Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2011 August 8, 2011

Akram puzzled by Pakistan selection

ESPNcricinfo staff
32

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has questioned the decision to rest fast bowlers Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe saying it would hamper their growth as bowlers.

"I don't mind taking Zimbabwe lightly and giving chances to youngsters," Akram told AFP, "but it is surprising that you rest Riaz who has just started his career a year ago and is progressing. He doesn't need rest."

The Pakistan selectors also omitted seamer Tanvir Ahmed, and instead chose to go with an inexperienced pace attack comprising Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, debutant Aizaz Cheema and Junaid Khan. Commenting on the selection, chief selector Mohsin Khan had said the fresh look to the squad was an effort to blood youngsters. However Akram said the tour would have been a good opportunity for Riaz to continue his development and for Gul to regain his form.

"I have seen that out-of-form paceman get back to form by playing easier teams, but here we have rested the two main pacemen and they were allowed to play county cricket, instead of doing the national duty," Wasim said. "The idea to groom a young paceman is to give him more and more opportunities and not to rest him. Riaz needs opportunities and it's not wise for him to rest at this stage."

Riaz, who has played seven Tests and 22 ODIs for Pakistan, was the leading wicket-taker for Kent in the Friends Life t20 competition with 20 wickets from 13 games while Gul picked up 12 wickets from eight games for Sussex.

Wasim said teams like India and Australia who played continuously could afford to rest key players, unlike Pakistan whose cricket calendar is not as packed. "If we see India giving rest to their key players, it's understandable because they play too much cricket throughout the year but Pakistan rarely plays Tests and here we are without our rising paceman."

Akram praised the selection of 31-year-old Cheema, who was rewarded for his solid performances on the domestic circuit. "Cheema has been leading wicket-taker in Pakistan's domestic season, so he deserved a chance but there should be more consistency in selection," he said.

Akram also said that Pakistan still needed the services of former captain Shahid Afridi who announced his retirement from international cricket following a dispute with the Pakistan board. "I won't speak much on the issue but Afridi is needed," Akram said. "He has a lot of cricket left in him and he can still do a lot for the Pakistan team."

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  • on August 11, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Don't you think Ijaz but would also be feeling tired & he need a little rest as well. After all he is a human being at least look like!!!!

  • Happy_AusBang on August 11, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    This is laughable! It is not as if Pakistan players are playing so much cricket that they need rest. This would have been an opportunity for players to find some form against arguably a less challenging team; players such as Umar Gul upon whom the team relies so much. And Wahab Riaz, a relative newcomer definitely does not need rest, unless selectors have some other more potent options that they want to try out, but I can't see anyone like that.

  • on August 11, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Yes Wasim Bahi is right Wahab needs to continue and Pakistani Team need Boom Boom Afridi and Umar Gul also need to continur his form.

  • Ahsan_Shere on August 11, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    @Acton49: Your words: ""They should take the leaf out of BCCI selection on Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar ...... still plying their trade at the top level in all format of the game"" Only Tendulkar plays ODI & Tests but not T20. Laxman & Dravid play Tests only, even BCCI didn't know that Dravid don't want to play ODIs thatswhy they selected him but this too will be his last ODI series after almost 2 years of no limited overs cricket to his name at international level.

  • on August 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    wow love how much attention this article is getting from our friends from across the pond. Hey! here's an idea, why dont you go to the articles on the series happening in England right now, and share your two cents on how their opposition can cross the 300 mark in a test match innings? :)

  • Acton49 on August 10, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Pakistan cricket selector are in a world on their own. They should take the leaf out of BCCI selection on Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar ...... still plying their trade at the top level in all format of the game...... But Pakistan is different.... quite brainless really, you have Mo Yo who in the English county gave a performance that had people in awe in a wicket that were falling as nine pins. Zimbabwe just beat BD. Do you think Pakistan in this climate of mediocrity would beat Zimbabwe? I suppose if you call Gul as a spearhead bowler, then Jonathan Trott would be better placed to land two balls in the same place than Gul.

  • on August 9, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Just goes on to show what PCB is doing wrong. They are destroying the confidence of youngsters. Not too sure about Afridi, but I do believe PCB has been responsible for ruining raw talent which has always been there in Pak. Its a pity such good bowlers get treated like that. I wouldn't be surprise if one of these budding talents would walk the same path Amir and Asif did.

  • getsetgopk on August 9, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Now, imagine this. Few years down the line when team pak has shown some poor poor performances, and things look way out of order just as was in 2010 with yet another broken team, who they gona turn to? yea thats Afridi!

  • on August 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    hi wasim bhai.you are right at the time waseem bhai i agree with u.PCB chairman ijaz butt is not on right.now he should resigned.and afridi right at the time.we need a responseable chairman for pakistan cricket.my point of view Imran Khan is a best man for pakistan cricket board chairman,i think he showed a gud result becouse we want to see a successfull team all in world,we want a bright PAKISTAN.

  • a_rahat on August 9, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Wasim has said exactly what The selectors were needed to do..why rest for wahab & gul?? just absurd decision from the selectors..they need to play..it's the growing time for wahab..and surely gul could get back his confidence there what is very important for pakistan..

  • on August 11, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Don't you think Ijaz but would also be feeling tired & he need a little rest as well. After all he is a human being at least look like!!!!

  • Happy_AusBang on August 11, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    This is laughable! It is not as if Pakistan players are playing so much cricket that they need rest. This would have been an opportunity for players to find some form against arguably a less challenging team; players such as Umar Gul upon whom the team relies so much. And Wahab Riaz, a relative newcomer definitely does not need rest, unless selectors have some other more potent options that they want to try out, but I can't see anyone like that.

  • on August 11, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Yes Wasim Bahi is right Wahab needs to continue and Pakistani Team need Boom Boom Afridi and Umar Gul also need to continur his form.

  • Ahsan_Shere on August 11, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    @Acton49: Your words: ""They should take the leaf out of BCCI selection on Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar ...... still plying their trade at the top level in all format of the game"" Only Tendulkar plays ODI & Tests but not T20. Laxman & Dravid play Tests only, even BCCI didn't know that Dravid don't want to play ODIs thatswhy they selected him but this too will be his last ODI series after almost 2 years of no limited overs cricket to his name at international level.

  • on August 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    wow love how much attention this article is getting from our friends from across the pond. Hey! here's an idea, why dont you go to the articles on the series happening in England right now, and share your two cents on how their opposition can cross the 300 mark in a test match innings? :)

  • Acton49 on August 10, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Pakistan cricket selector are in a world on their own. They should take the leaf out of BCCI selection on Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar ...... still plying their trade at the top level in all format of the game...... But Pakistan is different.... quite brainless really, you have Mo Yo who in the English county gave a performance that had people in awe in a wicket that were falling as nine pins. Zimbabwe just beat BD. Do you think Pakistan in this climate of mediocrity would beat Zimbabwe? I suppose if you call Gul as a spearhead bowler, then Jonathan Trott would be better placed to land two balls in the same place than Gul.

  • on August 9, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Just goes on to show what PCB is doing wrong. They are destroying the confidence of youngsters. Not too sure about Afridi, but I do believe PCB has been responsible for ruining raw talent which has always been there in Pak. Its a pity such good bowlers get treated like that. I wouldn't be surprise if one of these budding talents would walk the same path Amir and Asif did.

  • getsetgopk on August 9, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Now, imagine this. Few years down the line when team pak has shown some poor poor performances, and things look way out of order just as was in 2010 with yet another broken team, who they gona turn to? yea thats Afridi!

  • on August 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    hi wasim bhai.you are right at the time waseem bhai i agree with u.PCB chairman ijaz butt is not on right.now he should resigned.and afridi right at the time.we need a responseable chairman for pakistan cricket.my point of view Imran Khan is a best man for pakistan cricket board chairman,i think he showed a gud result becouse we want to see a successfull team all in world,we want a bright PAKISTAN.

  • a_rahat on August 9, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Wasim has said exactly what The selectors were needed to do..why rest for wahab & gul?? just absurd decision from the selectors..they need to play..it's the growing time for wahab..and surely gul could get back his confidence there what is very important for pakistan..

  • on August 9, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    I am sorry to say but i don't agree with this point of Waseem Akram no doubt he is legend but my thinking is"Pakistan do not have a world class test fast Bowler after Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif.Umar Gull and Wahab Riaz No doubt they are very good ODI bowlers But i think that they are not good enough in test cricket. So Pakistan have to find a good test bowler,that's why this selection seems to me a good one."

  • Ahsan_Shere on August 9, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    Some say BD batting is better than Pakistan's!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahaahaa! Shall I laugh more????? Did you see their approach towards test cricket as if they were playing Twenty20 or I shall rather say double-wicket. Did you see Shakib's dismissal, Tamim's remarks & 130 run loss on a flat wicket(do you remember who said that was flat?). How many of BD players batting average of more than 35 in Tests? Pakistan have half a dozen, if I'm correct

  • RandyOZ on August 9, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    @jonesy2 - spot on. Resting players who are either lacking match fitness/confidence or on the other hand playing well and in good form, is a recipe for disaster.

  • Rahulbose on August 8, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    Arree Wasim bhai! Why are you trying to find logical reasoning and planning behind selection decisions made by PCB.

  • Ahsan_Shere on August 8, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    @AndyZaltzmannsHair: Resting one or two bowlers might be correct decision but resting your three front line bowlers (Gul, Riaz, Abdur Rahman) can't be wise from any angle

  • TaylorSwift on August 8, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Playing for Kent will be instrumental in Wahab's development. However, as Wasim suggested, Wahab needs more international exposure at this point in his career. A trip to Zimbabwe would help his development. Gul can be rested. He is useless in Test matches anyways. This is a good opportunity for Junaid Khan to make an impact on the international scene.

  • Stark62 on August 8, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    With the exception of Junaid Khan, who are the other so called "youngsters" that are being tried out in the bowling dept?

    This is simply ridiculous!

    Give youngsters a go not old players who couldn't break into the team earlier because they were mediocre.

    Plus, how does farhat, taufeeq, misbah, younis, rameez raja jnr and adnan get in ahead of consistent and talented youngsters like: Naved Yasin, Fawad Alam, Nasir Jamshed, Manzoor, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wkt) and Sarfraz Ahmed (wkt)?!?!

  • on August 8, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    I don't mean to criticize here and Akram's knowledge is unquestionable as a legend, but I would like to see these illustrious former players actually getting involved more in running the game, as opposed to commenting from the sidelines...

  • sohaibahmad on August 8, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    if Zimbabwe bowls like they did against BD they will win against Pakistan, BD batting is better than Pakistan at the moment

  • SachinLara1 on August 8, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    as usual pakistan doesnt use their talented players well

  • khurramsch on August 8, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    some friends here are complaining about saying ZIMB weaker team by others. NO they are not but in next few month this is probably last tour of pakistan to a slightly less strong team than SL/ENG.ZIMB is not weaker than Pakistan BUT is Weaker than other opponents pakistan are going to play in next few months. & they didnt rested gul riaz. its just thy want to test youngsters. & that good thing but will they get chance in playing 11?

  • khurramsch on August 8, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    i dont agrre here . its good to test new bowlers on tours like zimb. last time against WI & Ireland pak send youngsters but didnt tried all of them. but they must be consistent in picking youngsters. hamad azam, usman slaudin were not considered this time. & what about sadaf husain who sit on benches in WI & now no where?. they were not fully utilised in WI. & now they are giving caps to new youngsters . & more important is that will they make place in playing 11? in WI & ireland thy didnt give enough chances to youngsters. this year this is the last chance as zib is a weak team. after this SL /ENG.

  • fareeduetian12 on August 8, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    Look wat Laxman dravid and tendulkar is doing for india in test cricket, if they are not there india would have not been the number one test team and even in this series against england when everybody is struggling laxman and dravid have been the stand out players for india.

    So, my point is in test cricket you need to give your best players the chance and PCB is continuosly ignoring arguably the best batsman pak have ever had in test cricket for no reason at all. and thats muhammad yousaf.

    My Test x1 for pak:

    1. hafeez 2. tofeeq 3. younis. 4. yousaf 5. misbah 6. asad 7. kamran 8. gul 9. wahab 10. sohail khan/anwar ali 11. ajmal

    My odi x1 for pak:

    1. hafeez 2. imran nazir 3. asad 4. shaoib malik 5. umer akmal 6. sahhid afridi 7. abdul razzak 8. kamran akmal 9. ajmal 10. umer gul 11. wahab riaz

    For t20 we can replace asad with ahmed shehzad

    this team in the absence of amir and asif and we can beat any team in the world. just add amir to taht and we will be no 1 side in the world

  • jonesy2 on August 8, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    this could be dangerous for pakistan, i see a zim upset. and yes akram is right, resting players at unnessecary times can hinder development

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on August 8, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Akram is forgetting there are LONG tours of England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to follow straight after the Zimbabwe tour. DO NOT OVERUSE YOUR FAST BOWLERS! If the Pakistani spinners and back up bowlers can't take 20 wickets against Zimbabwe then it ain't a good sign for the future. The PCB has done the right thing, for once, and mixed youth with experience with the squad. Abdur Rehman is also being rested to try out young leg spinner Yasir Shah. Rehman is now proven quality so he'll be back for the tour against England. You need back up players, aka a strong SQUAD if you want to be a high quality international team.

  • mensan on August 8, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    With Zimbabwe defeating Bangladesh in test natch, Pakistan needs to have their best bowling attack. It's not a time to rest bowlers. They already had enough rest after WI tour and they will get rest after Zimbabwe series.

  • poderdubdubdub on August 8, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    They better watch Zimbabwe, after beating Bangladesh in the Test match they are quite capable of beating Pakistan. Surprised to read Wasim does not mind taking Zimbabwe 'lightly', I think Pakistan will do that at their peril. Frankly Pakistan are not a strong side by any count, they lost the first test against Windies and they have never won a series in West Indies. Sending a second grade team to Zimbabwe might prove suicidal.

  • GowharGeelani on August 8, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Wise words from Wasim, legendary left-arm paceman and 'Sultan of Swing' bowling. Wahab Riyaz has only started his career, he hasn't played 50 0r 75 test matches that he needs to be rested for a foreign tour. Zimbabwe tour would have given him an opportunity to play in African conditions which in turn would definitely have helped him when Pakistan toured South Africa in future. Wahab proved what he has to offer in the world cup semi final by taking five crucial wickets against India. Umar Gul also needed to play such an important tour, and one can't take any team in test cricket lightly; didn't Zimbabwe registered a comprehensive win against Bangladesh in just concluded match after team's return to test cricket? And why aren't great players like Boom Boom Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik & the like included in the team to provide balance and loads of experience! Injecting youth is good but it shouldn't be at the cost of ignoring experience. Judicious mix of youth & Exp!

  • a.syed81 on August 8, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    First of all Mohsin Khan you need to understand who is young and who hasn't played International cricket. Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, debutant Aizaz Cheema ARE NOT YOUNG Junaid Khan is though. Agree with Waseem this tour can give Wahab further confidence. Plus I don't understand what's the point of bringing 30+ year old Aizaz Cheema. The question is how much can he play for pak now? Instead of him I'll pick a young 18, 19 or 20 year old kid and groom him.

  • smartguy786 on August 8, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Pakistan will be in trouble if they dont go with a full strenght team. Zim just bead Bangladesh.

  • ather_aziz on August 8, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    wahab riaz doesnt need to rest i understand umar gul's situation i dont mind him being rested but the one that bothers me the msot is the omission of abdur rehman from the squad the poor lad hasnt been given enough chances yet he has been asked to rest when we all know that saeed ajmal is literally a first choice in any playing XI in the world why istn he being rested and rehman being given a full tour as the leading spinner for once in his career ?

  • on August 8, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Exactly, we do not need to rest our key bowlers, we can groom young blood one by one, not all the new comers in one series, and yeh we need afridi back in ODIs.

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  • on August 8, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Exactly, we do not need to rest our key bowlers, we can groom young blood one by one, not all the new comers in one series, and yeh we need afridi back in ODIs.

  • ather_aziz on August 8, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    wahab riaz doesnt need to rest i understand umar gul's situation i dont mind him being rested but the one that bothers me the msot is the omission of abdur rehman from the squad the poor lad hasnt been given enough chances yet he has been asked to rest when we all know that saeed ajmal is literally a first choice in any playing XI in the world why istn he being rested and rehman being given a full tour as the leading spinner for once in his career ?

  • smartguy786 on August 8, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Pakistan will be in trouble if they dont go with a full strenght team. Zim just bead Bangladesh.

  • a.syed81 on August 8, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    First of all Mohsin Khan you need to understand who is young and who hasn't played International cricket. Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, debutant Aizaz Cheema ARE NOT YOUNG Junaid Khan is though. Agree with Waseem this tour can give Wahab further confidence. Plus I don't understand what's the point of bringing 30+ year old Aizaz Cheema. The question is how much can he play for pak now? Instead of him I'll pick a young 18, 19 or 20 year old kid and groom him.

  • GowharGeelani on August 8, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Wise words from Wasim, legendary left-arm paceman and 'Sultan of Swing' bowling. Wahab Riyaz has only started his career, he hasn't played 50 0r 75 test matches that he needs to be rested for a foreign tour. Zimbabwe tour would have given him an opportunity to play in African conditions which in turn would definitely have helped him when Pakistan toured South Africa in future. Wahab proved what he has to offer in the world cup semi final by taking five crucial wickets against India. Umar Gul also needed to play such an important tour, and one can't take any team in test cricket lightly; didn't Zimbabwe registered a comprehensive win against Bangladesh in just concluded match after team's return to test cricket? And why aren't great players like Boom Boom Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik & the like included in the team to provide balance and loads of experience! Injecting youth is good but it shouldn't be at the cost of ignoring experience. Judicious mix of youth & Exp!

  • poderdubdubdub on August 8, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    They better watch Zimbabwe, after beating Bangladesh in the Test match they are quite capable of beating Pakistan. Surprised to read Wasim does not mind taking Zimbabwe 'lightly', I think Pakistan will do that at their peril. Frankly Pakistan are not a strong side by any count, they lost the first test against Windies and they have never won a series in West Indies. Sending a second grade team to Zimbabwe might prove suicidal.

  • mensan on August 8, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    With Zimbabwe defeating Bangladesh in test natch, Pakistan needs to have their best bowling attack. It's not a time to rest bowlers. They already had enough rest after WI tour and they will get rest after Zimbabwe series.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on August 8, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Akram is forgetting there are LONG tours of England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to follow straight after the Zimbabwe tour. DO NOT OVERUSE YOUR FAST BOWLERS! If the Pakistani spinners and back up bowlers can't take 20 wickets against Zimbabwe then it ain't a good sign for the future. The PCB has done the right thing, for once, and mixed youth with experience with the squad. Abdur Rehman is also being rested to try out young leg spinner Yasir Shah. Rehman is now proven quality so he'll be back for the tour against England. You need back up players, aka a strong SQUAD if you want to be a high quality international team.

  • jonesy2 on August 8, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    this could be dangerous for pakistan, i see a zim upset. and yes akram is right, resting players at unnessecary times can hinder development

  • fareeduetian12 on August 8, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    Look wat Laxman dravid and tendulkar is doing for india in test cricket, if they are not there india would have not been the number one test team and even in this series against england when everybody is struggling laxman and dravid have been the stand out players for india.

    So, my point is in test cricket you need to give your best players the chance and PCB is continuosly ignoring arguably the best batsman pak have ever had in test cricket for no reason at all. and thats muhammad yousaf.

    My Test x1 for pak:

    1. hafeez 2. tofeeq 3. younis. 4. yousaf 5. misbah 6. asad 7. kamran 8. gul 9. wahab 10. sohail khan/anwar ali 11. ajmal

    My odi x1 for pak:

    1. hafeez 2. imran nazir 3. asad 4. shaoib malik 5. umer akmal 6. sahhid afridi 7. abdul razzak 8. kamran akmal 9. ajmal 10. umer gul 11. wahab riaz

    For t20 we can replace asad with ahmed shehzad

    this team in the absence of amir and asif and we can beat any team in the world. just add amir to taht and we will be no 1 side in the world