WHO WILL WIN THE T20 – 2010 CUP?

Can Afridi Defend The World Cup Title?

Can Afridi Defend The World Cup Title?

Michael Clarke can he halt Pakistan's march into the final?

Michael Clarke can he halt Pakistan's march into the final?

I am inclined to write this new thread because of two people, Omer and newguy. Omer did some analysis on Pakistan team and wanted us to delve deeper in the subject on how momentum is built and shifted. And newguy threw some light on India’s exit from this T20 WC, based on that on how teams from the sub-continent performs against bouncers.

The team momentum builds up with the performance of individual players who get into rhythm at the right time and it is their individual momentum that creates ripple effects in the team and motivates and then, a few of the non-performers also start catching up with those who are building the momentum and that helps in gelling the team into a winning combination.

For India in 2007 T20 WC mainly it was Yuvraj Singh and, for Pakistan in 2009 it was Shahid Afridi who peaked up at the right time, starting just before the semifinal and then taking his form to the final to win the world cup for Pakistan.  Whereas, Dilshan in 2009 reached his peak performance and flopped when he was supposed to deliver, but now he is doing the opposite, he is coming back into form at the right time.  These individual performances are dangerous because, they can tilt the game either way.  Therefore, in T20 at least 2-3 players must perform well i.e., a couple of good partnerships and a good bowling performance of 3-4 wickets by one bowler earlier in the innings and the other bowlers contain runs, that  makes a big difference. Like Umer Gul did in the previous world cup.  And in the West Indies team, it’s the Gayle factor, which plays the major role, when he performs WI wins and when he doesn’t they fall like nine pins.

For Pakistan to have two consistent players on the top and a couple of unorthodox players like Afridi or Abdul Razzaq but definitely not Misbah ul Haq, if they can go berserk in the end, it changes the entire scenario. Saeed Ajmal has been very consistent with his bowling, even when he takes one or two wickets he doesn’t give more than 25-30 runs. Likewise, if Salman Butt can score in semifinal like he did in all other matches in this tournament except for the match against SA and then Kamran, Umar, Afridi, Razzaq if they can chip in 30-40 runs its more than enough to defend a total of 170-180 and the so-called mighty Australians will crumble.  Although Cameron White just got into form and looks dangerous plus, Mike Hussey is Australia’s Mr. Consistent, they might put resistance in the end but, the key for Pakistan is using the right kinda bowlers in the end and not to mention good fielding.

Pau- Collingwood's team has performed excellently can he keep the momentum going?

Pau- Collingwood's team has performed excellently can he keep the momentum going?

Sangakkara will be the key to win the T20 WC for Sri Lanka

Sangakkara will be the key to win the T20 WC for Sri Lanka

Australia looks dangerous because of only two fast bowlers i.e., Shaun Tait and Derek Nannes, the later is more accurate and a wicket taker whereas, Tait intimidates the batsmen, especially with his speed and rising deliveries if the Pakistani openers can respond to his bouncers with a few fours he would go into his shell just like Mitchel Johnson. The Pakistani batsmen have to deal cautiously with Nannes because, he moves the ball away with an angle and right hand batsmen find it very difficult, Butt should not have that problem at least with Nannes but, he might get scummed to Tait’s pace.

There was a time when Pakistani batsmen were considered as fearless against the mighty West Indies of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Young Mushtaq Mohammad responded to Wesley Hall’s bouncers with fours and later on Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbass, Javed Miandad et all were renowned to be experts in hooking the bouncers. Even young Afridi used to go after every single bouncer and at times got out. But, lately there is a trend in the sub-continent players to duck under the bouncers. I am not sure it is due to fear or is it the new rule of 2 bouncers per over where they expect to get a no ball? In doing so they have given away the moral victory to the bowler and themselves have lost the ability to score as well as dent the fast bowler’s aggression. In order to fight back they need to tackle aggression with aggression.

Pakistan’s biggest problem is not just the opening stand but, it is the fielding
, they keep dropping catches, miss run outs and give away extra runs through poor fielding. Also, they need to convert singles into twos and twos into threes. Salman Butt needs to improve his running between the wickets, he looks very lazy and was labeled as a lethargic and a selfish player. The truth may not be that but, once you are labeled you are in focus and everyone keeps watching you. So, he needs to run like a hare and play like a sher.  In any case they should not be playing the unorthodox scoop shots and reverse sweeps, there is no need to play those fancy shots in such important matches and get out or take a big risk and score one run or nothing. Like Shahid Afridi cannot control his emotions and tries to hit every ball out of the ground for a six, Misbah ul Haq also cannot control himself and go for silly scoops which had cost his wicket and the match on a few occasions. So, why bother playing such shots when there is no need for it?

I have noted this before besides getting this gut feeling based on my observation that when Pakistan plays two T20 matches against Australia, they lose one and win one. The same they have done against England.  Since they have lost one, it is time for them to win the second. The first hurdle is Australia and they must take them as any other team and not just big names. My other gut feeling is Sri Lanka will win against England and it will be a repeat final that we saw in England last year. However, even if England beats Sri Lanka, they cannot beat Pakistan the second time in one tournament. Therefore, Pakistan despite being underdogs have more chances of defending the cup than other teams. And this feeling is not based on emotions but, on observation and facts that Pakistan team are late bloomers and they play good in big matches. Winning and losing is a part of every game but, we all need a good performance from Pakistan and we want Pakistan to win.

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  1. #1 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 12, 2010 - 6:11 PM

    My 2 cents on Pakistan and half a cent on Sri Lanka and Pakistan final. 😀

    What is your opinion?

  2. #2 by khansahab on May 12, 2010 - 6:48 PM

    Javed A Khan/Theossa

    The Afghanistan cricket team performed well for a team new to international cricket. They played with a big heart and their batsmen were brave. I was aware this team has been supported by Pakistan to some degree but I was not aware that there are more Pakistanis than Afghans in this team.

    I think they will improve more quickly than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Best of luck to them.

  3. #3 by khansahab on May 12, 2010 - 6:52 PM

    That sinking feeling

    As IMF meets to give Pakistan another loan, the country’s economy remains in deep trouble.

    How serious is US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she threatens Pakistan with “severe consequences” for not doing enough to fight terrorism?

    Friday, the 14th of May will give us some indication. The Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will meet in Doha to decide the fate of the fifth tranche of the $11.3-billion loan to Pakistan. IMF has already given Pakistan about $6.35 billion in the previous four tranches. The meeting is in Doha because IMF staff are not willing to risk travelling to Pakistan.
    Will Pakistan Finance Secretary Salman Siddique convince the Board that his ministry can deliver on the fiscal deficit target, keeping it below 4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), and carry out fiscal reforms, including the implementation of value-added tax (VAT) by July 1, or will he get bogged down answering questions on the government’s ability to make its writ run?

    As in the case of most other countries, IMF wanted Pakistan to reduce its deficit, raise energy prices, introduce VAT and take other measures to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio in the country. According to the Atlantic Council, a US think tank, Pakistan has the lowest tax-to-GDP ratio in South Asia.

    Pakistan’s growth fell sharply in 2008-09, and while IMF has projected an improvement in 2010-11, the structure of the economy suggests achieving this will be an uphill task. Manufacturing is down to a two-year low (see chart) and GDP is largely driven by agriculture — the contribution of the manufacturing sector was negative in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Credit to the private sector is down 5 per cent as compared to a year ago; investment-to-GDP ratios are a low 19 per cent; and current account deficit could be around 4 per cent of GDP. Inflation is running at 13.26 per cent, foreign investment is down from $5 billion in 2007-08 to $3.5 billion in 2008-09 to $2.5 billion in 2009-10, the list of negatives goes on.

    This decline in economic performance comes after five years of good performance during the Musharraf years. Musharraf inherited an ailing economy with less than $1 billion in foreign reserves; debt was 82 per cent of GDP; and 35 per cent of government revenues went towards debt servicing. Economic sanctions implemented in the wake of Pakistani nuclear tests conducted in 1998 had hurt too. Musharraf turned things around and economic reforms were undertaken. In late 1999, he told his people: “The revival of the economy is critical. Our economy is in deep trouble and revolutionary steps are needed to put it back on track.”

    He introduced austerity measures, increased accountability and rebuilt investor confidence in Pakistan. By allying itself with the US post 9/11, Pakistan under Musharraf was able to end the nuclear sanctions against it and increase the flow of money into the country. In the three years preceding 9/11, Pakistan received $9 million dollars in aid from the US; in the three years post 9/11, this number climbed to $4.8 billion.

    Good economics and good relations with India helped Musharraf deliver an average growth rate of close to 6 per cent during his six years in office. After Musharraf, Pakistan has suffered from a protracted decrease in investments in civil society. The private sector remains almost non-existent. Exponential population growth puts pressure on power and water sources, while the high rates of inflation make everyday living harder for the average Pakistani citizen. Furthermore, Pakistan is highly dependent on remittances which are an unstable form of revenue.

    The recently released United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) report said that “Pakistan’s economy has been affected not just by the global economic crisis but also by the declining security situation and intensification of conflict linked to terrorism.”

    The global economic crisis, combined with the escalated war on terror at its doorstep, sent Pakistan back to IMF in November 2008.

    This, in spite of the fact that till August 2008, the US had given $7.89 billion in military assistance and $3.1 billion in economic and developmental assistance to Pakistan. The US International Affairs Budget stated this number would reach $1.6 billion this year. The Defence Department suggests another $700 million in “security force support”.

    After partition, Pakistan was one of the few countries in the world that had an average growth rate of 5 per cent over a period of four decades, often growing faster than India. This was not only above the global average, it made Pakistan a model for growth during the 1960s — in fact, South Korea mimicked Pakistan’s second five -year Plan (1960-1965).

    In the 1990s, due to the combination of poor economic governance by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) [PML (N)] rulers, a severe drought and increased defence spending, Pakistan’s growth rate slowed to an average of 4 per cent.

    While Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif attempted to place emphasis on the role of the private sector and liberal reforms in the 1990s, these were largely poorly implemented.

    The Asian Development Bank has said that “Pakistan’s economic prospects over the next two years are predicated on a successful completion of its IMF programme; a gradual improvement in the security and energy situations; and sustained implementation of fiscal reforms along with political stability.”

    The lessons that Pakistan learns from its economic collapse remain to be seen. Given that improved relations with India under Musharraf resulted in a stronger economic performance, will Pakistan overcome its security-based obsession with India and turn back to fostering stronger trade relations with its resilient neighbour?

  4. #4 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 12, 2010 - 7:32 PM

    Sri Lanka will play both full time spinners Ajantha Mendis and Suraj Randiv against England. Randiv has bowled well against India and is likely to trouble England along with Mendis. When KP was not playing the England team played without any mental blocks, they knew that he is not there and they played well. But, when he is in the team they always look up to him for a big score and if that doesn’t happen it affects the other batsmen. However, England has got two good openers in Kieswetter and Lumb and in the late middle order they have Eoin Morgan and Bresnon. Somewhere in between Pietersen and Collingwood play an important role.

    Sri Lanka will use Dilshan as opener with Jayawerdene instead of Jayasuriya. The only reason Jayasuriya is “a keep” in the team is because, in case of spin attack he can be used and or, in case of a batting collapse they have some hope from him to rescue SL from a total disaster. Anyways, tomorrow’s match will be very exciting and I give Sri Lanka an edge it will be 60-40 in favour of Sri Lanka.

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 12, 2010 - 7:42 PM

    Ganguly and Gavaskar lashed out at Dhoni, Yuvraj and the IPL

    NEW DELHI: Former Indian cricket greats lashed the current team on Wednesday after their early exit from the World Twenty20, blaming weakness against the bouncer and the poor standard of the Indian Premier League. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men failed to qualify for the semi-finals after a five-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka on Tuesday, their third successive loss in the Super Eights round. India, who won the title in 2007, failed to win a Super Eights match in the last two editions despite being the world’s top-ranked side in Test cricket and number two in the 50-overs game.

    Both the tournaments in 2009 and 2010 were held within a week of the completion of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) where some of the world’s top stars feature in a gruelling six-week schedule of T20 cricket – and post-game partying. Sourav Ganguly, India’s most successful Test captain, said Dhoni’s men did not deserve to make the semi-finals and blamed the IPL as one of the reasons for the team’s disappointing performance.

    “The IPL is a domestic tournament and the standard is much lower than a world event where you are up against quality batsmen and bowlers,” said Ganguly.
    “You don’t expect to go to World Cup semi-finals if you play cricket like the way the team has played in the Caribbean.” Ganguly said he hoped the selectors would take a hard look at the non-performers, including senior batsman Yuvraj Singh, who managed just 74 runs in five matches at an average of 18.50. “Yuvraj has to look at his game. If he doesn’t perform for long periods, the selectors will not play him just on the basis of his reputation,” said Ganguly. “Some of the players have got a lot of opportunities, but have not delivered. HINTING AT JADEJA. They have been around for quite a while and the entire country wants performances from them.

    ”Batting great Sunil Gavaskar said India were let down by an apparent weakness against short-pitched bowling. “India’s lack of adaptability has been a disappointment,” the former opener, who was the first batsman to reach the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket, wrote in the Hindustan Times. “What is baffling is that even though most batsmen showed a distinct sense of discomfort against the short ball during the World T20 in England last year, they were picked again for an event on even bouncier pitches in the Caribbean. “All other teams remember what happened last year and the tactics employed by them against the Indians prove this.”

  6. #6 by newguy on May 12, 2010 - 8:53 PM

    Javed Khan,

    This is a timely thread. Your analysis of the teams are very good. I do have a few thoughts though, and slightly different take on some key areas.

    First, semis will be on a leveling field, any advantage from performance in super eights don’t matter. This is knockout and the team that holds the nerve and bring out key performances will go through to final. Same goes for final.

    I think everyone have a 50/50 chance, although I would say Australia will have upper hand if they bat first. The reason is that they have an excellent bowling and fielding unit, and they defend totals much better than they chase. Matter of fact, there is no other team that defends a total better than Australia. This is why their mode of operandi is always to bat first and put runs on board, then apply pressure. Whatever is the total they will fight tooth & nail to defend it, even by 1 runs, they won’t give up.

    Pakistan’s best chance, and I am afraid probably only chance of winning is to bat first and put a good score in excess of 150 runs, then apply pressure. Australians don’t like pressure just like anyone else, and I have seen in matches against India they really wilt under pressure from spinners operating from both ends. Pakistan can apply pressure with Afridi and Ajmal bowling from two ends, and even other spinners can play a role. They have to even think about opening with Ajmal or Afridi, or another spinner because Warner don’t play spin well. If they get openers out then Australia will be struggle under pressure while chasing.

    If Australia bat first then it is very hard, unless Pakistan can get them out really cheaply, like around 100 to 110 runs, otherwise if they cross around 130 mark they make you struggle. Especially given Pakistan do not have consistency in batting and no planning in chasing a target.

    Toss will be important.

    SL vs. Eng is more even content, both are all round sides. This England team have got the big hitters, 4 or 5 of them, and they have good bowling unit. Don’t take their performance against Indian bowling unit as a measure of how well they will play, Mathews and Kapugedara won’t be able to repeat their feats against England bowlers. The key players will be Mahela, Dilshan, and Sanga. In fact, Dilshan will struggle, unlike against Indians where he finds it easy to bat against bowlers without much pace. Mahela and Sanga will be the key players. If they do not then I think England will hold the edge. It’s just a question of how England will play their spinners.

    Overall two good contests await. If the final is between Australia and England then I am afraid Australia will walk all over England. Australia in finals is unstoppable except an Asian team that plays unpredictably 🙂 Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are dangerous sides filled with players that can be mercurial. England on the other hand will not stand up to Aussies.

    Whatever happens, I hope one Asian team will make it to the final, and raise the cup. From a neutrals standpoint, Pakistan has one the cup once, so I vote for Sri Lanka to win it this time. That makes all three Asian teams once each. But I know you won’t like that idea 😉 Anyhow, either way it fine, but if it is Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka then this year I am going to back up the lions. Sorry about that 🙂

  7. #7 by Omer on May 12, 2010 - 9:00 PM

    Khansahab,

    This is what makes Pakistan a very good investment. There is so much risk there that, the rewards are quite high. Pakistan’s equity index (KSE) had the second-highest return of all equity markets in the world within the past 3-5 years or so. I remember reading the statistic that the return was something like 700 percent between that period (not annual but for the collective period).

    As for Musharraf’s time, I think he fuelled the bubble which went bust afterwards by spending a lot and inflating prices. The current account deficits were quite high, and when the price of oil spiked (Pakistan being a net importer of oil), they spiralled further and further out of control. Then our ministers or whoever it was made forward contracts on oil amid rising prices (I think this happened), but that is when the price of oil went bust. They were paying twice or thrice as much for oil compared to what was paid in the open markets. Once the spending bubble went bust, there was an immediate outflow of foreign capital (mostly speculators) which led to a vicious cycle of currency collapse and inflation. Eventually, they had to find a way to pay their debts and not default, and this is when the IMF came in. Of course, when IMF is lending money, it would have some conditions– and those would be to decrease spending and bring fiscal deficit in order (because they’d want to make sure that they get the money back). And, slower growth then becomes inevitable. Pakistan is not the US with the reserve currency status to inflate its way out of debt, or spend its way into growth. So, when its too good to be true, it is too good to be true. In any case, it is a very good place for medium-term trading, as in the long-run they are bound to have pretty enormous booms and busts, and nothing is predictable in the very short-term. When I was following politics intensely, there usually was this situation, where there was speculation that Musharraf would declare emergency (or something other would take place), and you could easily predict the reaction of markets based on whatveer volatility there was on the political front. That makes it a very good place to trade.

    People point to growth and the dramatic increase in imports and exports under Musharraf. What they forget is that the ratio imports/exports was rising even more dramatically. That is where the big chunk of growth was coming from. It had to go bust, and before the complete bust in the world, our policymakers exasperated it by making wrong bets.

  8. #8 by newguy on May 13, 2010 - 2:13 AM

    Dileep Premachandran savages the Indian cricket team in this blog from Guardian. It is titled “Pathetics of the Caribbean”.

    See link below.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/may/12/india-cricket-poor-world-twenty20?

  9. #9 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 13, 2010 - 4:15 AM

    newguy

    good analysis of Australian team vs. the others and I agree with your views. I also think that toss will play crucial part and whoever wins must bat first. I hope Akhroat Afridi doesn’t take the advise of his so-called advisers who have no idea about the conditions and simply go by the thumb rule, last time we lost batting first, so this time try fielding first. Rubbish, that is an absurd idea.

    No matter what Watson always gives a chance or two early on and if those are accepted then, like you said Warner can be trapped by spinners. Australia often gets a flying start capitalize on it and their middle order pushes the total further. Its OK you may back up the lions and we will back up the injured and cornered tigers. It is good to see that players like Umer Akmal and Afridi are getting into form late and if it continues for a couple of matches then, Pakistan will be through in defending the title and the cup. Which will do a lot of good for Pakistan cricket because, there have been so many changes like, Yousuf, Younus, Malik, Rana etc., are out and if they were eliminated before reaching the semifinal, there would have been drastic changes in the team and captaincy. Now, they will have to make a test team and another one for the shorter version of the game i.e. for 50 and 20 overs.

  10. #10 by newguy on May 13, 2010 - 12:38 PM

    There is more lashing out against India team, this time from Kumble.

    Kumble was critical of India’s handling of their fast bowlers during the tournament. “After Praveen Kumar went back, Zaheer Khan seemed to be struggling with something and Ashish Nehra, on his own, wasn’t enough on that wicket. Our selection was wrong in Barbados, where we played an extra batsman. India did not show faith in Vinay Kumar on a wicket that offered both bounce and carry, which was a mistake,” Kumble wrote.

    I too felt not playing Vinay Kumar in Barbados and not batting first in both games were a mistake.

    Kumble goes on to say not selecting Irfan Pathan was a mistake. Something Javed Khan would agree with.

    Kumble was worried by the team management’s inability to nurture fast-bowling talents. “If you look at the number of players who have turned out for India over the past couple of years, there’s quality. Yet, they’ve all disappeared: You don’t have Sreesanth, RP Singh is completely off the selectors’ radar, there’s no news of Munaf Patel, and Ishant Sharma seems out of sync. Irfan Pathan, a key player in any format, is gone.

    Kumble thinks India missed a trick in not including Irfan Pathan in the scheme of things, given his credentials as a seam-bowling allrounder. Instead, India was saddled with Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja, both spinning allrounders, who were umimpressive with the ball during the tournament. “In Irfan’s case especially, it’s worrying because while India have spinning allrounders, players who can do a bit here and there, they need someone for the role Shane Watson does so well for Australia, Jacques Kallis has done for years for South Africa or a Tim Bresnan, with his ability to bowl 137-138 kms per hour and then bat, is beginning to do for England,” Kumble wrote.

    Kumble’s most telling observation was about the mindset of the team. “Despite knowing fully well what we needed to get before the game, we couldn’t – Sri Lanka didn’t look at getting 143, they looked at winning. They were not defensive and that’s where they got it right.

    “Their positive mindset was the difference between them and India, as evidenced by what Dhoni said after the loss to the West Indies. ‘We’ll play Lanka and go home’. India seemed already resigned to the fact that they were out and that was unacceptable,” Kumble wrote.

    I am glad that Kumble wrote this in his column which in fact is what I wrote on this blog after the WI game. Dhoni already gave up and it seemed all he wanted was to go home. Hopefully something will come out of this mess? Time will tell. Next year IPL is going to be different that is sure, now that the sleazy Modi is out. His late night IPL parties are ruining young Indians, everyone knows what goes on inside those parties, just like some of the decadent western cultures. This is not advancing India forward, it is taking it to a level of decadency that they should not be proud of.

  11. #11 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 13, 2010 - 2:13 PM

    newguy

    The fact is, here on LS we have some very good analytical minds who express their feelings and observation about the game, players and their attitude and they are absolutely right and correct. Generally, people are only impressed by the words of well known and famous people. This is what I call it a kinda bias which people have, they put a coloured curtain between them and the other person and do not pay attention to his views. But, when the same thing is said by a celebrity they say, WOW, as if they have heard the words of wisdom for the first time. During my career, in my lectures and the in-house workshops, I have talked about this bias many times and called it a ‘cortical clutter’ that does not allow us to see things correctly. We have biases against people even with those whom we don’t know very well. For example when interviewing people whom we have never seen before, if we do not like the colour of his tie or the perfume he wears, we are put off by his very first appearance and do not pay much attention to his CV or what he is saying. Anyways, this is a long subject that needs to be discussed at another time and place.

    What Kumble has written seems to be already discussed by you, me, khansahab and others. Sometimes, in fact most of the times when people are in the thick of a situation, they are unable to see themselves from inside (the field) and those who see them from outside are able to understand the problem better than them (for this people sometimes shun the outsider by saying, easier said than done). Long time ago I was reading one of Dr. Edward De Bono’s books in which he gave two examples on this subject. De Bono is a medical doctor but he does not practice medicine, he gives lectures on management ($50,000 per lecture) and write books on management, the famous one is Lateral Thinking, You are Right I am Wrong.

    1. First was about Virgina Wade (the 1977 Wimbledon Champion) she was a struggling a bit in the initial rounds and her coach saw and identified the problem from outside and asked her to correct the mistake she was repeating. She did and played the finals and won the championship.

    2. The second was about Abdul Qadir. He wrote that he was watching a test match between England and Pakistan and Mike Brearly was England’s captain. When Abdul Qadir came into bat, his partner was a recognized batsman and Mike Brearly allowed Abdul Qadir to take a single on the last ball of every over. This example was on the subject of opportunities, that Mike was giving a small window of opportunity only to stop the opponents from encashing a bigger opportunity.

    Both examples were about how an outsider can spot better than the person on the spot. Therefore, what we criticized about Dhoni or the team selection was based on our interest in the game and the experience that we have acquired. For that you don’t have to be a very famous ex-cricketer. That is why when Imran Khan says something rubbish I dispel it and later it is proved that he was wrong. I am not saying I am always right. But, there were people in my organization who were at least 20 years senior and older to me but, I was their boss. A couple of those men were my ex-managers and 5 years prior to that I was working under them. Anyways, it may sound irrelevant to some but, the point is you may have a better eye to spot the problem even before Kumble or Gavaskar does. Your observation on Dhoni’s repeated template “Batting is our strength,” was a good one, you said, if he keeps blabbing this phrase all the time, it is a kinda discouragement for the bowlers. And, he has proved it by not selecting fast bowlers like, RP Singh, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel etc., instead he relied more on Jadeja.

    Even if Jadeja had not given 65 runs in 5 overs and not to mention 8 sixes, I would have criticized his inclusion in the team because he is just like Mohammad Hafeez i.e., a bits and pieces players. Hafeez top scored 57 in the warm up match and was guaranteed a spot for the rest of the tournament. Misbah has mesmerized the selectors and they will include him in the team for the rest of his life. Shoaib Malik may not have come back to the team before the one year ban is over, but by marrying Sania Mirza he has assured that his ban shall be lifted and he will play for Pakistan in England this summer.

  12. #12 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 13, 2010 - 6:48 PM

    England are unbeaten and they are through to the finals, if it was South Africa one would have said that they will choke in the finals, but England are playing well and whoever they play against, they will play well. newguy, there is one good thing now and i.e., you would be supporting Pakistan after SL’s exit. I remember seeing a play card in this tournament by an Indian guy and it read, “I support India and every team that plays against Australia.” That is true most people from the sub-continent have the same feelings.

    Jayasuriya must retire. He scored a total of 15 runs in 5 matches an average of 3 runs. In fact he should have retired earlier than this. I dunno what kinda team Sri Lanka will take to Zimbabwe for the Tri-Nation Tournament? India’s is very young with Raina the skipper and Kohli is his deputy.

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 13, 2010 - 6:56 PM

    Umer

    Your random chit draws reminds me of this:

    A Nawab Sahab fall in love with a Kothay ki Tawaif and started to go to her kotha for listening her mujra plus. His love became obsession and soon he became bankrupt. The Tawaif was aware of his bankruptcy and one day the Nawab was so desperate that he goes to her Kotha again and was stopped by the doorman. The Nawab got furious and demanded the Tawaif to come and meet him at the door. She comes with two bowls full of chits and asks him to pick up one chit from each bowl and the Nawab did. On one chit the number was 3 and on the other it was 13. The Tawaif then tells the Nawab, “Tu kis liyeh aya? Tu na 3 may hai na 13 may”

    For those who didn’t get the joke, in Urdu there is an expression “Na 3 may na 13 may” means you are neither here nor there, or, you are neither this nor that. In other words it is used for absolutely useless people.

  14. #14 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 13, 2010 - 7:00 PM

    OK, jokes aside my random theory is based on certain figures. I have already mentioned this on this blog a few days ago. I have said that when Pakistan plays 2 T20 games against England or, Australia they lose one and they win one. They have already lost one against both teams. So, I say Pakistan will win the semifinal and the final. Yeah, you may call it a fishful thinking but, this is how it will be. 😀 Pakistan needs to hold their catches and their nerves, that’s it.

    If they win against Australia tomorrow, it will not just be a victory but, a moral victory over England and that will scare them. Against Australia, England always play well and they are expecting it will be against Australia but, meeting Pakistan in the final will upset them mentally because of Pakistan’s unpredictability.

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 13, 2010 - 7:08 PM

    “I’d ask all the batsmen to throw their bats around and the bowlers to try to ball 6 different balls in 6 different positions in an over.” Omer.

    This way there will be six sixes in each over and the match would be over in six overs. 😀 Talking of Hong Kong Sixes Omer?

    They are NOT going to change the batting order from orthodox to unorthodox. Whatever happens Misbah must not be in the team.

  16. #16 by Omer on May 13, 2010 - 7:38 PM

    “For those who didn’t get the joke, in Urdu there is an expression “Na 3 may na 13 may” means you are neither here nor there, or, you are neither this nor that. In other words it is used for absolutely useless people.”

    LOL, Javed Khan, I am amazed by your creative/virgin thoughts 😉

    Anyway, its a good place to be, where no-one’s at 😀

    Pakistan should move Razzaq up the order, though, they need to take chance with one attacking player up the order. If its his day, he might win the match. Down the order its totally useless as:
    1) He’ll get more overs only if the top 6 complete fail, in which case he will have to play slowly and under pressure, and not be able to play his natural game
    2) He’ll get not enough over to bat, maybe 2-3, in which case the best hitters will not be utilized for the maximum number of overs

  17. #17 by newguy on May 13, 2010 - 7:41 PM

    SL lost and Eng won re-soundingly. As I said earlier it was not easy for SL and Eng is an in form team with many batsmen and bowlers making match winning contributions.

    Javed Khan, I did not say which Lions I was supporting, there is SL lions and then there is England Lions, both have Lion emblem 🙂

    Seriously, yes, I will support Pakistan if they make it to finals, I do not want to see Eng or Aus winning. But, if you look at it honestly and from a true cricket lover’s perspective, these two teams have been the most exciting to watch. They were consistent and have many key contributers, not just one or two performers. And they have won their matches convincingly. So, if Aus beat Pakistan tomorrow and make it to final, then it will be a contest between the two best sides in this tournament.

    However, if Pakistan do beat Australia, then they would have fully deserved it, because they beat the most tough team in the tournament, and it will then be a contest of equal footing again.

    It is not wise to write off Pakistanis in a knockout game since that is when they are most dangerous. Paul Collingwood said it post match.

    As I said Pakistan must bat first though, and make a few adjustments in team selection, like leave Misbah out.

  18. #18 by newguy on May 13, 2010 - 8:42 PM

    Indian coach Gary Kirsten is the latest one to lash out at pathetic Indian team:

    Gary Kirsten, India’s coach, has come down hard on some of the Indian players’ “fitness and commitment” after his side failed to win a single game in the Super Eights of the World Twenty20, a repeat performance from last year.

    Before addressing the team and handing them a dressing-down in the West Indies, Kirsten had a one-on-one interaction with senior players – MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra. Team sources said that Kirsten told the group he was angry to see that even he – a 42-year-old – was fitter than some of the players. Yuvraj and Rohit Sharma got special mention with regards to fitness, the sources said. Kirsten demanded better fitness from the players and gave them one month to show results on that front.

    Kirsten also said in the meeting that the players seemed content with the No. 1 ranking in Tests and the No. 2 in ODIs, and were not committed to the team cause in the World Twenty20. It is worth noting that only four of the 15 players present there are sure starters in Test matches: Dhoni, Gambhir, Harbhajan and Zaheer.

    It is once again as we have said on this blog, I agree with Javed Khan, that some of us have been able to analyse these things and say it even before the celebrities come out and say it loudly. The difference is that the celebrities wait until a catastrophe has occurred before they come out and say it, we have said even before.

    It’s interesting to note Kirsten is alleging they have no interest playing for the country and giving their best (he insinuated it in the last paragraph) in T20, instead happy with status quo on Test and ODI. But, they should remember that these jokers are not the ones who made Test #1 possible, it is the contributions over last 5-6 years from Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman with the bat, and Anil Kumble with ball supported by Harbhajan, and Zaheer, then so many bowlers chipped in at times. Mainly it is the batting of the big four that made Indian a force in Test cricket. In another year or two they will hang up their boots, and what will the likes of Dhoni and Yuvraj do in tests? can Zaheer and Harbhajan win matches without the might of the big 4. Sehwag will be around, but without Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman in middle order India will go down in test rankings. Will they care about T20 then?

    As I said, if they don’t want to play T20 then select a specialist team for it, make someone else captain.

    Will anything happen? I doubt it.

  19. #19 by newguy on May 13, 2010 - 8:47 PM

    Given the state of affairs in India and Pakistan cricketwise, I have suggestion. India needs an overhaul, some of the players need to be put in their place, BCCI and Selectors will be mild and if at all anything it will be behind the scenes action.

    Pakistan wants to get rid of Ijaz Butt, I suggest sending Ijaz Butt over to discipline India cricket team 🙂 he is really good at handing over suspension, dismissals and what not, Butt will clean up Indian cricket one way or the other, he might take it to the cleaners :p

    As a return favor for sending Butt over to India, the Indian can send over someone who is fresh out of job but full of ideas, Lalit Modi. India can send Modi over to Pakistan and he will create ideas for a T20 league and then he will teach Pakistanis how to take it to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and make money everywhere 🙂

  20. #20 by newguy on May 13, 2010 - 9:07 PM

    JAK, on your comment #15, I don’t think any team prefers playing Pakistan or Australia in a final or semi final, one team is very unpredictable and other team is very predictable, but both are dangerous sides to play against. It does seem however Aussies know how to deal with Pakistan’s unpredictability really well, Osman Saimuddin wrote a good piece on Cricinfo today about this.

  21. #21 by newguy on May 13, 2010 - 9:12 PM

    India women’s T20 cricket team is playing better than men’s team. There is a parallel T20 Women’s WC going on in the Caribbean. India women made it t semi-final, and they are now playing against Australia. Looking at the scoreboard, they are doing much better than men’s team. At least Indian fans can now support women’s team since they made semi-final 🙂

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 14, 2010 - 12:31 AM

    Omer says: “Anyway, its a good place to be, where no-one’s at :D”

    where no-one’s at……………….. Jithay Banda Na Banday Di Zaat howay.……. *Heer Ranjha*

  23. #23 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 14, 2010 - 12:40 AM

    I heard from someone that Umar Akmal is injured? He got a Side Strain from Side Bottom! Is it true that he is not playing tomorrow?

    Btw, yesterday I wrote that Pakistan’s biggest problem is not the opening conundrum but it is FIELDING and, Shahid Afridi has said the same today:

    http://www.cricinfo.com/world-twenty20-2010/content/current/story/459593.html

    Also, I wrote that taking Khalid Latif in the team was a stupid idea especially in place of Mohammad Sami. When Latif was out on 7 runs I wrote, even Sami could have made more than 7 runs and what is Latif’s utility now? He is a drag in the team after he is out on such pathetic score. At least Sami can bowl and field better than Latif. I noticed after someone told me that the same point has been highlighted by Kamran Abassi on his blog PakSpin on cricinfo titled Brave or Bonkers?

    Once again it is proved that our observation on the team selection, field placement, bowling changes, batting order etc., is much better than any of the people around, shouldn’t we get some credit for this? 😀

  24. #25 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 3:04 AM

    If confirmed true, Umar Akmal’s injury is a big blow to Pakistan, nevertheless they should not lose hope and play attacking cricket, the only way to defeat Australia is to take the fight to them. Butt and Kamran should stay firm at the top of the order and lay solid platform before stepping up. Afridi should come at #3 like last year and play solidly before unleashing. Good luck tomorrow.

    On the Indian side, there is more rumors spreading. Latest is that there is a move to replace Dhoni as ODI and T20 captain with Sehwag. Although I said this earlier, I think this is the wrong time may be, and for wrong reasons. Rumor is that BCCI is angry with Dhoni for letting the truth out of IPL parties and talking out of turn, in an obvious reference to conduct of some of the senior players.

    It is said that Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Rohit Sharma, and Raina were among regulars to late night IPL parties, and in these parties drinking, dancing, and everything else after that goes freely. Cheerleaders, Bollywood starlets, Models, so on are mixing up with these cricket superheros, and they have no control over their mind and body. It is also said some of them told the coach not to interfere in their off-field activity and to ‘buzz-off’. There are also stories of on-tour parties and late night hang-outs, again same people are the culprits.

    Another report says there was a pub brawl between some of the players and fans after the lose to SL. It was said Zaheer and Nehra retaliated to insults from Indian supporters in a pub after the game night. I would have thought they were hiding their head in sand after that beating and not having the gall to go to pub.

    This is all unacceptable, but in a country like India, anyone with bit of stature can do anything and there is no accountability. This is pathetic what is happening to young Indian cricketers, there is no morality anymore and money is ruining it.

    Changing captain won’t do any good, BCCI should have been looking at these things instead of sleeping at the wheel, when Modi whored out Indian cricket, and it’s young cricketers. Pakistanis should be feeling really good about their cricketers not being taken part in IPL, otherwise they would have been exposed to some of this as well, and who knows how it would have changed them.

    BCCI in fact is acting like PCB if they hand over punishment to Captain for speaking out, instead of listening to the report from Coach and taking action against players who are showing in-subordination. They should then start paying more attention to developing the game of cricket itself in India instead of just bringing in the money by selling Cricket to unwashed billions.

  25. #26 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 14, 2010 - 5:47 AM

    newguy

    Dhoni said: “If you take care of yourself, 45 days of cricket shouldn’t affect you because we play 200 or more in a year,”

    Shouldn’t someone ask Dhoni when he opted to stay back home when India went to Sri Lanka to play a series, why he said, ‘after playing so much cricket, I need a break.’?

    I don’t think anyone except khansahab remembers what I wrote on cricinfo i.e., even before the first version of IPL started , after seeing the auction of players, I wrote, both ICL and IPL are a fad and it is not cricket and will not be there after sometime. I detest the idea of players being paraded on the stage like a cattle auction or, Las Vegas brothel style presentation of hookers to choose the one you like. This whole Franchising business was and still is a farce and a fraud. I blame the media for building up hype and making a lions share of the proceeds through TV rights and by fooling the masses.

    When the IPL started with such glitz, glamour and imported cheer leaders, I said: this looks more like luring the masses with imported beef and shlitz. The opening ceremony fireworks cost US$6,000,000 for a country where hundreds of millions of people are homeless and more than 46% of the population live below the poverty level, the organizers of IPL spent six million dollars to blew it off in the air? What a waste of national resource. After all someone must have paid that money and not Lalit Modi for sure.

  26. #27 by Omer on May 14, 2010 - 8:51 AM

    Javed Khan,

    Why bring Las Vegas in between? 😉

    Vegas is only one place to have fun in the sense that, if you are in the US, you can go to hundreds of other places if you don’t like that sort of thing.

    In other states, such as, maybe Canada (not sure but I think it is the case) and Denmark its totally legal. Anyway, illegalizing it doesn’t end it, it tends to promote a black market, so there are pros and cons. Some countries just do it to give a boost to tourism.

    In fact I personally don’t like the IPL because of those exact reasons you have mentioned. It is also low quality cricket.

    The idea of auctioning the players isn’t a good one, as well as mixing cricket with bollywood.

    The cricketers should be privately offered contracts– the idea of auctioning them aloud, as cricinfo ‘unveils’ and ‘advertises’ the prices, doesn’t go well with highly skilled/respected players that we have known, such as, Ponting, Sehwag, Dravid, and so on.

    But it brings attention to IPl, it is a good way to sell it, it captures the imagination of a number of people, and therefore it is sold pretty fervently in the media.

    I have seen cricinfo writers get exceptionally emotional about the IPL, it is almost as if a fair criticism is not even warranted.

    As for Dhoni, he is a very, very astute captain. In terms of impact of players in bringing India among the top in test cricket and one days, I would say he is only next to Sehwag.

    Anyway, there is this notion that, let the market forces decide where cricket goes, and if it is the case that league cricket is the future, then so be it. However, league cricket is so different from international cricket, that the point is akin to saying that, if a lot of cricket supporters are switching to soccer, let be it, let the market forces decide the outcome. But where is cricket’s instinct to survive in this? As far as I am concerned, it is like saying, I have a bussiness, and if the markets have somewhat punished it, I should let it go bankrupt and let the market forces decide where they want to buy their next product from.

    The ICC said, it is a private league and the ICC has no jurisdiction– in other words, providing the total opportunity, an open hand, to gamble, fix matches, and whatever drama that is probably happening. This is inescapable without proper regulation, but the ICC insists it has no jurisdiction when it comes to that, but if it is a private league and the ICC has no jurisdiction and self-interest, then wouldn’t a totally distinct entity be an open competitor to the ICC?

    What I mean is, it may be great for some of the players who love IPL, but isn’t it bad for the ICC? What if India is producing so much revenue, one country doesn’t play cricket alone, without international competition, there wouldn’t be any revenue from within India either– I don’t know why the ICC feels so inept when it comes to this.

    Now watch out for Bhosle, he’ll write an emotional piece worth three pages and 10 million fans, claiming the healing powers and magical effects of the IPL. These are the very same people who claimed to be poets and romantics and sold us test cricket for at least the last decade! And, now, let the market forces decide..

  27. #28 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 1:33 PM

    Javed Khan,

    I have exact same sentiments as you have on a country like India blowing up money like they do in IPL, where millions don’t even have drinking water, electricity, and access to health care.

    But, a lot of Indians have been brainwashed, they have mistakenly believed this is about India advancing and show casing their capability in front of Western world. Nothing could be far from truth.

    I am a minority, recently during the IPL many of my Indian colleagues were fervently thumbing through their iPhones for score updates during a team lunch break, and I asked what is the huge deal about, after all IPL is not real cricket and it’s a hog wash. I was taken back by their reaction, I did not realize up until then how the Indians, even the ex-pats like my colleagues over here, have been brainwashed. They were all up in arms and hitting back, as if I had called their mothers and sisters bad names, according to them this is opportunity for young Indians to earn a lot of money and quality of cricket was supposed to be great. I intend to find these people and ask them how they feel now. But I doubt that will change their mind.

    Anyhow, let’s leave it for now, and focus on the important game ahead.

    Can Pakistan turn up like cornered tigers today and produce a memorable performance? Here is wishing they do. Best of luck to everyone.

  28. #29 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 14, 2010 - 2:07 PM

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Shane Bond
    has retired from ALL cricket, but I doubt he will retire from the IPL.

  29. #30 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 4:19 PM

    Match is underway and going in the direction I had wanted, but it’s too early and I don’t want to say anything and spook it. So will keep mum for now.

  30. #31 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 4:43 PM

    Hi Guys,

    Sorry, I can’t stop saying something at this point. 🙂 I am grinning ear to ear following the match :), and the shock and awe from Kamral and Salman are too much for Aussies. 🙂

    This is a cracking start and Pakistan should now go for the kill. Blast the demoralized Aussie bowling into submission and go for huge hits at this time. Pakistan should target at least 180 from here on.

  31. #32 by khansahab on May 14, 2010 - 5:22 PM

    Pakistan has built up a phenomenal score which Australia will find highly improbable to defend.

    It will be Pakistan vs England in the finals, and memories of 1992 will be resurrected.

    The Akmal brothers have played superbly at the right moment. One wishes for more consistency from them.

  32. #33 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 14, 2010 - 5:38 PM

    When Australia played against Pakistan in the round match they scored 191 runs and Pakistan lost by about 37 runs. Will this be an opposite of that match? In any case Pakistan has got a great opportunity to win this match and get into the finals. They need to bowl well and field well. I want Shane Watson to be out on a duck in this match, he has shown a lot of arrogance and even showed dissent to the umpire’s decision on giving his bouncer a no ball. He should then be penalized with his match fees.

    I think the spinners will do the damage and I am expecting Abdul Rahman and Saeed Ajmal to take the wickets. What an innings by both Akku Brothers. If Pakistan wins it will be hard to judge which one will be the player of the match? Because, Kamran gave a flying start after that first maiden over and then Umar Akmal gave a turbo boost in the middle order.

    The Australian innings is about to start………….. take care guys.

  33. #34 by Mohammed Munir on May 14, 2010 - 5:55 PM

    I cut my overseas trip short for this game and I am not sorry at all.

    Javed… I agree with you on Watson and I too hate the bugger so much. He is simply rude and ‘Butameez’.

    Watson OUT.

    Btw, where we stand with Rain and D&L method.

  34. #35 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 6:03 PM

    Hi Guys,

    This is like a dream, for Pakistan, and a nightmare for the Aussies 🙂 Just what the doctor ordered. This is why Pakistan is such a dangerous team to play in knockouts, they come from nowhere and hit the opposition hard and they won’t even have a clue what hit them. Aussies are shell shocked. Both Warner and Whatto are back in the hut, great going. Pakistan should suffocate now, and crush Aussie middle order, they cannot relax since there is the dangerous David Hussie and Cameron White to come, with ever dependable Mr. Cricket Mike Hussey. Bring spinners on and choke.

    Javed Kha, yes, I am so glad Watto got taken to cleaners and he is out now. He showed attitude with umpires and he said a few words to Aamer after a four was hit.

  35. #36 by Varun Suri on May 14, 2010 - 6:09 PM

    GO Pakistan GO. I want Puppy Clarke to be shown of what he’s made up of.

    In all probability it is going to be Pakistan-England final this year and Pakistan is well on the course to prove that they are the best T-20 Team in the World and the first World Cup win by India was a fluke.

    I hope and pray that Australia is crushed badly today so that all the Chappels and the other Aussies can stop moaning about their team

    C’mon Afridi…..

  36. #37 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 6:10 PM

    This is going to be simple equation – Afridi and Ajmal has 8 overs between them, and Aamir got 2 overs left. Can Australia score 90 runs off their 10? Assuming they can score 10 or more per over from Rehman and Razzaq. I doubt they can score 90 from 10 overs off Afridi, Ajmal, and Aamer. Once the power play is over, in another 1 over, it will slow down run rate.

  37. #38 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 6:53 PM

    White as I said earlier is very dangerous and he proved it with those 5 sixes.

    But he is out now, game over.

    Pakistan hold all the aces. Keep the nerve now for final few balls.

  38. #39 by Varun Suri on May 14, 2010 - 7:21 PM

    This was my first T-20 I watched from the beginning and it is got to be the best match of the tournament so far. In the end, just like everyone here I am also disappointed that the Aussies prevailed in the end and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat!

    Kudos to Pakistan to put up such a show but I can imagine that all the fans would be dejected to say the least to come so near to a amazing victory over the Aussies but it was meant to be Michael Hussey’s day and he played the innings of his life to seal this improbable win. I don’t know whether the decision to give Ajmal to bowl the last over was a right one?

  39. #40 by khansahab on May 14, 2010 - 7:33 PM

    I am too shocked to say anything.

  40. #41 by Mohammed Munir on May 14, 2010 - 7:40 PM

    I really can’t even point where we went wrong, can anyone help ??

  41. #42 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 7:43 PM

    Hi Guys, Javed, Khansaheb, Munir, Omer, et al

    I feel really sorry for you guys today, I know how you feel and believe me I too feel like my own team lost today.

    This is a terrible tragedy, Australia did not deserve to win this game, not after Pakistan showed tremendous guts, gumption, and all round skills. Pakistan dominated 90% of the match, lost with just 10%. Aussies do not deserve it, whatever you call ‘Australianism’ or not.

    Let me be the first one to say, it was pure luck. Hussey was swinging the bat around and it just clicked. Even Michael Clark though game over when White got out, that’s when I wrote my comment, game over.

    Realistically it was over, last 3 overs was fluke. Nothing but fluke.

    This is why I always said T20 is a lot of luck.

  42. #43 by Mohammed Munir on May 14, 2010 - 8:32 PM

    Newguy,

    Thanks for encouragement and nice words.

    Brazile is one of the Best football and every football fan in the world ‘loves’ them, while in cricket it’s different. Every cricket fan HATES Australia.

  43. #44 by Varun Suri on May 14, 2010 - 8:41 PM

    Today’s match is the best example of the unpredictability this 20-20 format brings with it to Cricket. I totally agree with newguy here that the Aussies did not deserve to win at all as for almost 40 overs Pakistan was ahead of Australia it was only in the last over Lady Luck smiled on Hussey!!

    It is because of this reason that I am totally against this format of Cricket and fondly miss those days when we had only Test Matches and One-Dayers.

    In the first place I do not understand as to Why did we have a 20-20 World Cup so soon after the previous one, it’s not even a year since the last one finished?

    I sincerely hope that Cricket’s future is not 20-20’s because maybe that way they are able to spread this Game into alien places like USA or China but along the way it might lose some of it’s fanbase like me who mostly care about the Test Matches and One-Dayers.

    It is precisely because of this overdose of 20-20 that I really did not follow this tournament with great interest and also because I travelled to Sofia in Bulgaria to witness the final of World Chess Championship.

    Hopefully now we can look forward towards some real Cricket in the summer when Pakistan plays against both Australia and England.

    I wish our Pakistani friends to get over what has happened today and look forward in to the future to some real cricketing action and to take some sort of a revenge when Pakistan plays Australia later this year…

    more laterss..

  44. #45 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 9:09 PM

    I know where it went wrong, I watched the replays carefully, and there were two mis fields, one in 19th over when last ball went for four. The fielder, I think Rehman tried to stop, but just wasn’t good enough, that brought equation down to 18 from final over. Then in final over catch was not taken at point of Hussey, that went for four and scores were leveled. Hrsha Bhogle and Ian Chappel in commentary was saying it could have been taken and it was poor effort. Bhogle even said Pakistan is giving away the match. If that catch was taken then Hussey would have been out, and 5 runs from two balls to win would not be possible with tail end coming in.

    Pakistan took it casually in last 3 overs and it cost them dearly. Never think you won against Australia until last ball is bowled. I think of the 175 Tendular made in chasing that 350 against Australia in an ODI last year, Australia pulled that match back in the end and won by 3 runs. They always find a way. Pakistan just found another way to lose a match they had in their pocket.

    Most disappointing.

  45. #46 by Omer on May 14, 2010 - 9:13 PM

    Mohammad Munir,

    Isn’t it obvious what went wrong?

    In the 2003 world cup when Wasim and Waqar had taken 4 wickets, what did they do? They put the field back and defended against Symonds. In the Sydney test, they put the field back and defended. And, likewise, today, Pakistan thought Hussey is an orthodox player, let him get set, give singles and doubles, and apply pressure. And, the Australian players aren’t Misbah ul Haq– if they are there till the end, Australia wins the match. If an Australian player is till the end, he wins the match– it could have been Mitchell Jhonson, not Hussey. The only way to contain them is to get them out, not the other way around.

  46. #47 by newguy on May 14, 2010 - 9:14 PM

    Here is what Ian Chapel said about that catch in post match interview:

    I think the only thing I would say about Pakistan was that really that ball that was skewed out to backward-point that went for four which made the scores level, should have been caught. If you are a good fielding side, in a situation like that, those catches have to be taken. It is probably justice really because Pakistan were always well behind Australia when it came to fielding and running between wickets. So in the end, if you felt anything was going to let Pakistan down it would probably be that combination of fielding and running between the wickets.

  47. #48 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 15, 2010 - 12:10 AM

    Pakistan shocked hundreds of millions of people all over the world by losing this match which they had won.

    Like Munir says I can’t even pinpoint what went wrong?
    newguy gave his version.

    In my opinion, Pakistani bowlers were in a rush to complete their overs to win, had they slowed down and bowled a bit slow it would have been difficult for Australia to score. Abdur Rahman was rushing to complete his quota, Afridi was rushing to complete his quota of 4 overs and eventually they were being thrashed because that pitch was not suitable for fast bowling. Look how Tait, Watson, Nannes, Johnson all got thrashed. Ajmal troubled Cameron White in one over when he was bowling slow deliveries. Ajmal’s last over was akin to Afridi and Abdur Rahman’s bowling, he lost his cool and underestimated Mike Hussey who was determined to hit sixes.

    The second thing that I reckon is the reason for the loss is, Pakistan scored 33 runs in 18th and 19th over but failed in the 20th by scoring only 7 runs, they were a bit complacent, had they crossed the 200 mark that would have given a more stern warning to the Aussies. Even 191 is a great total to defend especially after taking 4-5 key wickets earlier on. It was Cameron White and Hussey who changed the complexion of the game. While they were hitting sixes and fours, Pakistan were still hopeful that they will not lose the match and were trying to bowl quicker deliveries, that is in my opinion was the main problem of giving away runs to a team whose batsmen are in great form.

    In the end you cannot say Pakistan lost, but it was Australia who won the match. I don’t think the final will be like this, like Varun said, this is the best match of the tournament, yes it is and it will remain so. I wasn’t hoping there will be any game today due to rain and then the first maiden over and 3 runs in the second over, I said to my friends they won’t even make 110-120 today, but hats off to them for scoring 191. Anyways, it was a very good and exciting match. They lost but, not like chickens. And Australia won like tigers.

    I want England to win the world cup. 😀

  48. #49 by khansahab on May 15, 2010 - 7:04 AM

    Afridi’s captaincy draws flak

    Shahid Afridi’s captaincy came in for criticism from current and former players after Pakistan squandered a chance to enter their third successive Twenty20 World Cup final by losing a last-over thriller to Australia.

    After millions of fans were left disappointed and stunned at their team’s defeat, former Test players felt poor tactics on the field in the final few overs cost Pakistan the match last night.

    Australia scored an incredible 34 runs in the last two overs to stun Pakistan who seemed to be cruising to victory after setting a target of 191 for Michael Clarke’s men.

    Left-arm pacer Muhammad Aamir went for 16 in the penultimate over while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was hit for three sixes and a four in the final over by Michael Hussey.

    “I have played a lot with Saeed and he is a sort of bowler who struggles against the left handers and in pressure situations, it was not a good idea to give him the final over when they were two left handers at the crease,” all-rounder Sohail Tanvir said.

  49. #50 by khansahab on May 15, 2010 - 7:05 AM

    Misbah lone post graduate in Pakistan cricket team

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: Middle-order batsman Misbahul Haq is the lone post graduate in the Pakistan cricket team. The federal sports ministry has informed the National Assembly that Misbah has a masters degree in business administration. The team has six players who have cleared their intermediate examination, an equal number of matriculates and one player who has cleared his class five examination. Fawad Aalam has a bachelors degree in commerce while Abdur Razaq, Abdur Rehman, Muhammad Sami, Muhammad Hafeez, Salman Butt and Shahid Afridi have cleared their intermediate exam. Umar Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Asif, Muhammad Aamir, Khalid Latif and Kamran Akmal are matriculates while Hamad Azam has cleared his class 5 exam.

  50. #51 by Mohammed Munir on May 15, 2010 - 11:29 AM

    Following are some of the comments from a few other cricket sites …

    – To Pak Cricket Fans: For once, don’t be emotional fools. Give the team credit. They played awesome today but the better team won. Instead of being emotional critics give the team credit. Well played Pakistan.

    – Today Pakistan played like Champions and lost like a team worthy of being a Champion.

    – It didn’t go wrong anywhere … Australia just played better.

    How true, we Pakistanis are really “emotional critics” and we love to hate our team and our heroes. We just love to criticise, and for once we should not.

    As always, there are ‘If & Buts’ in cricket, and I agree that there were so many lows in our earlier games, but to me there was nothing wrong, almost nothing wrong, in this last semi-final match.

    Australian fans had only four overs of happiness and joy in this entire game, that is first two overs of Pakistani innings and last two overs of Australian innings, while for the remaining 36 overs the game was totally in our control.

    I thnik the Pakistani team should be given full credit to grasp the so called MF Australians by their balls for full 36 overs in the match.

    In the end, I want England to win the finals, not only because we lost to Australia as we also lost to England during this tournment, but because just I hate the Aussies (Watson, Hussey, Tait, etc.) and I also like the English team (KP, Collingwood, etc.).

    PS: No no guys, MF = Mighty Favourite. What were you thinking ? 😉

  51. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 15, 2010 - 1:21 PM

    It is very normal and expected from Pakistani fans and ex-cricketers to criticize Pakistan team or the Captaincy after losing the match. Had they won and gone to the final, everything would have been fine. Again, the nation wants them to be the best and wants them to be champions all the time, which is not possible. The semifinal between Australia and Pakistan was the best match of the tournament, Pakistan played it like a champions but, fortune favours the brave, Australia won it because they started attacking like cornered tigers, they had no option but to attack and they could have gone down attacking, but they won.

    To say it was poor captaincy or why Ajmal bowled the last over? Is really stupid. Ajmal bowled very well against South Africa and he bowled the last over and got Bootha in the 20th over. Sohail Tanvir is a Ch2So4 to say that Ajmal is not so good against left handers and blah, blah. When Hussey was playing against Pakistan in Sydney Test and how many bowlers bowled at him? No one could get him out. Same thing in the match between Aus. vs. Bangladesh, the BD team nailed the Aussies to 6/65 in 13 overs and Hussey came in and along with Smith they put on 75 runs in 7 overs. So, it was Hussey again, he has been Mr. Consistent for Australia.

    Except for England’s Eoin Morgan there is no one like Mike Hussey in the late order to come and start hitting sixes. Morgan cannot be compared because he is still new but, Hussey has been there for a long time and proved to be the most dangerous late order batsman for the opposition and he is also a finisher
    .

  52. #53 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 15, 2010 - 1:26 PM

    What was MF Ijaz Butt doing there? It was his presence at the stadium that was kinda bad omen for the team. When Hafeez got Cameron White’s catch the TV camera focused on Butt who was sitting all alone wearing dark glasses and clapping like a Don. I don’t think any other countries cricket board chairman goes to witness the matches. If anyone that is to be axed, Ijaz Butt must be the first one followed by Misbah ul Haq.

    khansahab

    I was surprised at Nasir Jamshed writing grade 9th exam and caught cheating and even more surprised to know that Hammad Azam cleared only grade 5 exam? This is unbelievable stuff.

  53. #54 by newguy on May 15, 2010 - 1:30 PM

    The morning after always brings fresh perspectives, so here are some of mine 🙂

    First, Pakistan played beyond anyone’s expectation, so they should be given credit for raising their game and nearly achieving what everyone thought was impossible. Even Aussie captain “puppy” Clark thought so.

    That said, we must not lose sight of perspective here, Pakistan lost a match they had secured sealed away in their dressing room, not in field, they had it by over #17 of Aussie innings, Australia have no reason to be in final except for poor judgement from captain Afridi and players for not holding their nerves.

    Right at this moment, Pakistani fans everywhere have become very sentimental and supportive of their team, and hence they are unwilling to critique the team. Even the ever unflinching Javed A Khan is giving a free pass to the team.

    This is a sign of settling for less. This is the attitude sub-continental people have. We fought hard against the top team and our boys did well, so be happy. Yes. that is all good. But why we settle for not being #1? This is the question to be asked, and we should be deeply troubled by not having crossed that line in the end.

    I have never witnesses a matching won by team chasing second, scoring 6, 6, 4, 6. Whether there is a set batsman or superman facing. Two things, one Ajmal should not have been the one bowling last over, a spinner is easier to hit when a batsman is going to six or get out. I was thinking why Afridi bought on Aamer after 16th over, and I quickly counted over left by both and found out his strategy to give Ajmal last two overs. I thought this is a risky business, instead a fast bowler should be bowling. On hand though Ajmal was the best bowler in tournament and hence the choice. But this is just common man thinking. Anyone who knows the game in pressure situation should know they must not do this, unless Ajmal has proven he can bowl yorkers. Instead he kept the bowl up or short for Hussey to pick and hit easily over the fence.

    Even before that Hussey scored 4 times 2 runs against Aamer and two fours in second last over. Very big mistake. The four two’s are the result of fielders not hustling and hurrying batsmen. Hussey and Johnson were not under any pressure of run out with those four 2 runs. This is unbelievable, at least one time they should have been hurried.

    Pakistan at that time thought they won match and relaxed.

    So, then, well played, but not quite enough. Champion sides do not settle for less, and I am sorry to say that they did not show the attitude of Champion side in the last few overs. They did for 36 overs or so, but winning 90% won’t make you champion, you have to go all the way.

    Let’s not glorify Australia and raise them to super human status like some in media are doing. I said it before too, Australia can be beaten and can be put under pressure like anyone else. We saw it yesterday, and it’s a shame they were given a pass. I am probably the only one saying at this time Pakistan lost it and Australia did not win it.

    Being an outsider and being less emotional about it, I can say this with objectivity.

    Finally, I think the best match is yet to be played. There is a final to be played, anyone wants to bet it’s an equal chance? I am not going to raise Australia to god-status and give it to them. They may win in the end, but then it’s only because of their record in final and their superior attitude.

    England and Australia were the only two teams that showed consistency and form in this tournament. So it is only fair they meet in final. Also the pitch favors both teams equally. Both teams have heavy hitters, good fielders, and good bowlers.

    Best match may yet to be played.

    Don’t despair guys, I am still here, inspite of India being the most pathetic team in super eights twice in two years, think of that 🙂

  54. #55 by Omer on May 15, 2010 - 2:26 PM

    Javed Khan,

    It was a good match and both teams played well, but the question is, did Australia play so good or did Pakistan choke against Aus again?

    I think it is probably a mix of both. Pakistan went defensive very early, thinking that 12-13 runs were required in an over, and if they gave away 8-9 in singles, doubles it wouldn’t matter and the RR would climb igher. I tought this allowed players like Hussey to settle and get there eye in. If it were Australia, they wouuld have smelt the opportunity then, put th field in, and went for the kill. This is why Pakistan is Pakistan and Australia is Australia– in fact this is what seperates Australia from the rest in cricket. No matter how well you play for 99 percent of the match, there is only one team that wins at the end of the day and one team that loses.

    Lets see if England can break the Australian juggernaut. If recent history between the two teams is anything to go by, then England has a psychological edge over Australia.

  55. #56 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 15, 2010 - 3:10 PM

    newguy

    You could be right that the best match may not have been played YET. Based on the performance of both teams, it is possible that it could turn out to be a very exciting match. Any match which goes to the last over or the last ball is a thriller. But, this match between Aus. and Pak. was even more exciting because of the big totals and we have witnessed a lot of sixes from both sides.

    Omer

    I don’t think it is a matter of choking against Australia, if they were all out under 110-120 I would have said, they choked but scoring 191 against the so-called best bowling attack in the world and that too of fast bowlers is indeed a commendable effort. I have always said that if there are two good partnerships in a T20 match, the side is almost guaranteed to win. First it was the opening partnership in which Kamran Akmal played the lead role and then the second partnership in which Umar Akmal played the lead role. Similarly two players from Australia made the difference, Cameron White and Mike Hussey.

    I think Umar Gul’s absence from the team made a huge difference. We may argue on who should have bowled the last over? Since Pakistan had won the crucial last match against SA, they played the same team irrespective of the fact that Misbah was a total flop, they could have taken Sami in his place who could have bowled a few overs. And, because of the reason they won against SA by giving the last over to Saeed Ajmal, they used the same strategy.

    Pakistan got complacent and gave away the initial runs easily. They were still very complacent in the 17th over assuming it won’t be possible after Cameron White and Smith were out, they thought that they can get Johnson from the other end if not Hussey and contain them instead of getting them out. When you try to contain the batsmen in the last 2-3 overs it is then you lose. You have to attack and get wickets.

    After a great match like this, the team losing the match MUST learn from this experience but, Pakistan unfortunately are not quick learners they keep repeating the same mistakes again and again. They play well under pressure in big matches and they play well when they are cornered and get emotional. All they need is to use a little sense, STOP for a moment and think. The Pakistan team needed a huddle before the 17th over and must have vowed to slow down and bowl with variations, both Aamir and Ajmal were predictable and Hussey made use of that. Hussey was pulling the ball from middle and leg over the square leg umpire, if they had bowled him a little on the off side, where the field was also placed, he may not have hit those sixes, may be fours but, not sixes. They were bowling in the slot where he is very strong. This is the job of the coach to tell them about the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition players.

  56. #57 by newguy on May 15, 2010 - 3:58 PM

    Javed Khan,

    There you go, now you see what I too saw:

    Pakistan team needed a huddle before the 17th over and must have vowed to slow down and bowl with variations, both Aamir and Ajmal were predictable and Hussey made use of that. Hussey was pulling the ball from middle and leg over the square leg umpire, if they had bowled him a little on the off side, where the field was also placed, he may not have hit those sixes, may be fours but, not sixes.

    They needed huddle not just after 17th over to determine game plan for next overs, they also needed a huddle after the 19th over. They did not had a huddle and I was surprised how easy Afridi was taking it. They had to plan for not bowling middle and leg and pitching it up or short for him to pick up and swing over mid wicket and square leg.

  57. #58 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 15, 2010 - 4:47 PM

    newguy

    In my yesterday’s comment, I mentioned that Pakistani bowlers were in a hurry to complete the quota and we saw that in Abdur Rahman (Afridi always does that) and even Ajmal in the last two overs was trying to bowl quickly and there was no thought process involved, whereas against Cameron White, he made him look like a novice when he almost got White stumped it was then he was bowling slow and with some flight. I think Afridi or some other senior player must have thought about that or even the coach should have sent a message especially when Hussey took so much time before the last over, they should have said to Ajmal not to bowl quicker deliveries. Hence, a huddle is always necessary in the final stages of the game to speak out what they observe and share it with others. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.

    Not only the Pakistani players were complacent but, the Australians too gave up, do you remember seeing Shaun Tait putting his head on the railing like a cat and Clarke biting his nail in the dugout like he is nibbling peanuts in a hurry. No one expected Australia to win, that is why Clarke called it a “Freakish Win” and even Hussey said, he was not expecting. I think it is one of those days that go in your favour and that was Australia and Hussey’s day.

  58. #59 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 15, 2010 - 4:54 PM

    In tomorrow’s match a lot is expected from Kevin Pietersen and Australia have targeted him already. I expect the England openers to play well and so far Collingwood has not done anything special, I expect him to consolidate the innings and put a good partnership in the middle order along with Eoin Morgan. I think if England wins, it will be Morgan who will be the player of the match. And, if Hussey scores again he will be the player of the tournament.

  59. #60 by khansahab on May 15, 2010 - 5:22 PM

    Danish Kaneria arrested in Essex for spot-fixing

    Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, and young pacer Mervyn Westfield have been arrested by Essex police for alleged spot-fixing in Essex’s Pro40 match against Durham last September.

    Both the Essex cricketers were questioned at Brentwood police station on Friday before being released on bail until September 15, pending further inquiries, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

    Both the players are free to play cricket for their club side or for the country as neither of them has yet been charged with any offence.

    Although Kaneria’s performance in the match against Durham is not under scrutiny, he is alleged to have introduced Westfield, whose performance against Durham is under the microscope, to an illegal bookmaker.

  60. #61 by Omer on May 16, 2010 - 1:30 AM

    Tomorrow the trophy will be decided and if England wins, my initial prediction will come out right.

    England, like Pakistan, is a relatively mercurial team, so if its an off day, it could be a very one-sided final. However, if a sprited England shows up against Australia (which does so in recent times), then they can win, too (which is my prediction). Australian pace bowling has never been as great a deterrent for England, although Australian batting is very solid and much will depend on how England bowl. England has some good spinning options, but tey will have to use them wisely. Cameroon White clearly can’t hit left-arm pace, so I’d keep Sidebottom’s few overs against White. Hussey is vulnerable against spin initially if not allowed singles and doubles, so I’d bowl Swann at Hussey. On the other hand Hussey can’t play the bouncer very well either and the only thing he can do against the bouncer is to cut it to third man– I’d keep two fielders in that region to catch and bowl bouncers a bit outside off-stump at him.
    As for Watson, they should just bowl a length ball on off-stump which moves a bit and the gap between bat and pad, and his awkard makeshift-batsman-like movement will aggrandize. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep Clarke batting for longer than a few balls as he can waste time at the crease. If he gets set, he could be dangerous, but he will find it difficult to hit good balls for four. For instance, pack the off-side field wiith fielders and bowl Clarke outside off-stump and he would find it difficult to innovate (it would also be a good idea to keep a fielder around mid-on for the mis-timed pull for a relatively short ball outside off-stump).

    Jhonson clearly doesn’t like pressure, he is the bowler I would target for the sake of hitting.

  61. #62 by khansahab on May 16, 2010 - 7:00 AM

    Inzamam advises PCB not to panic after Pakistan’s WT20 exit

    Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has advised the PCB not to panic and show more maturity and consistency in its decision making after Pakistan failed to defend their World Twenty20 title in the West Indies.

    Inzamam felt that the cricket board should give Shahid Afridi and his men more time to adjust to the requirements of the shortest version of the game and maintains continuity in the appointment of the captain and coach for the national team.

    “Shahid Afridi was leading the team for the first time in a big tournament and he needs time to learn things. There is no doubt he is still learning things but that is why I say we must maintain continuity in the captaincy and coaching staff,” Inzamam said.

    “If you look at the other teams they have same captains for years and our problem is that we keep on changing the skipper and coach all the time which is not allowing our team to move forward and give results according to its true potential. Give young players more time to adjust,” he said.

    Pakistan on Friday squandered a chance to enter their third successive World Twenty20 final by losing a last-over thriller to Australia.

    Michael Hussey hit a 24-ball 60 to script a dramatic runchase as Australia registered a three-wicket victory over defending champions in the semifinals to set up a summit clash with England.

    Pakistan’s most capped player felt that while team’s defeat was disappointing and heart-breaking, the boys put in a spirited effort and played to their full potential.

    “The sort of innings that Mike Hussey played it comes once in a lifetime and I don’t think there was anything more our bowlers could have done in that situation. So we shouldn’t be blaming anyone for the defeat,” he said.

    Pakistan’s former assistant coach and pace bowler, Aaqib Javed also felt that Hussey had played a magical innings.

    “It was a sort of innings that you as a bowler can’t do anything to stop. I thought our bowlers bowled well. Saeed Ajmal was our best bowler throughout the tournament in the death overs but against Hussey he failed,” Aaqib said.

    Pakistan’s former captain and coach, Javed Miandad said the team’s performance was satisfactory and something to build on for the future.

    “I would have given a thought to try someone else in the final over but the way Hussey was playing I don’t think it would have made a difference,” he said.

    Miandad said the team had shown good spirit in putting a great fight in the semi-final.

    “The main thing is we lost after a good fight and we showed competitive spirit against a top side and that is a good sign for our cricket.”

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