Once one had got over the disappointment, a huge disappointment for Pakistan had come tantalisingly close to winning, one felt good for the future of Pakistan cricket. A new generation had arrived, young legs, fresh minds but most of all, self-belief.

One had expected something special from Shoaib Akhtar and being the showman that he is, he chose to encapsulate it in one over, the best single over I have seen bowled by a Pakistani fast bowler, Ponting, Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist blown away and the Test match turned on its head.

But it was Faisal Iqbal who played the shot of the match when he arrived at the wicket in the first innings. He took two steps down the wicket and he hit Shane Warne over the top for a one-bounce four. It was a shot that had pedigree written all over it.

One could imagine his uncle, Javed Miandad jumping out of his chair. It was the sort of shot that Miandad himself would have played to scatter the gloom that hung over the Pakistan innings.

For too long has Faisal Iqbal carried the baggage of being Miandad's nephew. It has worked against him. Being cynical and an uncharitable lot, we could not accept that he was an immensely gifted batsman in his own right. He has now broken free and the young lad is here to stay. Had he had someone to partner him after Younis Khan was out, Pakistan might have won the Test. He was my man-of-the-match.

The Test match had begun badly for Pakistan because the team selection was flawed. If, for whatever reason, Shahid Afridi was not in Colombo but Danish Kaneria was there. Pakistan was one spinner short and one fast bowler too many.

In the end, it did not prove too costly but Australia did look like getting to 600 and Saqlain Mushtaq had to do a dual job, attack as well as contain. Just as well he was on song and he teamed up with Shoaib Akhtar to mop up the tail. But this is now history and we should concentrate on the positives. Pakistan's problem has been the absence of reliable openers. In the first innings, Imran Nazir and Taufiq Umar were a bundle of nerves and they both failed to get off the mark.

In the second innings, it was a different story. Admittedly Imran Nazir had his share of luck. The Australian slip fielders, indeed proved to be good samaritans in both the Pakistan innings.

But once he had settled down, Imran Nazir looked good. Taufiq Umar was not just solid but he was, at times, magnificent. He has the making of a fine opener, in both versions of the game.

I fail to understand why Abdul Razzaq has to be made a sacrificial lamb. His rightful place in the batting order is in the middle. There is no reason at all why Younis should not be coming at one-down. In that batting line-up, he is the most accomplished. That's where he should be batting.

In the second innings, the openers had given Pakistan an excellent start. Younis should have come in and Razzaq saved to bolster the middle. After such a heartwarming performance, this may seem to be nit-picking. But there are two Test matches still to be played. Pakistan must get the basics right. Pakistan will feel more at home in Sharjah and it's a happy hunting ground.It will still be hot but the humidity factor will not be that high and it's not likely to rain. There may even be more people at ground to watch the matches. The Colombo test match deserved a full house.

It was a terrific game of cricket and the Australians were certainly surprised how hard a young and inexperienced side fought and come so close to toppling them off the pedestal.

Wasim Akram and Saeed Anwar chose not to play in the series against Australia because they needed 'rest'. I was, therefore, a little surprised to see that both of them had scooted-off to Cardiff to play in an indoor match with some ridiculous format.

This would not be my idea of rest. Saeed Anwar may well have lost his place in the team to Taufiq Umar. I cannot say that Wasim Akram too has lost his place but I would certainly like him to be further 'rested' when Pakistan tours Zimbabwe next month.

There is some disappointment that Misbah-ul-Haq did not make too much of a contribution. But he will have to learn the hard way. He may have tonked Shane Warne for a couple of sixes in Nairobi but that was a one-day game and this was a Test match.

But he's a good player, good enough, one hopes, to learn from his mistakes. The same would apply to Imran Nazir. He should be made to look at the video of the way he got out in both the innings. May be Pybus will have more luck with him than Mudassar Nazar did.