THE FRICTION SAGA CONTINUES…..

The PCB administration got changed and shortly after, Malik was sacked as captain. A new captain was appointed and all eyes were on how the relationship between the assertive captain Younis and Chief Selector Qadir would be.

Afridi struck form in the warm up game against Sri Lanka

Afridi struck form in the warm up game against Sri Lanka

Most people were quite curious about the point of having a warm up game between Afridi’s Patrons XI team and the Sri Lanka team. Some thought this was just a test to see if Afridi could contribute with the bat and make a place for himself in the test squad. Others, after watching the innings of Ahmed Shahzad and Azhar Ali, thought that this was an excuse to showcase the talent of these two players so that one of them could be included. Afridi played a decent knock with the bat that should have justified his inclusion in the Test squad, if his batting was the concern of the selectors. He did not get a wicket but only 3 of his regular bowlers did. If his batting was not a concern, then his place should have been guaranteed anyway, because he has been in form as regards his bowling. This is not to defend Afridi per se; it just boggles the mind why he was

Afridis loss and Nasirs loss is Ahmeds gain

Afridi's loss and Nasir's loss is Ahmed's gain

even chosen to captain in the warm up match if the selectors were expecting him to score a century?

Ahmed Shahzad, after his knock of 146, was chosen from the warm up squad and it is over Shahzad’s selection that apparently Younis and Qadir had a disagreement. Shehzad’s inclusion is certainly controversial, not least because Nasir Jamshed, who is a more consistent batsman, has been left out by the selectors and also because Shahzad was not even in the list of 22 probables that were proposed by Qadir a week ago. Shahzad is known to be a confident and clean striker of the ball, however he lacks the consistency of other openers like Nasir Jamshed and Khurram Manzoor. Manzoor has been the best opener in domestic cricket for a number of years now whereas Nasir Jamshed has been a top batsman for over a year.

Will Manzoor get another lifeline?

Will Manzoor get another lifeline?

That leads to the question of whether Manzoor is likely to open along with Butt. Manzoor is an experienced opener at domestic level but so far in ODI’s he has appeared to be a mixed package. Whereas he has been gifted with the ability to stay at his crease, his shot selection appears very limited and he appears very restricted to his back foot. Today it was reported that Younis and Qadir might toy with the idea of opening with Malik and playing Asim Kamal and Faisal Iqbal in the middle order.

It is rumoured that Younis is not a great believer in young talent. On various TV shows

Whose career will Akmal try and ruin now?

Whose career will Akmal try and ruin now?

Younis has stressed the need to have more mature players in the side. That is the reason why there were reports that he might want to try out Faisal Iqbal or Asim Kamal instead of Fawad Alam, and why he might want to persist with Kamran Akmal

As they say, what matters is who you know..........

As they say, what matters is "who you know.........."

instead of Sarfraz Ahmed. It is unclear who has been behind the controversial selections of Faisal, Asim and Akmal, but they are certainly selections that should not have been. With all the respect in the world to Asim Kamal, his recent domestic performances have not been anything to write home about. Plus, Fawad Alam’s unbelievable run at domestic level should automatically disqualify Kamal from international selection. Faisal Iqbal is a strange case, he is different to Bazid Khan because unlike Khan, he always makes some good scores in tournaments and he shows some good technique at times, but he lacks consistency. It is very sad that more deserving players are being deprived because of Miandad’s nepotism.

On the bowling front, the situation is clearer. Akhtar is unfit so Gul was always the strike bowler. Tanvir, despite his brilliant performance in his last first class match, was overlooked to the benefit of Mohammad Talha. Talha has been the most devastating bowler in the Q&A Trophy and it would have been criminal to ignore him from this squad. Kaneria was always Pakistan’s first choice spinner and he now needs to hope that Akmal gives him some support behind the stumps.

My preferred XI for the 1st Test now that Nasir Jamshed is not in the team:

Butt, Manzoor, Malik, Younis, Misbah, Fawad, Akmal, Gul, S Khan, Talha, Kaneria

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  1. #1 by Dimple Rosy Cheeks on February 19, 2009 - 12:31 AM

    Cricket was so much better when Imran Khan, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram et al were playing.

    Pakistani cricket has seemed to have lost the passion, vigour and pride with which the above named players played with.

  2. #2 by Ali Ahad on February 19, 2009 - 12:48 AM

    Kahnsahab good article but there are couple of points that I will disagree.

    A) Lala’s selection, yes he did play a good knock but I think he needs more time to come back for the test team. He always maintain that he is primarily a bowler and batting is a plus but honestly speaking originally he is in team because of his Hard Hitting batting. His batting has been a worry for a long time now. Nowadays test matches are won if a team can take twenty wickets so his selection means to sacrifice a bowler. I am sure you must argue that Malik should not be selected and I will totally agree with you but Lala also need a wake up call and I believe that his omission will be a wake call for him.

    B) Faisal and Asim, they are more technically correct than Alam and they both have proved numerous times that they can absorb the pressure in the middle. Again, please don’t go by the numbers in domestic cricket. You get recognized when you perform at the highest level.

    Lastly, regarding that Khut-mal he doesn’t even deserve wicket keeping gloves, but Younis might want to give him one Last chance and hopefully we wont see him again.

  3. #3 by Mohammed Munir on February 19, 2009 - 4:26 AM

    Khan Sahab …

    Excellent article and as usual some good points raised and a great analysis all-round.

    Your effort is more appreciated, as you have ‘sacrificed’ time for cricket and us the LS bloggers, in spite of having a busy routine with your exams being round the corner, beside being unwell.

    Get well soon, and get passed soon 😉

    Malik surely does not deserved a chance here, but he is in the team only because of Younis Khan, while the same can be true for Akmal, and similarly, Faisal is also more of a liability for the unit. Younis to me is a weak captain who wants to ‘go-with-the-flow’ rather then taking full charge of the team and making large scale changes in the setup, which would have put him under the microscope, but I guess he budged this responsibility.

    I would have been a happy man seeing Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fawad Alam, and Afridi replacing “the three musketeers” in Akmal, Malik and Faisal, which would have given the team better bowling options (as Fawad and Afridi both can bowl), surely better fielding and definitely much better keeping standards.

    Anyways, good luck to the TEAM !!

  4. #4 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 19, 2009 - 4:40 AM

    Munir: Physiotherapist tumharee subha ho gayee? 😀 Your shikari must be Bear hunting in his dreams by now.

  5. #5 by Mohammed Munir on February 19, 2009 - 5:32 AM

    Javed Khan …

    LOL @ Theo-the-Rapist 😉

    You have fantastic sence of humor, I almost died laughing seeing this word, “Physio-the-rapist”.

    Anyway, it seems you can’t sleep in ‘Sardiaan Di Lumbiaan Raatan, right ? 😀

  6. #6 by Abdul on February 19, 2009 - 12:32 PM

    Khansahab interesting thread and good depth analysis on the forthcoming series. In fact from that team announced I would like one cange in Malik opening with Shezhad and Fawad Alam to play along with Asim Kamal in the middle order. Kaneria has partly been affected by Akmarl’s form behind the stumps but must also deliver somehthing of meaning which he did aginst England and India in the 05 and 06 season and must look to control his variation from a technical view.Meanwhile these are 2 players who should be an automatic for selection are as follows:1) Imran Nazir ( uneogotaible as to why a player of his calibre hasn’t been utilised regardless of the circumstances)

    The link above is short and sweet so therefore just sit back realx and admire some of the lusty blows the unqiue opener has struck which includes boundaries from that 111 from 44 balls innings in the grand ICL final last year.

    2) Rana Naved Ul Hussan has come back with a bang in the domestic scene and to be named player of the tournament in the ICL is no joke and his allround credibilities and stunning contributions with both ball and bat deserve to be recognised. I back him to make a comeback in the national side as he’s a god gifted seamer and valuable all-round asset. Below is a collection of his ICL wickets and if that has convinced you enough just remember the ball below.

    Enjoy!

  7. #7 by Theossa on February 19, 2009 - 1:31 PM

    I hope Pakistan lose this series by 0-1 so that we can get rid of PCB chairman Butt, chief selector Abdul Qadir, and wicket keeper Kamran Akmal. Amin

  8. #8 by khansahab on February 19, 2009 - 1:47 PM

    Afridi considering Test retirement ………

    Karachi: Pakistan’s senior all-rounder Shahid Afridi is seriously considering retiring from Test cricket after national selectors ignored him for the two-match home series against Sri Lanka starting later this week.

    The 28-year-old Afridi said Thursday that he was disappointed over his failure to impress the selectors ahead of the opening Test against Sri Lanka and added that he would retire from Test cricket if Pakistan continued to ignore him for the longer version of the game.

    “I was looking forward to earning a place in the Test squad,” said Afridi, who has not been in Pakistan’s Test picture for almost three years.

    “But I respect the selectors’ decision,” he stressed.

    Afridi played the last of his 26 Tests in the summer of 2006 against England in Manchester. Since then national selectors have curtailed his role to one-dayers and Twenty20 internationals.

    Afridi shot to instant stardom on his debut as a 16-year-old in 1996 when he scored the fastest ODI century in Nairobi. He has so far played 271 one-day internationals, scoring 5,531 runs and taking 243 wickets. His Test career is less impressive, having scored 1,683 runs from 26 Tests with 47 wickets.

    Afridi was given a lifeline by national selectors when he was picked to lead the Patron’s XI against the visiting Sri Lankans in a two-day warm-up game in Karachi on Feb 17-18. However, in spite of hitting a 29-ball 49, Afridi was unable to convince the selectors that he deserved a Test recall.

  9. #9 by khansahab on February 19, 2009 - 1:56 PM

    I think it is very strange that they made Afridi play the warm up as captain and then didn’t even include him in the 15 man squad.

    After hitting 49 in the game they should have either used him as opener or at the no 6 position. The no 6 position is most likely to go to Faisal, and then Asim Kamal, and now both of them don’t deserve that spot.

    Some people are opposed to the idea of Afridi opening in Tests, but I don’t think it is such a bad idea. Afridi’s batting will never be stable regardless of wherever he is playing, so let him play where he can inflict the most psychological damage on the opposition.

    If he can make 30-40 runs in 20 balls, in Test matches that can totally shatter the opposition.

    Munir sahab

    Thank you for the praises. Sadly I’ve had to defer my exams until a later date. I tried to fight the illness, but I guess it got the better of me. So I will not have to give any exams in February!

  10. #10 by khansahab on February 19, 2009 - 2:07 PM

    Some people are saying that Malik’s critics were wrong about Malik and Akmal, saying they had some special camaraderie, because Younis has also opted for Akmal over Sarfraz. Both Malik and Younis prefer Akmal, but for different reasons.

    On Ramiz’s TV show Abdul Qadir addressed Malik and said that he wants to be very clear that the captain of the team is not fighting for the selection of his friends. Whereas, Younis last year on Azfar and Mani show admitted he did not feel Sarfraz’s batting was up to the mark.
    So that should tell the story.

    I still maintain a keeper’s job is to keep and batting comes secondary. That is of course unless you are someone like Dhoni or Gilchrist, which Akmal clearly is not.

  11. #11 by khansahab on February 19, 2009 - 2:13 PM

    Ali Ahad

    How much have we actually seen of Fawad Alam to say that he is not technically sound? If someone averages 57 in first class cricket he must be having a good technique. I know Fawad Alam moves too much at his crease and he also has problems timing the ball at the start, but that happens with some players. I remember Younis and Yousuf used to be like that too when they were inexperienced. Also, Fawad is a good player in all forms of the game so he probably knows the difference in technique when he is batting in the different formats.

    Abdul

    For the umpteenth time, yes Imran Nazir and Rana are talented, but why are you pushing for their selection is Test cricket? Does Rana look fit enough, fast enough or mature enough to you, to succeed in Test cricket? You can look at Imran Nazir’s record yourself and see what wonders he has done in Test cricket, his average is like 22 or something.

    And by the way, regarding your comment about me being a “pedo” (you were trying to say “pAedo”), do you know you are above the age of consent in the UK? So if someone was to molest you, he would not be a paedo, just a homo 😉

  12. #12 by khansahab on February 19, 2009 - 2:24 PM

    Qadir, Younis differed over squad against Lanka

    Karachi, Feb 19: Newly appointed Pakistan captain Younis Khan and chief selector Abdul Qadir already had their share of disagreements while finalising the 15-member squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka, according to sources.

    According to insiders privy to the talks between Younis and Qadir over the selection of players for the match starting Saturday, the two had disagreements on several players.

    “It was not smooth sailing as Younis, on a number of occasions, put his foot down on the selection of some players,” one source said.

    He said Qadir did not want opener Khurrum Manzoor in the squad and insisted on having Nasir Jamshed but Younis took a stand and eventually the selectors acceded to his demand to have Manzoor in the side.

    Similarly the source said Younis was not comfortable having rookie fast bowler Mohammad Talha in the squad but Qadir convinced him to try him out and have a close look at him.

    “Younis felt that Talha and opener Ahmed Shahzad were still pretty raw and instead of putting them into the Pakistan squad the selectors should allow them to play some more domestic cricket before bringing them forward,” the source said.

    The selectors have included five uncapped players in the squad for the first Test, including Talha and Shahzad, Fawad Alam, Khurrum Manzoor and Sohail Khan.

    The last three have represented Pakistan in recent one-day international matches.

    The source said Younis had made it clear that he would have the final say in the playing eleven as he was responsible on the field for the team`s performance.

    “The Pakistan skipper was also not very happy that the selectors didn`t want Sohail Tanvir in the squad,” the source said.

    He said there was plenty of discussion on the possibility of using former captain Shoaib Malik as an opener in the Test although nothing was finalised.

    Although Younis, coach Intikhab Alam and the selectors were all here yesterday, they preferred to discuss the probables on telephone but didn`t bother to hold a proper meeting.

    Sources said that Qadir and some other board officials were not happy with the insistence of Younis to have the conditioning camp for the Pakistani probables at Steel Town complex, a remote township on the outskirts of Karachi.

    Younis, who twice refused the Pakistan captaincy before and after the last World Cup, agreed last month to replace Malik as captain but has made it clear that he wants the same sort of authority that successful captains like Imran Khan and Inzamam-ul-Haq have enjoyed in the past.

  13. #13 by khansahab on February 19, 2009 - 2:38 PM

    Theossa

    We should get rid of Inti Alam as well should we not?

    He does not appear to know just what he is doing. He gives a lot of mixed statements to the media. He is trying to cover himself by saying, “We are at a disadvantage because Sri Lanka have played lots of international cricket recently”.

    That is a negative mindset. Why can’t they all do something positive just for once? They will retain a keeper because of his batting rather than keeping- that is negative. They will let Afridi captain a warm up and then exclude him even if he performs- again negative.

  14. #14 by Theossa on February 19, 2009 - 3:00 PM

    Khansahab

    I agree with what you said about Intikhab Alam. He is an old school coach and cricket has evolved since the 80s. If you look at his coaching era, you’ll notice he was a dummy coach back then and Imran Khan was the captain, the coach, and the chief selector. I would go for Aaqib Javed or Waqar Younis as the team coach. Ideally both of them should be coaches with later can be appointed as bowling coach.

    I don’t mind all 15 players selected by chief selector if it is done on merit. But I completely agree with Younis Khan that ultimately he is responsible for the team’s success or failure, so he must have a say in the selection of final eleven. I hope turn of events bring Sullu Bhi back as the chief selector. Abdul Qadir reminds me of the crooked law makers of the country and he should leave.

    Afridi like many other deserving players from Karachi will be ignored as long as we have jingoism and nepotism in team selection.

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 19, 2009 - 3:16 PM

    it seems you can’t sleep in ‘Sardiaan Di Lumbiaan Raatan, right ? Munir

    Nahee Munir its your wrong perception that I can’t sleep in winter nights. The time when I saw your comment last night it was only 11:00 p.m. aur yahan tou bucchay bhee nahee sotay at that time. I had my business and office in downtown and I came back at 10:00 p.m. had my dinner. Downtown Montreal, does not sleep all night, especially on Friday and Saturday, people are clubbing and partying even when it is snowing (like last night) and in summer, we have several festivals, like the International Jazz Festival, the Caribbean Festival and the Irish and Italian Festivals the list goes on…….. Only within 1 sq.k.m there are 4000 restaurants and clubs and on the island of Montreal there are about 7000. Got your perception right? 😀

    Ps

    Btw, I slept around 12:00 last night and woke up now it is 10:15 and that too ‘coz of a telephone call. When it comes to sleeping I am Garfield 😀

  16. #16 by Mohammed Munir on February 19, 2009 - 6:40 PM

    Javed Khan …

    “When it comes to sleeping I am Garfield”.

    I also remember you saying that you have a good metabolism and you can eat well and not gain weight.

    I know for sure that in today’s world if someone can eat whatever he wants and can also sleep well, he is very lucky person. So all I can say is that you are one lucky soul and I pray that it remains this way for ever, Inshallah.

    I can compete with you in sleeping any day, and my sleep is very strong, which means once I sleep, I am not bothered about any noises or small disturbances, but about food I am not as lucky like you, which mean Al-Humdulillah I am not sick or anything and I can eat absolutely anything, but my metabolism is not as good as yours and so I gain quickly and as such I have to keep working-out to keep myself in shape which is painful in UAE’s weather and for a lazy banker 😉

  17. #17 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 19, 2009 - 6:42 PM

    Munir V-6 may aao

  18. #18 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 20, 2009 - 9:49 AM

    Omer, there is no interest left in WI / England series, their big guns got big IPL contracts and lost their focus. Flintoff is like our Actor, there is hardly a time when he is not injured.

    I am not interested even in the Pak/Lanka series because of the team selection, it is so poor and biased that most people I have talked about are pissed off by that. If Pakistan wins, it will only be a fluke and Younus Khan’s luck, but I have no hopes of their winning.

    In Karachi they never lost until Thrope and Nasir Hussain changed that equation and the last time we saw Shoaib Malik offering a victory to SA in a silver platter, with Khatmal dropping so many catches. So, that jinx is already broken and it is possible that they may not win @ Karachi and, Lahore is La’hore. I reckon it will either be a 1-0 series win for SL or a drawn series, Pakistan cannot win the series. It will only be a fluke if they do so.

    I would be more interested in watching the New Zealanders in action in the upcoming two 20/20 and 5 ODI’s. They have some good batsmen and the team is in good form and they play entertaining cricket.

    Watching test cricket, especially all night and that too for 5 nights is asking too much. Its slow and monotonous and I have decided not to give up my “Pararee” Neend for a dull contest between Pak/SL.

  19. #19 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 20, 2009 - 9:56 AM

    BUTT BUKWASS

    Friday, February 20, 2009
    By Khalid Hussain

    KARACHI: Ijaz Butt declared on Thursday that Pakistan has the infra-structure and the will to deliver its share of the 2011 World Cup matches in a highly successful manner.

    In a bid to end uncertainty prevailing over his country’s future as a World Cup co-host, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman told ‘The News’ in an interview that authorities have time and again proved in recent times that international matches can take place in Pakistan in as good an environment as anywhere else in the cricket world.

    To read more Butt Bukwass click on his ass below:

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=163610

  20. #20 by khansahab on February 20, 2009 - 10:51 AM

    Tendulkar appeals against the fame game

    Thursday, 19 Feb, 2009

    NEW DELHI: He owns a Ferrari but has not driven it for a year — just one price that Sachin Tendulkar pays for his iconic status in cricket-mad India.

    But his popularity does mean he is one of the few men in the world who can talk his way onto a plane without a passport.

    Tendulkar, revered for his extraordinary exploits with the bat, said the adulation makes him ‘uncomfortable’ and he would rather remain a regular family man at home with his wife Anjali.

    ‘I used to receive letters written in blood,’ the 35-year-old was quoted as saying in the latest Indian edition of celebrity magazine ‘OK!’’It feels strange when a fan comes and touches your feet and says you are God. I don’t feel comfortable with it, but it is the way they feel about you.’

    Tendulkar regrets he cannot drive around Mumbai in the sports car with his son Arjun and daughter Sara as they would be mobbed by wild crowds as soon as the car got stuck in the city’s endless traffic jams.

    ‘I did not get time to drive the Ferrari at all last year,’ he said. ‘I can drive only early in the morning and the kids cannot wake up at that time.’

    Tendulkar, however, admitted fame can have its advantages — as in Australia when he was once allowed to board a flight without a ticket or passport.

    ‘I was out with two other players and when we got back to the hotel, the rest of the team had already left for the airport,’ he recalled.

    ‘We had no way of reaching them… We had no tickets, no passports, nothing.

    ‘I got to the counter at the airport and explained the situation. The guy at the counter recognised me and he gave us three boarding passes from Sydney to Melbourne… without passports, without tickets.

    ‘I felt that I was truly special.’The soft-spoken Tendulkar, who is the world’s leading batsman with 12,429 Test and 16,440 one-day runs, said he enjoyed doing simple things like dropping his children off at school or cooking for friends and family.

    He also took a swipe at the media, saying ‘criticism is hardly ever constructive’.

    Tendulkar, who began playing international cricket in 1989, left for a tour of New Zealand with the Indian team early Thursday.

  21. #21 by khansahab on February 20, 2009 - 10:54 AM

    Younis has guts and flair to revive Pakistan cricket

    By Salahuddin Ahmed ‘Sallu’

    Friday, 20 Feb, 2009

    Pakistan Cricket Board under the leadership of Ijaz Butt has taken a well-directed decision by replacing the three Cs – the Captain (Shoaib Malik), the Coach (Geoff Lawson) and the Chief Operating Officer (Shafqat Naghmi).

    The decision to appoint Younis Khan as captain is a correct one and will come to fruition in due course. Former Board Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf had also asked Younis to lead Pakistan at one point but the prolific player declined for reasons best known only to him.

    The new leadership has now come to the forefront and I am sure that Younis, as captain, would help regain the lost status of Pakistan cricket. I think Younis has learned a lesson from the past and is now more mature, and that has been the main reason he accepted the offer this time without any pre-conditions.

    It may be kept in mind that a captain ought to have three qualities. First, he should have a regular place in the team. Secondly, he should respect and be respected, and thirdly, he should be well versed with the game with an eye for its finer details. Younis seems to possess all the three qualities and has performed exceedingly well in all forms of cricket to prove himself worthy of the position.

    In the coming series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan will have the home advantage. It may also give an edge that Sri Lanka have recently lost to India in a most miserable manner.

    The Sri Lankans have, in Murali and Mendis, arguably the world’s best spin attack. However, rather than being daunted by their prowess with the leather, we should take a leaf out of India’s book and the way they countered these two spinners in their home conditions.

    As for the selection of the team, we need to rely on specialists. Open the innings with Salman Butt and either Khurram Manzoor or newcomer Ahmed Shahzad. In the middle-order we have Younis, Misbah and Shoaib Malik. At number six the tie, I believe, will be between Faisal Iqbal and Fawwad Alam. Faisal is an experienced player and scored a fifty in the last Test that Pakistan played – in India in 2007 – besides slamming a fine double century in domestic cricket.

    On the other hand, Fawad Alam has also scored more than 800 runs in first class cricket this year, which includes an epic knock of 296. He is a brilliant fielder and bowls too.

    As for the bowling department, Umar Gul, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Talha and all-rounder Yasir Arafat would, to my mind, constitute a formidable attack.

    I also feel that since Shoaib Malik would not be under any pressure after relinquishing the captaincy, he would do well and his game would blossom even further. I sincerely hope Pakistan come out victorious in the Test series and pray that players put their act together rather than acting up at this crucial moment that has arrived after 15 testing months.

    I have really been disappointed by the comments made by Abdul Qadir, the current chief selector, with regards to selection of Asim Kamal. Qadir recently stated that ‘his [Asim’s] temperament merits his inclusion in the team after being unfairly sidelined for the past three years.’ To put the record straight, it was not our team of selectors who treated Asim ‘unfairly’.

    He was, in fact, invited to all three Twenty20 World Championship camps in 2007. In Abbottabad, he unfortunately developed a groin problem while in the second camp he was down with malaria and could not participate. By the time a third camp was set-up, Asim had left for Umra after informing the PCB and therefore missed out.

    What puzzles me even more, however, is that how could Qadir include Asim in the 15-member squad ahead of the prolific Saeed bin Nasir when he (Asim) only played Grade II cricket for Port Qasim last year and could not play at all in the two years before that?

    To its credit, the previous selection committee tried its best to uphold merit, at all cost. They not only gave renewed confidence to Misbah-ul-Haq after the brilliant right-hander had been ignored for several months, but also brought in deserving players such as Sohail Tanvir, Nasir Jamshed, Sohail Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Yasir Shah and many others who now form the nucleus of Pakistan cricket.

    The writer is a former Test cricketer and chief selector

  22. #22 by Abdul on February 20, 2009 - 12:19 PM

    Pakistan and Srilanka commence the test series tomorrow in a much anticipated event considering the long break from the proper cricket game!

    In my opinion 2 players that will be the key in my books are Danish Kaneria and Younis Khan. I feel Yousuf’s absence could affect the stability in the middle order but great to see Asim Kamal make a return as he’s a gutsy contender and can play accordingly.

    Did u guys know though that Kaneria is the only non-Muslim in the team. Anyway what was your opinion on religious emphasis in the team around the 07 wc. I thought it was a good way of uniting but obviously PJ malik whose amusing role as media manager attacked the claim saying it’s a personal matter which shouldn’t interfere with on and off field cricketing affairs.

    Anyway West Indies batted it out yesterday in an interesting test match which lets hope Pakistan and Srilanka can be as enjoyable. But nothing can be considered that enjoyable of watching cricket at home due to the dead, batting friendly wickets.

  23. #23 by Abdul on February 20, 2009 - 12:32 PM

    URGENT anyone got a link.

  24. #24 by Theossa on February 20, 2009 - 1:17 PM

    @ Post# 26

    I’ve been a big fan of the talent finding capabilities of Sullu Bhi. He is the best in the business. It’s unfortunate that a change in PCB meant sweep everyone, good & bad alike. I can’t say enough about people like Sullu Bhi who stood up against the jingoism in team selection. I would recall another guy who was treated unfairly, Waqar Younis, I think he is the top guy to coach the bowlers.

    P.S. Even God can’t remove Kamran Akmal from team 😡

  25. #25 by khansahab on February 20, 2009 - 1:57 PM

    Younis has announced that Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam and Ahmed Shahzad will not be played in the 1st Test. So that means one of Faisal Iqbal, Yasir Arafat or Talha will have to sit out and I think it will be Arafat who will be the 12th man.

    I am looking forward to watching Talha bowl although it would have been nice to see what Ahmed Shahzad is made of and how Fawad Alam would have batted in Tests. Younis is known to be a balanced person with a sharp insight into the game. Maybe his faith in Faisal Iqbal is well founded. I will definitely wake up early to watch the match.

    Please visit Legslip while the match is ongoing- I will be moderating so we can have a kind of “live chat” on the blog 🙂

  26. #26 by khansahab on February 20, 2009 - 2:16 PM

    Team news

    Pakistan have already picked their 12. Asim Kamal, recalled out of the wilderness, Fawad Alam and Ahmed Shahzad have been cut. Younis has said he would not like to go in with makeshift openers, which means Salman Butt should be partnered by the debutant Khurram Manzoor, who has played seven ODIs. Younis has expressed faith in allrounder Yasir Arafat’s skills so Pakistan will probably decide on one of either rookie, Mohammad Talha, with 34 wickets from six first-class games, or Sohail Khan.

    Pakistan: (likely) 1 Salman Butt, 2 Khurram Manzoor, 3 Younis Khan (capt), 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Faisal Iqbal, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Yasir Arafat, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Danish Kaneria, 11 Mohammad Talha/Sohail Khan.

  27. #27 by Abdul on February 20, 2009 - 2:38 PM

    I wil be joining in on the “live chat” most probably. But I would like some vision infront of my eyes so please tell me the link u will be watching asap rather than just following online and catching last minute highlights on you tube. So please tell us the link as I’m desperate to see Pakistan in action.

    Kind regards-Abdul

  28. #28 by khansahab on February 20, 2009 - 3:03 PM

    Abdul

    Match will start 5am UK time so be here then. I will post the link around 5am.

    It will be night time in USA and Canada when the match starts, so hopefully we will see some participation from that end of the world?

  29. #29 by Theossa on February 20, 2009 - 3:22 PM

    Khansahab & Javed

    Like Abdul, I would also like some vision in front of my eyes so please don’t forget to post the link telecasting the match.

    Thanks

  30. #30 by Abdul on February 20, 2009 - 3:26 PM

    Khansahab thanks but can I assure that with u as a promise because waking up at 5 to watch Pakistan is overwhelming and a truly wonderful but if there can only be frustration to bogg me down.

    Kind regards and take care .

  31. #31 by Abdul on February 20, 2009 - 3:28 PM

    I mean isn’t than there will be frustation .

  32. #32 by khansahab on February 20, 2009 - 4:06 PM

    Theossa

    You are also after vision? I thought you didn’t see live matches?

    Anyway I hope you are blessed with vision tomorrow, because Abdul will surely be.

    Abdul

    I have absolutely no idea what your last 2 comments mean.

  33. #33 by Theossa on February 20, 2009 - 4:14 PM

    Khansahab

    Actually, I was blinded by American Football but now having vision in front of my eyes would help me watch the cricket match. Before that, there was too much activity at home that my vision was not in front my eyes but rather blocked.

    I think Abdul meant if Kaneria bowls a lot of variations in one over rather than aiming at leg stump and turning the ball at off stump, it will be frustrating to watch. I am agree because then there is no element of surprise for the batsman and he’d seen it all.

  34. #34 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 20, 2009 - 5:11 PM

    Theo, I dunno if you have read my comment in the previous thread about Kaneria, when I compared his stats avec Shahid Afridi? I said, that Kaneria tries to bowl too many variations in one over and that is the reason he is not effective anymore. Anyone who plays cautiously can defend him easily and he gets frustrated very soon and bowls a loose ball every now and then. Hard hitters come charging at him and then he cannot vary his length or his width. His googlies can be read very easily because of his arm action whereas, the temporary success of Mendis so far is, he bowls the straighter one with the same action, just a flick of the finger from behind the ball. And, Murali no matter what people may say he is a chucker. Ask Bhishen Singh Bedimash and he will tell you.

  35. #35 by Theossa on February 20, 2009 - 6:34 PM

    Javed

    Yeah, I think Murali and Akhter both are chukers. If Kaneria comes up with more mystery balls like the one Abdul the Spin Master created i.e. Jaliebe, we might have a chance!

  36. #36 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 11:16 AM

    http://orbit.99k.org/p1.html

    Watch cricket here

  37. #37 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 11:23 AM

    Bad situation for Pakastan. Sohail Khan has been very expensive and Gul has been ineffective.

    So it’s very difficult for Pakistan to win the match from this position. Either they are losing or they might fight a draw.

  38. #38 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 21, 2009 - 11:26 AM

    Jeeeeeeeez, that KHATMAL DROPPED A CATCH AGAIN and Kaneria is almost about to cry. Jayawardene and Samaraweera have put on a partnership of 150 and after dropping a simple regulation catch he is calling, Danny Buoy, koi baat nai koi baat nai. This MF BackStopper must be hanged by his balls.

  39. #39 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 21, 2009 - 11:30 AM

    Pakistan lacks bowling attack, there is not a single bowler who can really threaten the Sri Lankans, Malakh Sher Madari just bowled a short last ball of his over and was punished for a four. It is 337 for 3 now. What a pathetic performance by Pakistan.

  40. #40 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 11:34 AM

    Now watch cricket here:

    http://www.crictime.com/server1.htm

  41. #41 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 12:12 PM

    I’ve stopped watching the match because Sri Lanka are playing like it’s a one day. Umar Gul and Kaneria are known to be world class bowlers but they have appeared totally ineffective against the Lankans.

    The only short term measure I see that can eradicate this problem of mediocre bowling, is to keep rotating bowlers in every Test. Surely 1 in 10 bowlers will emerge as a genuine wicket-taker? It is different in batting, whereby one ball can get rid of a batsman and you can argue he should be given more chances. But in bowling, a bowler can be analysed for his entire spell and if someone has bowled 25 useless overs, there is no reason why he should be kept in the team.

  42. #42 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 12:14 PM

    If PCB wants to rescue cricket in Pakistan, then they should realise that people like Wasim, Waqar, Aaqib, Sarfraz Nawaz etc, should be in academies passing on their skills and experiences to the future bowlers of Pakistan. They should not be in the commentary box, or doing dance shows in India.

  43. #43 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 12:17 PM

    LOL Malak dropped a catch off S Khan’s bowling……..

  44. #44 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 12:20 PM

    4 catches have been dropped:

    1) Gul off his own bowling

    2) Misbah off S Khan’s bowling

    3) Akmal off Kaneria’s bowling (it was a difficult chance, but it was still Akmal’s catch)

    4) Malak off S Khan’s bowling

    S Khan is having a bad day and if Misbah and Malik had not dropped those sitters, his debut would have gone much better.

  45. #45 by Mohammed Munir on February 21, 2009 - 12:44 PM

    There were 110 runs scored in the third-man area, and our Captain Younis Khan did not use a feilder at third-man position for the entire day.

    I think this must be world record for highest runs in any one feilding area 😉

    Yes sure, we can definately blame our bowling and bad feilding, but Captain for not impressive too.

  46. #46 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 12:49 PM

    Munir sahab

    I saw Waqar enunciating the same criticism of Younis, however I will not worry too much about this third man area position. Younis was being aggressive which is why he had 2 slips and a gully.

    We saw that even towards the end of the day Sri Lankans were giving chances to Pakistanis, like how Malik dropped Jayawardene. So I feel attacking fielding positions were needed; it’s just that the bowlers did not bowl in the right areas and did not use their heads very well.

    Maybe Younis could have sent the gully fielder back to third man, but I don’t think it would have stopped the flow of runs. Anyhow it’s my personal point and you may well be right.

  47. #47 by Mohammed Munir on February 21, 2009 - 12:49 PM

    Misbah and Malak catches were both for debutant Sohail Khan and were both very easy catches 😦

  48. #48 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 12:54 PM

    In the 2nd Test, they should drop Kaneria and play Afridi, drop Faisal and play Fawad Alam and replace S Khan with Talha.

  49. #49 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 1:10 PM

    Miandad accepts offer to coach Afghan team

    KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad has accepted the offer made by Afghanistan for coaching their national cricket team.

    Talking with Geo News, Javed Miandad said that the cricket officials of Afghanistan contacted him and offered him to coach their national team.

    Miandad said that he has accepted this offer informally but asked the Afghan Club to contact the Pakistan government in this regard and only after that send a formal invitation to him.

  50. #50 by Mohammed Munir on February 21, 2009 - 1:10 PM

    … and drop Malak and play Asim Kamal.

  51. #51 by Mohammed Munir on February 21, 2009 - 1:12 PM

    I do not understand, what Javed Miandad wants to prove by couching Afghanistan Cricket team ?

  52. #52 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 1:19 PM

    Munir sahab

    I think he wants to show the PCB that he can get a position with a different cricket board where he can have more respect than how the PCB treats him?

  53. #53 by Abdul on February 21, 2009 - 1:42 PM

    Thanks for the link but will this be the one for every day’s play though .

    Kind regards

  54. #54 by Abdul on February 21, 2009 - 3:30 PM

    For any side to concede 400 runs on an opening day of a test match is an amusing act especially with the expense of 3 wickets and the shortened day format in the sub – continent. If there was a single phrase to describe the bowling performance it would be “plundered miserably”. Kaneria bowled poorly that’s a fact he was looking too predictable but as Bob Woolmer said Pakistan seem to be slow starters and takes them a few days before they can in to the swing of things and start delivering brilliance in which we know they are capable of producing such as this below from Kaneria :

    This is more like bowling rather than producing loose deliveries like an off day like today. I mean just look at them the first one spins sharply through the gate and arguably an unplayable wrong ‘un. The second one pitches in the rough patches and turns sharply through the gate of batsmen with excellent technique. You should also perhaps see the chicken dance celebration after dismissing pieterson in which it was an absolute peach of a googly and very effectively applied variation. So we should perhaps still remain faithful in Kaneria as we all know of the brilliance he’s capable of delivering. Let’s hope he can produce another of those magic deliveries in this series and look at the brighter side as true fans do!

    Other than that Sohail Khan has a terrible debut and having been so successful in domestic cricket and having toiled as he did today just emphasises on how weak domestic structure Pakistan have and what a low standard it is compared to the centre stage of test match cricket. However, nerves could have played there role.

    To conclude we can also say 101 things about Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat but sadly Pakistan’s best bet in this match by far is a draw.

    The famous quote has been catches win matches , put them down and at your pearl and that can certainly be applied in the context of today’s shambolic fielding performance. Brings back memories of the first day at Lords in 2006 when Pakistan put down 5 chances and in total Mr Akmarl put down a lusty 9 in the series ! By the way he will be under pressure to deliver with the bat too as we all know he has got the credentials so “save the day” like he has in Mohali 05 and on many other times against the likes of England when he “came to the party” and Ian Chappel was rating him as the second best keeper on the globe behind Adam Gilchrist.

  55. #55 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 6:23 PM

    Omer

    What’s a pawwa?

    I am agree with your analysis. Especially Kaneria, he was so ordinary and could not find his control. He was spinning the ball but not pitching it at the right areas. In my opinion a bowler like him should never go round the wickets; he is an attacking bowler and he should not be worried about how many runs he is conceding- he just needs to stick to his line. That is sometimes why I have felt Afridi is not a Test bowler because he is impulsive and his control is not great. Anyhow, I think this team needs the aggression of Afridi now and he should replace Kaneria or Malik.

    No wonder the crowds are not coming. If bowlers like Gul and Sohail Khan can get hit for runs, what hope is there? At this stage of his career we can disregard Akhtar coming back and bowling fiery spells of 90mph and winning matches for Pakistan. Gul was the biggest disappointment for me because he was not bowling well. He lacked control and I think it was the lack of match practice coming out. However, that is a very small excuse and the coach should be held responsible. Gul was bowling a poor length and he was not attacking enough.

  56. #56 by khansahab on February 21, 2009 - 7:10 PM

    Abdul

    Certainly a highly “amusing act” by Pakistan to concede 400 runs to Sri Lanka- I (am) totally agree with you there.

    You have correctly mentioned that you drop catches at “your own pearl”- very true and in fact I would say you also drop them at your own diamond and own topaz. Do you think Pakistan should hire a fielding coach?

    And what about Kaneria? I am thought, being a legspinner you would have been able to provide us with a critical insight into why Kaneria failed today? Was it lack of control, variation, flight, bounce- what was it?

  57. #57 by Abdul on February 21, 2009 - 7:24 PM

    Generally Kaneria failed to maintain pressure and was experimenting into to many variations which led to bolwing the “loose” delivery. In order to perfect the googly like he has done in first video abvove Kaneria must obtain a sufficent plan and look to maintain a sufficent middle and off line with his leg breaks in order to make it effective and bamboozle a batsmen. Yes, Omer is right that he was firing the ball in today and perhpas has the same problem as Monty.

    He needs to look to bowl slower in order to impart more spin if he wants to cause problems and above of all has to stick to a plan.

  58. #58 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 21, 2009 - 9:37 PM

    Munir, Waqar Younus was ruing throughout the game that YK should keep a fielder in the third man region. He even said, I won’t say immature captaincy because YK has not only captained b4 for Pakistan but, has been captaining the domestic side for years. I think he was over confident and got blinded and was unable to spot a simple loophole in the field placement.

    His other mistake was when he moved from the slip position and swap Shoaib Malakh’s fielding spot, Malakh never fielded in the slips and he dropped a simple catch off Sohail Khan’s first over of the second new ball. You can’t trust Malakh to be fielding in that position when he has never ever stood in the slips even when he was the captain.

    So, I do agree that YK as a captain was unable to see the silly errors that he was making in field placements.

    I think it is about time that the KHATMAL IS SQUASHED and they should call Sarfaraz on whatever pretext that KHATMAL is injured or not well etc., they should do the same with Kaneria and replace him with Shahid Afridi. Otherwise, they will lose the second test as well. This match is already in Sri Lanka’s grip. They will score 600 runs and then put Pakistan under pressure and this team without Inzi and MoYo has no one to take pressure. YK performed well and scored hundreds and double hundreds but he has two great batsmen behind him, now there is no one.

  59. #59 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 21, 2009 - 9:50 PM

    khansahab & Omer

    I do agree with your views about player selection/replacement and ineffective bowling. The pitch is not favouring the bowlers either, I think if the Pakistanis don’t get demoralized or intimidated by a big total of 600 and stick to the basics they can easily avoid follow-on and that could result in a draw. But, if they play senseless cricket and try to show they are playing a 20/20 or a ODI then they will end up scoring 250 or less and will lose this match on the 4th day.

    Come to think of Khurram Manzoor’s inclusion in the team it is a blessing in disguise under the circumstances, because other than him there is no one who would be playing defensive cricket. And that is what Pakistan needs now. Faisal Iqbal can also play defensively and long innings but, he is not reliable and not been tested since 3 years. So, its difficult to say who would play the anchor role like Jayawardene did.

    They will start a new day with fresh legs and Dilshan is behind them. Not to mention their bowling with Vaas coming back in action along with the two 2Ms. Like Waqar Younis said, “Murali is watching from the dressing room and when he saw the Kaneria ball turn, his LIES got LIT up.” (He meant eyes got lit up).

  60. #60 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 1:36 AM

    Ali Ahad

    I think we might have seen Fawad play 50 balls in international cricket and that too, after the 45th over in ODI’s and 17th over in T20’s- situations where a batsman does many unorthodox things and does not have time to settle in.

    I’ve said previously that there’s no guarantee he will become another Brian Lara, but if someone has performed so consistently for so long as domestic level, leaving behind players like Younis, Yousuf and Misbah, there must be something special about him.

    In the ABN AMRO T20 Cup of 2006, he was hitting Asif and Rana Naved like they were club level bowlers. If anyone doubts Fawad’s talent, they should watch the highlights of that Cup to see what this kid can do. He got a standing ovation from the opposition team in the final when he got out.

    He’s a nervous starter and he has problems timing the ball, agreed but that will go with more international exposure. I don’t understand your argument because on the one hand you are saying we have not seen him perform and on the other hand you are saying he does not deserve chances to perform?

    If he is treated with fairness I have absolutely no doubt he can become a great player for Pakistan. He averages more than 40 in all forms of the game, he is a good fielder and his bowling can sometimes give surprise wickets. He has been playing high level cricket since Under 15 level, so he has experience too.

  61. #61 by Ali Ahad on February 22, 2009 - 2:52 AM

    Khansahab,

    Look at Lala he showed the whole world what he can do with his hard hitting batting in the second game he played you might call it luck or “tukka” or whatever but he made his mark. It doesn’t matter how good the bowler I am, if I am bowling against him I will still have his innings at the back of my mind. Another example Razzaq, I am not sure if you watched the golden jubilee match in 1997 against South Africa, I believe it was his fourth or fifth match and he came at number 6 and he crack a quick fire 46 and almost won the match for Pakistan although we lost the match by 9 runs, or do you remember his last over against Sri Lanka in Sharjah where he got his hat-trick and got the match tied. Recent example Sohail Tanvir he was a nobody before T20 world cup but that delivery that shatter the stumps of Jayasuria and the two humungous sixes in the final showed that he can do well internationally.

    I am talking about these kinds of performances. I don’t care if he is a nervous starter or has problems with timing the ball if he can deliver something like above with either ball or bat than he has my vote. With these kinds of performances you establish yourself as an international player.

    You dont have to be a Lara, Younis, Misbah or MOYO to be in the team if you can chip in with any small but a significant performance than you will always be in the team.

  62. #62 by Mohammed Munir on February 22, 2009 - 6:44 AM

    Ali Ahad …

    Regarding the “flaw in our batting technique”, well I think with too many ODIs and T20 games most of the players are considered ‘Garam Khoon’ these days or at least they try to play in that fashion. For Pakistani batsmen this is also due to their limited exposure of Test format, while furthermore, I think major portion of our domestic cricket is also concentrating on ODI and T20 with limited 3/ 4 days games.

    Almost all of our batsmen lack the Test Cricket temperament.

    Abdul @ Comment No. 63 …

    You said, For any side to concede 400 runs on an opening day of a test match is an amusing act especially with the expense of 3 wickets and the shortened day format in the sub – continent.

    Actully, it was not a shortened day and they completed a full quota of 90 overs on day one. Nevertheless, I would still say that 406 runs is a way too high as a first day score of a Test match.

    Javed Khan …

    I agree with you on KHATMAL being squashed, but Billy Kay Gallay Mein Ghunti Baandhay Ga Koun ? 😉

  63. #63 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 10:00 AM

    Younis unhappy with the docile pitch for first Test

    Karachi, Feb 22: Pakistan skipper Younis Khan has expressed his displeasure about the placid pitch which is lacking any tinge of green at National Stadium here.

    Sources close to the new captain said that Younis fumed when he saw the pitch on the first day and has since been trying to know who ordered the grass on the pitch to be shaved off completely.

    The visitors made merry on a flat batting track with the skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera hitting a ton each.

    “Younis is not happy because he wanted a more lively pitch for the Test with some pace but he was surprised to see a flat track on the first day of the match,” one source said.

    He said Younis was planning to have a talk with Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Ejaz Butt after the match asking for the total authority on cricket matters.

    “Younis is unhappy that despite his assertion for a lively track the curator of the board did the opposite. What is worrying for him is that with the ball starting to turn, Pakistan will find it hard to survive,” the source said.

    Younis also had issues with the national selectors over the composition of the 15-member squad announced for the Test.

    Sources say that Younis is slowly realising that he needs complete authority to counter a troika formed by the chief selector Abdul Qadir, coach Intikhab Alam and associate coach Aaqib Javed.

    “These three were also responsible for convincing the PCB Chairman to oust Shoaib Malik as captain after the one-day series loss to Sri Lanka last month,” the source said.

  64. #64 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 10:19 AM

    LOL Afridi is not playing but some members of the crowd are still holding his posters…talk about popularity.

  65. #65 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 11:17 AM

    Butt was caught behind on 2 when edged one to Jayawardene, he was very lucky not to be given out. Pakistani openers need to be very careful.

  66. #66 by Abdul on February 22, 2009 - 11:33 AM

    Although it was rather in vain Danish Kaneria’s sliders to dismiss the middle order batsmen were great deliveries which skidded through and crushed the sumps convincingly. It’s another fascinating discovery in his armoury which can cause great threat and always put’s batsmen as LBW candidates. Credit also to be given to Malik who captured a couple of wickets with his off breaks and Akmarl who held some catches.

    I was impressed by the way the Pakistani openers accumulated and saw off the new ball but when Murali and Mendis are operating in tandem will be the real “challenge time” for the Pakistani batsmen.

  67. #67 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 11:36 AM

    Butt dropped on 20 off Mendis!

  68. #68 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 12:16 PM

    I’ve often argued Butt is not a Test level player and today he proved me right. First he edged the ball when he was on 2, then he played a careless shot on 20 and was dropped at short extra cover and then on 23 he edged one to Jayawardene at 1st slip.

    In ODI’s, I will say he is Pakistan’s best opener but in Tests you need more skill and temperament. Something tells me although Manzoor is a nervous starter, he can go on to become a good Test opener. He does not play risky shots that often.

    If Pakistan has to become a successful Test side, they need to discover boring players like Manzoor and Asim Kamal- the types who know how to occupy their crease. Either that or they need multi faceted players like Fawad Alam who can play any kind of innings and can adjust according to circumstances.

  69. #69 by Abdul on February 22, 2009 - 3:48 PM

    The famous quotation refers to “all’s well, that ends well”. Well that could have almost been applied in the context of today’s play but just minutes before stumps Muralidurran produced a spitting off break to take the edge of Salman Butt’s bat. Not to complain but just emphasising the point that in would have been nice to conclude the day unharmed.

    Also pleasing to see that Pakistan didn’t apply a “nightwatchman” . I for one certainly disagree with the theory as I don’t see the purpose and logical applications behind it’s use. Also one can raise question of if a batsmen hasn’t got the guts to bat it final over’s of the day than how on earth will your expect a tail ender to? Therefore I support the likes of Steve Waugh on the subject matter as this theory is one of my pet hates in test cricket. To consolidate my point, it also sends across a negative, backfoot impression to the opposition which can lead to motivation of picking up an easy gift of a wicket. In a sense it’s just buying a wicket cheaply. Isn’t it?

    Tomorrow will be crucial day at the office which can have a constructive input on the overall outcome of the match. As Ramiz Raja said on commentary something along the lines of “ When u bat with a draw in mind it can have a daunting psychological effect on your mind and affect your performance “. I agree with this to a certain extent as u can’t just go in a shell especially with 2 unorthodox off spinners operating in tandem as pressure will build up and u could be defeated by the unplayable delivery. But then again u can’t be careless and give your wicket away. Can U? I and many other Pakistani fans will be Banking on Younis Khan (the backbone of the batting order) to deliver by playing a captain’s innings and start his leadership regime with a bang. Can he save the day and come to the party?

  70. #70 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 4:51 PM

    I don’t like the way Younis and Inti are blaming the pitch for this performance. The whole point of being a professional cricketer and a good cricketer is that you perform on any surface and in any circumstances. South Africa, India and Australia also play on lifeless pitches but they don’t end up conceding 600+ runs.

    Pakistan should get over this notion. I expect more sincerity and courage from Younis, otherwise he will end up being like Malik.

  71. #71 by Vanilla pod on February 22, 2009 - 4:56 PM

    yeh i agree with Khansahab that The whole point of being a professional and good cricketer is that you perform on any surface and in any circumstances.

  72. #72 by Mohammed Munir on February 22, 2009 - 5:23 PM

    I am with you Khan Sahab, it is too early for Younis Khan to start the blame game and complaining about the pitch and all that. For now, he should concentrate on the job at hand and that is to play for a draw.

    It’s bad to say the least that a new captain has started blaiming everyone around right after the first day’s play of the first test match of his newly ‘forced’ captainship 😦

    And he wants to follow Imran Khan as his ideal.

  73. #73 by Mohammed Munir on February 22, 2009 - 5:24 PM

    Way to go VP, I am impressed by your cricketing knowledge 😀

  74. #74 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 6:12 PM

    Omer

    I would call Yasir Arafat a genuine bowler. Certainly if you look at his exploits in domestic cricket and county cricket, he is not in the same category of Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood. He is a genuine skiddy, swing bowler and he has everything a fast bowler needs in his repertoire- yorker, outswing, inswing, bouncer etc.

    Your argument might be that he was lacking pace, but so was Sohail Khan. In fact most of Khan’s deliveries were medium pace. You can compare the stats of Gul, Khan and Arafat and you will see Arafat bowled much better than either of them. He was hitting the right areas and swinging the ball at a good pace.

    So Pakistan went with 4 specialist bowlers and I am not blaming Younis for their performance, but what I am saying here is, Younis should stop behaving like Malik who was always very quick to blame the pitch or the toss. This National Stadium pitch is not much unlike the usual pitch you have at Karachi. Wasim and Waqar usually played on similar pitches. Shoaib Akhtar has played most of his career on such pitches and because of his express pace he has been able to pick up wickets.

    If Umar Gul, S Khan and Arafat can’t bowl at immaculate lengths, they need to do something about pace. Their average delivery should be about 85mph.

  75. #75 by abdul on February 22, 2009 - 9:16 PM

    Yeah I agree Kaneria and Malik were costly but Sohail Khan’s wide out of off stump line was atreocious. They need veariation. Abdul Rehman could become a good back up for Kaneria and a left arm seamer such as Tanvir or Aamer is required.

    Meanhile returning to Kaneria he failed to meaintain pressure and was conceeding a boundary almost every over whereas Malik was just being milked so easily . The wickets they picked up at the end were better dealiveries which would have given them confidence but 3-170 from the strike bowler is nothing to write home about. Is it ? Lets hope things gradually improve and I agree with the statement that to be classified as a “matchswinner” u have to be effecctive on any surface ie Wasim Akram.

    Pakistan should talent hunt for the new w and w.
    Caould aamer and talha be the solution ?

  76. #76 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 22, 2009 - 9:20 PM

    On the pitch: I agree with you guys that YK and the “couch,” as Munir calls him, should not only be “blaiming” the wicket. This is a lame excuse for a captain to start complaining even before he is batting on it. Its not the Pakistanis will play on a different wicket, nor the wicket will change drastically on the 3rd day. So, stop complaining and start compiling runs, get even before you are done and dusted.

    Getting 20 wickets on a wicket like this for Pakistan is impossible, their first task is to play the whole day to add another 400 runs to avoid follow-on. Saving the match should be their priority. To get a lead, they need to play the whole of 4th day, which is kinda dream. When they are under pressure they cannot flex their arms freely, all these players are going to play an innings to save their skins for their selection in the next match, so there won’t be any aggressive cricket. There is only one route i.e., escape from the jaws of defeat and go for a draw.

  77. #77 by Moin Taj on February 22, 2009 - 9:38 PM

    I have been reading this blog for quiet sometime and am baffled by the comments of one guy and ie., abdul. abdul I am referring to ur comments number 81 & 90, what a contrast in terms of quality and expression of thought. It seems that u’ve copied the comment number 81 from somewhere and pasted it here to look like it is urs. because u always make so many silly spelling mistakes which are missing in comment number 81 and in the last comment u’ve expressed it in ur original style. what makes u think abdul rahman can be a backup for kaneria? just because his name also starts with abdul? abdul rahman is another sialkoti buddy of shoaib malik and to recommend abdul rahman play for pakistan one has to be a sialkoti only otherwise no one considers abdul rahman a bowler. so abdul are u also a sialkoti?

  78. #78 by abdul on February 22, 2009 - 9:52 PM

    Moin shut up , paindoo ka blogger. If u like reading lets post comments and that 81 post is mine 100% hand on heart. Perhaps the terminology is to posh for u and that’s why your speculating.

    get a life and stay out of my business.

  79. #79 by abdul on February 22, 2009 - 9:54 PM

    Moin Taj, u must like Moin Khan ! Funny that I support rahman isn’t it as I don’t support Razzaq to coemback.

  80. #80 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 22, 2009 - 9:55 PM

    Kaneria is a genuine matchwinner …. Omer

    You mean WAS? Because you are saying that for the last 2 years he is in terrible form. So, you are talking about his past. I reckon his best performance was in India especially in the last test at Bangalore in which Pakistan won the match after losing at Kolkata and prior to that the historic draw at Mohali.

    But, if you look at the Bangalore pitch, it was favouring the spinners on the last day and not only Kaneria but, Shahid Afridi bowled extremely well and got rid of Ganguly, Tendulkar and Laxman. Anyways, past is past but the point is; if his present form is so bad, why include him in the team?

    If you say Kaneria “is” or “was” a genuine match winner, then so is Afridi. I would still keep Malik in the team along with Afridi because of his batting and fielding which is anytime better than Kaneria.

    This age old notion of keeping a specialist MUST change. Like it has changed in the shorter version of the game, test matches are now being played differently than what they used to be in the sixties and seventies. The run rates have improved, there are more results now than draws so, the thinking must also change and apart from a couple of fast bowlers the rest of the players must prove their over all worth with bat, ball and fielding.

    Whether you agree with my view or not, but in the next two decades the test teams will be full of all-rounders. Just like the game of Volleyball has changed from the sixties and the seventies where they used to have 4 smashers (hitters) and two defenders but, now ALL six of them are all-rounders. I have been giving this example for the last few years.

  81. #81 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 22, 2009 - 10:02 PM

    Moin welcome to the blog, your observation has irked abdul. Abdul you are also most welcome to post your “to posh” and expert comments but, please don’t get emotional and act immaturely. Because, you are a matured person now. So, chill out and learn from each other. Thanks. 😀

  82. #82 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 11:45 PM

    Omer

    I agree with you, however I have less patience than you. Even though I agree that Afridi is NOT the type of spinner who can take 4 or 5 wicket hauls regularly, I feel on Kaneria’s current form Afridi can replace him. Afridi’s batting and fielding will also help.

    The leading attacking legspinner Pakistan has apart from Kaneria is Yasir Shah, a 22 year old from NWFP. He is the only one there is, so if Kaneria is out of form they might go for Shah. I think due to politics Shah will find it very difficult to make it into the squad anytime soon.

    Apart from that they have Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, both of whom are not great turners of the ball.

    So it’s an extremely difficult question but I will agree with Javed A Khan that Kaneria needs to go for now.

    About having all rounders, I have always said there is no need to have all rounders unless the calibre is that of Kallis or Flintoff. Since 2005 I was against Razzaq’s selection because of his declining performance and I was not a great supporter of Afridi until 2007, when his bowling changed dramatically. In fact I don’t consider Afridi an all rounder, at least in limited overs cricket.

    I never doubted Sohail Khan’s potential. I totally agree he is a genuine bowler. I just think he has a few teething problems he needs to address. Otherwise he is one for the future.

    Arafat has a 5 wicket haul in Tests. I agree he is not the calibre of S Khan or Gul, but I don’t think his potential is restricted at the same time to 1 or 2 wickets. I think of him as somewhere in the middle.

    In the 2nd Test they should go with the bowling attack of Afridi, Talha, Gul and either Arafat or Abdur Rauf/Mohd Aamer.

  83. #83 by khansahab on February 22, 2009 - 11:56 PM

    Also Omer, I sometimes think in Pakistan we very stubbornly classify players with tags that makes us produce less specialists than we ought to. Maybe if Afridi was not always tagged as an all rounder he would have been more successful and would have got constant chances because of his bowling.

    We are also tagging Yasir Arafat with this all rounder tag and this has 2 effects, one, that we expect him to make 25 runs every innings and two, we somehow think if he can bat a bit it must mean his bowling has to be deficient in some way.

    This is affecting Fawad Alam’s career badly. Many people say he can’t make it into the team because his bowling is not effective. The question is, why does it have to be? If he has been making runs like hot cakes, why does he need to justify his selection by taking wickets?

    You have mentioned India’s example. Look at Sehwag, he was always a batting all rounder but his bowling was always considered secondary; if he took wickets, it was a bonus, if he got hit for runs, it was no problem and he would be replaced.

    Same goes for Yuvraj Singh. He was always a batsman who could bowl, but he is played because of his batting.

    I am not saying anything for definite here; it’s just a thought that maybe classifying people as all rounders all the time is not good for their careers.

  84. #84 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 23, 2009 - 3:54 AM

    Omer Jhakki 😀 ab logic ko beech may thoons diya tum nay? Mano ya na Mano the future is what I have predicted. 😀

  85. #85 by Mohammed Munir on February 23, 2009 - 5:45 AM

    Dainy Boo-WHY ? 😉

    Kaneria is history and a few reasons, anything-but-his-performance, that he is still playing in the team are as below:

    – PCB wants to give our team a more social, multi-culture and multi-religion outlook.
    – Because Pakistan does not have any other ‘options’ in leg spin department.
    – On his past performances, which are few and too far away.
    – He is playing on ‘Karachi ki seat’, just to fill unstated quota.
    – To keep his bigmouth shut from talking against PCB.

  86. #86 by Mohammed Munir on February 23, 2009 - 7:24 AM

    Moin Taj …

    Welcome to the blog and hope to see you more often 🙂

    Abdul …

    I liked it when you said, “get a life and stay out of my business ”.

    My business as in, expert opinions, running commentary, in-depth analysis, up-to-date feedbacks, observations, reviews, reports, remarks, criticism, valuable advice and all that on the PCB and Pakistan Cricket.

    Way to go, Abdul Mian, I am with you all the way 😉

  87. #87 by Abdul on February 23, 2009 - 9:31 AM

    Munir sahab this is what I want to demonstrate. I preferably think that Imran Tahir is the best spinner of Pakistani background currently but still rate Kaneria fondly despite his latest slump of form. Imran Tahir looks unlikely to represent Pakistan but when looking at some of the deliveries he can bowl and his first class record he would be an automatic selection in my books. But it looks as if Rashid can be the best in the business. Unarguably Kaneria is the best leg spinner in the world currently. I feel Adil Rashid will overshadow that statement though as could Usman Qadir in 5 years time. Meanwhile I think Mansoor Amjad and Abdul Rehman could be a good prospect to back up Kaneria whereas Mansoor could be the specialist in odi’s.

    Here are my recommendations for different formats.

    Test cricket- Kaneria alone but Mansoor Amjad or Rehman could be considered as alternatives or played if the wickets suits spin.

    ODI- Mansoor Amjad would be an excellent prospect with Rehman in the wings as a reserve option.

    But one thing has to be cut for certain in expressing “bits and bobs” for odi cricket in the likes of afrdi,malik,fawad etc as specialists are the ones who are going to cause problems and be effective. Therefore Pakistan should see the opportunity of investing in the spin options as this has been a god gifted cultural act the country has been blessed with.

    This is what I would recommend and the ideal world of being in Qadir’s shoes I would recall Tahir but that seem millions miles away.

  88. #88 by Abdul on February 23, 2009 - 9:32 AM

    Currently this is a excellent partnership between ex captain and captain ! Yes, along way to go but so far so good.

  89. #89 by Abdul on February 23, 2009 - 9:40 AM

    Munir my previous comment exmphasises that we have got plenty of options in “leg spin” such as Mansoor Amjad,Imran Tahir and although not a leggie Rehman is very effective.

    Still remain faithful in Kaneria as he’s taken so many wickets and dismissed top players like Peiterson,Smith etc but he needs to win more matches and “spin Pak to victory” and we should look into second options to back him as alternavites and invest in “specialists for odi cricket” such as Mansoor Amjad.

    Pakistan has nearly got into tea without a wicket ! One over to go !

  90. #90 by Abdul on February 23, 2009 - 9:45 AM

    The question I was pondering on overnight of “whether Younis can play a captains innings and start his captaincy regime with a bang” is an overwhelming YES. He has reached his century but will now have to convert this into a biggie and play on for the team like a true captain will. This is the start of a new era and it’s all hats of to Younis !

  91. #91 by khansahab on February 23, 2009 - 11:12 AM

    Omer

    I mentioned before that I had to defer my exams until August because I was in no condition to take my first exam, and as per the rules of my college all exams have to be taken in one sitting.

  92. #92 by khansahab on February 23, 2009 - 11:16 AM

    I’ve had it with Khurram Manzoor. He has shown good temperament but he keeps getting himself out after fighting for so long.

    I don’t think Pakistan should use him any longer. The best option is probably Nasir Jamshed now.

  93. #93 by khansahab on February 23, 2009 - 11:20 AM

    Omer

    Malik made a 50, now what will we do? 🙂

    There’s no way this guy will be removed from the team. If Afridi was playing at no 6, they would have to get a better batsman playing elsewhere and the only way they could do that is to remove Malik.

  94. #94 by Abdul on February 23, 2009 - 11:25 AM

    nice to see cha-cha at Karchi Stadium as he’s the no 1 supporter of Pakistan cricket globally and great enthusiastic character.

  95. #95 by Abdul on February 23, 2009 - 12:10 PM

    Younas Khan haes playaed his heart ouet which puts Pakistan in a good position to saeve the meatch.

  96. #96 by khansahab on February 23, 2009 - 12:28 PM

    Abdul

    Abdur Rehman and Mansoor Amjad are mediocre players. They are only fit for T20. Rehman has not picked up a single 4 wicket haul in the current Q&A Trophy while I don’t think Amjad is even playing or if he is, he is not getting noticed.

    Stop mentioning Imran Tahir because it is difficult for him to play international cricket and even if he does it will either be for South Africa or England.

    The best spinners are Afridi, Yasir Shah, Tahir Khan and Saeed Ajmal.

  97. #97 by kaleem on February 23, 2009 - 2:25 PM

    Khansahab

    I used to think highly of Mansoor Amjad and i still think if afforded a chance he can perform. You have to think of him as utlity player because he is a good fielder, batsman and bowler. A must for Twenty20 cricket i say.

    now what will pakistan do they have 2 stable batsmen in younus khan and Misbah ul haq. The plan should be to bat out the 4th day, after that it will be a draw anyway. we need a big innings from misbah.

  98. #98 by Abdul on February 23, 2009 - 2:52 PM

    Khansahab don’t think u know more than me in this area because you are talking from a statistical point of view whereas I know the technical qualities of spinner. Shah I have seen some of but he’s not that great to succeed at international level whereas Ajmal is highly neither ineffective nor threatening. Imran Tahir yes as I said he is a million miles away from playing for Pakistan but is a great loss as he’s a genuine match winner in any format.

    I agree with my arch nemesis Kaleem about Amjad’s allround qualities for odi. But as regards to Usman Qadir he has been tipped to be better than Warne!

  99. #99 by khansahab on February 23, 2009 - 5:31 PM

    Abdul @ 121

    You again stamped your authority and left me dumbfounded. Yes I don’t know more than you in the spin department and I am apologise.

    Kind regards

  100. #100 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 12:47 AM

    Omer

    Kind regards

    🙂

  101. #101 by Salman Khan on February 24, 2009 - 9:29 AM

    Salaam everybody,

    excellent reply by Younis, however, the speed at which other batsmen scored runs would make Boycott look like Usain Bolt.This , IMO , is the key if one wants to be counted as a top test team in the world, to score runs at pace , even in a test match.

  102. #102 by Mohammed Munir on February 24, 2009 - 10:38 AM

    Salman Khan …

    Welcome, nice to see you around after a long time.

    On Cricket, well, who wants to win the match any? 😉 Since we got a chance to play a Test after long time, so we thought let that be good chance to play a ‘long’ innigs.

    Anyway, after first day of 406 runs by Sri Lanka, Pakistan was always had only one option to draw and I think even that is good performance by Pakistan team and they should be given due credit. Younis should never declare and keep on playing all the way as long as possible, scoring whatever maximum runs they can. Let there be some records 😉

    We want the same curator for second test too 😀

  103. #103 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 10:41 AM

    Salman Khan

    What a pleasant surprise to see you after ages! You must comment more often and enlighten us with your views.

    Munir sahab

    I see no reason why Pakistan should declare. Younis should get that 400. He deserves it. He will get his 300 today and a 300 on any pitch is a tremendous effort, regardless of how batsman friendly the pitch is.

  104. #104 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 11:15 AM

    Younis makes his 300…….

    An innings of guts, character and brilliance.

    God bless this great batsman. Thank you Younis Khan.

  105. #105 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 11:18 AM

    Younis’s batting style and personality can be seen from how he reached his 300 by the reverse sweep, a risky shot, but a shot which is usually very effective.

  106. #106 by M. Y.. Kasim on February 24, 2009 - 2:32 PM

    300 is 300 whatever the condition of the pitch. Congrats Younis! He should continue and try to pass Lara’s 400 and even aim 500 if possible. Chances like these comes rerely in a lifetime and he should avail it gratefully.

  107. #107 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 24, 2009 - 3:28 PM

    Good to see old bloggers returning to the blog, Kasim Sahab recently and Dr. Salman today. 😀 Dare aye durust aye, but keep writing regularly.

    Like all of you I am also pleased to see Younus Khan scoring a triple ton also “I am agree” that he should keep on playing as long as the time permits him to break Lara‘s record and beyond. Like MY Kasim said, chances like these comes rarely and that too once in a lifetime so why not avail it? Although Pakistan scored at a slower run rate in comparison to Sri Lanka, but batting second and defending a huge total and that too with a team full of novice, debutant and unreliable players this was bound to happen. I would have been very upset if YK had scored just a 50 plus like others. He played the anchor role and took Pakistan out of the woods with his excellent batting.

    Once he breaks Lara’s record and if there is not enough time to go for a 5th ton at his usual pace then, he should accelerate his innings at a faster pace to get 500.

  108. #108 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 3:38 PM

    Younis said he will try and make his bowlers bowl on the last day and Pakistan might bat about 40 overs. He should declare whenever he gets out. He needs to stop thinking about the overs and just focus on getting that 400.

    His next 100 can come in 75 balls or it can come in 200 balls, he needs to stop thinking about giving bowling practice to his bowlers. He deserves to get this 400 after so much dedication and energy he has utilised in constructing this innings. I want him to break Hanif Mohd’s record of 337 at least.

  109. #109 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 3:42 PM

    Waqar advices Kaneria to stop experimentation

    Karachi, Feb 24: Former Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis has advised leg-spinner Danish Kaneria to shun too much experimentation and rethink his bowling strategy if he wants to survive in international cricket.

    “I am concerned because after a bowler has taken over 200 wickets and played 50 matches you expect him to be more mature and a better bowler. But in Danish`s case I think he is trying to experiment too much with his variations and has not settled down. As a result he is not getting wickets,” Waqar told reporters.

    While advising Kaneria, the former paceman cited the example of ex Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed and said: “He tried to do the same thing when we were playing together but we advised him to stop experimenting, stick to his experience and rely on patent deliveries and he was successful.”

    Waqar said he would also like to advise Danish to rethink his approach to his bowling as he still has a lot to offer to his country.

    Kaneria, who is currently playing in the Karachi Test match against Sri Lanka — his first in 14 months, bowled some expensive spells conceding 170 runs for three wickets during the visitor`s first innings.

    Waqar also disclosed that when he was captain he had advised the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint a young deputy to him in the form of Younis Khan.

    “But I think when the board spoke to him Younis didn`t accept the offer. But the board needs to appoint a permanent and younger vice-captain with Younis now to keep future secure,” he said.

    Waqar also criticised the concept of engaging former Test players in the cricket board and said this formula will never fructify.

    “Nowhere in the world do former Test players get involved in administration work, they are only included to concentrate on cricket or technical matters. Nowhere do you have former players looking after administrative work as is the case in the Pakistan cricket Board,” he said.

    Waqar said his biggest regret was that Pakistan could not do well in the 2003 World Cup when he was captain.

    “I think at that time it was a chaotic situation because right until the last moment I was not sure they would retain me as captain as the name of Wasim Akram was also being floated around causing confusion,” he said.

  110. #110 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 3:43 PM

    Younis, the new Dhoni: Fernando

    Karachi: Sri Lanka fast bowler Dilhara Fernando praised Pakistan skipper Younis Khan and said he emanates positive vibes similar to that of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

    Fernando feels Younis’ appointment as captain was just what the doctor ordered for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.

    “I see in Younis the same traits of positive captaincy and leading from the front attitude which is visible in Dhoni,” said Fernando, who has so far played 31 Tests and 132 one-day internationals.

    He said he was impressed the way Younis led his side in the on-going first Test against the Lankans on a flat track.

    “Younis has shown he is a very positive and tough person. I think the change that Pakistan cricket needed, they have found in him,” he said.

    “He batted admirably well under pressure as it was never easy for any team when they have to match a first innings total of 644 for seven on any sort of pitch,” he added.
    Fernando said Younis had shown that he was a confident leader and believed he can help Pakistan cricket reach greater heights.

    Younis replaced Shoaib Malik as captain after Pakistan lost the ODI series against Sri Lanka last month.

  111. #111 by Abdul on February 24, 2009 - 5:01 PM

    Younis Khan is on the brink of a remarkable milestone. The Pakistan captain has batted a lengthy 2 days occupying the crease against some of the best international bowlers in the world and has made batting sound like a piece of cake ? The way he has accumulated his runs and occupied the crease has been immense. I liked the way he was also attacking in the sense that every now and then he would play an attacking shot such as reverse sweep or going over the top as that way he can relieve pressure and rotate the strike and hence make it easier to occupy the crease. Signs of a good batsman there.

    Younis was on fire, he batted out of his skin, and he worked his socks of and any other outrageous metaphors which can be applied to describe this outstanding exhibition. I also feel his captaincy will very much improve his batting and feel he has the credentials to be a top leader and indeed take Pakistan to the top. I personally feel he will be the best leader after Imran Khan. He inherits that fond second name for a start!

    It will be great to see Pakistan clinch that breathtaking record of being the highest score in test cricket. If he passes that he should just keep batting and make it 450 + and then I’m sure it’ll stay for a long time. Also nice to see Pakistan to get one back after Wasim’s odi record which was recently overtaken by Murali. We will all be eagerly and anxiously waiting to see what happens but one thing is for certain, considering the circumstances Pakistan were in from a position where the task of saving was virtually impossible this innings from Younis Khan will go down as one of the best in the history books regardless if he by passes that record or not. On days like these it makes us proud of being from Pakistan nationality and increases our passion for cricket as a whole.

    Khansahab @124 there seems to be 2 phrases u like using. One is “stamp your authority” and the other is “nothing to write home about”. Javed seems to like using the phrase “mediocre player” whereas my favourite one is “slip of tongue” and “take the world by storm”.

  112. #112 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 24, 2009 - 5:41 PM

    “Javed seems to like using the phrase “mediocre player” whereas my favourite one is “slip of tongue” and “take the world by storm”.

    Abdul, what are you trying to imply here? You are not a mediocre player, you are a super duper spinkid who has taken the world by Tsunami. There is no one like you on this blog, not even on any other blog, you are incomparable bloke from the future who can bowl mysterious googlies and flippers, turn the Chinaman into a Koreanman and win the election by the storm. You are like future Obama of cricket world.

  113. #113 by Abdul on February 24, 2009 - 6:31 PM

    Thanks for the compliments Javed but spinners also have their bad days in which we can hit for 10 overs for 0- 75 rather than 5-12 or 4-20 which I have done etc. So u can consider me a “matchwinner” or wicket taker but please do not weigh up the expectations by classifying me as the greatest player in the world as that is so not true. I only play at u19 county level and have a long way to go before making it to centre stage of international cricket which I haven’t got much desires of pursuing but would of course openly take the chance with both hands if fortune comes my way.

    Anyway back to phrases and my favourite one in cricket was a “Hayward solid six” that Dean Jones uses. Anyway Ramiz should use some guts and ask Dominick Cork if he has enjoyed Pakistan experience as that would encourage visitors from abroad and justify concerns after all the suicidal hardship. Come on I mean after all the questions he has asked the likes of Waqar and Ramiz they should throw one back at him. But one thing is for certain thank goodness that Mushy and Zaheer Abass weren’t in the commentary box this series. They say some silly things and I would much prefer to watch it mute when those 2 are blabbing away.

    But take nothing away from their playing credibilities as they were true legends.

  114. #114 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 24, 2009 - 6:38 PM

    Abdul, I am impressed by your comments, you are making a lot of sense now and that too without making spelling mistakes or grammatical blasphemies and using the right kinda metaphors. I am also glad to know that you notice Mushy and Zaheera’s silly comments when they are commentating. Now, you look like a shooting star of the U-19’s and may you live in interesting times from now onwards! 😀

  115. #115 by khansahab on February 24, 2009 - 6:48 PM

    Abdul

    I am agree with Javed A Khan that your comments were impressive. Oh jee aap toh chah gaye! Balle Balle!

    Abdul, I am glad you of all people am realised that Mushy and Zaheer Abbas were painful in the commentary box.

    You are worthy of our respect because of your intelligent, hard hitting comments and expertise with spin in cricket.

  116. #116 by Varun Suri on February 25, 2009 - 5:00 AM

    I wish all the best for Younis to break Lara’s record as it will be a great boost for all the Pakistani fans and supporters all over the World even if the match lumbers towards a DRAW.

    After 18 long months of no Test-Cricket this would be an ideal way to return to Test-Cricket by making one of the Batting Records as their own.

  117. #117 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 25, 2009 - 9:23 AM

    With Younus Khan out on 313, there is no interest in the game, in fact there was hardly any interest in that test match which was heading from a draw by the end of the second day’s play. The irony is, on this placid wicket THE KHATMAL too has scored a century and cemented his place for another 20 matches.

    I was watching the India and NZ twenty20 and what a match. Blazing sixes by Sehwag & Co and then by the New Zealand players on that small ground. Last month when the Australian player Voges took that fantastic catch at the boundary (which I saw it live) it was considered as one hell of a catch. Today, Jacob Oram took a similar catch to dismiss Yousuf Pathan. The presence of mind of these players shows how alert and how athletic they are.

    The way Indians were throwing their wickets away except for Suresh Raina it was obvious that they will end up losing this match. Besides, its not easy to beat NZ in NZ.
    I think India will learn from their mistakes and correct them in the second twenty20 day after tomorrow. However, my view is India will play better in ODI’s whereas, NZ will win this twenty20 2-0.

  118. #118 by khansahab on February 25, 2009 - 12:15 PM

    LOL @ Waqar:

    “The Pakistani want the pitch with a grass”……….

  119. #119 by khansahab on February 25, 2009 - 1:53 PM

    Pakistan retain squad for second Test

    Cricinfo staff

    February 25, 2009

    Pakistan’s selectors have retained the 15-man squad from the first Test against Sri Lanka for the second match, at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore from Sunday. Abdul Qadir, the chief selector, said five reserve players – Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Abdur Rauf and Nasir Jamshed – may also be included to add more depth.

    The first of the two-match series in Karachi ended in a draw on Wednesday.

    Squad: Younus Khan (capt), Salman Butt, Khurram Manzoor, Ahmed Shahzad, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, Yasir Arafat, Danish Kaneria, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Gul, Mohammad Talha, Sohail Khan

    Reserves: Nasir Jamshed, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanveer, Abdur Rauf, Saeed Ajmal.

  120. #120 by khansahab on February 25, 2009 - 1:58 PM

    In the 2nd Test Jamshed is likely to replace Manzoor while Talha is expected to replace S Khan. Since Arafat scored a 50 and bowled well in the 1st innings he is unlikely to be replaced.

    Akmal had a good match but regardless of how many runs he scores, he should not be in the squad. The problem is PCB and some Pakistanis have a soft spot for him because he has made a few centuries in the past. Even Waqar Younis said something like, “Yeah Akmal has dropped catches in the past but for me, he is the man”. So even someone relatively unbiased like Waqar thinks Akmal should be kept in the team.

    Akmal’s ridiculous continued selection means there is no fairness in the Pakistan set up and only inside Pakistan can a keeper’s batting ability be thought of as more important than his keeping skills. Against good bowling sides Akmal plays like a tailender but no one considers that in the PCB.

  121. #121 by khansahab on February 25, 2009 - 3:38 PM

    Miandad hails Younis knock as his best

    IANS

    Posted on Feb 25, 2009 at 17:00

    Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad believes Younis Khan’s match-saving 313 against Sri Lanka in the first Test is the batsman’s best knock yet.

    Miandad, who is Pakistan’s highest run-getter in Tests with 8832 runs from 124 matches, said Younis’s marathon innings under pressure brought Pakistan back from the jaws of defeat.

    “I believe this is his (Younis) best knock so far,” Miandad said in an interview to Geo Sports channel.

    “He and his team was under a lot of pressure after Sri Lanka scored 644 in the first innings. But the way Younis batted is really commenadable.

    “It seems that captaincy has not affected his performance as a batsman,” he added referring to the fact that the Karachi Test is Younis’ first match after being given the Pakistan captaincy last month.

    Miandad pointed out that despite the flat track of the National Stadium it wasn’t easy to score runs against Muttiah Muralitharan, the highest wicket-taker in Test and one-day cricket. “Sri Lanka’s bowling attack is very good which makes Younis’ knock more special.”

    Miandad also played down the criticism of Pakistani curators for making a lifeless wicket. “It’s the sort of wicket that you always get here. You cannot make bouncy pitches here like they have in Australia because of the nature of the soil,” he said.

    Miandad pointed out that Pakistan had won more matches on flat wickets than greentops.

    “Tell me how many matches Pakistan have won on green wickets? When Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis used to play, we won matches because of their reverse swing on such dry wicket.”

  122. #122 by khansahab on February 25, 2009 - 5:58 PM

    THIS Pak team can win the next World Cup: Younis Khan

    Karachi, Feb 25: Pakistan captain Younis Khan today said he has no regret over falling short of Hanif Mohammad`s national record and West Indies great Brian Lara`s 400 during the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka that ended in a draw at National Stadium here.

    “I am not someone who plays for records. I am a team-person and I have no regrets over getting out for 313 runs. I am more satisfied that we ended the Test match on a positive note,” Younis said after the match.

    After resuming on overnight 306, Younis could add only seven runs before he was dismissed by paceman Dilhara Fernando, to much disappointment of a large crowd that had come to the stadium anticipating he would rewrite the history by eclipsing Lara`s feat.

    Younis yesterday became only the third Pakistani to score a Test triple hundred after Hanif (337) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (329).

    “I never go for records. Maybe in the future when I get another such chance to make a big score I will get the record. But in this match it was more important for me to show the way and stay at the wicket for long. But yes the innings is very special for me,” Younis said.

    “To me the plan was if I was there after a while and had got some runs I would have consulted my teammates and coach on whether to go after Lara`s record or just concentrate on the declaration,” he added.

    Younis, who replaced Shoaib Malik as the Pakistan skipper recently, also beleives that the team is still improving and will become a squad to reckon with by the next World Cup.

    “Believe me this very team can win the next World Cup. But they need your support. Right now they don`t know me as a captain so we are adjusting to each other. But we have some very good players and I am not a captain who is afraid of playing on any sort of pitch. I believe in myself and the players. I play for the team not for records,” he said.

    “Younis played really well and took away the opportunity of winning this Test from us,” Jayawardene said in his post-match conference.

  123. #123 by khansahab on February 25, 2009 - 6:06 PM

    Wasim Akram commends Younis triple century achievement

    KARACHI, Feb 25 (APP): Former Pakistan great Wasim Akram on Wednesday commanded and complimented the triple century by Captain Younis Khan and rated it a great knock while the team played under pressure.
    “Technically its great knock, notwithstanding the fact the wicket behaved. It was a great achievement while facing an adversary like Murali,” former Pakistan Captain told reporters at National Stadium here.
    “Scoring 300 runs against great bowlers like Murali and Mendis and batting for more than two days was a big achievement,” he said and observed that Younis led from the front and saved the match for Pakistan as they came from behind after Lankan scored 600 plus.
    “Its great sign that Younis prefers team performance then his own milestone and accomplishments,” said Wasim, who scored 259 against Zimbabwe in 1996 as the previous highest-ever score by a Pakistan Captain and bettered by Younis in this test match.
    Commenting on the change of Captaincy, he said boys are happy and Shoaib Malik is relaxed, helping and enjoying his cricket.
    “Younis behaving same manner as he used to be as player fully involved and trying to excel and that is the secret of his success, he remarked. He said when Captain takes brave decision the whole team follow it.
    Wasim Akram said he was not disappointed when his record 501 ODI was broken but he was disappointed Younis Khan missing of Brian Lara’s world record 400 not out.
    Responding a question about NSK track he said “there should be non-blame game and in future Captain should be fully involved in the preparation of tracks.” He said this kind of pitch like the one here at National Stadium should not be prepared in the future.

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