Pakistan in South Africa 2012-13 February 19, 2013

Waqar questions bowling selections


Former Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has expressed his disappointment with the think-tank for the selection of medium-pacers Tanvir Ahmed and Rahat Ali for the tour to South Africa.

"Pakistan is known for its fast-bowling legacy over the last five decades," Waqar told ESPNcricinfo. "We are better than this and have better options than Tanvir. I don't know what the selectors and team management have seen in him. Do they not know we need a bowler who can bowl with sheer pace in South Africa? Where is Aizaz Cheema and Wahab Riaz? Why weren't they picked in the first place?"

Tanvir's previous national call-up was in May 2011, after which he was dropped for his poor performance and fitness. Before he was dropped, he played four Tests and picked up 16 wickets. Shortly after the Pakistan team landed in South Africa, Ali and Tanvir were called in as late reinforcements to bolster a side that already had four quicks.

Tanvir's outing in the second Test was disappointing. He bowled only 10 overs out of 102.1 in the first innings and was given another five overs in the second innings to finish with figures of 10-4-26-0 and 5-0-43-1. He failed to impress with the new ball, bowling at a speed of around 120kph.

One of Pakistan's selectors refused to take the responsibility for Tanvir's selection, saying the team management had demanded reinforcement and it was their decision to play him in the final XI.

The management did not use all the frontline bowlers picked for the series. Mohammad Irfan, who was set to play the first Test, was left out for Ali. Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman was benched for the second Test, while Ehsan Adil, a young fast bowler who was picked after a strong domestic performance, only bowled in the nets.

"The problem isn't Tanvir. It lies with the selectors and the team think-tank who have to decide where they are going," Waqar said. "I am really disappointed with Umar Gul, too. In my time, consistency was the key for every bowler. There was always a plan and a back-up plan every time, with a lot of commitment, but here everything looked uncertain."

In spite of being known for their fast bowlers, Pakistan have relied on spinners over the last three years, following bans on Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. Saeed Ajmal has emerged as a dependable strike bowler for Pakistan on all surfaces. "He [Ajmal] will continue to play his part with success - because he knows his role and his line and length," Waqar said. "We talk about our fragile batting, but it's the fast bowlers who are letting the team down. Gul looked bad with both the new and old ball."

Waqar said Pakistan wasted the new ball in both Tests. "We bowled to their strengths. South Africa simply bowled in the right areas at perfect lengths. Pakistan were in a good position in the second Test, thanks to Ajmal's outstanding bowling. But we lost the opportunity and handed them a win."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    @ kiwirocker - lets not talk about dodgy umpiring decisions. Blame lies on Pakistan for losing. Pakistan - not bad umpires, not selectors, not captain, not individual players .Pakistan win together, they must lose together also. Pick the youngsters - whats to lose? blood a kid in too young and he may never recover from the punishment Amla, King Kallis, Smith, Devilliers, Faf will bestoe upon them. Never mind the pace barrage they will have to face. NO, rather leave them at home to get more experience... please

  • Sohail on February 21, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Well said Waqar, exactly what I think that in recent times Pakistani bowlers are letting the team down particularly fast bowlers. What ever happened to the good old reverse swing that we were masters of? Now no one can do it at all in our team. In this series though two major selection blunders have costed Pakistan dearly. First not playing Irfan in the first test on lively pitch and secondly leaving out Rehman in the second. If Rehman played SA would have been out for less than 200 in the first innings. I don't know what team management was thinking even I could select a better team.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    We need to find a good selection against best Team.Pakistan is such a team always unconsus for the format of test cricket.The are need to be performed and i think they have enough pace attaking optoin than present.

  • Sriram on February 20, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    i said this b4 the start of the series. Junaid is fragile and the question was can he play 3 tests on trot and take the load on his own!! He broke and all hell broke loose. Apart from England and Aus (and to some extent in SA) fast bowling line up is looking weak, not just in talent and ability but also fitness!! If Junaid does not recover we might see Eshan play and that 3 debutants in 3 Tests..WOW

  • Israr on February 20, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    I thing Waqar has just stated the obvious but, we should use this to avoid the frailty of our batting issue. As stated by Waqar the selection board have to screw there heads on and maybe if they can't make there mind up just read the forums and they wil know who to select. 2nd test was ours for taking but due to poor selection we lost. It was obvious the pitch was going to turn and we relied too much on Hafeez not to pick rehman who would have nade the difference between the 2 sides. Iy would have been styn & Philander vs Rehman & Adjmal and we would have done them. Considering we didint pick Rehman because we had Hafeez, Hafeez still only bowled 10 overs where as Ajmal was bowling none stop from the otherside.

    And finally, As much as I am an advocate of Misbah and he has done great things for cricket in past few years. His decisions in this match was below par, bowling changes, player selection...very poor. Positive to take from the match is we gave the saffers run for the money

  • Cricket on February 20, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Pak bowlers figures in first class and tests

    Name - - - - - - - - - Age - Wickets - AVG.(FC) - Wickets/Avg (Tests)

    Sadaf Hussain - - - (23) -- 171 - 17.43

    Ehsan Adil - - - - - (19) -- 059 - 18.94

    Rahat Ali - - - - - -- (24) -- 152 - 21

    Junaid Khan - - - -- (23) -- 246 - 21.86 - - - - - 29 - 28

    Asad Ali - - - - - - - (24) -- 355 - 22.87

    M.Irfan - - - - - - (30) -- 131 - 26.23

    Wahab Riaz - - - - (27) -- 320 - 28.19 - - - -- 17 - 34.11

    Umar Gul - - - - - - (29) -- 326 - 28.26 - - - - 162 - 33.53

    Gul & W.Riaz are the worst Pak bowlers as can be seen from the above stats.

    . ESPNCricInfo Please publish. .

  • Shan on February 20, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Gul looks clueless in tests ... i think he needs a season of county cricket and needs to get back to the basics, learn how to swing the new ball and rediscover how to swing the old one all of which can be done in one season of county cricket ... look at anderson ... his career has had a remarkable turn around after proper application gul can do it too just needs to get his head straight and go back to the basics.

    As for the current crop of pakistani fast bowlers ... not very encouraging the only bowlers who have some promise are all left arm bowlers which gives little variety also none of them seem to be able to swing the ball new or old (Junaid excepted of course) anyone know the reason why?

  • Bobby on February 20, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Agreed with Waqar 100%.-I almost feel a pain when Pakistani and non Pakistani fans jump the band wagon and criticize Misbah.When a certain boom boom had left Pakistani captaincy against England and Salman Butt ruined Pakistan's reputation, it was Misbah who led Pakistan to what Pakistan is now. Without, cricket in Pakistan, Pakistan is still rated No.4 in test cricket.Lets talk about this series: Misbah has scored two 40+ scores.Misbah was Pak's best batsman even in that disappointing 49!What wrong Misbah has done? Misbah deserves all the praise for cleaning other's mess.SA won first test match thanks to four umpiring decisions against Pak and Pak gave them a tough competition in second test.The issue for Pak has been their openers,Gul and wicketkeeper.If fingre has to be pointed then it is@ Pak selectors.Why pick Rahat and Tanvir?What wrong Wahab, Sadaf and Rizwan(Pak's best wicketkeeper)has done?2-0 result is misleading!SA's pace duo and only two batsmen have fired so far really!!

  • Mohammed on February 20, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Waqar is Spot on. Except for Irfans few good overs we were very poor in the seam bowling department. Umar Gul has definitely gone of the boil in the last few years with only occasional glimpses of what he is really capable. But the blame for selection is with the PCB who lack vision or any determination to look for the raw talent that Imran used to conjure up (Wasim, Waqar, Inzi all game changing players). The selection panel is made up of ex players who's greatest claim to fame was as either 12th Man or bringing on the drinks. The debacle of Inzi coming in for a few days as batting coach is laughable. He needs to be given the opportunity to work a lot longer with our Batsmen. Also Safraz really is not of International standard as a Wkt keeper/ Batsman, his batting is very bad. Pakistan need either to stick with Kamran or his younger brother Adnan! Finally the age old problem of the opener inability to set a platform is the real Achilles heal!

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    though there is plenty to play for pakistan to avoid white wash but i would say why not try ehsan instead of gul. yeh gul experienced but so far he hasnt done in past few tests, last test 2nd inings he was worst with all experience and that on defending 182.

    I would say test ehsan adil and junaid for tanveer if fit. plus also give a try to another batsman instead of jamshed/hafeez. ( hafeez has bowling so that makes him play ).