Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2014 August 4, 2014

Identical captains at opposite ends

As Angelo Mathews and Misbah-ul-Haq look across their battlements in Sri Lanka, they may meet each other's gaze, and know they are a lot alike
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Sometimes in the cosmic journey, life contrives for kindred souls to cross paths: two people who may be separated geographically, ethnically, economically, even politically, but who are one at the most elemental, human level.

As Angelo Mathews and Misbah-ul-Haq look across their battlements in Sri Lanka, they may meet each other's gaze, and know they are a lot alike.

The last time the two met in Tests, they could not have had more disparate days. Defending a 1-0 series lead, Mathews embraced an extreme form of conservatism and his team drowned in it on the final day in Sharjah. With no choice but to launch an unrelenting attack, Misbah kept his side in the match long enough, until after a whirl of bludgeoned drives and reverse-sweeps from way outside leg stump, he hit the winning run to complete a frenetic victory.

Pakistan have been dormant in Tests since that day, but Mathews has had a busy six months, in which both he and his leadership have grown up, and grown old - grown a little more like Misbah. Now, when Mathews speaks or acts, he is defined by a sense of unshakeable calm. A lot has happened to him in the recent past, with a series win in England and loss at home against South Africa, but a short time after coming off the field, Mathews was no more delighted at Headingley than he was distraught at the SSC. Misbah is past 40 now. Though at times he still bats like he is 25, there is a timeless stoicism to everything in his every move. His words are delivered in grey baritone.

Neither captain is an exemplary tactician, but both are natural leaders in other ways. Misbah's batting average is almost 28 runs better when he is captain. In 11 Tests at the helm, Mathews has statistically been more than twice as good as he was before. They have each inherited a legacy of instability, with captains coming, going and occasionally coming again in the few years before they each took the helm. But since Misbah has had the reins, Pakistan's road has been less rocky. Sri Lanka had been energetic and instinctive under Mahela Jayawardene, but since Mathews has helmed them, his iron resolve has seeped into his team's cricket as well.

There is no doubt who is the more talented cricketer. Misbah is routinely secure and imposing when he wishes to be. But in 2014, Mathews has been a complete batsman, on every kind of surface, in any situation. They both make dour beginnings; that first impulse is always "safety first". But they are also equipped with the skill, and the will to quickly gather pace. For Misbah, the big blows often come suddenly, on the leg side, in the arc between wide long-on and square leg. Mathews, increasingly, just clobbers them where he likes.

Neither are ungainly batsmen, but no one could ever mistake them for artists either. They are too sensible to fuss with aesthetics. Both hail from cricket cultures that celebrate flamboyance - more true for Misbah, perhaps, than for Mathews - but they leave the pretty stuff to their team-mates and take the utilitarian road themselves. Misbah is wise enough to know aggression is critical to the cricket some batsmen play, but Mathews is still learning that others cannot absorb pressure as passively as he can. "We threw away our wickets" is a common complaint. Rarely is Mathews among the "we" in that sentence. So many times he has been like the band that plays a sombre tune while the ship sinks in a panic around him. No one knows that feeling better than Misbah.

There is also no doubt who has the tougher assignment. Eighteen months into his captaincy, Mathews has seen the entire spectrum of administrative bungling, from two contracts standoffs to seniors' tussles with the made-men at Maitland Place. But beyond the spectre of match-fixing that Misbah has worked to leave behind, the board he reports to is in so much disarray, SLC seems like a Sunday afternoon book club in comparison. Every person Misbah meets could be PCB chairman in 20 minutes' time. Or the next Test-match opener.  

Grim-faced and unflappable, it is also sometimes easy to cast Misbah as a sort of tragic hero. He is all the more likeable because of it. If the young players in Sri Lanka's middle order continue to show they are poor replacements for the seniors about to bow out of the game, Mathews may well become a tragic hero himself, in years to come. He is perhaps the luckier of the two because if he carries himself with the grace and dignity Misbah manages, he is not likely to be accused of being too square, as Misbah often is.  

Their teams arrive in Galle, evenly matched and familiar with each other's talents and points of weakness. Steady, courageous and possessed of a slow-burning charisma, the cricket Mathews and Misbah play over the next few weeks will be intriguing, not just for choices they make, but for the moves they elicit from one another.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ghtvnath on August 6, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    Both being good middle order batsmen, do not have a century in ODIs

  • Crick_Expert on August 6, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    SL has more chance to win series as PAK Batting still weakest in Test countries. Shan Massood, Soaib Maqsood should be in test team. Why PCB called back Asad Safiq, as he continue failed in past series.

  • t20cric on August 5, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    It will be an exciting series between two evenly matched teams. Pakistan's bowling will probably be better because Ajmal is in great form and Waqar Younis is coaching our pacers. SL's batting is strong with Sanga and Mathews in form and Mahela being able to suddenly come back in form (century at SSC is almost confirmed). I think Junaid Khan will be really dangerous if the pitch suits fast bowling (his stats against SL are good & stats in SL are even better). It would also be nice if Wahab Riaz can do a Mitchell Johnson and become a tearaway fast bowler. Also hoping for Younis and Misbah not to do much rescue work with Ahmed, Azhar and Umar Akmal scoring big. Team should be: 1.Ahmed Shehzad, 2.Shan Masood, 3.Azhar Ali, 4.Younis Khan, 5.Misbah-ul-haq(captain), 6.Umar Akmal(not as wk), 7.Sarfraz Ahmed(w.k), 8.Abdur Rehman/ Wahab Riaz(depending on if the pitch favors spin or not), 9.Mohammad Talha/ Rahat Ali(Rahat should play only if Talha is injured), 10.Saeed Ajmal, 11.Junaid Khan

  • Malik_Murad on August 5, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Both are 'Calm and Quiet Captains". We can understand that age factor causes calmness to Misbah. However, one can't understand the young captain Mathews has to rise up with enthusiasm and challenge the opposition with his youthfulness. This is the high time for both the captains to come out of their shells and act as a challenge for the opposition.

  • SaraJeff on August 5, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    SL has slight edge over Pakistan

  • on August 5, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Looking forward for a great battle between these two skipper Mr.Cool vs Mr.cool...as misbah said we have to stop jayawerdne scoring runs..on the other hand jayawardene will try to score runs for his nation amd himself for a happy ending...good luck jaya

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    It will be draw,..both side slow bowlers are good,,.batsman's are familiar with spin so don't worry abt....

  • Welay-White-Water on August 5, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    SL,PAK selection and execution will move one team to path of victory at crossroads. Mathews and Misbah not same, have deferent characteristics of classy. Batting all rounder SL captain won't be a lone hero providing a sensible unbiased selection process that find equal replacements for stars about to retire.

  • Romanticstud on August 5, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    South Africa have just toured Sri Lanka ... Pakistan are about to ... The difference:

    a) South Africa had a strong batting line-up so Pakistan may not hold on like South Africa did. b) Pakistan have a spinner of class and can put Sri-Lanka under pressure and expose Sri-lanka's middle order.

    Similarities:

    a) If Irfan plays, he gets the ball to come though much like Morne Morkel. b) Younis Kahn, much like AB de Villiers has the ability to attack the bowling or defend, whatever the circumstances.

    I expect that Pakistan will give Sri-Lanka a fright ... It will be a close series. Maybe a 1-0 result either way.

    Jayawardene and Sangakarra are always the batsmen to watch, but Matthews has also proved a tough customer ... but I suppose it is who has the best spinner ... that will win ...

  • khalid72 on August 5, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    nice article, for pakistan not easy series even they good enough to play spin. pakistani batting to be tested.

  • ghtvnath on August 6, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    Both being good middle order batsmen, do not have a century in ODIs

  • Crick_Expert on August 6, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    SL has more chance to win series as PAK Batting still weakest in Test countries. Shan Massood, Soaib Maqsood should be in test team. Why PCB called back Asad Safiq, as he continue failed in past series.

  • t20cric on August 5, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    It will be an exciting series between two evenly matched teams. Pakistan's bowling will probably be better because Ajmal is in great form and Waqar Younis is coaching our pacers. SL's batting is strong with Sanga and Mathews in form and Mahela being able to suddenly come back in form (century at SSC is almost confirmed). I think Junaid Khan will be really dangerous if the pitch suits fast bowling (his stats against SL are good & stats in SL are even better). It would also be nice if Wahab Riaz can do a Mitchell Johnson and become a tearaway fast bowler. Also hoping for Younis and Misbah not to do much rescue work with Ahmed, Azhar and Umar Akmal scoring big. Team should be: 1.Ahmed Shehzad, 2.Shan Masood, 3.Azhar Ali, 4.Younis Khan, 5.Misbah-ul-haq(captain), 6.Umar Akmal(not as wk), 7.Sarfraz Ahmed(w.k), 8.Abdur Rehman/ Wahab Riaz(depending on if the pitch favors spin or not), 9.Mohammad Talha/ Rahat Ali(Rahat should play only if Talha is injured), 10.Saeed Ajmal, 11.Junaid Khan

  • Malik_Murad on August 5, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Both are 'Calm and Quiet Captains". We can understand that age factor causes calmness to Misbah. However, one can't understand the young captain Mathews has to rise up with enthusiasm and challenge the opposition with his youthfulness. This is the high time for both the captains to come out of their shells and act as a challenge for the opposition.

  • SaraJeff on August 5, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    SL has slight edge over Pakistan

  • on August 5, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Looking forward for a great battle between these two skipper Mr.Cool vs Mr.cool...as misbah said we have to stop jayawerdne scoring runs..on the other hand jayawardene will try to score runs for his nation amd himself for a happy ending...good luck jaya

  • on August 5, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    It will be draw,..both side slow bowlers are good,,.batsman's are familiar with spin so don't worry abt....

  • Welay-White-Water on August 5, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    SL,PAK selection and execution will move one team to path of victory at crossroads. Mathews and Misbah not same, have deferent characteristics of classy. Batting all rounder SL captain won't be a lone hero providing a sensible unbiased selection process that find equal replacements for stars about to retire.

  • Romanticstud on August 5, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    South Africa have just toured Sri Lanka ... Pakistan are about to ... The difference:

    a) South Africa had a strong batting line-up so Pakistan may not hold on like South Africa did. b) Pakistan have a spinner of class and can put Sri-Lanka under pressure and expose Sri-lanka's middle order.

    Similarities:

    a) If Irfan plays, he gets the ball to come though much like Morne Morkel. b) Younis Kahn, much like AB de Villiers has the ability to attack the bowling or defend, whatever the circumstances.

    I expect that Pakistan will give Sri-Lanka a fright ... It will be a close series. Maybe a 1-0 result either way.

    Jayawardene and Sangakarra are always the batsmen to watch, but Matthews has also proved a tough customer ... but I suppose it is who has the best spinner ... that will win ...

  • khalid72 on August 5, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    nice article, for pakistan not easy series even they good enough to play spin. pakistani batting to be tested.

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    nice article. SL had good time after that last test vs pakistan. won almost everything before SA series. i would say SL's batting a bit more strong and set unit than pak. mainly they are playing good and hard cricket whereas pakistan coming from a long break so no idea about any one. i hope SL make good wickets and we can see some result oriented games instead of high scoring draws. overall good cricket coming up.

  • Naseer on August 5, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    One thing is for sure, this will be very tough series for Pakistan, after such long lay off, playing against Srilanka in Srilanka would be biggiest challenge for this Pakistani team, they will have to play their best cricket, to beat Srilanka in their home conditions like what South Africa did.

  • stuckwithcricket on August 5, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    Although a valiant attempt but its difficult for me to digest that these captains are identical in any way.

    The teams are evenly poised so it will be a great 'Test' of skills and stamina on who comes on top.

  • on August 5, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    Both simple/calm captains & very talented in their own ways. Wish them both & their teams, all the very best.

    Most Important factor is - 10 DAYS OF GOOD TEST CRICKET

  • Hasheem on August 5, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    As always people in Pak are getting excited about the series in Lanka.

    Does pakistan hav a chance,team looks Ok on paper,Lankans arnt going prepare wickets like the ones against S Africa.

    Series drawn or sudden dramatic last day finish

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Fabulous article. Would say SL are the favorites but its going to be tighy.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Good article. Difficult series for Pak....who have not been in action.....and are slow starters....money has to be with Sri Lanka who are battle hardened. Big series win in uk and reasonable performance against SA best team.

  • on August 5, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Muhammad Awais has made the most correct selection, lets hope waqar and misbah show similar sense.

  • Sexysteven on August 5, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    Yea not sure who win this series sl have the better batting lineup can be brittle a lot to but prob better then Pakistans batting and Pakistan have abetter bowling attack look ford to reading how it plays out hopefully the weather doesn't play apart and again frustrating why just 2tests and not 3 just crazy to me I'd rather them schedule less odis and t20s so they can get the extra test in but that would be to logical for the authorities there should be either 3test series or 5 test series they should be the 2 options none of these 1or2or4 test series that would make more sense to me good luck to both teams I'm going for sl purely cos I like Angelo Mathews both as a batsmen and adecent captain hope they find some young talent to back him up once Mahela goes

  • on August 5, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    @Muhammad Awais! Only four bowlers in the team? i m not agree with ur team selection as this can be prove fatal for pak. At least five bowlers needed to conquer SriLanka in Srilanka. " "Umar Akmal or Sarfraz Ahmad" only one of them can be in the Playing Eleven. "Rahat Ali/Wahab Riaz for Umar Akmal in my Eleven.....

  • SLSup on August 5, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    What have we got here? - SL vs PAK in SL where perhaps PAK is not as desparate as SA was to win the Series. In the case of SA they managed to regain their coveted (by their own admission) #1 ICC ranking beating 6th rated SL (having lost it to a more volative AUS earlier in the year). SA gained a ranking while SL remained at #6 in Tests and there was no change to SL ranking in ODI's either, despite SA winning that Series as well. But the PLOTS made for truly absorbing Series where SA were the deserving winners.

    PAK is ranked higher than SL in Tests (the cricket that really matters) but lower than SA and, yet, can be expected to play a more positive brand of cricket compared to SA. It is good to look forward to a series where a superflous ICC ranking (a process that is not fully explained or understood by many) is not the focus of attention but the cricket for the sake of it.

  • on August 5, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    SL will do well to go with 5 specialist bowlers as the pitch may assist them due to prevailing weather conditions which may be conducive to bowlers. Unfortunately, SL have only 2 spinners in the squad. Welagedera may be a good option to offer some variety in the fast bowling line up in breezy conditions which may help with his natural left arm inswing bowling. We hope the SL batsmen will cope well with the varied Pakistan bowling attack and come up with a match winning first innings total. Awaiting an interesting test series between two good teams.

  • MelbourneMiracle on August 5, 2014, 3:08 GMT

    Game on! All the v.best Sri Lanka & Pakistan!

  • on August 5, 2014, 1:34 GMT

    Such a beautiful article. :) Wishing best of luck to both the captains.

  • on August 5, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    Pak need Fawad Alam and Umar Akmal, pakistan has sooooo much young blood with talent but wastes it and uses trash like hafeez and Asad

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 5, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    Given that Pakistan has the better bowling unit, all their inconsistent batting lineup has to do is score a bit over 600 runs total to be assured of a victory. That 600 runs may look beyond the Pakistani batting, but Sri Lanka's Bowling, albeit in home conditions, seems more than manageable to me.

    Looking at Sri Lanka, if Matthews and Sanga should fail in the same inning, its basically game over for them. The same can be said of Pakistan if Misbah and Younis fail simultaneously but their bowling gives them the edge. Ajmal is the spin bowling equivalent of Steyn and he's got arguably equal if not better bowling support than Steyn had.

    Its a great opportunity for Sanga to push his batting average above 60, and for Mahela to keep his above 50 and end on an high despite the odds being stacked massively against him.

    Its gonna be a tight series but i know Pakistan (my favorite for this series) is gonna come away with at least one win. Wish it was 3 matches but 2 is better than none.

  • Diaz54 on August 5, 2014, 0:03 GMT

    Good article. Difficult series for Pak....who have not been in action.....and are slow starters....money has to be with Sri Lanka who are battle hardened. Big series win in uk and reasonable performance against SA best team.

  • mshyder on August 5, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    @ Muhammad Awais has made the most correct selection, lets hope waqar and misbah show similar sense.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on August 4, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    Misbah and Mathew both are doing great job gracefully. Pakistan is missing a replacement of Razzaq along with quality fast bowling which traditionally we had possession of. Only Junaid is good in current test squad. Looking forward to some good knocks from Ahmad Shahazad. i hope they play Umar Akmal. Pakistan should have selected taufeeq Umar. he was good proper test opener. Ehsan Adil should be coached for test bowling side. they need to work on Nasir Jmasehd as well as he is a good talent worth to work on. good luck Pakistan and Srilanka.

  • on August 4, 2014, 23:14 GMT

    I love to watch pak cric team playing.At this stage They are not playing a lot. pak team makes big portion of world cricket. I want to watch emerging players from pak.i would love to watch maximum mathes between ind and pak.Love for Pak cric from New Zealand

  • on August 4, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    Agree with SaifKhan90. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are both two good cricketing nations so it will be a very exciting series. Pakistanand Sri Lanka both need the experience so short before the world cup, so no mather the result this will be a positive series for both. Always love seeing Misbah play cricket he is an amazing cricketer. Misbah and Matthews are indeed very much alike always looking to see their teams trough and not aiming for big individual score's if the can get it it is nice but it is not their main priorty. Best of luck to Pakistan and may the best team win and may everyone see good cricket!

  • B.R.K.R on August 4, 2014, 22:13 GMT

    pak team always needs a good leader to handle the brilliant but inconsistent talent to bring out the best out of them, misbah is doing a good job at it but he is 40, hope they have another leader who can take his place once misbah retires.

  • on August 4, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    What a brilliant article. Superbly written. My two favourite teams playing again. I think it will be very enjouable. Good move by Pakistan to select Umar Akmal, Hopefully he will play both tests. Will be sad to see Jayawardane depart the test arena, the man has been magical to watch over the years. Good luck to both teams and lets hope for a brilliant series.

  • Nuwan_Lorensuhewa on August 4, 2014, 21:13 GMT

    Good luck to both teams !!! May the best win.... A die hard SL fan

  • on August 4, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    Andrew, this is a masterclass of cricket writing, could easily fill in some high class novel as introduction of the key heroes. Great job :)

  • on August 4, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    nice article ... Misbah should go for a bit of aggression in middle order with selecting UMAR AKMAL ...! what say guys ?

  • 6pack on August 4, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    Thirimanne and Chandimal both have a future in tests. However, they both need to work their way back into the side. Being complacent or feeling entitled probably have contributed to their downfall lately. I have a strong feeling that at least Thirimanne will be back - if nothing, his innings at Sydney a couple of years ago as Sangakkara's injury replacement showed us that he has the stuff to be successful in tests.

  • Bilal_Choudry on August 4, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    Pakistan making the same mistake over and over again .. with Herath is the biggest threat Pakistan needed a lefthander in the middle order .. I wonder why is Fawad Alam not selected in tests ... apart from that I want to c the future of pak pace attack ... junaid, talha, rahat ... i think if persisted with this could b the answer

  • on August 4, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    Pak team should be. 1. Shan masood 2. Khurram 3. Azhar 4. Younis 5. King misbah <3 6. Asad 7. Sarfraz 8. Talha 9. Rehman 10. Ajmal 11. Junaid. Ahmed shehzad is pure talent but only in Odin's and t20's. If he play tests then he surely lose his form.

  • on August 4, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    wow,, what a Comparison it was, a Really great Article..

  • Priyantha_P_Gunaratna on August 4, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    Great article but I think Mathews has every right to complain that "We threw away our wickets". The two culprits are Thirimanne and Chandimal. Thirimanne, I do not think is test material. ODIs and tests are miles apart. He has a very poor test batting average below 30, that too inflated thanks to some matches against Bangladesh. If he was in any other test playing country except may be in Bangladesh or Zimbabwe he would not be even considered for test cricket. Chandimal averages 40+ but he is wasting his talent and loosing out on valuable opportunities by playing no brainer hook shots. None of them have any right to complain about their batting positions. Great players like Sanga, Aravinda etc. batted lower than what they eventually settled for. These preferred positions should be earned and not given on a plate. I do not expect none of them to be as ever reliable Thilan Samaraweera, but in terms of determination and application they are no where near Thilan.

  • on August 4, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    Pak Team :: Khurrum Manzoor , Ahmed Shehzad , Azhar Ali , Younis Khan , Misbah Ul Haq , Umar Akmal , Sarfraz Ahmed , Abdul Rehman , Saeed Ajmal , Muhammad Talha , Junaid Khan

    IN SHA ALLAH PAKISTAN will win the series

  • Desihungama on August 4, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    Separated economically? Are you seriously serious? They are all compensated rather well, economically!

  • Arif_Khan_Bangladeshi on August 4, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    SL has had an excellent year so far. They have managed to win several significant tournaments, including test series win over England. After the Saffa ODI and test series loss, I'm sure they will be fired up. Pakistan will be hoping to win and start building momentum heading into the ODI world cup. Lot's to play for. Good luck to our SL brothers and Pakistan. May the best team win.

  • on August 4, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    Andrew, awesome writing !! As a neutral , wishing Misbah and Mathews the best ..

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  • on August 4, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    Andrew, awesome writing !! As a neutral , wishing Misbah and Mathews the best ..

  • Arif_Khan_Bangladeshi on August 4, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    SL has had an excellent year so far. They have managed to win several significant tournaments, including test series win over England. After the Saffa ODI and test series loss, I'm sure they will be fired up. Pakistan will be hoping to win and start building momentum heading into the ODI world cup. Lot's to play for. Good luck to our SL brothers and Pakistan. May the best team win.

  • Desihungama on August 4, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    Separated economically? Are you seriously serious? They are all compensated rather well, economically!

  • on August 4, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    Pak Team :: Khurrum Manzoor , Ahmed Shehzad , Azhar Ali , Younis Khan , Misbah Ul Haq , Umar Akmal , Sarfraz Ahmed , Abdul Rehman , Saeed Ajmal , Muhammad Talha , Junaid Khan

    IN SHA ALLAH PAKISTAN will win the series

  • Priyantha_P_Gunaratna on August 4, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    Great article but I think Mathews has every right to complain that "We threw away our wickets". The two culprits are Thirimanne and Chandimal. Thirimanne, I do not think is test material. ODIs and tests are miles apart. He has a very poor test batting average below 30, that too inflated thanks to some matches against Bangladesh. If he was in any other test playing country except may be in Bangladesh or Zimbabwe he would not be even considered for test cricket. Chandimal averages 40+ but he is wasting his talent and loosing out on valuable opportunities by playing no brainer hook shots. None of them have any right to complain about their batting positions. Great players like Sanga, Aravinda etc. batted lower than what they eventually settled for. These preferred positions should be earned and not given on a plate. I do not expect none of them to be as ever reliable Thilan Samaraweera, but in terms of determination and application they are no where near Thilan.

  • on August 4, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    wow,, what a Comparison it was, a Really great Article..

  • on August 4, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    Pak team should be. 1. Shan masood 2. Khurram 3. Azhar 4. Younis 5. King misbah <3 6. Asad 7. Sarfraz 8. Talha 9. Rehman 10. Ajmal 11. Junaid. Ahmed shehzad is pure talent but only in Odin's and t20's. If he play tests then he surely lose his form.

  • Bilal_Choudry on August 4, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    Pakistan making the same mistake over and over again .. with Herath is the biggest threat Pakistan needed a lefthander in the middle order .. I wonder why is Fawad Alam not selected in tests ... apart from that I want to c the future of pak pace attack ... junaid, talha, rahat ... i think if persisted with this could b the answer

  • 6pack on August 4, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    Thirimanne and Chandimal both have a future in tests. However, they both need to work their way back into the side. Being complacent or feeling entitled probably have contributed to their downfall lately. I have a strong feeling that at least Thirimanne will be back - if nothing, his innings at Sydney a couple of years ago as Sangakkara's injury replacement showed us that he has the stuff to be successful in tests.

  • on August 4, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    nice article ... Misbah should go for a bit of aggression in middle order with selecting UMAR AKMAL ...! what say guys ?