THE NET UTILITY

People who do not realise the politics and regionalism behind player selections need to realise they are playing a monumental part in destroying Pakistan cricket

As the shaken Pakistani fans struggle to find explanations for latest debacle in the form of Pakistan’s heavy defeat, PCB is busy attempting to cover its countless follies. Ijaz Butt continues to plague the sport with his undereducation, uncouthness and unprofessionalism. It is clear that the PCB’s policies are devoid of any consideration of logic, fairness or merit. The humiliation of Younis Khan followed by the recent humiliation of Kaneria is such an example. The constant selections of players like Malik, Akmal, Farhat and until recently, Misbah, reflect the PCB’s management which must run on the basis of corruption, regionalism and politics- there cannot be another explanation.

After Pakistan’s miracle victory against Australia all but

34 chances since the last tour of England missed, careers of Kaneria and Sami ruined, innumerable matches lost single handedly.....yet he is untouchable

the most pessimistic fans were considering Pakistan to be a reborn and rejuvenated side. Yet, although the bowling was largely decent against England, Akmal’s dropped catch triggered a series of fielding and strategy lapses for Pakistan which culminated into a humiliating defeat.

His statistics over the past few years have been deplorable, but he is a better bowler than what they suggest

Out of the 34 chances Akmal has spilled since the last tour to England, Akmal has dropped Kaneria on 17 occasions. Kaneria must suffer a total confidence breakdown by just the sight of Akmal behind the wickets.  Once a guaranteed match winner and trump card for Pakistan, Kaneria has become an embarrassing liability. But, how much of that is Akmal’s contribution? It is unnatural for such a skilled bowler to lose form so drastically in such a short span of time. The only explanation for this can be match fixing, however that is unlikely considering the proactive role the ICC is playing, especially monitoring Pakistani players.

In the shambles one looks to find a glimmer of hope, a process, a strategy, a guide that will assist in the selection of good players. This blog has promoted the idea of selecting players based on their “net utility” and this thread attempts to shed greater light on this notion.

All players must have a number of runs attributed to them, put simply. The higher the number, the greater the argument for selecting them. However certain factors ought to affect this number lesser than certain other factors that ought to affect this number more. The factors that ought to affect this number more are:

– Fielding ability

– Performance in important matches

– A decent level of skill in a second department (bowling, batting, fielding)

– Ability to perform better in unfamiliar conditions

The factors that should affect this number, but less so than the abovementioned factors ought to be:

– Selfless vs selfish batting (mostly because it is difficult to have universal agreement over what can be considered selfish or selfless)

– Right handed vs left handed (a left handed player is always slightly more valuable, as lefties are uncommon)

– Ancillary factors such as, ability to bat at different positions

To illustrate this concept one can perform a trial on the current Pakistani line up. Of course, assessors will never be able to agree on one number for a player, but hopefully will be able to come close on numbers. The net utility will be most easily measured in terms of, “How many runs in this player worth”? In effect a number of runs will be placed upon each player. For argument’s sake we can establish that players will a net utility of 37 or more should be allowed to play in Test cricket (keeping in mind that, 37 runs per 11 players would make 407 which can be considered a decent, or competitive Test score).

Let us start with Salman Butt in Tests:

Butt does not perform a second task (bowling, fielding) well enough to warrant attention. His career average is 32. However, this year it has been 42, which should go to his credit. But, apart from 2010 and 2005 when his average was 42, his highest average has been 29. This indicates he is prone to inconsistency.
It is perhaps appropriate to start with Butt and to attribute a number of 37 to him, as our ideal net utility. His fielding will pull that number down, to say, 34 . His performance in important matches, I will ignore, as being an opener it is slightly more difficult to assess this criterion than say if he was a middle order batsman. Since he does not have a noteworthy second role (good bowler or fielder)  that number should come down further, to say, 32. Butt’s performance in unfamiliar conditions has not been commendable, but he has performed well in Australia. That is why I will not let this affect 32.
Selfish batting- it is difficult to say again as Butt’s role is of an opener and he has to some extent a free reign over attacking or defending. Although his job is to score runs in Powerplays and make use of the fielding restrictions, he is also entrusted with not destabilising the top order. So, I will give him this credit and not let this affect 32.

Butt is left handed, and left handed bowlers are harder to play slightly, and batsmen are slightly harder to bowl too, so I will give him credit and add 1 (remember, I am not adding 2 or 3 runs because this is a factor that should not be taken into account in such significance). So we stand at 33.
We have not seen Butt at different batting positions . The factor I am terming as “Ancillaries”, is an “umbrella” factor which can incorporate many sub-factors. So, what else can be used to rate Butt?

The proposed notion of net utility is open to expansion, modification. It does not provide any magical answers but it may provide a fair and reasoned analysis for selecting players. Using this analysis will undoubtedly promote selection of players like Afridi, Fawad Alam etc and discourage selection of Malik, Akmal etc.

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  1. #1 by khansahab on August 2, 2010 - 9:10 PM

    PCB has a history of humiliating certain kinds of players:

    Miandad
    Younis Khan
    Afridi
    Kaneria
    Fawad Alam
    Asim Kamal

    If you compare the talent, dedication and honesty of these players compared to Maliks, Akmals and Misbahs you will see a world of a difference.

    It seems that a different treatment is meted out to players from Karachi? Is the humiliation of Karachi seen as some kind of prestige or elevation of Lahore?

  2. #2 by M. Y. Kasim on August 3, 2010 - 12:53 AM

    Another sad and humiliating aspect of our country is that while Mr. David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, openly and shamelessly accusses the whole of Pakistan as a terrorist nation, our President, the murderous criminal and corrupt plunderer is visiting UK to promote his son and look after his looted treasures on Government expenses while almost half the country is under flood waters and over 5,000 people have died and more than 3 to 4 million people have lost everything they had and are waiting for help.

    Karachi has again been victim of foriegn agents in spreading the hatred and dis-unity among the different ethnic and religious factions and has become another Beirut. Cases of killing, arson and looting is going on un-checked while the “RULARS” are enjoying their life. This is un-precedent in the history of civiled world.

    It pains to think what lie ahead of our beloved country.

  3. #3 by Ali Ahad on August 4, 2010 - 3:41 AM

    Now this is very sad that Nikki BUTT is giving excuse that they are a young team and they need time to prove their worth as they have just beaten Austrailains couple of weeks ago. So what he is trying to suggests that give them another chance, for the sake of the arguement we can do that as this was the first match he lost as a captain, which is fair enough, but what if they got beaten again in the second test match with the similar margin, I guess give them another chance again and again until Wudda BUTT make another turn and appoint some one else a captain. This musical chairs must be ended with ourt national team.

    The think tank is completely empty, they are bringing youngsters just like PCB changes a captain and they are waiting that one youngsters can inspire the team. I am not against the youngsters but they have to realise that we have to stablize the team with some experience. You are giving chances to players who are just fill in players. I find that really amazed that even our coach is not calling for help, why, BAKOZ he is saving his job and want to complete his coaching tenure.

    Nikki BUTT is a well educated person in the whole team, he should used his brains and should take responsiblity of the defeat instead of giving excuses. He should not live in the past and stop making comments that in the last 15 years no other captain has won a test against Austrailia but him, hoestly that is a paindoo approach and it is old now.

  4. #4 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 4, 2010 - 12:51 PM

    Ali Ahad

    You call Nikki Butt a well educated person? He is just a high school graduate from an English medium school that’s all, the rest are Urdu Medium Baatameez, do he is Andhoon may Kanaa Raja, just like Ramiz Raja the phutta baja. Check out any of the Indian or Sri Lankan players they speak better English than the average Pakistani players, bakoz most of them are paindooz.

    Salman Butt will be very happy if Yousuf is not in the team for the test match, reportedly Yousuf would be late in arriving and may be suffering from jet lag? Whatever it is, it will be another set back. Also, it is likely that Ajmal will play as Raza Hasan would be in the same boat as Yousuf.

    There is no mention of Malik being sent home for his pathetic display, he is in included in the team like a Stealth moves in the skies. Ideally I would like this side to play and lose again with another big margin so then Salman Khan will not be standing on a higher ground, the euphoria that he is still in after defeating Australia. Then, it is more likely that both Y’s would be playing. Even Waddee Butt would be landing on the ground on his Big Butt, right now he is levitating.

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 4, 2010 - 5:10 PM

    Does it matter if you have not played international cricket for six months? Is that a rule the you must be playing cricket a day before you play a test match? Why is there a “Bhair Chaal” among the critics? The moment they hear a buzz word or a stupid statement like this from some idiot that Yousuf has not played international cricket since six months and they start doubting whether it is a good decision to include him in the team? Yes, not including Younus Khan who is already there and playing county cricket is a stupid decision and it is Ijaz Butt’s “Hutt Dharmee and Hudd Haramee.”

    But to doubt the ability of a player like Mohammad Yousuf is ridiculous and it is a “Joke.” IF he gets out early in one innings he can make it in the second or, in the next match and he can get into higher gears much quicker than a sifarishi rookie like, Umar Amin or, Azhar Ali. Salman Butt is constantly giving chanced after chances to Umar Amin who is a repeated failure and has no confidence in him to face the English or even the Australian attack, yet he is being selected, simply because he is young? Actually, it is because he is from Punjab. Otherwise what is wrong with Fawad Alam? Who is a tried and tested player and he scored a century 168 on debut in SL against SL.

  6. #6 by khansahab on August 4, 2010 - 6:18 PM

    Kamran needs to take a break: Latif

    Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has advised wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal to take a break from cricket in order to prolong his international career.
    Latif was of the view that until Kamran took a break from the game and worked on his basics he would continue to struggle at the top level.

    “The problem with Kamran is that he is overweight for a keeper and also jaded. He is playing constant cricket and he needs to take a break and comeback afresh,” the former stumper said.
    Kamran has come in for severe criticism for his inconsistent glove work and batting in recent months from former players, experts and critics.
    Kamran, who made his international debut in 2003, was also dropped after the second Test in Sydney early this year after he fumbled atleast four catches, missed a stumping and a big run-out against Australia.
    He repeated his inconsistent form during the first Test against England at Nottingham last week, dropping two catches and also missed a big stumping in the England first innings which eventually saw Pakistan suffer a massive 354 runs defeat.
    His batting form has also been sketchy leading to calls from former players and critics to drop him.
    Latif said that Kamran needs to take a break for a while, shed weight and work on his basics once again.
    “He will only comeback stronger if he realises his weak areas and what he needs to do to iron out the problems.

  7. #7 by khansahab on August 4, 2010 - 6:53 PM

    PCB is considering the appointment of a batting coach who is most likely to be Inzamam. This is unnecessary because a batting coach can barely do wonders with the players at international level.

    In the past Miandad, Basit Ali, Woolmer etc have assisted the team with batting techniques but you do not learn batting at this level.

    How can a player alter his technique after playing a certain way for so many years? These players have achieved prominence and success at domestic level by relying on the same technique and expecting them to change at international level is stupidity.

    Mental strength matters more than technique at international level.

  8. #8 by khansahab on August 4, 2010 - 9:30 PM

    If Sehwag scores 3 runs and makes a century vs Sri Lanka, he will have 5 centuries and 4 fifties against them and he will end up having a better record against them than any other team including Pakistan.

    If you exclude the current match he averages 81 against Sri Lanka, 91 against Pakistan and 51 against Australia.

    I think these averages against Pakistan and Sri Lanka are unheard of. Of course most of this is just a product of decimating bowling on flat tracks but nevertheless Sehwag has done it with greater still than perhaps any other batsman in the history of the game. That is why unless as a bowler you seek to trap him in his 20s or 30s, he will rip any bowling attack apart. He just opens his arms up and sends the ball to the boundary, often with brute force as opposed to grace or exquisiteness.

  9. #9 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 5, 2010 - 12:17 PM

    khansahab

    Not only Sehwag scored 3 runs to make his century, he got 2 valuable wickets of SL in the second innings.

    Salman (_.__) the BABY captain
    has now made a U-turn, now he thinks that experience is needed to lead his “young” side. Are all (_.__) ‘s alike? 😀

  10. #10 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 5, 2010 - 6:30 PM

    Mohammed Yousuf did not participate in today’s training session with the team, because he arrived late, according to the news he is a doubtful starter for tomorrow’s match, in other words he will not be taken in, so why the hello did they call him? Gadhay Kay Buccho, is it important for him to catch up with some sleep and get over with his jet lag or, join the bunch of idiots in the so-called training session? In any case it is a useless exercise because, they keep dropping catches and are known to be the worst fielders in the world. At least the batsman should get some rest and sleep instead of hammering him down with some stupid training session which is not going to make him Jonty Rhodes or any of those lazy idiots who work out that practice session. Why do they keep talking shit all the time?

  11. #11 by Rahul Bhattacharya on August 5, 2010 - 6:50 PM

    LOL@gadhay kay bucho, on what was the hurry to call Mohd. Yousuf and not play him in the 2nd test is like that extra terrestrial joke when a couple from earth were abducted by the aliens they asked the earth links to produce an off-spring. The earth links demanded, no first you show us how you do, then we will. The Martians couple came closer to each other while standing they made some physical contact, and pressed a few buttons and then separated a minute later, the female pressed a few more of her belly buttons and off came the new born baby.

    Now, the earth links were compelled to show how they do, cutting short the details of taking off the clothes, lying on a bed etc., etc., after getting intimately physical the couple stood up and got dressed. The Martians asked them, where is the new born baby? The couple replied, it shall be coming after nine 9 months !!! They explained the details of how human anatomy or physiology works and how the baby is developed in the female womb.

    The Martians were shocked and dazed and asked the couple,”if the new born was supposed to come after 9 months, what was the hurry in the last few moments that you were doing it so fast?” 😀

  12. #12 by M. Y. Kasim on August 5, 2010 - 11:27 PM

    Khansahab,

    I am waiting for the packet of sweets I expect from you on the (finally) droppeing of The Big Khatmal.

    I know you did not annonce that you would distribute sweets to the poor as Javed A. Khan has done on the removal of Big Fat Butt. But you must be pleased at the news of Khatmal to celebrate the occassion.

    I now await the reaction of Baby Khatmal, has he pulled a muscle? has a side strain? or what????

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 6, 2010 - 1:28 PM

    PAKISTAN IS MAKING HISTORY, they are in for another lowest score, already 64/8 in 36.0 overs. Nikki (_._)’s men are playing like sissy’s, perhaps they play better. Once again it is left for the bowlers to do the batting job for them. Look at the experienced Sania Malak, he was out on a swinging ball of Anderson for 3. Why is Yasir Hameed sitting in the dressing room? Is he a show piece item, that we have to deal with Farhat each time? They could have brought TV star Meera in the team for some attraction. Salman Butt’s lack of vision about the quality of his batsmen will be his worst nightmare. He thought he is the first captain to score a victory on debut and that too against Australia. That was a freakish win, a disguised misfired, misnomer which lead him to believe that this nothing team of nothing batsmen can win only on the strength of the three bowlers!

  14. #14 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 6, 2010 - 1:36 PM

    Chota Khatmal lacks in technique, tries to play the swinging ball and misses it, each time he is getting LBW, there is a basic flaw in his technique that he cannot move his front foot out of the way, if that is the case that he cannot change his style, then he should at least take guard of the leg stump instead of the middle stump and try to keep the wickets clear. Inzamam had this problem but, Inzamam had so much time to play his shots that he used to push the ball into the off side or pull it across over the square leg. But, this fellow is neither here nor, there.

    As I am typing one more wicket has gone down it is 67/9, England will once again pile up runs and beat them either by an innings or a huge margin. They will call SOS for Younus Khan too. In fact they should bring in Fawad Alam in the team for the third test to open with Nikki. Hence, Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali and Umar Amin must be replaced by these three.
    The bets are, will they be out under 70 or not?

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 6, 2010 - 1:44 PM

    A fluke 4 by Ajmal defies the English bowlers from getting Pakistan under 70 and it is all over now 72 all out under 40 overs. There are only 7 fours in this innings by Pakistan. By lunch more than half the team was out 37/6, I wonder what’s the menu for lunch? They were in such a hurry to get out, perhaps this is also one of the records that number of wickets falling in a test much before lunch? Anderson and Broad got 4 a piece and Fin got 2, they don’t need a spin bowler for Pakistan.

  16. #16 by khansahab on August 6, 2010 - 5:28 PM

    Kasim sahab

    The sweets will be distributed once Akmal retires from international cricket.

    J’wade Khan

    Khanay da Menu ki ay? O jee menu ach ay jera saag, teh roti, teh lassi hondi hai.

    Ay menu sadday moondon do suit kerda hai, ay jera Kaneria vegetarian hai teh unno ach bi suit kerda hai

    Jeray Afridi, Younas teh Gul Sajji khanday hain 🙂

  17. #17 by newguy on August 6, 2010 - 9:08 PM

    Pakistan batting has become club level now, there is no other way to describe it, second time in a row getting out under 80 runs is not up to Test standards, and I am being nice about this 😉

    Captain Butt should realize at least now that he should not have mouthed off before the start of tests against England that now is not the time to look back but forward, blah blah, he and his compatriots don’t stand a chance unless they get Younus also back in team and get Yousuf to ply next test. Practice or not, Younus and Yousuf can do much better than this lot even if they bat blind eyed, I am sure they can bring Inzamam from retirement and he will score better than this.

    In the India – SL test, Indians have given up golden opportunity to win this test and level the series when they not only allowed Lankan tail to wag but bark also by letting BAW Mendis score mainden test fifty, he scored 78 runs and was in a century stand with Samaraweera for 9th wicket. Looks like this is as epidemic they got from Pakistan because Pakistan did this in Sydney when Mike Hussey put together 100 plus runs in the company of Peter Siddle I think. Then recently in Lords Pakistan let SPD Smith score a 70 plus. But here BAW Mendis went one step ahead of both Siddle and SPD Smith and hit Ashant Sharma for three fours in one over after Samaraweera got out.

    India now in deep trouble after having lost Sehwag for a duck and two more, now Tendulkar will not hear the end of how he could not win the match when it mattered the most once again. Truthfully 250 runs is too much on this pitch on 5th day against any decent spin attack. Dhoni’s captaincy sucks as he let SL run away with the match after they had them down on the mat at 87/7 in second innings.

  18. #18 by khansahab on August 6, 2010 - 9:28 PM

    Umar Amin has played more matches than Fawad Alam. Alam averages 42 and has struck a big century, Amin averages 10.

    Alam is from Karachi, Amin is from Rawalpindi.

    You can get any youngster from Pakistan, no one will be able to score a century like that on a seaming track. Every educated and unbiased person knows Fawad is a better batsman than Malik, Misbah, Amin etc but due to a regional mafia merit is being murdered in Pakastan.

  19. #19 by khansahab on August 6, 2010 - 9:31 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I remember you were asking me about MQM and their members holding genuine degrees. The following link mentions all the parties and the numbers of individuals holding fake degrees.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-fake-degree-saga-its-official-47-bowled-out-680-hh-10

    No one from MQM holds a fake degree.

  20. #20 by M. Y. Kasim on August 6, 2010 - 11:03 PM

    Javed A. Khan,

    I am not a scholar or a very learned person but I have read several translations of The Holy Qur’aan, including Pickthal, Marmaduke, Ahmed Raza Khan and ofcourse Abdullah Yousuf Ali (acclaimed as the best English tanslation and translitration). I also have an English translation by Muhammad Asad which, in my personal opinion is the best after Abdullah Yousuf Ali.

    I am pretty sure you and most learned people know that this name has been mentioned in The Holy Qur’aan, Surah 18, Al-Kahf (The Cave).

    Since childhood, we were told that Zulqarnain was the “Do sing wala Paigambar.”
    And most translations confirm this. Muhammad Asad describes him as the “Two-Horned One” or “He of the two Epochs or Generations.” And he summarises at lenghth for his conclusion.

  21. #21 by M. Y. Kasim on August 6, 2010 - 11:11 PM

    Khansahab,

    Now that Bara Khatmal has gone, he left his leagacy to his other team-mates who did justice to him. No less than FIVE catches were dropped by the slip cordon and close-in fielders!!

    Looks like you are not going to distribute sweets until and unless the whole garbage is disposed off.

    I will wait till then if I live long enough!! LOL.

  22. #22 by M. Y. Kasim on August 6, 2010 - 11:26 PM

    It it abundantly clear that our batsmen can’t win any matches for us. It is the bowlers who can do it. But they have to clean bowl or get LBW decision each and every time since our fielders have decided not to hold any catches. I and the whole world is shouting and yelling that it affect the moral and confidence of all the bowlers and they lose their line, length and concentration. In desperation, they try to clean bowl the opoonents and lose the plot.

    And the irony is that they are blamed for not getting the opposition out quickly.

  23. #23 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 4:03 AM

    Mr. Kasim

    Thanks for the enlightenment, now that you have mentioned, I do vaguely remember that about “Lord of the Two horns” but, still not sure whether it refers to a Paighambar, perhaps you are right because, moi aussi, I haven’t read Qura’n in that much detail, I am still a novice. As far as Abdullah Yousuf Ali’s tafseer is concerned he refers Zulqarnain towards Alexander the Great.

  24. #24 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 4:09 AM

    newguy

    No one thought that after Muttaiya’s retirement Randy & Mandy (Randiv and Mendis) will take over the spin department so well against a team like India who are known to handle spin with ease and to bother them with pace they have Tukh Malinga the chucker. I agree with you if Tendulkar gets out, neither Raina nor Dhoni would be able to save India. Some hopes from Laxman may be. Dravid is in poor form from his own standards he is as good as Pakistan’s Umar Amin these days.

    khansahab

    The irony is no matter what you may say or write, the fact will remain that Fawad Alam is from Karachi and not from Pubjab, if he was from Punjab he would have played every single match from the time he made that century. Look @ Chota Khatmal, he has consolidated his “Poye-yen” because of Ramiz’s sponsorship and not only Ramiz there are quite a few who back him up as an invincible genius. If he had scored a few more runs in test, they would have compared him with Lara and Tendulkar. Luckily, that has not happened because of his repeated failures and technical flaws to handle swinging deliveries.

  25. #25 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 4:19 AM

    Four catches were dropped and once again the field setting was pathetic, seems like Salman Butt has never captained any side, not even his school side. There was no leg slip or short fine leg fielder and the keeper in two overs had to run 3 times at least 35-40 meters to field the ball, because there was no one there. And Salman Butt was shaking his head with a “theek hai theek hai.”

    The catch Malik dropped, had he not dug his feet in the ground or, had he stood a meter ahead from where he decided to stay, he would have easily held that catch of Cook. He then went off the field to get a bandage on his palm. Farhat dropped one, the keeper dropped one and then Umar Gul dropped one. How can you afford to win matches when you cannot take simple catches?

    And, look at these batting greats:

    Farhat played 24 balls to score a ZERO
    Azhar Ali played 32 balls to score a zero
    Salman Butt played 40 balls to score a zero.

  26. #26 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 8:30 AM

    I have just read somewhere that Gul and Kaneria have better batting averages against England than Malik, Butt and Farhat combined.

  27. #27 by newguy on August 7, 2010 - 9:32 AM

    India has won the final test and leveled series contrary to everyone’s expectation. What a fine knock from Laxman, so easy and without a chance. His contributions at the lower order over the years have been under stated always, but when under pressure he comes up with something special like this. Tendulkar played a role in holding the end up in the morning. He was dropped by Dilshan early in the morning and if he was caught wonder if the story would have been different. Tendulkar these days plays the Dravid role, by holding one end up steady and scoring risk free, which is fine I think from the team perspective. Raina has added a solidity to lower middle order which was lacking when Yuvraj was playing. Dhoni could not have done anything had either Tendulkar and Laxman fell early. Overall good for Indians and Sri Lanka missed a chance to go 2-0 up in their own home conditions.

    In the end, this is life for SL after Murali. If Murali was there then surely he would have picked up 5 wickets. Randiv picked up all 5 that fell. Mendis failed and Malinga did not sling it like Galle. I wonder if that was all Murali effect that helped Malinga then. The pressure situation Murali creates on the batsmen. Anyhow, he is gone now and they have to live with it.

  28. #28 by newguy on August 7, 2010 - 9:33 AM

    Pakistan dropped 5 catches I read, and this is unbelievable. A team looking for quick wickets how can they do this. On another note, I was reading up some articles on Mohd Asif and his mastery of his bowling, and I have become more fascinated with him now. He seems to have this ability to out think the batsman and even without any pace he can get wickets by making the ball move this way and that way. Unbelievable, I think in this regard he is even better than Glen McGrath, but Pakistan drops so many catches and since he is not Australian he may not be getting all the credit he should be getting. But then, he did things to himself on the personal side I guess to make it worse. Good come back though, and hope he keeps going and get plenty of wickets. Yesterday he took a wicket with a 65 mph bouncer! That is real mastery over the ball and ability to outwit batsman.

    Pakistan as a team though lost chance in this test, it will be almost impossible to save or win this test.

  29. #29 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 9:40 AM

    Newguy

    Asif is a good bowler, but in my opinion a bowler is only great when he can take wickets on lifeless tracks. Yes, cricket has slowly tilted towards becoming a batsman’s game, but you still have bowlers like Steyn and to some extent Johnson who have performed on all kinds of pitches. Johnson over the past year has lost form, but at his peak he was almost unplayable in Tests.

    That is why Wasim and Waqar were such tremendous bowlers. Waqar in particular was a wicket taking machine. Whether it was Pakistan, UAE, England or any other pitch, he knew how to get wickets. Just look at some of his spells in Sharjah, in my opinion he is the best bowler in the world on a lifeless track.

  30. #30 by newguy on August 7, 2010 - 9:44 AM

    Javed Khan,

    I think someone told (think it was Inzi) Pakistan batsmen that they need to play with patience and that is the reason for all those ZEROS from 30-40 balls. What they forgot was that they should also score some runs in between, because when they do eventually get out the ZEROS add up to .. well nothing. They seems to be confused, and naturally so because these are not test quality batsmen and they need to develop those qualities, and for that need the guiding hand of two senior players in the team. Until senior and junior Butts get this into their head this is going to be hard learning, I am afraid this is no way to learn and they may not be learning at all. Pakistan need Yousuf, Younus, and Alam in the middle and they can win matches, but they must take catches.

  31. #31 by newguy on August 7, 2010 - 9:48 AM

    Khansahab,

    Waqar and Wasim of course were greats. So you don’t talk about them in the same way as you talk about others. I believe Asif is capable of taking wickets on lifeless wickets as well? Waqar has the best strike rate it seems in Test wins compared to all bowlers, including Malcolm Marshal who I think is the greatest fast bowler. So, Waqar was unplayable in the matches that Pakistan won and he was great on lifeless wickets because he attacked the stumps instead of trying to induce edges.

  32. #32 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 9:49 AM

    Newguy

    Sri Lanka will always be a 50-50 team. They had their share of glory from 1995-1998 when they were unbeatable I think it is difficult for them to improve to that level. They get some exciting players, but they lack world beaters. Sangakkara is their best Test batsman and he is very good, but having one or two players like that will not mean much. That is why towards the late 1990s India only had Tendulkar and they could not win many matches because firstly they did not have effective bowling and Ganguly/Dravid were raw, Jadeja/Sidhu were mediocre and Azharuddin was far from his peak.

    Sri Lanka is a lot like Pakistan- unrest at home, talented players but not a good enough system to nurture that talent.

  33. #33 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 9:55 AM

    Newguy

    A team cannot be great unless it is either average or above average in ALL four departments- bowling, batting, fielding and wicketkeeping.

    If you examine India’s progress from an average team to a top 3 team, that happened not because of individual efforts of Tendulkar, Dravid or Laxman, it happened because these players kept providing stability if Gambhir and Sehwag failed. Tendulkar and Laxman even NOW score a fifty every Test match. India’s fielding is OK, it is not terrible and it is nothing to write home about. Their bowling has been assisted by Zaheer and Harbhajan, again both will never be top 3 bowlers in the world but they are consistent.

    A culture of consistency has somehow been infused in the Indian think tank.

    Pakistanis think their bowling can always win them matches but it will never happen because the batting needs to be good enough to garner scores of 200+. At the moment the best batsmen they can afford under the circumstances are Younis, Yousuf and F Alam but neither of them are in the side. Their wicketkeeping, batting, fielding- these 3 departments are below average.

  34. #34 by newguy on August 7, 2010 - 10:15 AM

    Khansahab,

    What you said about Indian team is true, when you look at bowling and fielding there are no world beaters there, even batting fails occasionally, but then somehow they have managed to win more matches than they lose in the last 3-4 years and that has kept them in the top 3. ZAK and Bhajji has certainly been great contributors without being top in the world.

  35. #35 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 10:56 AM

    I don’t know what this MF Amin was thinking.

    That was the easiest catch you could get.

  36. #36 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 11:31 AM

    newguy

    You have not noticed a sentence from my last comment and i.e., about some hopes from Laxman. The reason I mentioned it was because, he is the only player who plays under pressure, whereas Raina is new relatively and performs well when the going is good, and Dhoni is not in his usual form, so my hopes were with Laxman if Tendulkar goes down early. Laxman not only played that great double hundred innings against Australia and converted a loss into a win but, I saw him playing in Bangalore against Pakistan 5 years ago with a black eye. He was badly bruised by a bouncer from Sami which crashed on to his left eye by breaking the grill of his helmet, he was sent to the pavilion but, he had to play to save India, he came back and defended well despite the injury, he is a very gutsy player. Pakistani bowlers should have bowled him around the wicket to get him out quickly as his vision from the left eye was impaired but, they had no idea, they kept bowling him over the wicket.

    Anyways, its good to see India leveling the series otherwise Randy & Mandy were considering themselves as invincible bowlers.

    Zeros and Butt’s are looking up at the rain gods for help. That is their only salvation, with this team they can’t beat a county side.

  37. #37 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 12:24 PM

    Afridi flies to Dubai to raise funds for Pak flood victims

    Swashbuckling Pakistan all rounder Shahid Afridi has flown to Dubai to raise funds for the victims of the devastating floods that have affected over four million people in country’s north western region.

    A Dubai-based humanitarian organisation has invited Afridi to raise funds, that will be spent on the rehabilitation of flood victims.

    Talking to reporters before boarding a flight for Dubai, Afridi expressed hope of raising 10 to 20 million rupees for the affected people.

    “I want to help those peoples who are seriously affected by the floods,” The Daily Times quoted Afridi, as saying.

    “If I get time I will personally visit the affected areas and distribute things among people,” he added.

    The United Nations (UN) has described the flash floods as a “major catastrophe” that has killed nearly 1600 people.

  38. #38 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 12:43 PM

    khansahab

    The reason Afridi has gone to Dubai as stated by Ramiz Raja is because there are many Pathans in the UAE and they come to support him. 😀 Raja is such a mean machine he can do anything but, not get a hair cut.

    SAEED AJMAL
    is an easy picking for Pietersen and Trott, they don’t have to worry about hitting him for a four or a six like in T20, they are milking runs from his docile bowling, Ajmal is averaging 4 runs an over in his 8 overs spell, Kaneria’s economical rate is much less than this besides he takes wickets in test matches.

    Ps.

    In other words, Raja is more like a Sardar.

  39. #39 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 12:53 PM

    Pakistan hope to bolster batting for One-Day series

    KARACHI: Pakistan will carry out a minor surgery in their batting line-up for the limited-overs series against England getting underway from September 5 in Cardiff with a Twenty20 International.

    The visitors are expected to drop young batters Umar Amin and Azhar Ali for the limited-overs series following their failure to find enough runs in the three Tests they’ve played against Australia and England during the ongoing tour so far.

    Well-placed sources told ‘The News’ on Wednesday that Pakistan will induct promising top-order batsman Asad Shafiq in their ODI squad while Fawad Alam will also be recalled.

    Asad, 24, made his debut in Pakistan’s comprehensive win against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in Dambulla (Sri Lanka) last June. The Karachi boy, playing at No 4, scored 17 in that match.

    In spite of being one of the leading performers of the domestic season, Asad failed to find a place in Pakistan’s touring party for the England assignment.

    Asad was the top-scorer of the previous edition of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, scoring 1104 runs at an average of 64.94.

    Fawad, 24, was dropped after last May’s ICC World Twenty20 championship in the Caribbean because of indifferent form.

    Sources said that Pakistan will also opt for Mohammad Yousuf in their ODI squad in a bid to bolster their fragile batting.

    “Having tried a few youngsters, Pakistan’s think-tank is convinced that there is a need for a seasoned batsman like Yousuf even in the one-day squad,” said a source. “Currently Pakistan don’t have many batsmen capable of batting for 50 overs which is why Yousuf is set to play in the one-day series too,” added the source.

    Yousuf, 37, will be joining the Pakistan team in Birmingham on Thursday on the eve of their second Test against England getting underway at Edgbaston from Friday (tomorrow).

    The former captain was initially overlooked for the England tour but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was forced to recall him after the national team’s 354-run defeat in the opening Test in Nottingham last week where the Pakistanis crumbled for just 80 in the second innings.

    Sources said that Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s ODI and Twenty20 captain, will also throw his weight behind Yousuf’s inclusion for the five-match one-day series that will get underway from September 10 at River Side, Chester-le-Street.

    Afridi will join the national team in London during the third Test to be played from August 18 at The Oval in a bid to get ready for the limited-overs series.

    He will also sit down with the tour selection committee to pick the team for Twenty20 and ODI matches. The squad for the one-day series will be decided at the end of the third Test.

  40. #40 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 1:14 PM

    Ramiz just said after Trott’s wicket, “Once again Umar Amin has provided Pakistan with a sense of relief”.

    When was the previous occasion?

  41. #41 by M. Y. Kasim on August 7, 2010 - 3:14 PM

    Javed A Khan,

    Zulqarnain and Alexander the Great were totally different personalities. They were at different times and different places.

    While Alexander was from Greece and his mission in life was to conquer the lands, Zulqarnain was the King/Emperor who ruled in the vicinity of Caucasus mountains. The Qur’aan says he was a just and benign King and the story relates that he helped build a Wall between the people who sought his help and their enemies. Legend has it that those were the Yajooj/Majooj (Gog Magog), and one of these people will break the Wall and spread througout the lands and spread anarchy and loot and plunder just before the Day of Judgment.

    I can’t say this on authority but have been listening to these lsgends since childhood. May Allah forgive me if I have committed any sin. Aameen.

  42. #42 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 4:28 PM

    Mr. Kasim

    I agree with you but, because in the previous comment you have quoted of Moulana Yousuf Ali, here is a quote from his works:

    Maulana Yousuf Ali stated, “I have not the least doubt that Zul-qarnain is meant to be ALEXANDER THE GREAT, the historic Alexander, and not the legendary Alexander, of whom more presently. My first appointment after graduation was that of lecturer in Greek history. I have studied the details of Alexander’s extraordinary personality in Greek historians as well as in modern writers, and have since visited most of the localities connected with his brief but brilliant career.”

    What is the meaning of the name Zul-qarnain? According to Maulana Yousuf Ali-“Lord of the two Qarns (horn). And other meanings may be applicable as implying: (1) is a man or a great king; (2) Lord of East and West, Lord of wide territory or of two kingdoms; (3) Lord of two crests on his diadem, typifying two kingdoms , or rank superior to that of an ordinary king; (4) Lord of more than one Epoch-one whose power and influence extend far beyond his lifetime.”

    Maulana Yousuf Ali stated, “If we accept the popular identification of Zulqarnain with Alexander, all the three letter designations would be applicable to him, as he was the Lord of the West and the East, Lord of the Greek states united for the first time (Hellenic Captain-General) and of the widely-extended Persian Dominion which included all Western Asia, Egypt, central Asia, Afghanistan, and the Punjab. He was represented on his coins with two horns on his head: considered himself a son of Jupiter Amon (who had the two horns of ram), with a divine mission.”

    “Now the generality of the world of Islam have accepted Alexander the Great as the one meant by the epithet Zul-qarnain. But some of our Ulama have raised doubts about it and made other suggestions: (1) An earlier pre-historic king contemporary with Abraham, because they say Zul-qarnain was a man of faith (Quran-18:88-98) while Alexander the Great was a pagan and believed in Grecian Gods.”

    “The question of Yajuj and majuj (Gog and Magog) and the iron barrier built to keep them out is of some interest. It is practically agreed that they were the wild tribes of Central Asia (Manchus and Mongols) which have made inroads on settled kingdoms and Empires at various stages of the world’s history.”

    ” We now come to the “iron gate” which corresponds exactly to the Quranic description, and has the best claim to be connected with Alexander’s story. It is near another Derbend in Central asia, Hissar District, about 150 miles south-east of Bukhara. There is no iron gate there now, but there was one in 7th century when the Chinese traveler Hiouen Tsiang saw it on his journey to India. He saw two folding gates cased with iron and hung with bells. Near by is a lake named Iskandar Kul, connecting the locality with Alexander the Great. We know from history that Alexander, after his conquest of Persia and before his journey to India, visited Sogdiana (Bukara) maracanda (Samarqand). We also know from Muqaddasi, the Arab traveler and geographer, who wrote about A.H. 375 (A.D. 985-6) the Abbasi Khalifa Wathiq (842-846 A.D.) sent out a mission to Central asia to report on this iron gate. They found the defile 150 yards wide: on two jambs made with bricks of iron welded together with molten lead, were hung two huge Gates, which are kept closed. NOTHING COULD CORRESPOND MORE EXACTLY WITH THE DESCRIPTION IN HOLY QURA’N (18: 95-96)”

  43. #43 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 4:40 PM

    Mr. Kasim

    What I don’t like about the interpretation or the commentary that Yousuf Ali quotes in his translations is, for a common man when he reads the tafseer he thinks that it is the translation and start believing that it is in Quran. For, example besides this Zulqarnain and Yajooj Majooj or Gog Magog Abdullah Yousuf Ali has gone into too much unnecessary detail in narrating the Prophet Yousuf and Zulaiqa story. Someone was talking with authority by quoting Yousuf Ali and saying it is in the Quran. I told him to check it again because that story I have read it and it is not a translation but a commentary from his research work.

    Therefore, I suggested that such commentaries and comments may not be written in the Quranic translation. The translation should be exact and precise and tafseer or commentary should be in separate books like we find today for e.g. Ibe Kathir or Kaseer’s tafseer in separate books. It rules out any confusion whether it is translation or tafseer.

    On one more occasion here, one of our Moulvi’s young son recited a verse from the Holy Quran in Arabic on the subject of Hijaab and it was at a gathering in Ramadan and, then he took out a paper from his pocket and read it loudly by saying following is the translation, actually it was not the translation but the commentary, he should not have done that, but most people like me don’t know nothing and are quiet listeners. Luckily that same verse was under discussion a few days ago and, I had read the verse, the translation and the commentary so that way I was able to make out that he is choosing the words from the commentary only to make a point, which is wrong.

  44. #44 by khansahab on August 7, 2010 - 5:09 PM

    Pakistan international Fawad Alam making an impact for Woodhall Spa

    WOODHALL SPA captain Jack Luffman has revealed his delight in acquiring the services of international first-class cricketer Fawad Alam.

    Alam, who has made 20 test-match and one-day international appearances for Pakistan, linked up with Luffman’s squad almost a fortnight ago and has since scored 211 runs in two ECB Premier League appearances.

    Alam, 24, flew to England as a part of Pakistan’s touring party but was left out of the test match with Australia last week, and Luffman admits the player’s availability was a pleasant surprise.

    “We have been working to get an overseas player in at the club for a few weeks and there were few options around,” explained the Spa skipper.

    “And then we got a call from one of our agents explaining Fawad’s position, and we jumped at the chance to have him here.

    “He played in a couple of Pakistan’s warm-up matches but was unfortunately left out of the Test-match team.

    “He wants to keep playing cricket though and was happy to come and play for us.”

    Luffman expects the Karachi-born all-rounder to be recalled to the international fold for the first Twenty20 match against England on September 5.

    And the 29-year-old is only too happy to have Alam on board for any period of time following a happy start to life at Jubilee Park.

    “Fawad is on standby for the Test-match squad, so unless he is called up to replace a team member we should have him until the end of August before the ODI series with England,” he said.

    “His impact on the dressing room has been totally positive, there has been no arrogance at all, he is a model professional amongst the other lads.

    “He has joined in with the banter and really become a part of the team in his short time here.

    “He’s an inspiration for the rest of the team.

    “When he turned up for the Bracebridge game with his sponsored equipment it lifted the team, and shows the younger players another side to the sport.”

    Alam became the first Pakistani cricketer to score a Test century on debut away from home in Sri Lanka last year, hitting 168.

    And Luffman says Alam’s ability has shone through in his opening two matches for Spa.

    “His batting has been different class, Bracebridge Heath are a good side but Fawad was just too good for them on his debut.

    “In that first match he just went out and did the business, the gulf in class was so noticeable.

    Aaron Onyon approached me after the match and said he didn’t know where to bowl at Fawad because he was hitting everything out of the ground.

    “We have five games coming up now, for which we hope to have Fawad available, and they will be five matches we feel more capable of winning with him on board.”

  45. #45 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 7, 2010 - 9:17 PM

    SALMAN BUTT’S form with batting and captaincy is on the rise, he has added another ZERO to the list of five (5) zeros already in the first innings. As a captain if he cannot score, how can he expect rookies like Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Zulqarnain Haider to score? Not everyone is Shahid Afridi to admit that if I cannot lead from the front then I must vacate my spot for someone else. As a batsman Salman Butt’s batting form has taken a nose dive since he became captain of the team. As a captain he has no clue about field placement, bowling changes, choosing the right team etc. He goes with the same regional bent of mind and not only that he takes personal grudge against his players and Yousuf is one of them. Now, he has taken a complete U-turn after Yousuf was imposed by the Waddee Butt. However, earlier Salman Butt was saying that this very team has won the second test against Australia so we don’t need to look back, it is time to look ahead. And, these lads have won this test for us so, how can we drop them? Khailo phir innhi players say aur haro her match. That is what is going to happen for sure unless he comes forward and speak about Yousuf, Younus and Fawad Alam.

    khansahab

    Thanks for the news item on Fawad Alam, these guys are not going to give him a chance because, Umar Amin has taken a fluke wicket again and this time it was Trott. So, according to Butt, he is a very useful player, the reality is he is a very wasteful player, his average is under ten in so many matches he has played including 2 innings in 4 tests, then T20, Asia Cup etc.

  46. #46 by Mohammed Munir on August 8, 2010 - 6:08 AM

    (I have written this below comment a few days before and tried to publish it on LS through my BB, but could not. Although, I can now see some more detailed comments on this topic, however, I am still going ahead with publishing what I wrote before).

    Javed Khan …

    Further to the explanations given by Kasim Sahab, I would like to add something on the name ‘ZulQarnain’.

    In simple Arabic, the word ‘Qarn’ means Horn and ‘Qurnain’ means two horns. More then two horns are called ‘Qaroon’. (As in Arabic grammar there are three forms of the words as singular, double or two and then the plural which is used for more then two). While the first word ‘Zul’, ‘Zil’ or ‘Zal’ means ‘the one with’ or ‘the one who have’.

    So the exact word-to-word meaning of the name ‘ZulQurnain’ will be “the one with two horns”.

    Like mentioned above, the storey of ZulQurnain is definitely mentioned in Quran in Surat Al-Kahaf (the Cave). It is explained that ZulQurnain was a king who had a vast kingdom under him. While on one of his journeys, ZulQurnain met with a tribe of peoples who were facing problems from the Yaajuj Maajuj (Gog Magog). So this tribe asked the ZulQurnain to help them against Yaajuj Maajuj and then ZulQurnain erected a huge obstacle (an iron wall) between them and the Yaajuj Maajuj which saved these peoples.

    I have now read some of your later comments and they give a very well detailed information on the subject.

    On a different note, there are a few very strong Ahadith (Quotes of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH) which emphasis on reading the full Surat Al-Kahaf on each Friday, as well as memorizing the first ten (and/ or the last ten) Aayat of this Surah to protect us against all the problems of the ‘End of Times’ (Shur and Fasaad of the Dajjaal).

  47. #47 by Mohammed Munir on August 8, 2010 - 6:15 AM

    On Cricket …

    Well there is nothing much left for me to write and frankly speaking my interest in ‘Punjab Team’ and the ‘Punjab Cricket Board’ is almost nill.

    BTW, which one of you guys suggested Salman (__!__) to selcet batting after winning the toss ? 😉

  48. #48 by Mohammed Munir on August 8, 2010 - 10:10 AM

    Punjab Cricket Board …

    I wrote my above comment on Punjabi Team in a jiffy and did not give it a thought, but coming back to that point once again, the entire team DO NOT HAVE EVEN A SINGLE KARACHI PLAYER, I don’t know if this has ever happened before or it is a new credit to Waddi (_________|_________)

    The whole team is only from the Punjab region, with the exception of Umer Gul who comes from Peshawar and now it seems even he also got himself injured and so we can have a distinction of a purely Punjabi Team with major contributions from Lahore by having 6/ 7 player from only one city.

    KhanSahab … have you noticed this ? 😉

  49. #49 by Mohammed Munir on August 8, 2010 - 12:27 PM

    Anyone knows about someone throwing shoes @ Zardari in UK.

    There is an unconfirmed news that the shoes thrower is a young Pakistani whose name starts with K and ends with letter B . 😉

  50. #50 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 8, 2010 - 12:38 PM

    Munir

    Welcome back from vacation. I hope you enjoyed it?

    This current Pakistan team is very consistent in losing test matches with BIG margins and Sania Malik believes in it and has remained very consistent in his scoring, same 3 runs in each innings, out in the same fashion on a swinging ball. This MF, the so-called senior most player and the self-proclaimed best All Rounder of Pakastan cannot play a single ball on a swinging wicket, yet he is there in every single match. Chota Khatmal too is consistent in getting LBW in every single match. Where is MF Ramiz Raja? He says that Umar Akmal has a very sound technique and he is the most gene-ass of all the young players. This match is going to finish in 3 days. What a team, what batsmen? All so full of arrogance and pride for what? For showing off their butts and asses and good for nothing MF’s.

    More laters…..

  51. #51 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 8, 2010 - 2:12 PM

    I was reading somewhere that, it was a good decision to drop Kaneria and replace him with Saeed Ajmal who took 5 wickets. It is very unfair to say that because, this pitch as opposed to the other one is favouring spin as well, Graeme Swan so far has taken 4 out of 6 wickets that have fallen in Pakistan’s second innings, whereas he too was wicket less in the previous match where the wicket was not suitable for spin. Therefore, to pass a judgment over Kaneria is not fair. Besides, its one match whereas, Kaneria is still the leading wicket taker among the current lot that is playing for Pakistan.

    Zulqarnain got out on a duck in the first innings but, right now he is playing the ball with both horns and is holding his ground firmly.

  52. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 8, 2010 - 2:12 PM

    I was reading somewhere that, it was a good decision to drop Kaneria and replace him with Saeed Ajmal who took 5 wickets. It is very unfair to say that because, this pitch as opposed to the other one is favouring spin as well, Graeme Swan so far has taken 4 out of 6 wickets that have fallen in Pakistan’s second innings, whereas he too was wicket less in the previous match where the wicket was not suitable for spin. Therefore, to pass a judgment over Kaneria is not fair. Besides, its one match whereas, Kaneria is still the leading wicket taker among the current lot that is playing for Pakistan.

    Zulqarnain got out on a duck in the first innings but, right now he is playing the ball with both horns and is holding his ground firmly.

  53. #53 by Mohammed Munir on August 8, 2010 - 2:34 PM

    So far on this England tour Umer Gul is the leading run getter for Pakistan, way ahead of all our ‘sooper’ batsmen.

  54. #54 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 8, 2010 - 2:46 PM

    The unfortunate thing is Gul is out of the series now due to injuries, I hope he recovers for the ODIs and T20s. However, Zulqarnain seems to have settled down with Aamer and is doing a good job so far. You never know what happens after the tea when they take the new ball.

    With a performance like this, in any country, any team, a player like Malik with his pathetic performance should have been dropped. But, you will see he shall be playing ALL the 4 test matches and the 5 ODI’s and the 2 T20 games.

  55. #55 by khansahab on August 8, 2010 - 3:03 PM

    Munir sahab

    Welcome back. I hope you had a nice vacation.

    I want to throw not just shoes at Zardari, but also eggs 🙂

    Umar Gul has been living in Karachi for some time, but yes originally he is from a village near Peshawar. I understand your implication though.

    Now they could have said one player is from Karachi (Gul) but now no player will be from there as Kaneria is gone, Afridi has retired, Younis is absent, Fawad is warming the benches all around the world.

    Of course I earlier stated I have no problem with a Punjab XI playing and I am sure neither don’t you, but the players must be there on merit. Farhat, K Akmal, Malik are definitely not playing on merit. That is almost 1/3rd of the team, Umar Amin is also unimpressive.

  56. #56 by khansahab on August 8, 2010 - 3:55 PM

    Z Haider has batted well, I don’t think Akmal could have batted so well in these conditions.

    Haider has definitely shown more promise than Sarfraz Ahmed, I think Ahmed is the slightly better keeper but Haider has batted with excellent technique.

    Unlike Akmal he is playing the ball on its merit, he is not trying slashes outside off.

  57. #57 by khansahab on August 8, 2010 - 3:56 PM

    Haider has just made his 50, excellent knock. I hope he stays in the team.

  58. #58 by khansahab on August 8, 2010 - 4:04 PM

    Haider is countering outswing expertly by opening the face of the bat and nudging the ball to the off, playing very late. It has proven to be a flawless technique.

    Why couldn’t any proper batsmen play like that?

    Is it because Haider is playing on merit and they are not?

  59. #59 by khansahab on August 8, 2010 - 4:42 PM

    Haider said he wants to hit a 100 in his first Test, I hope his dream comes true.

    It will be yet another fairy tale created by a Pakistani youngster.

  60. #60 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 8, 2010 - 5:36 PM

    Unfortunately Zulqarnain is out on 88, the highest score of the match. He played very sensibly, 88 in 200 balls but 15 fours, it shows that he played selective shots on merit basis and was not going wild. He was playing good straight bat shots to defend But, Saeed Ajmal scored a 50 and he produced a very useful partnership of 115 runs with Haider. Its a shame that none of the top order and middle order can learn from the way these bowlers and a rookie wicketkeeper has played. In the previous match it was Umar Gul who scored 60 not out and this time a player like Ajmal scored 50, what a shame for Farhat, Butt, Malik, Amin and Akmal.

  61. #61 by khansahab on August 8, 2010 - 6:40 PM

    There is a new thread.

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