THE PARASITE IN THE PAKISTAN TEAM

There is a parasite in the Pakistan cricket team. His name is Shoaib Malik.
Picture this: Pakistan lose a match because of its usual batting woes. Who gets blamed? Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf. Now they are the world class batsmen in the team, so one can sensibly say, they should get blamed. Awas was sensible recently when he stated that the reason why both of them get blamed is because they are the stellar batsmen in the team.

However, Younis and Yousuf have a track record of performing in difficult conditions. Countless times both have done amazing things with the bat which has earned our respect. Younis Khan might not be a consistent century-maker, but he makes centuries in desperate times, when they are badly needed. Similarly, Yousuf has been a run machine for Pakistan over the years. His consistency is unmatchable. He scores 50’s and 100’s so often that you don’t care whether they win matches or not.

However, this begs the question- what exactly is Shoaib Malik’s role in the Test team? If one says he is a batting all rounder, then that is surely incorrect because someone like Younis Khan, who hardly even bowls at domestic level, can bowl better than Malik in Tests. If one says he is a batsman, then one must question why Malik can never perform when real “batting skill” is needed. Why can Malik not perform

a) under pressure
b) on fast/seaming pitches
c) when other batsmen have also not performed?

The way Malik got out in both innings against the swinging/fast ball, demonstrates his perennial weakness against genuine pace. Malik’s predators were Kulasekara and Thushara, hardly whom one would call great Test bowlers.

I know why there is this pattern to Malik’s batting. The reason is that Malik was never a proper, skilled batsman at domestic level and as a consequence, he never developed those skills at international level. Simply because he  actually never learned them at domestic first class level, where those skills are learned, which makes batsmen become Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf or Misbah.

An analysis of Malik’s potential (or lack of) can not be comprehensively undertaken without reference to how domestic cricket is structured in all Test playing nations and what the purpose of first class cricket is. First class cricket is the domestic equivalent of international Test cricket. It is the format that requires the highest amount of skill, and the format which separates the “nothings” from the “somethings”. The other two popular domestic formats are List A cricket (domestic equivalent of One Day Internationals) and Twenty20 (self explanatory).

Shoaib Malik averages a paltry 29.54 in first class cricket. Compared to his first class performance, he is much better playing List A matches (averaging 39) and T20 matches (averaging 42). Now let us compare Malik’s first class performance with the performance of other batsmen:

Name                                            Average

Shoaib Malik                                 29.54

Younis Khan                                 51.89

Mohammad Yousuf                  51.51

Fawad Alam                                 56.75

Misbah ul Haq                             51.38

Abdul Razzaq                               34.39

Kamran Akmal                            31.62

Sarfraz Ahmed (keeper)          47.38

Salman Butt                                 41.39

Shahid Afridi                               31.80

Faisal Iqbal                                  40.11

Khurram Manzoor                    41.78

I wonder if this will come as a surprise to readers. Our specialist, automatic selection middle order batsman, Shoaib Malik, averages less than all these batsmen. Even Afridi, who at one time when almost dropped by Malik on accounts of his batting, averages more than Malik.

It is crucial to stress here that this is an analysis of Malik’s Test performance. In ODI’s and T20, Malik is much better. However, it is submitted that there are potentially better players than Malik who are waiting to perform. So now we must come to the question that, if there are question marks over Malik’s position in the team, why is he selected?

The answer is a blunt one, and it is a controversial one. Shoaib Malik commands significant support from a sizeable number of Pakistan’s population, who are willing to sideline logic, common sense and justice in order to support their preferred player over someone else, who might be from a “minority group” in Pakistan. English, Australian, West Indian commentators often ask why other players are not selected to play for Pakistan who have shown some promise. They also don’t understand how a batsman with an average of under 30 can be offered so many opportunities to become a Test player, when someone who averages over 50 is treated like a second class citizen and kept on the bench.  It doesn’t make sense to them because they come from backgrounds where merit has some value.

Malik is a waste of space in the Test team. Pakistan must replace him with Fawad Alam in Tests. This  is not to support Fawad Alam per se. Alam is sitting on the bench. At domestic level he has achieved feats which someone like Malik can only dream about. Until Alam is given a few matches to prove himself, we can’t say either way whether he is worthy or not. There are many players all over the country who can perform better in Tests than Malik. I urge everyone to realise what kind of calibre is needed in Tests and to campaign to get Malik sacked from the Test team.

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  1. #1 by Q on July 8, 2009 - 8:28 PM

    Agreed cent percent..

    Fawad or even Faisal Iqbal or for that matter even Razzaq would be a better option at 6 in tests than Malik…

    Pakistan have always tried to create a spot for Malik in tests and I never understood why…

    When there was no place in the middle order, they asked him to open..

    Let him play ODIs and T20 and get proper batsmen in for tests.

  2. #2 by khansahab on July 8, 2009 - 8:38 PM

    Q

    I appreciate your comments. Thanks.

  3. #3 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 8, 2009 - 11:16 PM

    Sana

    First of all mentioning the name of that “Gossip Column” was a deliberate ruse for you to write something and you did. So you are predictable. 😀 Anyways, about the name of the thread “Return of the King.” khansahab used the name King and also started the thread with MJ’s name, but he isn’t returning, he has departed for good, just like the time that never comes back. So, there is no question of him returning.

    Q

    So, you have agreed with what I wrote in the previous thread about Akmal, Malik, Butt, Fawad Alam, Abdul Razzaq etc? Or, this is about the new thread that you agreeing with khansahab? Never mind it was just a simple question. And, you want him to play in T20 as well as ODIs but, with this form he ain’t going anywhere. He needs to improve his form and play differently. He has played very slow in the WC T20 which is not a good sign. He has to be aggressive, I want to see that Malik who performed once against South Africa in Karachi – and that was once upon a time – if he can play such innings everyone would want him in the team.

    Shoaib Akhtar

    Man, you may be fit in your mind, but you are NOT match fit. You are fat, bulky, breathless and you have no line and length and you keep bowling short-pitched delivers, giving a lot of width to the batsmen to play easy shots and you end up giving too many runs. (42 runs in 3 overs against Sri Lanka – isn’t it a shame for your big name?) Consider it as a blessing that you did not go to the UK for the T20 WC.

    As regards test matches, you are no good for that as well, in fact its been a long, long time since you have played a full test match. So, please RIP and don’t try to kill the future of Mohammad Aamer, Abdur Rauf and so many others. Can’t you take up your acting job and get your dreams fulfilled by accepting the villain role? Like Gabbar Singh became famous from one movie you might also get famous as “Akhtar Singh.”

    As regards suing Yawar Saeed and Intikhab Alam, please go ahead and sue them you have my blessings for that. Finally, best wishes to you for announcing your retirement now.

  4. #4 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 8, 2009 - 11:38 PM

    khansahab

    You have done a very good thread by highlighting the facts about Shoaib Malik, and also did a very good analysis and comparison of his batting performances. And, for those who may have been under the illusion that Shoaib Malik is a very good performer at the domestic level should open their eyes and see that he is well below all other names mentioned in that list above.

    Also, you’ve very well highlighted the point that even Shahid Afridi’s batting average (not to mention his high class bowling with excellent economy rate) is higher than Malik’s and its a fact that Malik while he was the captain of the Pakistan team, packed Afridi’s bag and sent him home from India after the ODI series were finished in which his batting average was just the same as Afridi’s. What a shame and it is one of the reasons I call him a Meesna (slimy blithering character) and he plays dirty petty politics all the time.

    The other important point that you have highlighted is, how the bigger half of the Pakistani population sees Malik as their hero and they support him over someone who actually is more deserving but, he is not from among them but from a minority group hence they sideline logic, common sense, reasoning and justice and support him blindly. You are so right and yes it is blunt and you have not hesitated in calling a spade, a spade. Sometimes it is better not to sugarcoat your words, the bitter pill works. Not that you deserve any patting on your shoulder or a few words of appreciation from me, but I must say Bravo Good Work and, I like it.

  5. #5 by khansahab on July 9, 2009 - 12:07 AM

    Javed A Khan

    Thank you!

  6. #6 by Q on July 9, 2009 - 12:26 AM

    Javed,

    I agree with Khansahab abt Malik as far as tests are concerned.. I believe for ODIs and T20, Malik still has a place in the XI.. I think in the T20 WC his role was to be the consolidator and he played that way.. where he faltered was that when he was required to accelerate he couldn’t..

    As for Akmal.. I don’t agree with him opening.. I think its very tough to ask one to keep wickets and open in test matches..

    Razzaq.. like Malik, i never regarded him as a test player.. his bowling is not penetrative enough for tests.. and he doesn’t make it on his batting alone.. if u play him at 6 u sacrifice a batsman.. if u play him at 8 u sacrifice a genuine pacer.. so I wouldn’t have him in the XI..

    Fawad Alam.. its high time he makes the team.. he has waited long enough and its beyond my understanding why the team management is so reluctant to play him.. I will play him at 6 instead of Malik…

    Salman Butt.. yes I agree that he needs to be dropped.. but I am not a fan of make shift openers, hence I would stick with him.. unless Faisal Iqbal can be asked to open.. he has done it before in ODIs.. and if im not mistaken for U19 and U15 as well…

  7. #7 by khansahab on July 9, 2009 - 12:09 PM

    I could have sued PCB for revealing warts – Shoaib

    ——————————————————————————–

    Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has said he considered suing the Pakistan cricket management for revealing, in a public statement, the skin ailment that forced him to miss last month’s World Twenty20. The PCB’s statement on his fitness ahead of the tournament in England said Akhtar had been diagnosed with genital viral warts; he was subsequently removed from the squad.

    “I kept quiet because I have a central contract and didn’t want to offend the PCB, but I could have sued the Pakistan team management,” Akhtar said in a TV programme on Express News. “I didn’t want the Pakistan team to suffer because my news is published all over the world.”

    Akhtar belongs to category A of the PCB’s centrally contracted players, who are barred from openly criticising the cricket board’s decisions.

    The injury-prone fast bowler last played a Test in 2007, against India, before he was sidelined for 14 months with fitness and disciplinary problems. He made two unimpressive comebacks to international cricket this year – in the one-day series at home against Sri Lanka, and the five ODIs and lone Twenty20 against Australia in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Akhtar, however, believes he can still get back to his best.

    “There’s still three-four good years left in me,” he said. “I am the fastest bowler in history and it’s not possible for everyone to bowl at 150 (kph).”

    He also said he felt shortening his run-up – as suggested by former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer – would not prolong his career. “It doesn’t suit me,” Akhtar said. “My run-up is my speed, previously (in cricket) nobody has bowled as fast as I have bowled.”

    Akhtar believed he could have been picked for the ongoing three-Test series away to Sri Lanka as he had regained full fitness. “I am perfectly fine now and I can play five-day matches, why not?” he said. “But it depends on which tour suits me. Had they [selectors] considered me for the Sri Lanka series only, then I could have told you whether it suited me. If they considered me for two Test matches out of three I could have considered it.”

  8. #8 by khansahab on July 9, 2009 - 12:19 PM

    Linguistics and new provinces

    Dr Tariq Rahman

    Since the debate about the Seraiki province began it is being assumed that anybody who is writing in support of creating it is jumping on the political bandwagon and making a new demand which is the product of some sort of an agenda and not an issue that has been seriously thought about.

    Let me remind readers that I have been a supporter of dividing Pakistan along linguistic/ethnic lines for the last 15 years. I have always supported a Seraiki province as well as other linguistically based provinces in the interest of the inhabitants of those areas. My only agenda is to reduce conflict.

    Briefly, my proposal is that not only Punjab but other provinces of Pakistan should also be divided into linguistic units. This would mean the division of Punjab into a Seraiki-speaking area and two other provinces. The exact map could be determined by the government in consultation with Seraiki leaders.

    The other two provinces would be the central Punjabi-speaking areas and the hilly districts speaking Pahari Hindko and Potohari. Apparently, Punjab stands to lose but if it is taken into account that it will no longer be perceived as a hegemonic, dominating mammoth then it will gain in psychological terms. Such a move will strengthen the federation by removing the mistrust of the smaller federating units.

    There can also be a Pushto-speaking province which may be called Pakhtunkhwa. It will include the Pushto-speaking parts of Balochistan but exclude the Hindko and Khowar and Pahari-speaking parts of the NWFP. It will also include the Pushto-speaking agencies whether controlled federally or by the provincial authorities.

    In time the whole area will have a uniform law and a similar, equitable level of development. What the present NWFP loses in terms of its non-Pushto-speaking areas it will gain if the Pushto-speaking parts of Balochistan are included. This will certainly be a good bargain and much of the tension with the Hindko and Khowar speakers will vanish.

    There will be Hindko-speaking minorities in the cities but formulas to please them can be found. Balochistan will have Baloch and Brahvi-speaking areas but areas taken from Punjab and added to Balochistan during British rule will be excluded. It will also lose its Pashto-speaking areas to the Pakhtunkhwa province mentioned above. This is a proposal with which many Baloch nationalists have agreed in the past and it will reduce Pathan-Baloch rivalry and conflict in Balochistan politics.

    The Northern Areas and Chitral can be divided into Burashaski-, Shina- and Khowar-speaking regions. These can be small units which need not have the same structure of rule as the provinces but sufficient autonomy to fulfill the desires of their people.

    Now we are left with the province of Sindh. In my book Language and Politics in Pakistan published in 1996 I said that the consequences of creating an Urdu-speaking province in Sindh could prove worse than ‘the present tension between Sindhis and Mohajirs’. I am glad to say that the tension appears to be less but I still repeat that Sindh is a special case. If the province is divided there should be consensus between the Sindhis and Mohajirs on this move. If consensus is not there then it is best not to divide the province.

    I do not say this because I support Sindhis more than other ethnicities in Pakistan. On the contrary, my goodwill towards all ethnicities of the country is equal. However, Sindh has seen ethnic conflict between the Mohajirs and Sindhis in the past and no easy solutions can be prescribed because of the volatile politics of this region. What may be suggested is dialogue and peaceful negotiations which will either accept the de facto division of the province or find some other solution of unity in diversity.

    The aim of the linguistic division of federating units is to reduce ethnic conflict, prevent Punjab from dominating the smaller federating units, make administration efficient, ensure that people do not have to travel long distances to get justice, and give all units a stake in the system.

    Having smaller provinces is not a new idea. The Ansari Commission once proposed as much. Earlier, in 1942, the Communist Party proposed to divide India into 17 ‘nationalities’.

    In India the Report of the States Reorganisation Commission, 1955, did take the bold step of dividing the country along roughly linguistic lines. I said ‘roughly’ because there are always speakers — and pretty large groups sometimes — of other languages in a certain linguistic state. In Andhra Pradesh, for instance, the city of Hyderabad has a large Urdu-speaking population. The needs of these minorities can be catered for provided the leadership wants the happiness and welfare of the people.

    The linguistic states of India have solved some problems — the south is no longer at loggerheads with the Hindi-speaking north — but not all. Ethnic issues using symbols other than language still remain in Kashmir and the northeast. Conflicts are a product of perceived injustice and exploitation and merely re-adjusting borders does not help unless real justice and freedom is given to all. However, even if some problems are solved, the solution is worth considering in Pakistan also.

    While writing the above I have not taken the politics of the PML-N and the PPP into account. Political parties and their short-term interests are transient. The inhabitants of this land are a permanent feature and their long-term interests are eternal. In my view, if creating several smaller federating units can reduce ethnic tensions and increase efficiency then this is what we should be considering seriously. After all, the aim of all policies — more provinces or less or the status quo — is to increase human happiness. Is there a more worthwhile goal?

  9. #9 by khansahab on July 9, 2009 - 12:24 PM

    Why is Sindh a special case? If a province is to be given to Seraikis, Hindkos etc, it should also be given to Urdu Speakers.

    I disagree with the writer that a new province for Urdu Speakers will create bigger problems for Sindhis. Basically Karachi runs Sindh and Sindhis are worried that the empowerment of Urdu Speakers will mean Sindhis are marginalised. Sindhis can and will never be marginalised in Sindh itself.

    If they create provinces for others and not for Urdu Speakers, then that is a clear case of discrimination and injustice. If they do that people should come to the streets and demand a separate province, like how Punjabis came to the streets and demanded for Choudhary to become Chief Justice and demanded the Sharif brothers to be restored. You need both hands to clap and the same rule should be applied for everyone. Because when the same rule does not apply for everyone, people say the country is a failed state.

  10. #10 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 9, 2009 - 12:33 PM

    Q

    It is not just you but a few of Malik’s supporters are using this phrase, “I think in the T20 WC his role was to be the consolidator … and he played that way.”

    First of all who define these roles? The captain, coach or the selectors? And did they announce anytime during the world cup that Malik’s role is that of a consolidator? I haven’t read it anywhere. This is just a way to protect Malik because in the final he played the role of a second fiddle. But, before that? And before that? The crux of the matter is Malik is simply out of form. Yet he is holding his place in the team with his jaws and likes to cling on to anything to stay in the team. But, his bowling is not helping him either. So, why waste another talent?

    Do you seriously believe that if Afridi had not scored, then Malik would have taken the baton from Afridi and ran the last 100m like a superhero? How many times we have seen Malik playing like a scumbag and the team lost. How many times is he going to play for himself and ruin the careers of others?

    I think this thread says all about Malik especially the way he manipulates his moves. Malik you are exposed in your own toilet which is on-line now and, everyone can see you in your Birthday Suit.

  11. #11 by Theossa on July 9, 2009 - 12:34 PM

    Pehle kabhi na hum ne kaha lo aaj yeh Khansahab se kehte hien
    Hum aap se “I am agree” kerte hien, hum thread se “I am agree” kerte hien

    I was on vacation so didn’t get a chance to write on LS. Today is going to be a very busy day because a lot of work is piled up but I thought good work by Khansahab need acknowledged. So good article Khansahab and good venting 🙂 I think Younis Khan and the team management should seriously rethink their selection strategy and need to make some bold changes in the upcoming test.

    I didn’t like Younis Khan’s decision to bat second in the first test because Pakistan has a track record of choking in chasing small totals. Also, playing quality spin of Sri Lanka in the second innings was always going to be tough. I understand ball was expected to move quite a bit but our players are fragile regardless of movement or not. They played well for four days and choked on the final day.

    Younis bowled really well to break important partnerships but he failed to leave any impression in batting. Other notable failures were Misbah who is the team vice captain but when the last time he played a match winning innings or scored more than 40s or 50s? And what about Shoaib Malik? the biggest purchi in the team and a total injustice to deserving players like Fawad Alam and Ahmed Shehzad but there is a lobby out there who always seem to stress on how good and irreplaceable he is. Akmal was average behind the wickets and even less with the bat. Both openers failed yet again. I think it’s time they should try new openers. Butt has been given too many chances and he should be benched for good. If they are willing to take gamble with Manzoor and Butt why not gamble with Shehzad and Fawad? Yes I’m suggesting Fawad should open the innings with Shehzad in the upcoming test.

    In the bowling department Danish-Akmal combination didn’t work in the past and unless the wicket is spin friendly Danish won’t be able to leave any impact so he should only be included when pitch is expected to spin. I think Pakistan is seriously missing Afridi in the bowling and the depth he provides in batting. He and Ajmal could have provided a good off break –leg break combination in the middle overs. However Danish-Ajmal could do a fine job on a spin friendly wicket. If wicket is expected to assist fast bowlers, including Razzaq in place of Ajmal won’t be a bad idea as he can provide some oxygen to the ailing batting. Mohd Aamir did a great job in his debut but he must not follow the path of self destruction like the so called superstars Akhtar and Asif. All this media attention could really harm the 17 year kid and Gul should take him under his wings.

    At the end, knowing Pakistanis are slow starters and Sri Lankans are having their own batting problems I’m hopeful that Pakistan will fight back and will level the series in the next test.

  12. #12 by khansahab on July 9, 2009 - 12:37 PM

    I am pasting the following article by Sidharth Monga of Cricinfo. I think the article analysis some relevant points about Pakistan cricket:

    Pakistan’s trouble at the top

    This is not a post-mortem. One frame on TV during the Galle Test, though, summed up a bulk of Pakistan’s problems. The screen was split in two, each one showing the stances of Salman Butt and Khurram Manzoor, the former’s weight too far forward and the latter’s back. Those who follow Pakistan cricket will say, “What’s new?” Those who follow Pakistan cricket will know there haven’t been solid Test-match openers since Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail, and very few before. Even Anwar was a naturalised opener: he used to play in the middle order in domestic cricket.

    There is no better feeling in a small chase than the knowledge of having reliable openers, especially when the bowlers have finished their stupendous work in the final session, with an edgy period to follow. In the first innings in Galle, Pakistan lost Butt and Manzoor before the half hour was out on the first day; in the second they lost Manzoor in the evening and Butt first thing in the morning. There is no way the openers should solely be blamed for the dramatic loss, but No’s 1 and 2 have always been a lottery since Sohail and Anwar opened together for the last time in March 2000.

    Nineteen different openers have been tried since that period – and 37 combinations – including Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. That even by Pakistan’s standards is a fairly big number: 56 players opened in their 48 years of Test cricket before that.

    Younis Khan’s response to the issue tells a story. “If you see, this has been the story for the last four-five years,” he said moments after the defeat. “Sometimes they do well, sometimes they do badly. That’s not a big issue – anybody who’s played there. It keeps going up and down like this.” In the land of reverse-swing, masterful spinners and great middle-order batsmen, opening the innings has been a neglected art, perhaps non-glamorous. Heroes do play a big part, and Pakistan simply haven’t had enough heroes opening the batting.

    Ramiz Raja, himself a fairly successful naturalised opener, wants an emergency declared on the opening front. He has seen over the years that in all levels of cricket in Pakistan the opener is the most neglected entity. “It has never been given importance by captains,” Ramiz told Cricinfo. “It was thought that on docile subcontinental pitches, where you played almost 70-80% of your cricket, specialist openers were really not required. That has been the thinking of most Pakistan captains, but it doesn’t help.”

    The approach perhaps comes right from the domestic circuit, where more such pitches mean the openers are hardly tested, and anybody does the job. The business, as is the case in Indian domestic cricket, starts in the middle order. Sohail, one of the more traditional openers, has an interesting theory.

    “Ultimately reverse-swing hasn’t helped Pakistan cricket at all,” Sohail told Cricinfo last year. “How many new-ball bowlers have you seen who are very good? Reverse-swing has helped Pakistan achieve things temporarily, but when you look at it in the long term, it has actually hampered Pakistan cricket. You are not getting good new-ball bowlers. If you are not getting good new-ball bowlers in your first-class structure or club cricket or at the top level, how do you actually think of getting good openers?”

    But if that be the case, why aren’t there openers scoring thousands of runs in domestic cricket and putting pressure on Butt, who can’t complain of not having been given a full run? “I have no plausible reasoning,” Ramiz says. “The players in the seventies, even in the eighties, had a chance to hone their skill in county cricket, so that helped Pakistan batsmen to rise to a certain level. When it got stopped, our domestic set-up was not of a certain standard that provided a strong base for openers to grow.

    “It’s just that we have got to develop openers,” Ramiz said. “There is not enough importance given to that aspect. When I say that, I mean both technically and temperamentally. You have to leave a lot of balls, you have to be technically correct, you have to see off tough situations like batting in the last half an hour of the day. You need a special temperament for that job. Different levels of energy for different situations and times. There isn’t enough emphasis on that at the domestic level, or at the academy level. Openers are not made at Test level.”

    Times changed, foreign coaches came and went, but the callous attitude towards openers didn’t. In the 2005-06 series against England, under Bob Woolmer and Inzamam, Pakistan went with Butt as the only specialist in the squad of 16, with Akmal, Malik and Afridi as options.

    Butt, who’s enjoyed the longest run in the post Sohail-Anwar era, had the promise, but needed a better opener to learn from. Openers grow together. They are a team within a team. They are often good friends, they often sit and discuss their batting and the bowlers even after the cricket. They are honest enough to ask the other to farm the strike against a particular bowler who’s troubling one of them. They point out to each other the mistakes they are prone to making. They are almost a couple, and Butt has been pretty polygamous there, though not by his choosing.

    There is an interesting story about how Sohail chose to become an opener. When he was fairly young, Wasim Raja, his captain at Lahore, told him if he wanted to play for Pakistan he needed to start opening the innings. Sohail hesitated. Raja said, “Do it. Pakistan won’t be needing middle-order batsmen in the next four or five years. There is Saleem Malik, there is Javed Miandad; it will be hard for you to get in. Start opening the innings, you will play for Pakistan.”

    By that logic, chances of a 16-17-year-old starting to open the innings look bleak. From the current middle order, Yousuf and Younis are nearer to the end than the start. Pakistan better start doing something about it, as Ramiz said, at the school level, club level, academy level and first-class level.

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 9, 2009 - 12:48 PM

    They played well for four days and choked on the final day. Theossa

    My Dear Theossa;

    When you are on a vacation you ought to relax and stop counting your days, they are lost, you don’t know what day or date it is today? If that happens it is a good vacation. I am sure you did not watch the match during your vacation or did you? Perhaps you read LS or checked scores on cricinfo. The match was over before lunch on the 4th day.

    97 runs with 8 wickets in hand and two days of game left and from a winning position they lost simply because they read the history of the ground (Galle) that team batting in 4th innings won only when they had to score 6 runs. Therefore, scoring 168 was like Mount Everest in front of them. Three wickets on the fourth day without adding a single run to the overnight total was enough to trigger the panic button and the team went crashing down.

    We have done the postmortem of this match in the previous thread. And, khanshab has picked up the COD and highlighted the parasite which is the root cause of all these problems. If that parasite is not removed there will be more such situations.

  14. #14 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 9, 2009 - 12:53 PM

    And this “Pakistanis are slow starters” tag must be removed, we tend to use it whenever Pakistan loses. Besides, this is not a 8 teams, 7 matches tournament that you lose one and you win the other you are in the super8 and then you lose one and win the other two and you are in the semifinal…….. There are only 3 test matches and Pakistan are one down. So, its not easy unless they win the second match first. IMO, this was a golden opportunity to win and stay one up. But, they screwed up.

  15. #15 by Theossa on July 9, 2009 - 1:11 PM

    Deer Javed

    Aam khaata nahin tree ginta hai, baal ke khaal bhe uttarta hai
    Kaam per pehla din hai mera, kion subha subha dil jalata hai

    My bad, I didn’t realize it was over in 4 days. Yes, I didn’t watch the game, just checked the score and bulletin. Slow starter is what they are, I didn’t label them, and they’ve been acting that way for a long time. But seriously, Sri Lanka’s own batting was less than impressive so Pakistan has a good chance to come back strong especially when Murali and Malinga are out. I think Pakistan wins this one. Let me get back to work and will talk in another break.

  16. #16 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 9, 2009 - 1:19 PM

    khansahab

    Sidharth Monga is an Indian sports journalist and what he writes on cricinfo is based on the info he gets from the Pakistani media or those Pakistani puppets who live in India, work for India and are Pakistanis for name sake. Whereas, what you write and what we discuss here is because, you have more access to the Pakistan domestic matches than the so-called experts. It is obvious from the article that Monga wrote, he is quoting Ramiz Raja and Aamer Sohail. Previously he was echoing Wasim Akram’s blabbering that he (Akram) spotted Mohammad Aamer and Sohail Tanvir. How farcical. It is like you keep lying and lying so much and then people start to believe that you are speaking the truth.

    If Monga’s sources are biased against a certain players or from a certain community then that information is incomplete, biased and it is full of window dressing, then how can you make a fair analysis? I have earlier suggest to Sidharth Monga to get his facts right and use the right sources. And, neither Ramiz Raja, Aamer Sohail nor Wasim Akram are reliable sources. If he is going to write his articles based on the statements of these people and a few more like them, then none of the cricinfo guys are going to do any justice, they seems to be doing a job, just a job i.e., to write for the sake of writing and probably getting paid too? So, to them it doesn’t matter whether they are painting the true picture or the one that have been provided to them and they are filling the blanks?

    Sidharth, there is no short cut to success, if you need to write about “Pakistan’s Troules” go there for a month or two and meet the domestic lads in all provinces and talk to them and see what the real problem is, get the right stats and see who scores more as an opener? The problem is not in talent, which is in abundance, the problem is in selection based on regionalism. Do your homework first. Thanks.

  17. #17 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 9, 2009 - 1:24 PM

    Theo

    Your Deer is DRC not me.

    Aam tou bahot khaa reha hoon aaj kal, tree tou hazaron mile doooor hai. Btw, tree per charha jaata hai ginna nahee jaata. You can count the guttlees if you want. Dil tou raat ko jaltay hain yae tera subha kesay jal reha hai? Never mind, you may go to the field trip without a lot ! 😀

  18. #18 by Q on July 9, 2009 - 1:37 PM

    Javed,

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/wt202009/engine/records/averages/batting_bowling_by_team.html?id=4162;team=7;type=tournament

    There u go.. the figures speak for themselves. I believe Malik did alright in the World T20. he played slow I agree but at times that was required.

  19. #19 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 9, 2009 - 3:11 PM

    Q

    I have seen those stats before and if you consider them “alright” then I have nothing to say. An average of 28 is not alright. Especially since he has proclaimed himself as the best all-rounder of Pakistan. Secondly in the bowling department he took only ONE wicket and that too at an economy rate of 7.55 and with these figures he is at the bottom of the regular bowlers who played throughout the tournament. Do you think he justifies his position?

    I had defended him in the WC because among the given resources (squad) there was no one else to replace him, although Fawad Alam had to sacrifice his place in the first few matches because of Malik’s seniority in the team and the ex-captain tag that he carries with him besides the clout behind his back. Now, that there is more choice and more options for the team to choose a new squad (after the SL tour or even during the ODI’s) they must find other more promising players until he regains his form and improves his run rate + his bowling and it means taking wickets. Only then you can consider Malik to be in the playing XI, otherwise he should come to terms with reality just like he was asked to sit in the dugout while playing for Delhi Daredevils during the IPL.

  20. #20 by Q on July 9, 2009 - 3:16 PM

    An average of 28 in T20 cricket is more than very good 🙂 …

  21. #21 by khansahab on July 9, 2009 - 3:30 PM

    Q

    We might disagree on this point. You said Malik did very well to consolidate but then couldn’t accelerate. That is perhaps valid.

    However, in T20 cricket a batsman’s role is not to play at a strike rate of 100 and then get out. If Malik played 30 balls and made 31 runs, in my opinion that is a poor innings. Someone like Younis, who is not a T20 specialist at domestic level played much better- just look at his strike rate. You have to constantly look for boundaries and you also have to take singles and doubles regularly. Malik played very few boundaries because he was too scared to take risks and get out. How can that be good T20 strategy if one is too afraid to take risks? I don’t think it is very apt to say, “X played well for the first 15 minutes and then played badly for the next 10 minutes”. Either X plays well or plays badly.

    What I fail to understand is that Malik played exactly like that in every match, yet Younis did not promote himself or Misbah ahead of Malik. Whenever Younis came to bat he batted at an excellent strike rate. Surely the purpose of T20 is to make as many runs in as few balls as possible? Malik was doing the opposite.

    There wasn’t great skill in what he was doing. Half of his runs came via mistimed shots and edges. Essentially, he was struggling to play and he looked out of form, which is again a reason why he should not have been sent in early. But, Younis wanted to give him responsibility and confidence. I think it is awful that someone like Misbah could not bat higher up and prove his talent because of Malik.

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 9, 2009 - 3:43 PM

    “An average of 28 in T20 cricket is more than very good 🙂 …”

    Q – May be good for you and for Malik, but the point that I was going to elaborate and, khansahab has already said that before I could do i.e., about the strike rate. In T20 strike rate is very important. if you allow Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik to open the innings they will carry the bat through and both will score 60 not out with a strike rate of 100. But, is that going to help the team winning the match? In fact it is a negative input. In T20 a strike rate of 150 is good and 200 is excellent.

    It isn’t that Malik cannot play big shots, he has played it in the past, but it seems he has a hidden agenda and despite that, the team won the WC because of 4 players, Afridi, Gul, Akmal and Ajmal….. a few small contributions from Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Aamir that’s all.

  23. #23 by Theossa on July 9, 2009 - 6:47 PM

    I am totally I am agree with Khansahab and Omer

    In business terms, Younis, Yousuf, Afridi, Butt, Malik, and Akhtar (yes he has an A contract!) are getting paid the same amount according to PCB A Contract list. We all saw Yousuf and Afridi cornered by Malik even when they outperformed him, one question why players like Butt, Malik, and Misbah keep their current salaries even when they’re not performing? What kind of message is being sent by awarding A Contract to those players who constantly underperform? If I see one of my fellow employees retaining his position or even getting promotions when everyone knows he is incompetent then I see it as total injustice and my moral gets down and productivity decreases. I’m sure people like Malik and Butt must cast a depressing shadow and induce lack of motivation among colleagues. I say all these PCB contracts should be truly based on performance and PCB should seriously consider demoting people like Malik, Butt, and Misbah who enjoy a free ride.

  24. #24 by M. Y. Kasim. on July 10, 2009 - 4:39 AM

    What a shame! 8 batsmen could not score 97 runs and were out for 47 !!

    That means that our batsmen are not capable of scoring even 6 runs apiece!! And that is what the statistics were. The last time any team scored any runs were 6(???)

    Khansahab,

    I apologise for the mistake about Abdur Rauf. My source was wrong. He was not born in Karachi but may have settled in Karachi, I am not quite sure.

    Anyways, Lt.-Gen. Tauqeer Zia may be right about Fazle Akbar, but that was long, long time ago.

    Abdur Rauf was not in contention in those days. It was much later when Aaqib Javed, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis either retired or faded away and Mohammed Sami was beginning to lose his effectiveness that the selectors started to look for alternatives. They gave chances to Mohammed Asif, Mohammed Khalil, Najaf Shah, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, even recalled Shahid Nazir but continued to overlook Abdur Rauf and God knows how many others.

    Another point. He was not a medium-pacer, he was real fast-medium touching 90mph and a competent batsman to qualify as an allrounder.

    This is just a clarification, not a rejoinder, so please dont take any offence.
    I only feel hurt when a deserving youngster is deprived his due, whether he is from Karachi, Punjab or NWFP as long as he is one inch east of Wagah.

  25. #25 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 10, 2009 - 7:49 AM

    Have you ever heard any of these names mentioned below?

    DM Richards, O Phillips, TM Dowlin, FL Reifer*, DE Bernard, C Walton†, DJG Sammy, TL Best, NO Miller, RA Austin, KAJ Roach.

    This is a joke, the West Indies are playing against Bangladesh in a test match. As it is – apart from a few big names like Gayle, Chanderpaul, Sarwan – the whole of the West Indies team is relatively new and not everyone remembers the names of all their players, rather we were beginning to remember them and now this new team!

    This is ridiculous, how could the ICC allow a test match to be played like this? Imagine if England or Australia had landed in the Caribbean and it would have never happened. They would have never played a test match against a second string of the so-called West Indies team. And the ICC would have immediately intervened and asked the West Indies Cricket Board to settle the matter or call off the tour. But, such is the hypocrisy and dual standards of the ICC that they give a blind eye and a deaf ear to the countries which are not important for them, like Bangladesh.

    Agreed that the Bangladesh team has also a few new faces. There are two new test caps in the Bangladesh team, Mahmoodullah and Roubel Hossain. But, both of them have played for Bangladesh in other formats especially Mahmoodullah bowled well and got wickets. But, the West Indian players?

    First I thought I know two players, Tony Best and KAJ Roach, but my bad, KAJ Roach sounds like cockroach so I got a bit confused. And, its a fact that there are 7 new test caps in their side. What a JOKE.

  26. #26 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 10, 2009 - 8:21 AM

    Mr. Kasim

    Agreed that the Pakistan team tattered in the second innings but, I hope their spirit is not shattered. There shouldn’t be any excuses that “we are learning everyday from our mistakes.” To justify the defeat and to make a theoretical point one may say that, but they are not children in school to keep repeating this like a puppet, they are professional players and they have to deliver and, they must admit that they played very badly.

    Even in the second innings, the onus was on Mohammad Yousuf and that is a big burden to rely only on one person, who has already scored a century in the first innings. The way Misbah and Malik played in the second innings is highly deplorable, they played totally insane cricket. The irony is, after every such pathetic performance they can get away with this and are back again with the same shameless faces, there is no remorse, no guilt, no nothing.

  27. #27 by Q on July 10, 2009 - 1:51 PM

    Khansahab, Javed,

    I agree about the strike rate.. that is what is makes a T20 batsman and I also agree that Malik’s strike rate of 100 was not up to the mark.

    The reason I pointed out the stats was to show that he was the 4th highest run scorer for Pakistan; which to me shows that he played his role… these roles are not defined in the public..

    Anyway, I agree that Malik did not do as well as he could during the T20 WC and I think that was because he was out of form, not because he had some hidden agenda…

    That’s my opinion…

  28. #28 by khansahab on July 10, 2009 - 2:18 PM

    Buchanan book creates controversy India

    NEW DELHI: Former Australian coach John Buchanan has stirred up emotions in India with a new book that takes pot shots at some of the country’s best-known cricketers, past and present.

    In the book, ‘The Future of Cricket: The Rise of Twenty20,’ Buchanan labels spinner Harbhajan Singh a troublemaker on the pitch and makes unflattering comments about Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Sunil Gavaskar.

    Singh is ‘good at dishing out treatment, lighting the fire, and then finding appropriate means to camouflage his action,’ Buchanan says in the book, excerpts of which were published in the Times of India on Thursday.

    The Indian bowler triggered a major row on the 2008 tour of Australia when he was banned for three Tests for making allegedly racist remarks about Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds during the Sydney Test.

    This was later reduced to a fine following an appeal to the International Cricket Council.

    Writing on his blog, Singh offered a sarcastic response to Buchanan that referred to the Australian’s track record as coach of the IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders — a job he was sacked from last month after his team finished last in the tournament in South Africa.

    ‘The great coach indeed had some great comments to make, just like his great coaching methods,’ said Singh.

    ‘There used to be a time when action used to speak louder than words, but now its vice-versa.

    ‘What surprises me are (his) comments on proven legends like Mr Gavaskar and Sachin (Tendulkar),’ he said.

    In the excerpts from his book Buchanan said Gavaskar, a former Indian captain and a member of the IPL board, was blinkered by bias and tradition, and also suggested Tendulkar was too old and slow to compete in the T20 cricket format.

    Buchanan said his comments had been taken ‘out of context’ by the media and that people would have to ‘read the entire book.’ — AFP

  29. #29 by khansahab on July 10, 2009 - 2:32 PM

    Butt to take a call on Akhtar’s T20 remark
    Karachi: Shoaib Akhtar’s fate rests on Ejaz Butt’s hand as the PCB Chairman will decide on whether to take a disciplinary action against the controversial pacer for his recent statement in media regarding his omission from Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad.

    Butt told reporters after returning from Colombo today that he would be going through Akhtar’s statement and decide whether it tantamount to violation of the player’s central contract.

    Akhtar, in an interview in a television show recently, said that he once thought about suing the Pakistan Cricket Board as well as the team management for attributing his omission from the Twenty20 World Cup squad to a genital infection, while it was actually a skin irritation.
    The 33-year-old tearaway pacer claimed it was a clear violation of his basic rights and he was put into an embarrassing position by the board.

    He also blamed the team management for giving a wrong impression about his medical condition and fitness while dropping him from the squad.

    Pakistani players who have central contracts with the PCB are not supposed to give controversial remarks in the media.

    Sources in the board said Butt would consult other officials before deciding whether Akhtar had again violated his contract.

    Akhtar has a history of disciplinary and fitness problems and has hardly played a handful of matches in the last two years. He was also not considered for last month’s Sri Lanka but has insisted he is fit to play in the ODIs.

    In the interview, Akhtar also criticised former PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf, terming him a “second grade person” and said all the previous heads of the board had done nothing but damaged Pakistan cricket.

    However, he showered praise on Butt and said he withdraw from his idea of suing the PCB only on the advice of the Chairman.

    Meanwhile, legal adviser of the PCB, Taffazzul Rizvi said the release of a medical report of any player was nothing unusual and had been done in the past.

    Akhtar had said he had a skin infection but a three-member medical panel of the PCB released a statement saying he was suffering from “genital viral warts” for which the bowler needed at least 12 days rest.

  30. #30 by khansahab on July 10, 2009 - 6:32 PM

    BREAKING NEWS

    This is NOT from a reliable source- it is hearsay, so we don’t guarantee this will happen.

    Reportedly a leading TV channel has announced Fawad Alam is going to replace Shoaib Malik in the second Test.

  31. #31 by khansahab on July 11, 2009 - 10:54 AM

    I have copied this extract from a cricket site- it echoes our sentiments on LS. It is from the preview of Pakistan’s 2nd Test vs Sri Lanka, starting tomorrow:

    Openers Khurram Manzoor and Salman Butt need to give them a better start for a change while the other batsmen also need to come to the party. Butt, Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik have been on the scene or some time now, yet they continue to give their wickets away cheaply. It’s all good when Khan and Yousuf are coming in at numbers three and four, but they can’t always do it on their own.

  32. #32 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 11, 2009 - 4:39 PM

    khansahab Manchesterpoori;

    Whatever the rumours you may have heard about Fawad Alam, the news is Shoaib Malik will not be dropped for sure. Even in the match preview on cricinfo following is the (likely) Pakistan team for 2nd test:

    “1 Salman Butt/ Khurram Manzoor, 2 Shoaib Malik, 3 Younis Khan (capt), 4 Mohammad Yousuf, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Kamran Akmal (wk), 7 Fawad Alam/ Abdul Razzaq, 8 Abdur Rauf, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Mohammad Aamer, 11 Saeed Ajmal.”

    Now, do you see the two slashes? One is for Khurram Manzoor and the second is for Fawad Alam. It is very likely that Malik will open with Butt and Abdul Razzaq will be preferred over Fawad Alam based on the latter’s experience.

  33. #33 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 11, 2009 - 5:00 PM

    The Parasite will stay, it is so deep rooted and ably supported by his uncles, fans, mates and girayeens that it will stay with that kinda political clout, even though the whole team’s performance is affected and infected by that bug but for them the parasite is more important.

    Younus Khan himself needs to rise to the occasion and score a hundred and must not leave the responsibility on Mohammad Yousuf’s shoulders. Anything coming from Kamran Akmal’s bat should be considered as a bonus and anything going out of his gloves could be a disaster.

    Misbah has not impressed me in test matches. An odd fifty in the first innings and getting out in a silly manner after that fifty was foolish, and in the second innings he showed his creativity that he can get run out when there was no need to run.

    It was a golden opportunity for them to win the first test and then stay in a commanding position and now they have to win the next two tests to win the series, which is not impossible but extremely difficult. Even rain can prevent the play its rainy season in Sri Lanka.

    Like Younus did not perform in the first test, Jayawardene too failed but you cannot stop Jayawardene from scoring big at his own backyard and neither Dilshan can be contained by Aamer for long. So, there is all the likeliness that there will be a big scoring match and the team batting second would be under pressure. No matter what the experts say or the pitch report or ground history says, I think winning the toss and batting first would be a better option.

    It gives your batsmen enough time to settle down and play without worrying about a target to achieve, also when the bowlers come in to bowl, the opposition batsmen have already been in the field for a long time and they are tired, whereas the fast bowlers would be fresh to bowl at them and attack. Younus Khan must not get defensive which he very often does, he must place an attacking field.

  34. #34 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 11, 2009 - 5:22 PM

    Awas

    I am sure, you must have read Buchanan’s comments on cricinfo, if not I am copy pasting it here for you to read and for other Indian bloggers like, Varun, Pawan etc., to comment on it. Because, khansahab and I were echoing similar views about Tendulkar, Dravid, Younus Khan, Mohammad Yusuf etc. Also, he has echoed whatever I have said earlier about Ganguly that he is a better attacking player than Tendulkar and, Dravid being the most humble, honest, sincere and a well spoken gentleman.

    Tendulkar and Dravid are T20 misfits – Buchanan

    Cricinfo staff
    July 9, 2009

    Buchanan: “You have to be inventive and fearless. And I don’t see those qualities as part of Sachin’s makeup at this stage of his career”

    John Buchanan, the former Australia coach, has said India’s ‘Fab Four” batsmen – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman – are not suited to Twenty20 cricket. Buchanan, who worked closely with several Indian players during his stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, made these and other observations in his new book, The Future of Cricket: The Rise of Twenty20.

    Buchanan was otherwise in praise of Tendulkar – who has opted out of Twenty20 internationals but not the IPL. “Tendulkar has been lauded, and rightly so, as one of the very top batsmen in the history of cricket,” he wrote. “But is he an effective T20 player at this stage of his career?

    “In the position he plays – as an opener or No. 3 – the T20 game requires not only the finesse and skills he has, but also the power and domination, an ability to take the bowlers on while being creative. You have to be inventive and fearless. And I don’t see those qualities as part of Sachin’s makeup at this stage of his career. Sachin Tendulkar is still a great player but not in this arena of T20.”

    Buchanan had similar views on Tendulkar’s contemporaries, none of whom featured in the ICC World Twenty20 in England.

    “Homegrown heroes such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman, were expected to influence, and on some occasions single-handedly win IPL matches,” Buchanan said. “Yet their subdued performances highlight that Test match temperament does not necessarily ensure prolonged success in the T20 game.

    “The same could be said about Rahul Dravid. Dravid is a great representative of Indian cricket, a team man, humble, a well-spoken gentleman. But unfortunately he could not score a single run in the early rounds of the IPL, and in my opinion, is not suited to this form of the game. I am certain Dravid’s performances were also affected by the off-field drama created by his franchise owner Vijay Mallya.”

    His opinions weren’t restricted to India’s ageing stars. He went on to question Yuvraj Singh’s attitude, though he later clarified that there was no malice involved in his comments.

    “Yuvraj Singh in a sense tries to be a modern-day Sourav Ganguly, but I don’t think he has the charisma or the dignity with which Ganguly carries himself,” he said.

    However, Buchanan was full of praise for Ganguly,
    though the pair didn’t have the best of times with Kolkata during the IPL. Buchanan’s multiple-captain theory didn’t go down well with the team at the start of the tournament and a host of off-field and selection issues saw the team finish at the bottom. It also cost Buchanan his job as coach.

    “Ganguly was the model for the new breed of confident and combative Indian cricketers. Ganguly showed that Indian cricket could stand up for itself. He is similar in that way to Ian Chappell who stood up for what he believed and was not afraid to take on the administration.”

    Buchanan – The former Australia coach, has said several senior Indian Test players are unfit for Twenty20 cricket

  35. #35 by Varun Suri on July 11, 2009 - 6:03 PM

    One should not be taking anything seriously coming out of the mouth of BHOOKA-NAAN

    I don’t know why he keeps on making a fool of himself where-ever he goes whether it is is England for some Ashes Advice or Coaching Kolkatta in IPL.

    I forgot that most of the readers here did not follow IPL this Year but if any one of you did follow it and read something about his exploits then you would not have even consider him worthy enough to quote his article here on LS.

    Already the truth has been out and sometimes confessed by himself that the Aussies were severely underprepared for the 2005 Ashes which they lost and everyone knows what the Aussies think of him but still he is not satisfied and wants to make new enemies by saying such things. Already he knows what happens if you play around with Dada and that too in his Den as after a pretty succesful 2 Year Stint with Kolkata Knightriders he has been made redundant by the establishment but some people want to be in the Limelight all the time and that is all what all this means….maybe he should go and check Harphajji’s blog about how he has replied to <Bhooka-Nan's allegations.

  36. #36 by khansahab on July 11, 2009 - 7:54 PM

    Javed A Khan

    That rumour about Fawad Alam was probably a prank by someone. I have not seen any news article that supports it. I read the Cricinfo preview today and it does seem like Malik will open and Razzaq will bat in his position.

    Although I don’t see how it will help. People say Younis prefers to work with 2 specialist openers. Something about the whole picture doesn’t make sense. Fawad was played in the warm-up, Malik wasn’t. I have seen other people say this and I have also read that Younis wants to keep the specialist openers. This means if he wants to fiddle with Malik’s position, he will have to drop Malik. Razzaq is not a proper batsman and in fact the no 6 position in principle should go to Fawad or Faisal, if Malik is not playing.

  37. #37 by khansahab on July 11, 2009 - 8:10 PM

    Pakistan always come up with stupid excuses for defeat such as

    1) Rustiness

    2) “We are still learning”

    3) We were under pressure

    And the latest in the line of excuses is this cunning statement:

    “We dominated the Test for X amount of sessions…..but unfortunately we just fell below par in Y amount of sessions”.

    A Test match lasts 5 days maximum- who gives a crap if you were pathetic only in 1 session? The main thing is that you lost, because you were pathetic. They should learn to accept they played poor cricket and they should make changes in the team.

  38. #38 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 11, 2009 - 9:46 PM

    khansahab

    To add to the list of those trivial reasons, here are a couple more:

    1. We are a young team.
    2. We are always slow starters.

    Bullshit.

    Ps.

    3. Younus Khan’s Ha ha !

  39. #39 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 11, 2009 - 10:02 PM

    Varun

    A Bhooka can eat or desire for a Naan, but a Naan by itself cannot be Bhooka. Anyways, if you add GA to John’s last name then it makes more sense to me. And that is what he is trying to do – writing books, using controversies.

    The point is I do agree with him about the demands of T20 game that needs not only skills and technique but, it also needs the ability to play with force and power and to dominate.

    On the other side of your border we have Yousuf and Younus, although Younus did improve his strike rate in this WC but, earlier he wasn’t that good. I am not saying that these players should be discarded when you have no choice but to play with players like, Butt, Malik and Misbah who are simply there because of the past glories and sifarish. However, if we can find more players like Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Yuvraj Singh, Sehwag etc., then obviously Tendulkar, Dravid, Yousuf and Younus can be made redundant.

    I have been raving and ranting from the beginning that we need more all-rounders for T20 because, sometimes if he fails in batting, he can contribute something in bowling and fielding. Sometimes he doesn’t get a chance to bat if the openers and top order performs, so there is a need to have players like Afridi, Razzaq, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Albie Morkel, Chris Gayle etc. You cannot have Chanderpauls and Sarwans in the team and expect to win (that 9 over rain affected match against England was a joke).

  40. #40 by khansahab on July 11, 2009 - 11:07 PM

    After Sunday, heavy rain showers are forecast in Colombo for the entire week. Many people are already saying the Test will be a draw.

    Maybe Pakistan will win the last Test and it will be 1-1 in the end.

  41. #41 by Salman Khan on July 11, 2009 - 11:25 PM

    I thought Monga’s article was OK. He just highlighted what is well known throughout the cricket world.All the players he quoted were respectable Pakistani players who I presume visit Pakistan on a regular basis and therefore know what is happening at the local level.Even if he would not have quoted these players he made his point.I do not think one needs to actually go and live in Pakistan for a month to write accurately about Pak cricket. By that token Chappell, Boycott,Roebuck,Atherton and even Abbasi should atop talking about Pakistan cricket.

  42. #42 by Salman Khan on July 12, 2009 - 1:46 AM

    I do not completely disagree with Bhooka’s comments.The core of the matter is that you want a batsman who needs to play well only for a short period of time.

    So if you have played 14 balls and scored 25 runs you have done a decent job. The Fab 4 have grown up in an era where one had to play well for a sustained period of time, i.e. they had to learn to keep their wickets intact(and therefore minimise risky shots or in other words be less fearless) whilst scoring runs.

    Now if Yusuf Pathan plays 4 innings with scores of 26 , 30 , 19 and 41 at a rate of 150-200 then he has done a very decent job.The point is that it is too late for these great players to un-learn what they have already learnt. It is similar to an Indian migrating overseas and attempting to incorporate the new accent.A 12-13 years old would easily learn and speak the language like the locals do. On the other hand at the age of 25,for all purposes the Indian accent stays permanently.

    Lastly , you need to have lively , athletic fieldsman who are able to keep up with the pace of T20. Not players who are on the waiting list for Knee Joint Replacement.

    Tendulkar was a good fieldsman in his younger days but not in recent times, although to his credit he tries his hardest, is a reasonably safe catcher and still retains a good arm.

    Dravid and Laxman are good slippers but poor in all other positions and in T20 slips are in place for only an over or two.

    About Ganguly’s fielding, well what can you say, he finds it insulting to run fast, so he just trots. His biggest qualm with ICC is that it does not allow servants to field for their masters.

    Yusuf ,I can remember from his Youhana days, was considered to be the best fielder in the Pakistan side, but unfortunately age and too much Haleem has caught up with him.

    Younis , I think is probably the only one who can still play in T20. He is enthusiastic , a good fielder and at times can be unorthodox with the bat. Even when he plays normally he manages to scores at more than a run a ball and keep his wicket intact.

  43. #43 by Salman Khan on July 12, 2009 - 2:04 AM

    There you go , a Hatrick of comments.

    Cannot help but talk about Imran Nazir. Now he is a kind of batsman you want in the Pakistani T20 side(and T20 side only). His game and fearless shotmaking has not changed one bit since his debut which is a bit of a shame because to my mind he had the talent to be one of the greats in ODIs and Tests, however , this also means he is your ideal T20 opener. Someone who will fail every 2nd or 3rd innings but will usually make up for it when he gets going . And even when he fails you can rest assured that he won’t waste many balls.

  44. #44 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 4:45 AM

    Salman Butt OUT, Fawad Alam IN.

    He opened the innings with Khurram Manzoor, who has already put him and the whole team under pressure by getting out. What a way to start a test career! Younus Khan in at number 3 playing just as if he is an opening batsman. In any case it is not going to be an easy taking for Fawad Alam and for Pakistan.

  45. #45 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 4:57 AM

    This is totally crazy of Pakistan Team Management and more so of Younis Khan to put Fawad Alam in as an Opener. He is not a specialist Opener and there was no need to make him open the innings in a debut !!

    Younis had to play Fawad because of a growing pressure from ex-players back home and also due to our ‘batting-related’ defeat in the first Test; however, everyone knows that Fawad is best suited to replace Malik and also to play in his position. Putting Fawad in as opener is as to try to put him under more pressure and amounts to trying to ruin his career before it started.

    Younis has started playing petty politics !!

    I hope and pray that Fawad plays a good knock and slaps in their face.

  46. #46 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 5:00 AM

    While I was writing my last comments, Younis got out and now Mohammed Yousuf is also gone ………….

    Pakistan are in tatters as they collapse to 17 for 3.

    Fawad is still there.

  47. #47 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:03 AM

    Salman Khan,

    The subject under discussion was not about Pakistan’s international players who are already known to the world. The point I was highlighting was about domestic players and, be it Monga, Chappel, Boycott or even Abassi do not have that kinda knowledge as khansahab has about those domestic players. That is because, he follows the domestic matches very religiously and he knows the history, background and averages of those players in the domestic circuit. It is his passion and I am not like him, I don’t follow Pakistan’s domestic matches.

    Prior to writing that article, Monga in his previous one was praising Wasim Akram for spotting Mohammad Aamer. Monga did not have the resources to reconfirm whether Wasim Akram was blabbering like he always does and takes credit for nothing or whether he was telling the truth? The truth is Wasim Akram is a big liar. He loves taking credit, he did the same when Sohail Tanvir came into limelight.

    If you ask these youngsters they might even say, “yes, Wasim Bhai is my idol and Wasim Bhai did this or did that.” Only because they grow up idolizing him as their hero without knowing much about how dubious and how sinister Wasim Bhai’s moves are.

    One can be an expert about the game but, not necessarily know all the facts, therefore, Monga or whoever wants to make a general comment should also think that others are not fools they also have some knowledge and information and cannot take his words as the holy words of Gospel.

    May I ask you, how many Indian players at the domestic level you know personally who can be considered as “budding talents”? The IPL has helped some of them to become famous like Jadeja, Mishra, Ohja and may be a couple of others. I am sure other than that or prior to the IPL you may have never heard their names. Whether the IPL and ICL have done any good to these players or others who play for those leagues is another matter and we need to discuss it separately. But, what I have written about Monga or what khansahab knows about those players is more authentic than what Monga thinks or knows.

  48. #48 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 5:13 AM

    There you go again, more misery for Pakistan as another of their top star Misbah perishes.

    19 for 4 down, need I say anything more …

    Shoaib ‘Parasite’ Malik has come in. Fawad is at 2, but still hanging in there.

    I guess with this speed the whole team can collapse by lunch and Fawad can carry the bat 😉

  49. #49 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:13 AM

    About Imran Nazir:

    I won’t say your approach is very conservative or defensive and mine is aggressive and creative. That is not the discussion here, but Imran Nazir’s game is very suitable for 20/20 format. The difference between him and Afridi is, Afridi can bowl and retain his place in the team just on the basis of his bowling. Afridi’s batting form prior to this T20 WC was pathetic and one of the reasons he was not considered to lead the Pakistan team is his batting form.

    The selectors thought that it would be too risky to give reigns in the hands of a person who bats irresponsibly ( I am not saying plays but BATS), just like you have mentioned about Imran Nazir that he hasn’t changed a bit. But, Imran Nazir played well in the previous T20 WC and also in the ICL. Unfortunately the ICL / IPL records are not official but, his innings in the final is a record.

    We may discuss this later because I cannot ignore the test match that is on and Paki ducks are coming fresh from the farm. They are 4 wickets down for 19, the GREAT MIDDLE ORDER is back into the pavilion and rookie Fawad Alam is holding his wicket by his teeth with Malik on the other end.

  50. #50 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:25 AM

    In the first test when Butt was out on a duck in the first innings, I wrote that, in order to retain his place in the side, Salman Butt needs to score a century in the second innings OR, play a match winning innings. He didn’t and he is OUT of the team.

    NOW, Malik has to play a similar innings here, he needs to take Pakistan out of the woods or else he is doomed. The ball may be swerving, swinging or whatever he has to take the leading role as a senior player and guide Fawad Alam and rebuild the innings otherwise, he too will face the axe.

    It is really pathetic that the three top middle order players viz. Younus, Yousuf and Misbah played such irresponsible shots. It is similar to the Karachi test a few years ago, in the first innings when Irfan Pathan took a hatrick by dismissing Butt, Younus and Yousuf and Kamran Akmal scored a century and then in the second innings Younus scored an almost double hundred ( I am not sure if he made 200 or got out on 199?) and Pakistan won that test match.

  51. #51 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:32 AM

    So far Shoaib Malik has shown good intent by attacking the bowlers and he cracked 3 fours in his 13, and seems to be doing well. I hope my comment is not like a commentator’s curse, I sincerely want him to score big.

  52. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:41 AM

    MJ Clarke is a class player not only his batting but, his bowling and fielding is superb. I am very impressed by his talents. He is Australia’s future captain after Ricky Ponting. And, I agree about your views on Mike Hussey, he is a very highly over-rated player.

  53. #53 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 5:42 AM

    A comment from another cricket site by an Indian fan …

    Surya from India: “When Pakistan start a test match like this, they usually go on to win it! At the moment, my bets are on Pakistan to pull a rabbit out of the bag in this match too.”

  54. #54 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:43 AM

    LOL Munir

    This is called “Fishful Thinking.” Anyways, lets see.

  55. #55 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:51 AM

    Well, I wouldn’t say that because, my interest is in the team’s win and not an individual’s performance and if Malik can help in achieving that target or goal then there is nothing like it. A player’s interest must be like that of a Shepard that he guides the herd to safety and that is for the betterment of both. So, I want Malik and Alam both to guide Pakistan to safety by rebuilding an innings.

    Munir

    The Indian guys comments must be based on that Karachi test match which I have just mentioned above check it out (when Irfan Pathan took a hatrick in the first innings).

  56. #56 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:53 AM

    Fawad Alam GONE. Angelo got him after he hit him for a 4.

  57. #57 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:56 AM

    Now it is all Sialkot Affair. Let us see what Kamran Akmal has to do? He played that innings in Karachi and he also played a match winning innings in South Africa and that Mohali partnership with Abdul Razzaq. All he needs is to play sensibly and avoid that cut shot which he so often plays over the point.

  58. #58 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 5:58 AM

    In 16 overs Pakistan has scored 52 runs and 5 wickets down. By this speed they will be all out before lunch.

  59. #59 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 6:08 AM

    There you go, Akmal has gone too. My bad, I said he should not play that cut shot and he did. Got a top edge and Dilshan did the rest.

  60. #60 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 6:14 AM

    Dr. Salman Khan

    I hope you will come back and read my comments. You see one doesn’t have to be a Chappel or, a Boycott to spot a weakness in any player and predict or suggest that he should avoid that shot on a wicket like this at such an early stage of the game. What I suggested a few minutes ago when Akmal arrived at the crease that he should avoid that cut shot over the point where he normally gets out earlier on and he did. The reason is after hitting two fours in a row he got carried away and played a shot which was was like a bait and he fall for it. Dilshan never misses a chance in that region.

  61. #61 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 6:17 AM

    Guys,

    A hundred seem hard for the entire team, let along a century by Malik.

    I really don’t understand why Younis insisted with Manzoor and Malik, even Misbah when we have good bench strength. BTW, if the ball have stopped swinging now and the wicket is flat, then why the F… are our batsmen still falling like leaves in a wind ?

    Althoug they can’t say much to their ‘boss’ 😉 but, I have a few Sri Lankan subordinates and it’s hard facing them 😦

  62. #62 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 6:21 AM

    Alone *

    Javed …

    BTW, it seems that our batting has disturbed your sleeping on a weekend and you can’t sleep no more 😉

    I agree with Omer, Razzaq should have played this game and specially if Younis was planing to make Fawad open the innings.

  63. #63 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 6:25 AM

    Malik is not making any extra effort to ‘save’ Rauf and face more balls himself as a lead batsman, rather I guess he will more happy if they all collapsed and he came back as ‘not out’.

  64. #64 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 6:27 AM

    Munir

    When the match started it was 12:30 a.m. and I just waited to see who is playing and whether there are any changes in the team or not? And, then this sensational downfall and you guys are also there so I got carried away and it is almost 2:30 a.m. and I am very sleepy. I have to sleep now or else I won’t be able to get up for my guests arriving from Toronto for brunch.

    I hope when I will wake up, Malik has scored a century and taken Pakistan’s total to some respectability and I mean it.

    Now, it is khansahab’s turn to get up and approve the comments. I am off………. take care.

  65. #65 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 6:29 AM

    Yes, Munir that is also a point to note that he wants to remain not out. But, Rauf is known to be an all-rounder so I guess Malik needs to give him a fair chance to score, every run counts. But, yes Malik should play more and save him at least till lunch time because he is new at the crease.

    OK bye now for sure. LOL

  66. #66 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 6:40 AM

    Javed …

    By the time you are ‘sleeping’ and before Khansahab is awake, there will be no one here to approve our comments, so I think we should wait.

    I would like to see Khansahab’s reaction to all this that has happened in this morning session 😉

  67. #67 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 6:45 AM

    Javed Khan …

    You have too many guests coming in to your place and it seems you are always busy. I think it must have to do with your fine cooking 😉

    BhaiSahab, Kabhi Hum ‘LS’ Walay Dostoun Ko Bhee Kuchh Khilaa Du 😛

  68. #68 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 6:50 AM

    A Pakistani fan from Canada, asks: “Are we still in the 4th day morning session of 1st Test?”

    Well I would agree, Pakistan has surely taken it up right from where we left in the previous Test 😉

    Ahhha … Lunch finally … and we are 74 for 6 in 25 overs.

    Malik and Rauf are hanging in there and rest is all history.

    See you all on B side of the Lunch …

  69. #69 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 7:32 AM

    Lunch or no lunch, nothing much has really changed 😉

    7 down now … Malik still there.

  70. #70 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 8:10 AM

    Wow 90 for all out … This must be some achievement by the Pakistanis.

    What a performance by the great Malik (shame on him), he scored 39 being the highest run getter for Pakistan and faced 88 balls.

    Malik must be a happy man being not out, but the point here is that while Malik was playing, Rauf came in at no. 8 and faced 34 balls, then Gul came in at 9 and he faced another 15 and then Aamir also faced 9 balls. Now while all these tail-enders were getting exposed and Malik did not make any extra effort to protect them and keep the strike with himself for the maximum time.

    It’s a “Dub-Kay-Mar-Janay-Ka-Maqaam” for the entire team and specially for Younis Khan on winning the toss and selecting to bat first. He also tried to push Fawad Alam to open the innings, who scored the second highest score after Malik.

    The position is bad, really BAD 😦

  71. #71 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 9:28 AM

    Excellent captaincy by Younis Khan.

    Open with Fawad Alam. LOL. Poor Alam has never opened in his life.

    If Younis wanted to kiss Malik’s a$$ so much he should have opened with Malik. This is all because of keeping Malik in the team.

  72. #72 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 10:01 AM

    This is what happens when you become over protective of a player. In order to keep Malik in the team and prevent him from facing swing early on, Younis decided to risk ruining Fawad’s career and sent him opener. If Fawad had some experience of opening at domestic level, like Malik has, that would have been an excuse but there is no excuse. This is just going to ruin Fawad’s career.

  73. #73 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 10:16 AM

    Munir sahab

    The thing common between us both is that we are realising Malik’s deceitful and meesna personality. He should have kept most of the strike himself but he didn’t- because he was afraid pace would rattle his cage.

    I don’t know why Younis Khan is not perceptive and why can’t he see all this happening?

    Fawad Alam showed better technique than most other batsmen. He failed trying to come across his stumps, which was poor technique. It suits middle order batsmen, not openers.

  74. #74 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 10:22 AM

    Pcb expects a improved performance

    ——————————————————————————–

    Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt refused to criticize the national team after its stunning 50-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the first Test and hoped for better show from the batsmen in the rest of the series.

    “You can’t accept to win all the time. Sometimes you also lose. I thought we played well throughout the first Test but lost it in one session because of irresponsible batting,” Butt said after his return from Colombo.

    Needing just 167 for victory with eight wickets in hand on the fourth morning, Pakistan lost eight wickets for only 46 runs.

    Butt admitted the batsmen ought to have shown better application on the fourth morning.

    “Hopefully the team will improve its performance in the remaining matches,” he said.

    Butt also termed his visit to Sri Lanka as a success.

    “I had talks with the Sri Lankan cricket officials in a very cordial atmosphere and we had some positive discussions.

    “In fact the Pakistan A team would be touring Sri Lanka from next month which is proof that relations between the two boards are good.”

    His comments came following PCB’s repeated complaints that India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had not supported it on the issue of the 2011 World Cup matches being shifted out of Pakistan by the International Cricket Council.

  75. #75 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 10:30 AM

    Quote from Cricinfo:

    Fawad Alam was merely lamb to the slaughter today, opening for the first time in first-class cricket, while making his Test debut.

  76. #76 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 10:40 AM

    Ejaz Butt, said, “Hopefully the team will improve its performance in the remaining matches.”

    Yes Sir, sure the did that and more to follow as they will improve further. 😉

    Her Shaakh Pay ‘Ulloo-Kay-Pathay’ Bethay Hain,
    Anjaam-e-Pakistaan Kiya Hoga ?

  77. #77 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 10:48 AM

    When Pakistan won the T20 WC, most people on other sites were celebrating like Pakistan is the best team or something. They may be the best team in T20, but in my opinion that is of no significance. T20 cricket is not real cricket. Sialkot Stallions of Pakistan can beat any good T20 team in the world.

    As Pakistan will play more T20 cricket, they will become worse at Test cricket. Amongst cricket analysts and writers of substance, that is a disgrace. T20 cricket victories will serve commercialism and publicity well, but for enthusiasts like me, cricket is dying in Pakistan. If people like Umar Gul, Younis Khan and Misbah want to be known as good cricketers they need to improve their Test gameplay.

    All of a sudden Gul appears an average bowler in Tests. Why is this? He has pace, bounce, control of swing etc, but why does he still struggle to pick wickets?

  78. #78 by Mohammed Munir on July 12, 2009 - 10:57 AM

    Khansahab …

    I agree with you on Malik cent-per-cent, but the thing is that, I hold Younis Khan more responsible for the Malik saga then even Malik himself.

    No one, at least not in Pakistan team, will have the courage and self-respect to take responsibility and voluntarily opt themselves out, neither Malik nor any one else. Therefore, as a leader and a Captain, Younis have a duty to take bold steps and kick them out. He should understand that his own a55 is on the line, if he continues with these nothing players.

    But what hurts me the most is that Younis doesn’t want to take a bold decision and he is more concerned in keeping the majority-lobby happy, no matter how much the team is humiliated.

  79. #79 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 11:07 AM

    Munir sahab

    I agree with you, that is why my first comment today was a sarcastic reference to Younis’s captaincy.

    I think both Malik and Misbah need to be shown the door. Pakistan has seen enough of them. You can’t kick Younis out because he is captain and you can’t kick Yousuf out because he is most consistent in the team.

    Apart from one or two knocks against India, Misbah has done nothing special in Test cricket. He seems like an average player. However, people who support Malik and Misbah always blame the entire team or they blame the PCB. Pakistan cricket has always been about individuals. They need to have these special players in the team.

  80. #80 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 11:16 AM

    Who says Fawad Alam is not something special? Following is from Cricinfo:

    Ironically, the batsman who survived this bowling onslaught was a debutant, opening the innings for the first time in first-class cricket. Fawad Alam came into the team for Salman Butt, and quite surprisingly, walked out to bat first up after Younis won the toss. His pronounced shuffle ultimately cost him his wicket, but there were still positives for him from his debut innings – he played straight, and he left deliveries well outside off. He played only 19 deliveries in the first 11 overs of the innings, but he was patient, and finally got his first four in Tests with a superb back-foot punch off Angelo Mathews. That was as good as it got, unfortunately – noticing Alam’s big shuffle, Mathews cleverly nipped one back into the left-hander, and trapped him plumb in front.

  81. #81 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 11:18 AM

    The signs are all there for Fawad to become something special, even greater than Younis and Yousuf. Whoever thought we were promoting Fawad on the basis of regionalism must be an a$$.

  82. #82 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 11:43 AM

    I feel sorry for Rauf. He can bowl at good line and length but he has no pace. Once the ball stops swinging on these pitches, he gets murdered. It seems futile continuing with him.

    Younis might as well give a couple of overs to Fawad Alam. The pitch is assisting spin- maybe Malik or Alam can provide a wicket or two.

  83. #83 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 12:49 PM

    A majority of the people in Pakistan are saying, “Malik scored 39 out of 90 and remained not out, what can he do if he ran out of partners? Others are to be blamed for batting poorly and not Malik.” Majority WINS 🙂

    Unfortunately this is not cricket but politics, in cricket you have to play for the team and not for yourself. If you wish to play for yourself then you should choose other games like, tennis, table tennis, chess etc.

    And, no one on earth can understand why Younus Khan sent Fawad Alam to open the innings?
    We have been asking this question since we saw him coming in to bat with Khurram Manzoor. This is a question which that buffoon would himself answer in the press conference after the match is over with a, “ Ha ha, good question….”

  84. #84 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 12, 2009 - 12:53 PM

    Munir

    I woke up to see what was expected and I am not disappointed. If Sangakara can stand there with 81* why can’t any Pakistani batsman could have done that? And, yes we talked about Malik’s intention that he wanted to remain not out and he succeeded in achieving it. He kept exposing the tail instead of shielding it. That is why I say he is not a team player, he is a very selfish Meesna who is always more concerned about his own performance and seldom cares for the team. The less we talk about this aspect of Malik the better it is. Similarly, the less we talk about Younus Khan’s stupidities the better it is.

  85. #85 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 2:58 PM

    LOL Check out how Pakistan management is trying to protect Malik. The following is from Cricinfo:

    What is explicable is that the choice of squad was poor, made worse by the choice of openers today. Both the captain and coach had suggested this was a bat-first track which required patient negotiation during the first session. Yet they sent in a kid (in terms of Test cricket) with no experience in opening the batting, even in first-class cricket.

    “Because we came here with just two openers, we had the choice between Shoaib Malik and Fawad Alam to open with here,” Misbah-ul-Haq said. “Because Salman [Butt] was feeling a bit low in confidence, we rested him. I think he [Shoaib Malik] is doing well in the middle order. We are looking to the future, and Shoaib Malik has to play in the middle order in the long run, that’s why we picked Fawad Alam as the opener.” Go figure.

    Er, so it seems Pakistan thinks Malik is the future middle order specialist for Pakistan. On what basis? And why is Fawad Alam not the future middle order specialist for Pakistan?

    To respond to Malik’s supporters, this is what Cricinfo wrote about Malik:

    Malik looked solid in the middle but soon started to run out of partners. But there was no conspicuous attempt to push the scoring rate or farm the strike before the tailenders eventually got out.

  86. #86 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 3:02 PM

    Younis does a volte-face on captaincy

    Karachi, July 12: Failure effected a u-turn on Younis Khan`s view on captaincy with the Pakistan skipper contradicting his previous statement that a captain is responsible for all decisions and the team management is there just to help him out.

    Younis had asserted after winning the Twenty20 World Cup that it was the captain who called the shots and claimed he, much like former captain Imran Khan, was responsible for everything that contributed to the team`s success.

    But in an interview on Geo TV before the start of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo, Younis did a volte-face and said those days were gone when the captain called the shots.

    “I alone don`t select the team. The coach, manager and vice-captain are also involved in the selection process and it is not just my decision,” Younis said.

    “Those days when Imran Khan as captain made all decisions are gone now. Times have changed and collective decisions must be made in a team,” he said.

    Pakistan lost the first Test in Galle afer being bowled out for a pathetic 117 runs and then suffered more humiliation on the first day of the second Test today when they were bowled out for just 90 runs.

  87. #87 by Awas on July 12, 2009 - 6:09 PM

    What a typical Pakistani collapse again. They are playing test cricket as though they are novices in test cricket. Disgraceful performance.

    No wonder some are saying “wholesale changes” are required. Compared to this team, Pakistan A team could have done better than this.

    Javed

    A majority of the people in Pakistan are saying, “Malik scored 39 out of 90…”

    I myself haven’t heard that from anyone but is that really so? It means nothing whether he was playing for himself or not. It’s not as though Malik had scored 148*.

    Pakistan’s unbeaten record in SL in tests would definitely not be preserved this time.

    The reality is when they talk about wholesale changes, its players like Butt, Malik, Misbah and Akmal who need to be dispensed with. I do not easily espouse to the theories of hidden agendas as every player wishes to cement his place and players like that are not indispensible as they are neither Younus nor Yousaf but the fact of the matter is that such players are simply not good enough after having had so many chances.

    Other than those players, coach, manager and some in PCB including Butt need to go too.

  88. #88 by khansahab on July 12, 2009 - 10:04 PM

    Salman Khan sahab

    I have just read all the comments that were posted today. I think you may have misunderstood Javed A Khan (apologies if that is not the case).

    I am not saying I am some superior authority, but I have seen plenty of domestic Pakistani matches and they do tell a different story to what these analysts write. Mongia will never know as much about Pakistan domestic cricket as someone like myself, because I follow domestic cricket fervently. I also read about Pakistan cricket issues in every major Pakistani newspaper. I look at cricket videos, and I also Google-search players and issues. I am not blowing my own trumpet here by any means. If I was paid to write about Australian cricket or West Indian cricket I could also do a job like Mongia and discuss issues at face value.

    Pakistan works in a very complex way and politics played a big part in everything that happens inside Pakistan. India also has nepotism, corruption etc but it is different to Pakistani corruption and nepotism. One has to live in Pakistan to see what the reality is. I don’t mean this in a derogatory way, but only today I was meeting an Indian doctor to asked me whether cinemas are in operation in Pakistan. He thinks there is Sharia in every city or something and they don’t allow movies to be shown in Pakistan. I don’t mean this for all Indians- just stating that sometimes people digest certain issues at face value.

  89. #89 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 1:22 AM

    Awas

    You know how the opinion polls are conducted? No one goes out and interview the whole nation, its just randomized. I talked to a few people and each one of them said, “Sirf Malak hee khaila baki koi nai.” What can he do if he ran out of partners? Also, I have read on other blogs like khansahab also quoted similar views from cricinfo. Anyways, that is not the point. I would have liked Malik to protect the tail but, he didn’t and it was very obvious to those who were watching that he wanted to remain not out and he achieved his objective.

    Once again, most people I have talked to say that there is no unity in the team, there is something more that what meets the eye. No body wants to play bad deliberately but, once their position is secured in the team, they don’t make extra effort to win or save the game. There is NO team spirit in them, especially when the chips are down they all look so dejected, defeated and in total disarray. This happens more often so, that is why there is no consistency in the team.

    Khansahab

    his name is Monga not Mongia. Imran Khan whenever he is giving expert comments when Sehwag is playing he calls him Shewag.

    Btw, I saw some old pictures of Fazal Mahmood, I think he was the most handsome cricketer ever, much better looking than Imran Khan or anyone else. Even on cricinfo there are a few pictures of him and one of them is with Indian actor Raj Kapoor and he looks more handsome than him. I remember my Dad used to tell that he met Fazal Mahmood in person when he was very young and, he was definitely very handsome and good looking.

  90. #90 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 5:27 AM

    Javed …

    That guy “Monga” should have been named more appropriately as “Bonga” 😉

  91. #91 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 5:40 AM

    Oh and another thought, can someone tell me when was the last time that Pakistan faced an innings defeat and against which team ??

    Because from the way the things are going, it seems we are going to improve that feat. 😉

  92. #92 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 8:07 AM

    Good riddance, I still think it is acceptable to get Sri Lankans out for 240 with a net deficit of 150. Yes, seeing our ‘batting’ performances so far even 150 seems like 400+ but other then Sangakara, no other batsmen were able to play a decent knock which is good on part of our bowlers. After Sangakara’s 87 runs, the second highest individual score was only 27 and that too of Mathews.

    Gul and Ajmal were very good, but I don’t know what happened to Aamir this time round. The fact that Ajmal took 4 wickets, proves that there was something in the wicket for the spinners, and under such situation it would have been good of Younis to try Fawad Alam. Even if nothing else, Fawad would have definitely added some variety to Pakistani attack with his slow left-arm spin.

    The other day Younis made Fawad to bowl one over in a crisis situation in that important and pressure T20 game, in spite of Fawad never bowing in the entire tournament prior to that, while here on his debut Test Fawad was made to open the innings which he never did in his entire first-class career and today when the need was there, they did not allow him to bowl even a single over.

    Could this all be coincidental?

    I don’t want to sound totally anti-Younis, but either this guy Younis seems to have something against Fawad or there is someone else, in the background calling, all the shots.

    Either way, I hold Younis responcible for this circus.

  93. #93 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 9:24 AM

    At tea, Pakistan is still trailing behind by 89 runs, but this partnership of 61 so far is the best of the series and I also don’t know when a Pakistani opening pair has put on a 50 plus partnership in a test match?

    The pitch is flat with no assistance to bowlers except for the swinging new ball in the first 8-10 overs which happens everywhere in the world. Therefore, if this deficit is reduced by the openers, the so-called strong middle order will get some confidence to build a total that they can defend. It is good to see Omar Gul getting wickets especially that of Sangakara. It was a bit worrying to see that Omar Gul is unplayable in T20 and then suddenly he is totally ineffective in test matches! But, this 4 wicket haul must give him and his captain some relief and confidence that he is getting wickets.

    Pakistan needs to bounce back and win this test otherwise their confidence in the next test match will be very low. Besides, they would be giving away this series to Sri Lanka in a silver platter and helping them in making history for them as Sri Lanka has never won a test series against Pakistan.

  94. #94 by Awas on July 13, 2009 - 9:30 AM

    It’s looking like a first decent opening partnership for Pakistan for a long time. A good opening stand against the new ball makes it so important for the batsmen who follow later.

    Well done Fawad Alam who is not even a proper opener.

    Javed

    I too had spoken to a few people but no one lauded Malik’s innings, on the contrary it was despair all round. I don’t however check other bloggs.

  95. #95 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 9:33 AM

    Munir

    That guy is definitely not Bonga, I would say that our so called Pakistani sports journalists are bonga, because they don’t write anything to defend our own domestic players because, themselves they have no knowledge about them and they don’t follow domestic cricket in fact, they have no interest in it.

    Like I have said before Monga’s comments are based on hearsay, it would be something like Osman Samiuddin or Kamran Abassi who “may” have never been to India and they start writing about Indian domestic cricket players based on hearsay. It is rather unfortunate that there are very few Pakistanis who write and, they write only about the international players i.e., when they start playing international cricket, prior to that they have no knowledge or even interest in such players. But, that is the grass root level and it is their job to delve deeper and find out more about the budding talent and write with facts and figures rather than hearsay.

  96. #96 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 9:41 AM

    With every run that is being scored by the Pakistani openers in the second innings (70 for no loss) the whole nation watching this match must be getting less tense as there is some hope that the openers will take the total to some respectability. And, Salman’s Butt must be getting heavier with bricks in his pants and he must be pretty scared that his position is being traded off.

  97. #97 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 9:44 AM

    Manzoor seems like a pressure player type guy. In the past he seemed to perform better in the 2nd innings when Pakistan was under pressure.

  98. #98 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 9:46 AM

    Javed A Khan

    I feel sorry for Butt because it is because of Malik he has seen his position become vulnerable. Fawad should have batted in Malik’s position and Butt should have opened with Manzoor.

  99. #99 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 9:49 AM

    Talking of Butt, Khurram Manzoor’s stance is also like Ijaz Ahmad’s, Butt jetting out and legs wide stretched, Ijaz was a very attacking player, but I dunno much about Manzoor. Haven’t seen him playing much. However, if he scores well today he too would be blocking Ahmad Shahzad’s career in test matches. Fawad Alam has definitely silenced his critics by playing like a seasoned campaigner, he never opened the innings in his life and there you go, Younus Khan threw him in the deep sea on his debut. It is like the expression, steel when tempered with fire becomes much stronger, and Fawad Alam is getting stronger by the day with his cool character.

  100. #100 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 9:58 AM

    The only way to frustrate Mendis is by milking runs on every ball, keep taking singles and he is not used to that. Already without Murali’s company he is not feeling the same as he used to bowl well in tandem with him and Fawad Alam as well as Khurram Manzoor are chipping in singles and keeping the scoreboard ticking. Which is good for the batsmen and frustrating for the bowlers. Good technique under the circumstances and they need to play sensibly and cautiously throughout the day. Still 30 odd overs to be bowled today and its a long way to go. The first target is getting past 150 and then its like building a new innings after that.

    Shucks……… as I was writing this Khurram Manzoor is out.

  101. #101 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 9:59 AM

    This might be the end of Khurram Manzoor’s career, unless Younis tries to keep him in.

    He was “just about” right, but not “quite right”.

    Still, he played some good knocks- his 50 at Lahore was very good.

  102. #102 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 9:59 AM

    Is Younus going to come in or send Shoaib Malik?

  103. #103 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:05 AM

    It is Younus who is in, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had sent Malik to join Fawad Alam. But, it is Misbah’s theory that Malik is a dependable middle order batsman LOL…. he keeps changing his position like a chameleon to retain his place in the team. Lets see how Captain Uncle guides his rookie Alam? At times like these there was only one player who could give some real good on-field advise to youngsters and that was Javed Miandad.

    Bravo, well played Fawad Alam a well deserved 50 on debut, I wish him best of luck and he should go on and score a century!

  104. #104 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 10:09 AM

    Well played Fawad Alam and a very well deserved half-century on his debut and that too as an Opener, which he never was.

    “Rang Laati Hai Hina, Pathar Pay Pis Jaanay Kay Baad”.

    In my books, he is permanently in the team for a very long innings.

  105. #105 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 10:13 AM

    Javed …

    You are very right about Javed Miandad, he was always a totally committed team-player and he was always guiding and advising the other batsmen, not only the rookies but be it more expereinced then him, Javed always wanted to chat and I guess this help in a big way to releive the undue pressure keep the player’s concentration on the game.

    Javed was Javed …

  106. #106 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 10:13 AM

    Sangakarra is a crafty operator. As soon as Younis came he reintroduced pace- he knows Younis has a weakness against pace.

  107. #107 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:15 AM

    Munir

    Aaj kal tou Hina ko blender may Buzzz ker tay hain aur kuch log tou Hina ko vaisay bhee Buzz kertay hain.

    Dar asal, rang to pathar pay pis nay ya blender may buzznay say nahee aata, rang tou goray hathaon may aata hai. Tum nay bhee Hina ka zikr chair diya, hamaray college may ek Hina theen aur theen baree hans mukh usay dekh ker hum kaha kertay thay………. Hina aagayeen Hin Hina tay howay! (If you know the horses neigh ya ghoree hin hina ti hai.) 😀 Urr usko kabhee nahee pata chala kay dar asal hum usay ghoree kaha kertay thayy!

  108. #108 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 10:21 AM

    Inzamam has written in Jang. This is what he has written:

    “There are groupings in the team”

    “Younis is not gelling the whole team together”

    “Senior players should be punished for creating groupings”

    “Seniors needed to spend 15 overs with the new ball like Fawad Alam did”

    “Kaneria should not have been dropped”

  109. #109 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 10:26 AM

    Both Ramiz and Waqar have criticised Fawad’s technique, which is not suited to opening. I agree that he does not have good technique for an opener, because he has batted in the middle order all his life. But when a debutant scores a 50 under pressure, they should praise him, not criticise him like that. He has been a victim of politics and he should have made his debut at 20, like most Pakistani players do.

  110. #110 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:27 AM

    Munir

    Javed is not Marhoom, so don’t say was, say is. 😀

    Btw, yesterday my friends told me this story about Miandad, in fact two stories not one.

    1. When Imran Khan declared the innings against India and Miandad was 282 not out, Miandad stood on the ground while the fielders, umpires and other batsman started to move slowly towards the pavilion and Miandad stood there in total disbelief. Imran knew that Miandad is not happy so after declaring the innings, he asked all the players to vacate the dressing room. Miandad walked in and threw his bat and then picked up a chair and banged it on the wall, kicked it a few times.

    2. During the Sharjah matches, before he hit that famous SIX at the last ball on Chetan Sharma’s bowling, Sharma was taking time rearranging the field every now and then. Then, Miandad asked Sharma: “what is your hotel room number?” And he was not responding and Miandad kept pestering him. Then Gavaskar asked Sharma what the problem is? And, Sharma told him that he is asking my hotel room number, so Gavaskar said, OK what is the problem just tell him the number and concentrate on your bowling. When Sharma told him the number, Miandad said, “OK udher bhee ek fielder khara ker lay.”

  111. #111 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:29 AM

    khansahab

    did inzamam mention the names of the seniors? Or, is it like Billi kay galay may ghantee kon bandhay?

    And, its a shame that Waqar and Ramiz are talking like this, definitely they are jealous of Fawad Alam’s fifty on debut.

  112. #112 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:33 AM

    What is Younus Khan doing? 4 runs in 27 balls, a strike rate of 14? He is adding undue pressure on Fawad Alam, he must take singles and rotate strike.

  113. #113 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 10:41 AM

    Javed A Khan

    Inzamam didn’t mention the names. I think it is clear who he must be blaming, because Afridi and Gul are not playing politics.

  114. #114 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:42 AM

    Because of Younus, Fawad Alam has also slowed down since he came in. Fawad Alam scored a 50 in 67 balls which is a healthy strike rate of almost 75, which is good in test matches. And now it has slowed down because Younus is blocking every ball. When Manzoor was there, they were rotating the strikes and taking singles. Younus should realize that blocking every ball is not going to help, because today is the second day and still 22 overs to be bowled, there is a lot of time left in this match, Pakistan needs to score runs and not spend time by blocking every ball. It is not 5th day and they are saving a match like England did yesterday!

  115. #115 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:47 AM

    Just now on cricinfo Shahzad from Saudi Arabia wrote: “Pakistan should not go into their shell and they should keep the scoreboard ticking. Going too slow will create unnecessary pressure which they can not afford.” He is echoing my voice.

  116. #116 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 10:48 AM

    Javed A Khan

    A few comments below that Shahzad’s comments, Nadeem from Pakistan is saying exactly what you said, too.

  117. #117 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 10:55 AM

    khansahab

    And what are the expert commentators, Ramiz and Waqar saying? Do they have anything positive to comment about Fawad Alam? Munir wrote earlier “In my books, he is permanently in the team for a very long innings.” Perhaps he is not aware of the fate of Asim Kamal, who scored 91 and 48 in that famous Mohali test match and then he went into oblivion.

    I think Younus has realized his role and started to score in boundaries and that is what is needed. Even singles would do and he should not get carried away at this stage. Pakistan is still 32 runs behind.

  118. #118 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 11:01 AM

    Javed A Khan

    Ramiz barely spoke, and Waqar admitted he played “really well”, but then criticised his technique.

  119. #119 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 11:06 AM

    Javed …

    You really seem in a very nice mood today … Allah Nazar-e-Bud Say Bachaay !!

    Naashtay Mein Khaya Hai 😉

    LOL @ Hina aagayeen Hin Hina tay howay!

    About Javed Miandad, I wish him a long and prosperous life and let me rephrase it correctly, Javed is Javed ….

    BTW, what I meant was, Kay Javed To Javed Thaa, Uss Jaisaa Koi Aur Nahin … Somehow it seems ok in Urdu but you are right, it did not come out well in English 😉

    I absolutely liked the Javed Miandad’s two incidents you mentioned.

    Coming back to today’s game, well Younis has since picked-up his run rate and he is now on 23 in 53 balls with a strike rate of 43.39. Fawad plays with a healthy run rate and although he does not hit unnecessary big shots he keeps the score board ticking, which is typical of the Karachi style of Cricket. Fawad had one four in his fifty but he was maintaining a strike rate of over 70, which is good in a Test. I remember this is how Javed, Abdul Basit and even Asif Mujtaba used to play … typical Karachi batting of milking the bowlers for singles and rotating the strike.

  120. #120 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 11:11 AM

    In my opinion the best thing about Alam’s knock is that he has not tried to do anything silly. He seems like a mature and level headed guy.

    I don’t worry about his limited strokeplay or technique, because he is a middle order batsman and his job is to make runs, however they come.

    I hope he is not limited to the opening slot, because he will have trouble playing on seaming pitches. He really needs to establish himself in Pakistan’s middle order. That can only happen once Malik is sacked.

  121. #121 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 11:28 AM

    Qasim handed PCB role

    The Pakistan Cricket Board have appointed former spinner Iqbal Qasim as chairman of a new selection panel.

    The PCB disbanded both their senior and junior selection panels last month following a row with chief selector Abdul Qadir, who resigned claiming he was not allowed to work independently.

    The 55-year-old Qasim heads a seven-member panel which includes Saleem Jaffar, Asif Baloch and Mohammad Ilyas, three members from the old senior and junior selection committees. The other members are Ijaz Ahmed, Azhar Khan and Farrukh Zaman.

    The new panel will now select both senior and junior teams for Pakistan.

  122. #122 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 11:56 AM

    LOL Fawad Alam, hits a 6 on 92.

    He got his 100, and now he’s crying!

  123. #123 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 11:57 AM

    GREAT … SIMPLY A GREAT CENTURY ON A DEBUT BY FAWAD ALAM !!

    WOW … What an innings, although this guy Fawad never opened in his life, but he was thrown in as an Opener on his debut Test and that too when Pakistan is 1-0 down in the series, and not only did he play well, but he scored a magnificent century.

    This is a fitting slap in the face of all the senior players in the team who conspired against this talented lad and kept him away for so long, as well as those who ever doubted Fawad as a great player that he is.

    Malik and Misbah should go and commit suicides and that too in “Choloo Bhar Pani Mein” 😆

  124. #124 by Awas on July 13, 2009 - 12:01 PM

    A wonderful 100 by Fawad Alam. Well played.

    He was confident enough to hit a 6 when he got to 98. Pakistan will do well to keep him. He looks like an automatic “A Keep”.

    Anyway, they are still 25-1.

  125. #125 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 12:08 PM

    Hitting a six on 92 and then scoring a double to reach to his first century on a debut shows the confidence level of the guy.

    I guess Fawad was so eager to reach his Test hundred that he did not want to postpone it for even one more day 😉

  126. #126 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 12:09 PM

    Awas …

    Even 25 for 1 is much better then our first innings, you see 😉

    Khansahab …

    We need a new thread on this boy Fawad 😀

  127. #127 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 12:09 PM

    The first time I realised that Alam was a great in the making, was during the ABN AMRO 2006 Cup when he was the only player from Karachi who could match the players from Sialkot. In the final he got injured, he was limping but he was playing the likes of Mohammad Asif like they were club bowlers.

    When he got out after a superb 50, he got a standing ovation from the Sialkot players. They all stood in a line and applauded as he left the ground. It is the only time I have seen something like that in domestic cricket.

    I did not care whether people called me a racist, or anti Punjab, as I kept supporting who I knew can be a great player for the country. I knew I was right. And today he proved me right in his first Test. The only problem was that prior to this he was never batting before no 7, so he wasn’t getting proper chances to perform. Some players are above batting technique or shot selection- it is the resilience that counts.

    He was so hungry to prove his talent- he did a “Sadja” after his 50. I have never seen anyone doing Sajda after getting a 50. He got that century at a very good Test strike rate- 66.66.

  128. #128 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 12:16 PM

    A statistic has just been revealed that Fawad is the only Pakistani who has hit a century on debut outside Pakistan.

    Fawad has just mentioned that Younis told him the day before he will score a century on debut!

    The commentators have admitted that initially Malik was in contention to open, but it was a last minute decision to make Fawad open. Of course, they wanted to protect Malik and risk Fawad’s career.

  129. #129 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 12:17 PM

    Pakistani Players who scored a Century on their Test Debut …

    Yasir Hameed – 170

    Khalid Ibadulla – 166

    Javed Miandad – 163

    Azhar Mahmood – 128*

    Ali Naqvi – 115

    Mohammad Wasim – 109*

    Younis Khan – 107

    Yasir Hameed – 105

    Taufeeq Umar – 104

    Fawad Alam – 102*

    Saleem Malik – 100*

    Unfortunately many of these names could not make it big in our team, and I hope and pray that Fawad plays a really long innings… Inshallah.

  130. #130 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 12:19 PM

    BTW, I just noticed that all the above debut centuries were made within Pakistan on our own grounds and this is first time that a debutant made a century on an away tour.

    Bravo Fawad …

  131. #131 by Mohammed Munir on July 13, 2009 - 12:20 PM

    Yeah right, now Younis will try take all the credit for introducing Fawad in the team…

    What a funny game this cricket is 😦

  132. #132 by Awas on July 13, 2009 - 12:24 PM

    khansahab

    Some players are above batting technique or shot selection- it is the resilience that counts”. So very true.

    At this level it’s just temperament and mental strength. Once you have been picked at international level that means you are pretty talented already so what is left is temperament and mental strength. That is more than 50% of your game. In Pakistani teams, only a very few have had that trait and that’s what counts when playing at international level.

    Miandad was so great because other than amazing talent, he had temperament and mental strength.

    Then there are players like Graham Thorpe, not hugely talented but had temperament and mental strength in abundance. That makes them stand apart.

  133. #133 by Awas on July 13, 2009 - 12:31 PM

    khansahab

    It’s a century outside Pakistan and that too in the 2nd innings. I wonder how many players have achieved that.

  134. #134 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 3:15 PM

    ‘I want to be remembered as the craziest cricketer ever’

    Afridi answers fans’ questions

    (Q) I’ve heard that you are going to play for NSW, Australia. Is it true?
    (Akil)
    (Q) Will you be playing with New South Wales?
    (Mohammad Adil)

    Shahid Afridi: I have not been contacted by New South Wales yet. I will decide on joining the team once an offer is made.

    (Q) Do you feel more comfortable as a bowler or as a batsman?
    (Sachin)

    Shahid Afridi: As a bowler, definitely.

    (Q) What happened between you and Kallis in the semi final?
    (Ahmed Omair)

    Shahid Afridi: Yeh pyar mohabbat ki baatain hain, kya bataoon? All I can say is that these things happen in the heat of the moment.

    (Q) Are you now going to take some time to train our youngsters for the future?
    (Farhan)

    Shahid Afridi: Yes I definitely will. I am in talks with the City District Government Karachi to acquire a plot where we can have a cricket ground and practice pitches. I think it is my responsibility to share my experience and knowledge with young cricketers. Hopefully I will start something soon.

    (Q) Will you take on the captaincy of Pakistan T20 and win us the next world cup?
    (Oops)

    (Q) Would you be willing to take up the T20 captaincy if PCB offers it to you? Do you think you are mentally ready for this position of responsibility?
    (Usman Malik)

    (Q) If you were offered the captaincy how would you react?
    (Yaqoob Ahmad)

    (Q) What do you think about becoming Pakistan Team’s Captain for One day and T20 games?
    (Nazar Abbas)

    (Q) Questions are being raised that the core of the responsibility shown in Afridi’s batting in the semi-final and the final was to do with Afridi aiming to get a hold of the captaincy. Is it true you had to show that you are a responsible player so you would be considered by the selectors for the role of Pakistan’s Captain?
    (Shahmeer Rafiq)

    Shahid Afridi: Obviously, I will be very happy to accept it. It will be a big responsibility but I am ready to take it, if offered. I will have to take it if Younis doesn’t continue.

    (Q) With the next T20 world cup again around the corner after only 10 months, what are your plans for that? As an individual and as whole team?
    (Zaheer)

    (Q) What is your choice for top 11 for T20 world cup for next year? Would you want no change in the team, or would you prefer the faces of Asif, Imran Nazir, Rana Naved?
    (Najib)

    Shahid Afridi: It all depends on how the players perform from now on until the next year. Whichever player is performing and is fit, should be considered. I cannot claim who will be in the side eight months from now but yes, I would love to be a part of the team and do it all over again.

    (Q) Do you think test cricket should be done away with, since it has lost its popularity?
    (Ikram Kapadia)

    Shahid Afridi: Absolutely not. Although I do like the idea of four-day Test matches.

    (Q) I am a batsman, I always play good when I am imagining batting, but I always mess up when I play in reality. What should I do to improve my batting?
    (Atif)

    Shahid Afridi: (laughs) I think you should keep on imagining.

    (Q) I would like to know what kind of bat you use regularly. It says Malik on your bat, Is it really a Malik bat or they just sponsor you? Also, what do you look for when choosing a bat? You prefer light weight bat or heavy? Short handle or long? What is the ideal weight for the bat?
    (Imran Razaq)

    Shahid Afridi: It is a Malik bat. My bat selection depends on the pitch and playing conditions. I usually pick heavy bats for sub-continental pitches as they are flat and lighter ones in England, etc. For me, the ideal weight is 210-220 ounces.

    (Q) I am from India. Congrats for a superb show in the recent T20 world cup.

    I heard that Sir Vivian Richards is your favorite player and idol, Is it so? Else, who is your favorite?
    (Rehan Khan)

    Shahid Afridi: I think Viv Richards is every cricketer’s idol. But there are so many cricketers that I admire like, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Saeed Anwar.

    (Q) How does your ball for the righ-handed batsman move in the air and hit the stump. Can you do it with the new ball?
    (Syed Hasnat)

    Shahid Afridi: I can’t really explain in detail. It just happens. I prefer bowling with a slightly old ball. Not one that is completely rugged. A 12-over old ball is perfect for such bowling.

    (Q) If you die today, how would you like people of Pakistan remember you?
    (PK Malang)

    Shahid Afridi: I would like them to remember me as the craziest cricketer that ever played for Pakistan.

    (Q) How do you see Fawad Alams future? Don’t you think that he should be in Pakistan playing 11 on a more regular basis with his first class average of 56.75.
    (Faizaan)

    Shahid Afridi: If they keep sending him to open a Test innings, I don’t see him going to far. But seriously, I think he is a very talented and committed young cricketer. The captain and coach need to use him at the right positions in the batting and bowling line-ups. He should be given more chances to prove his worth.

    (Q) I was wondering how did you come up with the new celebration (the one you do after taking a wicket)?
    (Ahsan)

    Shahid Afridi: The celebration has been there for a while. If you followed the Dubai series, you would have seen me celebrating this way. It didn’t change much for the T20 World Cup.

    (Q) For someone who has (rightly) lamented being left out of Test matches in the past, what was the logic behind making yourself unavailable for the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka? Seemed like a perfect opportunity to bury, once and for all, the debate about your place in the side for the longer format…
    (Ali Hasanain)

    (Q) Why did you opt out of the Sri Lanka tour? Was it your choice or forced on you? How do you see Pakistan’s chances in this series in all forms – tests, ODIs and T20? Will you be joining the team at some stage?
    (Rahat Jalal)

    Shahid Afridi: It was my own decision to opt out of the Test series because I felt I wasn’t fit enough to last the entire series. I didn’t want to be a part of the team and not play the entire match or get injured during the series. I always want to give my 100 per cent and I felt I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I will join the team for the ODI series and Twenty20 match, InshaAllah.

    (Q) Will you play Test cricket in the coming months? Pakistan need a quality leg spinner in the test line-up.
    (Babar Baig)

    Shahid Afridi: Yes, I will play Test cricket in the future. I have no plans of quitting it yet.

    (Q) Are you planning on doing something for the displaced people? The IDPs from Swat, Dir and Buner are burning in scorching heat with nothing to eat, while our multi-millionaire heroes are showered with huge prizes worth millions.
    (Bilal)

    Shahid Afridi: MashAllah, I have been able to collect Rs1000,000 for the people of these affected areas and I plan on going there to distribute the money and goods myself.

    (Q) What you are doing for the people of Swat? Can you arrange a game for them?
    (IQ)

    (Q) It would be really nice and brotherly if you and the rest of the Pakistan team go to visit the IDP camps and take the T20 World Cup trophy too.
    (Hasan)

    Shahid Afridi: If I were the captain, I would definitely take the trophy there or even arrange an exhibition match.

    (Q) Is it possible for you to name a cricketer who you think can replace you in the future.
    (Masroor Cheeda)

    Shahid Afridi: I can’t say for sure but maybe Fawad Alam.

    (Q) What has caused this amazing transformation in your batting method?
    (Saad)

    (Q) What made you batting the way you did in T20 World Cup finals?
    (Mahmood)

    (Q) How did you manage to control your instincts?
    (Khalil Qureshi)

    Shahid Afridi: I just wanted to win the match (semi-final and final) for my team and I prayed and hoped that I can help them and it just happened. I didn’t control anything. It just happened. He (God) did it from up above.

  135. #135 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 3:53 PM

    What a fantastic innings FAWAD ALAM played. I think it is one of the best centuries on debut by any player not just a Pakistani player but, any player in the world. Just look at the circumstances. He was selected in the squad so many times but, he was not in the playing XI. They made him sit in the dugout, they made him sit on the bench in the balcony. They made him the 12th man so many times. They included him in the team after the team started losing and he was still not getting a chance to either bat or bowl.

    Now, when he made his debut, they threw him in the deep sea considering he won’t survive in the stormy sea and a failure would mean – the end of his career – he still managed to play very well in the first innings albeit 16 runs yet it was the second highest score in that total of 90. But, playing in the second innings is always an added pressure, and if it is compounded by a lead of 150 runs is even worst. I wrote above that “Steel when tempered with fire becomes even more stronger.” Fawad Alam proved that. I doubt anyone has ever achieved this feat, scoring a century on debut in second innings and that too on a foreign soil?

    Hanif Mohammad’s 337 against West Indies in the second innings is still a record. I doubt anyone ever broke that record or will break it, because playing in the second innings require guts, skills and stamina. Both these players have proved that you don’t have to be an “Incredible Hulk” to play such innings. It requires skill and temperament and Fawad Alam’s cool temperament has helped him in achieving this feat.

    When he smashed those three sixes in a row against Sri Lanka in Toronto and won the match for Pakistan, he silenced most of his critics who assumed that he is one of those players who cannot hit big sixes. How many players have hit a six on their debut when they are on 92? Nervous nineties are famous and even big players like Tendulkar get stuck in the nineties and got out so many times. But, Fawad Alam was in a hurry to complete his 100 before the end of the day as if he has to catch a train.


    BRAVO, Fawad you have made so many Pakistanis proud today and your family must be celebrating today in Karachi and distributing sweets in the Mohalla streets. You have done your job but, don’t stop here go ahead break more records there are three more days of cricket remaining in this test match. I wish you all the LUCK for a double hundred on debut.

  136. #136 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 4:22 PM

    A tale of two prophecies

    It was a day to forget the shuffle. It was a day to screw technique, which was perhaps over-rated. It was a day to forget that Fawad Alam had never opened in first-class cricket before this. It was a day to go back to 10.29am yesterday.

    With four Pakistan wickets down, a desperately hopeful Younis Khan scribbled on a tape-ball something to the effect of “Fawad Alam will get a hundred.” (For now only this much of that inscription is necessary for this story). Fawad soon got out, and Younis kept the ball away.

    It was a day to fulfill a father’s lifelong dream, which he wanted lived through his son. After yesterday’s play ended, Fawad called up his father, Tariq Alam, the man who has taught many moder Karachi players how to play spin, but who himself could never win a Pakistan cap. Fawad was obviously disappointed, having scored just 16 on debut. Tariq told him, “So what if you have scored just 16? The next time you call me – rather just text me, I will call you back – you will have got a hundred.” That Fawad finally got that Test cap was good enough for Tariq.

    A great turnaround began the next morning, after the ball got scratched on one side by an edge. Pakistan spotted it, shone the other side, got it to reverse, and ended Sri Lanka’s innings with a deficit of just 150. Unfazed by failure, Fawad came back and scored a century to make sure the good work didn’t go waste this time. When he got to three figures with a delicate late-cut, Younis was batting at the other end. After he had done his sajda, Younis told him he had got something for him, which he would show him in the dressing room.

    “I saw the ball and read one by one. Fawad Alam … debut … 100 … signed by Younis bhai,” said Fawad. “To know that the captain believed so much in me is an indescribable feeling.” He duly carried that ball with him in the bag and would not let anybody take it away even for a second.

    So much of this story is difficult to explain, yet so much is easy to understand. Despite a mountain of runs in domestic cricket, he has stayed only on the fringes of the Pakistan team. So many times he has heard that whole “You are a very good cricketer but we don’t have place for you yet” message.
    During the recent ICC World Twenty20 Fawad wasn’t getting a look-in and had to warm the bench; then he got a chance in four games but didn’t once bat and only bowled one over, which cost 15, in Pakistan’s semi-final victory. According to Intikhab Alam, Pakistan’s coach, Fawad didn’t let any disappointment show. “He never loses his focus. He never shows frustration. He stays ever dedicated,” said Intikhab.

    For the man himself, just being in the Pakistan squad was special. “To be with Pakistan team was big enough for me,” said Fawad said. “When young I used to watch Younis bhai play, Yousuf bhai play, Shahid bhai played. They are such big players, it was enough the be with them.”

    Cut to Colombo, after a disastrous collapse in Galle. Salman Butt felt low on confidence before the start of this Test and the team couldn’t have put much faith in him either. Therein, finally, came Fawad’s opportunity. But it came with a risk: Fawad would have to open.

    “It wasn’t a gamble,” he said. “The coach and captain called me to their room on the eve of the match. They told me they were not playing a gambit here, they had faith in me. This is not a sacrifice. If a man dreams of doing something – and more than me it was my father’s dream to see me wearing a Test cap – he should be prepared for everything.”

    Tapping the side of his head with his left index finger, he explained: “It’s all here. If you are strong here, you can play anywhere.”

    If it was a gamble, Younis tried his best to leave as little as possible to the cards. From the time Pakistan arrived in Colombo, he had told Fawad that he was going to open. During the nets he spent hours with Fawad, bowling at him with the new ball. “He told me from the off that if I open the innings, I will make it to among the best. He gave his own example, how he had moved up from No. 7-8 to No. 3,” said Fawad. “He told me he knew I would do well. When the captain is taking so much interest in you, you also feel you must have something.”

    It’s a different story altogether but this shows definite shades of Imran Khan in Younis. Yet what remains unanswered is how Fawad managed to score a century despite such a pronounced shuffle that got him out on 16 yesterday. “If you want something so badly, you have worked towards it with complete honesty, you eventually get it,” he said.

    And how did he regroup after such a start to his career? Were there doubts about risk he had taken? “I can’t think negative. I don’t have doubts.”

    But this was not a day to ask these questions. This was a day to believe, like Fawad did.

  137. #137 by Awas on July 13, 2009 - 5:02 PM

    I like these quotes of Fawad the best:

    Tapping the side of his head with his left index finger, he explained: “It’s all here. If you are strong here, you can play anywhere.”

    Were there doubts about risk he had taken? “I can’t think negative. I don’t have doubts.”

    As I said above more than 50% of your game is about mental strength. It’s good to know that this guy believes in that.

  138. #138 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 5:05 PM

    We have all spoke about Fawad Alam, but we have overlooked that Younis Khan is now set for a big knock. If he crosses 25, he tends to score big. The new ball is not due for about 25 overs, so it is a good platform for Alam to make 150 and Younis to make 100.

  139. #139 by Awas on July 13, 2009 - 5:08 PM

    Let’s not put pressure on the guy and expect miracles like 200.

    If I were the captain, I will just encourage and relax him with words like “do your best but enjoy your game whilst you are out there”.

    Theo

    Did you notice another masterstroke coming from Younus how he prepared Fawad and sent him as an opener?

  140. #140 by khansahab on July 13, 2009 - 5:32 PM

    Afridi has said in the interview above that he will play Tests in the future. Afridi will be an automatic selection. Where does that leave Shoaib Malik?

    Either the captain will not play Ajmal/Kaneria, because Afridi, Alam and Malik will provide the spin options. This way no batsman needs to be dropped.

    Or if the captain wants to keep Ajmal/Kaneria, Rauf/Razzaq will be dropped. This is of course assuming Rauf and Razzaq are comparable, as Gul and Aamer ought to be automatic selections.

    I think it will have to be one of the above two possibilities. Otherwise Malik ought to be dropped. With Afridi returning, this might be a blessing in disguise and we might Malik outside the Test team forever.

    Opener 1
    Fawad Alam
    Younis Khan
    Mohd Yousuf
    Misbah ul Haq
    Shahid Afridi
    Kamran Akmal
    Rauf/Razzaq
    Gul
    Aamer
    Ajmal/Kaneria

    On the basis that Malik is a 30-40 runs player, Afridi’s inclusion provides a bonus. He can score 35 runs consistently in Tests, and he can also pick wickets. If Fawad Alam is having problem opening, Afridi can also be sent to open. Younis should work with these two flexibly. It just seems a much better team than the one we have currently.

  141. #141 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 13, 2009 - 7:43 PM

    Younus may have inscribed a note on a tape ball that Fawad Alam will score a century on debut. Most people will come forward now to say similar things after he has scored a century. Even I wrote in my comment number 123 that Fawad Alam has now scored a 50 and I wish him to score a 100. Also, after he scored a century I wished him good luck to score a double hundred on his debut. If he scores then I must be a Peer! 😀

    No, I am not a Peer it is just a feeling that we express and sometimes it is loud thinking and, sometimes we write or, tell someone and it happens but, that doesn’t make us great. Great is that person who translate our thoughts, thinking and our dreams. Because, it is also his own thoughts and dreams. Those who do that are visionaries and achievers and those who can’t are simple dreamers.

    Fawad Alam’s journey has not ended after this century on debut, in fact it has just begun. Now, there is no stopping, no one can stop him except him, no one can drop him and as long as he plays like this he will achieve many milestones. By looking at this kid, the way he talks, behaves and shows respect towards his seniors he will not let this achievement or success get into his head. Unlike others he comes from a very humble background which shows a lot of character and strength. And, he shows his mental strength, determination and grit to perform. Once again, I wish him all the success and good luck.

  142. #142 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 14, 2009 - 3:56 AM

    Ten times Pakistan were bowled out for under 100 runs:

    53 v Australia Sharjah
    59 v Australia Sharjah
    62 v Australia Perth
    72 v Australia Perth
    77 v West Indies Lahore
    87 v England Lord’s
    90 v England Manchester
    90 v Sri Lanka Colombo (PSS)
    92 v South Africa Faisalabad
    97 v Australia Brisbane

    India’s lowest test total was against England 42 runs.

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