions and the tail is too long.

    Whether they use Rahat or Irfan as third seamer they will still bowl too short and score no tailend runs.

    There is probably a good reason why they have now done three successive Test tours to South Africa without Azhar Mahmood at number eight. Maybe they like to leak runs from their back-up bowlers, and maybe they don't think that a counter-attacking lower-order batsman is useful against the old ball.

    Or maybe they just don't analyse current and previous strengths and weaknesses in those conditions.

  • POSTED BY sohail83 on | February 11, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    I think we must have more left handers in team. My team willbe without saeed/younas 1.Nasir 2.Hafeez 3.Azhar 4.Imran Farhat 5.Misbah 6.Asad 7.Sarfaraz/Younas 8.Umer Gul 9.Abdur Rehman 10. Junaid 11. Irfan

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    While SA is setting benchmark on bundling out others in double digits and then scoring to win, Pak has given their opening bowlers and batsmen the opportunity to put their feet up!Learning from SA, work hard and play hard, setting new benchmarks and applying it against this one match before the second test is not to be emulated. Why? is it a well deserved rest and supreme confidence in the openers or finding their replacement!

  • POSTED BY class9ryan on | February 10, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    Irfan proves a point here ... It will be a stern test for the South African batsman 2 play against him . But they may play him well as they did with Junaid Khan .... But the Pakistani batting has to play well here .Its the home venue for both Steyn and Philander and they may keep Pakistan at bay

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | February 10, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    irfan should have been in the side in first game.. it was a mistake not picking him.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Gul is a liability, statistics show he is the worst bowler pakistan have in tests 46 162 33.53 58.2 m w sr av Compare with Zaheer Khan 88 295 32.35 59.7

    In week Pakistani batting lineup, with these stats how it is possible that he should be given more chances?????

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    In the second test, Pakistan's only chance is if there bowling triggers a SA collapse and therefore they should give a chance to Irfan now and hope that he along with Junain and Gul come out good ...SA bowler will not allow Pakistan to score more than 400 in 2 innings so Pakistan should come out all guns blazing with the ball

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | February 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    Misbah is useless captain

  • POSTED BY dontlikecricket on | February 10, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    I dont care if Azhar does not score many runs in this series he should play all three tests. When someone gets selected in first 11, they should be allowed to play full series. He has a good temperament and has a proven record over last year or so. Yes he is struggling but most people will struggle playing on fast wickets in SA. Some so called fans have no cricket sense and ask for a player to be dropped after few poor games. And Pak do not need Umar Akmal in the team, his record over last 3 years especially in tests is shocking.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    @stark62 Fawad Alam has the best FC average from the present players (56) . He did not exactly fail in test either (average 42) but the vagaries / inconsistencies of Pakistani selectors is that they are not giving him a chance. I can bet if PCB hires Australians to select Pakistani team Pakistan will be World Champions.

  • POSTED BY mazii on | February 10, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Well common sense suggest that whosoever came in SA struggled in SA. So, the batting woes are there and will be there till the fixation of domestic cricket. Azhar ali is a good batsmen with a good defense. He just fails in solitary test and people are talking of his exclusion from th team and talking of Akmal's inclusion. Well Umar akmal has already been given many opportunities. He should first develop his temperament. I'm conscious that at times Pakistani batsmen becomes ultra defensive. Well except Hafeez, Nasir and Asad all other plays in a defensive mood. In SA batsmen need to be little bit positive otherwise he will perish. So, my hopes are with these and Mibah must give these batsmen necessary support from the other end. They need to rotate strike in order to eliminate pressure. Easier said than done though but certainly achievable with little application.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | February 10, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    Miandad, Yousuf, Inzi, Hanif Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas, Younis and Misbah all have a FC average above 45+!!

    They were the most successful batsmen in Pak's Test history and is that any coincidence?!?!

    Currently, there are at least 4-5 young players with a FC average above 45+: Umar, Alam, Salahuddin, Harris and you could potentially, add Naved Yasin (44.88 with rounding).

    My question is, WHY AREN'T ANY OF THESE GUYS IN THE TEST SQUAD?!?!

  • POSTED BY da_man_ on | February 10, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    Irfan is not fit enough to play test cricket. He can just about manage 2 spells of 5 overs each lol. Then you have a liability in the field. Remember how well we fielded in the first test? That will evaporate with the lumbering giant. He's great for T20 and good for ODI, just doesn't have it in him to play tests at the moment.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | February 10, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Personally I like to have both Irfan and Tanvir in the side but I don't think so they will drop Umar Gul. One of Younus and Azhar needs to be replaced by someone else but there isn't any backup option as Harris Sohail has left. I hope Hafeez does well in this game because every time we can't expect Nasir, Asad and Misbah to perform.

  • POSTED BY awais_malik on | February 10, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    Azhar must free the 3rd position for Faisal Iqbal

  • POSTED BY Major85D on | February 10, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    @Ali.Bukhari I agree, younis khan was a good batsman with very good test statistics, but that is history! today he is a risk for the team, because he goes often early for only a few runs. he has not the skills anymore.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | February 10, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    Pakistan test squad should have been.. : Nasir Jamshed, hafeez, taufeeq umar, asad shafeeq, azhar ali, younas, misbah, harish sohail, umar akmal, junaid, irfan, gul, ehsan adil, wahab riaz, ajmal, rehman, sarfaraz/adnan.

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 10, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    In the batting department the PCB has made a big mess by having Imran Farhat & Faisal Iqbal together in the squad. Now if Misbah wants to drop any one batsman he does not have any choice. So as far as the batting is concerned it will have to be the same as the 1st test. Though there are many choices available in the bowling department.

    .

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 10, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    Those of you demanding Umar Akmal's inclusion in the team should remember that recently he got dropped from the 1st & 2nd ODI against India. For the last 3 years he got too many opportunities, but has always dissapointed at all levels. Very soon the time will come when he will get dropped from the T20 team. Getting him back to the test team is out of question.

    .

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 10, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Misbah's problem is that Younis & Gul are too senior than him. Even if he wants to drop them, he cannot. On the India tour he showed that he has the guts to drop the much hyped Umar Akmal. But unfortunately Azhar Ali failed to justify the faith put in him. So now we know that Misbah has the guts to do it and he also possesses the imagination to understand this situation. But as I said Younis & Gul is a bit too much for him.

    However, think the 2nd test should be the last chance for Younis. If he fails again in the 2nd test, then he should be shown the door. Such a poor performance is not expected from such a senior player.

    Regarding Gul, I am glad that atleast he is not playing this practice match. Uptill now he has been playing all practice matches, thus keeping all the younsters out. I JUST HOPE GUL GETS INJURED ON THE EVE OF THE MATCH. It will be a blessing in disguise.

    .

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    Fast Bowling lineup in 2nd test shoud be Junaid khan , M Irfan n Tanvir Ahmed . . .

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Umar Akmal is not a test player as his temperament is not right for the format. Akmal is a destructive and talented batsman but against Steyn and co he will either throw his wicket away or just get blown away. Hafeez doesnt look like a test opener and maybe when Taufeeq Umar returns from injury they should get him to open with Jamshed. A bit concern for Pakistan in the 1st test was how Younis Khan got out and makes you think that he is heading towards the end of his career.Azhar Ali looked out of his depth at number 3 against the bouncing swinging ball. There will be a possibilty that he might lose his place at number 3.

    The Pakistan team for the 2nd test should be...

    Jamshed Hafeez Faisal Iqbal Younis Khan Misbah ul-Haq(c) Shafiq Safraz Ahmed(wkt) Gul Mohammed Irfan Junaid Khan Saeed Ajmal

  • POSTED BY Waseem.Bukhari on | February 10, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    @Major85D: It does not take too much of an asking to guess why Younis Khan is in the team. Go and check Yonis's performance against South Africa. He has scored three 4th Innings centuries against SA with a healthy average of 42. Also, never to forget, Younis is sharing world record for most number of hundreds (4) in 4th innings of a test match (along with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Greame Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting). Since November 2010, Yonis is averaging 55 with the bat with 4 centuries (1 against SA, Eng, SL and a 200* against BD).

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Come on Pakistan do well and please play irfan for the second test, he is our only hope

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Umar Akmal should be taken to the back of the nets and given a firm spanking first. Then once he has promised that he is going to behave and not throw his wicket away, then he should replace Yunus Khan.

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 10, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Irfan had actually made a strong case during the India tour. It is only because of a whimsical decision by Misbah that he had to sit out. After such a strong performance and after winning the selectors confidence Irfan definately deserved the first chance. The fast & bouncy wickets in the 1st test would have helped him.

    Dont get me wrong. I have nothing against Rahat. With a first class bowling average of 21 he is an excellent bowler. I hope this does not spoil his career. Infact I hope that Gul is injured, so that Rahat & Irfan get to play alongside Junaid. I think Rahat bowled well with a lot of control but was unlucky. Also the experienced South Africans batted well.

    Batting is their major concern. I dont think they are prepared to bat on these wickets against these class of bowlers. Also it looks like Younis Khan is over the hill now.

    .

  • POSTED BY pauliangenius on | February 10, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Pick Tanvir Ahmed Plz he will strengthen the batting also.

  • POSTED BY Major85D on | February 10, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    can someone please tell me, why younis khan is still in the team? once again only two runs! pakistan can not win against south africa with those kind of batsmen! he should retire as soon as possible!!

  • POSTED BY romirom on | February 10, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    I think younis have to be retire now. He have to be replaced by young exciting talent. may be haris sohail or umar akmal. at least they can bat around and stay in the crease. his technique against quality fast bowler is becoming flew. Azhar ail is also struggling against fast and swing bowling. but he has time to improve. he played well in last few years so let him prove himself for few more series. Imran farhat is just a domestic performer so please keep him out from international cricket. Comon PCB Introduce some young batsman who will be find for future not just same tried and failed batsman again and again like farhat, faisal iqbal, sohaib malik.

  • POSTED BY Riz000 on | February 10, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    For God sake PCb why why why why Farhat still in the team? guy has been playing for years what has he achieved? Hafeez not a test batsman part time performer on subcontinental pitches Younis khan will come good i guess frm his experience Azhar Ali will also come good funny taufeeq umer and harris sohail injured or pcb playing games? or wat is it? umar akmal shld come in asap in test side opening shld be Nasir jamshed, Umar akmal, younis, Azhar, shafiq , Misbah

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    I think that they should take Irfan in the test, Hope he can do better then others (: . I hope to see some changes in the batting order too.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    I think that they should take Irfan in the test, Hope he can do better then others (: . I hope to see some changes in the batting order too.

  • POSTED BY Riz000 on | February 10, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    For God sake PCb why why why why Farhat still in the team? guy has been playing for years what has he achieved? Hafeez not a test batsman part time performer on subcontinental pitches Younis khan will come good i guess frm his experience Azhar Ali will also come good funny taufeeq umer and harris sohail injured or pcb playing games? or wat is it? umar akmal shld come in asap in test side opening shld be Nasir jamshed, Umar akmal, younis, Azhar, shafiq , Misbah

  • POSTED BY romirom on | February 10, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    I think younis have to be retire now. He have to be replaced by young exciting talent. may be haris sohail or umar akmal. at least they can bat around and stay in the crease. his technique against quality fast bowler is becoming flew. Azhar ail is also struggling against fast and swing bowling. but he has time to improve. he played well in last few years so let him prove himself for few more series. Imran farhat is just a domestic performer so please keep him out from international cricket. Comon PCB Introduce some young batsman who will be find for future not just same tried and failed batsman again and again like farhat, faisal iqbal, sohaib malik.

  • POSTED BY Major85D on | February 10, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    can someone please tell me, why younis khan is still in the team? once again only two runs! pakistan can not win against south africa with those kind of batsmen! he should retire as soon as possible!!

  • POSTED BY pauliangenius on | February 10, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Pick Tanvir Ahmed Plz he will strengthen the batting also.

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 10, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Irfan had actually made a strong case during the India tour. It is only because of a whimsical decision by Misbah that he had to sit out. After such a strong performance and after winning the selectors confidence Irfan definately deserved the first chance. The fast & bouncy wickets in the 1st test would have helped him.

    Dont get me wrong. I have nothing against Rahat. With a first class bowling average of 21 he is an excellent bowler. I hope this does not spoil his career. Infact I hope that Gul is injured, so that Rahat & Irfan get to play alongside Junaid. I think Rahat bowled well with a lot of control but was unlucky. Also the experienced South Africans batted well.

    Batting is their major concern. I dont think they are prepared to bat on these wickets against these class of bowlers. Also it looks like Younis Khan is over the hill now.

    .

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Umar Akmal should be taken to the back of the nets and given a firm spanking first. Then once he has promised that he is going to behave and not throw his wicket away, then he should replace Yunus Khan.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Come on Pakistan do well and please play irfan for the second test, he is our only hope

  • POSTED BY Waseem.Bukhari on | February 10, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    @Major85D: It does not take too much of an asking to guess why Younis Khan is in the team. Go and check Yonis's performance against South Africa. He has scored three 4th Innings centuries against SA with a healthy average of 42. Also, never to forget, Younis is sharing world record for most number of hundreds (4) in 4th innings of a test match (along with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Greame Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting). Since November 2010, Yonis is averaging 55 with the bat with 4 centuries (1 against SA, Eng, SL and a 200* against BD).

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Umar Akmal is not a test player as his temperament is not right for the format. Akmal is a destructive and talented batsman but against Steyn and co he will either throw his wicket away or just get blown away. Hafeez doesnt look like a test opener and maybe when Taufeeq Umar returns from injury they should get him to open with Jamshed. A bit concern for Pakistan in the 1st test was how Younis Khan got out and makes you think that he is heading towards the end of his career.Azhar Ali looked out of his depth at number 3 against the bouncing swinging ball. There will be a possibilty that he might lose his place at number 3.

    The Pakistan team for the 2nd test should be...

    Jamshed Hafeez Faisal Iqbal Younis Khan Misbah ul-Haq(c) Shafiq Safraz Ahmed(wkt) Gul Mohammed Irfan Junaid Khan Saeed Ajmal