A dream shattered if you are a Pakistani fan


The semi final has just ended and the result is depressing for the Pakistan supporter. This blog congratulates India for this huge victory and wishes them well for the final. However this is my personal review of the match and the blog visitors may or may not agree with my views. You are all free to comment as you wish. Javed A Khan might do a thread in the very near future reviewing this match and Pakistan’s campaign and his views might differ to mine.

Pakistan was taunted as an “auto rickshaw” by an Indian commentator and this was ridiculed and lamented by Pakistanis. Yet after their performance perhaps it was justified for the Indian to comment that Pakistan is an auto rickshaw and India is a BMW.


It is accepted that Akmal could not have been removed from the WC squad, but why was he selected in the first place?

The whole nation was backing Pakistan for various reasons. Firstly Pakistan is undergoing a social and political crisis. The Pakistani citizen is a demoralised and frustrated individual. Secondly Pakistan as a nation was perturbed by the India-Pakistan relations of the past few years most significantly those in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks. A lot of Pakistanis considered that beating India on its own turf would be some kind of retribution for the way Indian media and politicians reacted against Pakistan following the Mumbai attacks. Above everything else this was a semi final and the passionate Pakistani fans wanted this controversy-ridden team to be victorious.

The way I see analyse Pakistan’s position is that whatever positives were garnered from their campaign, the negatives from this match completely neutralised them. I am not disregarding the team topping the group and beating Australia. But the usual suspects of the Pakistan team- poor fielding, Misbah’s performance, inconsistent Gul- these deficiencies played their part in Pakistan’s defeat and this is not something that has only developed in this tournament, these calamities have plagued Pakistan for years.

What hurts is that they have not been remedied. It is all well to laud the team for reaching the semi final but if selection

Younis's performance was totally shocking

standards for PCB were merit-based then this loss would have never occasioned. By not criticising this team are we not encouraging these standards to remain in the team? If serious action is not taken pursuant to a loss in a World Cup, it can never be taken.


This blog said Misbah would prove to be a liability in this WC. Misbah lived up to our expectations

Apart from the above mentioned causes of this loss, Younis Khan’s performance was puzzling. This is a complete one-off for Younis who is generally a positive player. The criticism is not that he was slow- the criticism is that he failed to rotate the strike and could not anchor the innings. Misbah ul Haq was the same. Misbah deserves more criticism than Younis because Misbah batted lower down the order and showed he has potential to hit. The question every one is asking is why Misbah could not accelerate any earlier if he could accelerate later? The answer is that Misbah was playing to reach 30 come what may and only then would he attempt to hit. This is because he wanted to ensure a 30+ score next to his name so that he can be selected for the next assignment which is against West Indies. Basit Ali has commented today that Misbah was playing to get his 50. Not only this, Misbah’s fielding throughout the tournament has been suspect. He is considered to be a fit cricketer despite his age. However there seemed to be zero intent from Misbah to dive to collect the ball. His

There was no laughter from Gul today as his bowling ensured India started confidently

pick up and throws were slow too. I am not alleging match fixing here but this is something that needs to be considered. Why did Misbah field so poorly in this Cup when he is generally considered to be a decent fielder (Ramiz Raja would say he has “bucket like” hands).

Finally Umar Gul erred in line and length to the delight of Sehwag. With Sehwag the margin of error is zero. Gul was under pressure, no doubt. He seemed to be a different player today. This performance has proved that Gul cannot manage as Pakistan’s lead bowler in a high voltage contest. Pakistan must recruit another lead strike bowler.

This World Cup campaign has raised some salient questions which, if don’t get addressed now, will never get addressed. Why was Kamran Akmal selected when he has single handedly lost Pakistan so many matches? Why were an out of form Younis and Misbah selected? Why has the PCB not realised that Misbah plays selfishly? Why does Pakistan’s fielding still lose them matches? How do players get selected at international level if their fielding is poor? These questions have been asked millions of time before, but this defeat is the biggest showcase of them all for these questions to receive the attention and prominence that they deserve.

Pakistan must take strict action and Younis, Misbah and K Akmal must either retire or be dropped permanently. Ijaz Butt must go. Pakistan lost this match after a good WC campaign but the PCB’s incompetence is also responsible for this defeat because of the constant unjustified selection of K Akmal and Misbah.

I do not take pride in sulking after this defeat, but I know for a fact that if the PCB is let off now for selecting K Akmal and Misbah for this WC squad, then we can see these two players losing matches for Pakistan for a long time to come. The Pakistani media and fans must strike while the iron is hot and PCB must be held accountable for this defeat.


Ijaz Butt must go now and some players must follow him





  1. #1 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 7:40 PM

    new thread

  2. #2 by Sagaat on March 30, 2011 - 8:17 PM


    Great thread. The number one matchloser, and the most genuine one, is KAMRAN AKMAL. HE MUST BE KICKED FROM ALL FORMS OF THE GAME. MOREOVER, AS A PUNISHMENT IT SHOULD BE MADE MANDATORY FOR HIM TO PERFORM FOR 5 YEARS IN DOMESTIC CRICKET before he can be considered for international selection. This is because he has consistently droppped catches of great players through many, many years now. Yes, I am implying that he should be banned from all other forms of cricket, including county cricket– he should play cricket at Pakistan’s domestic level only.

    On the other hand Younis and Misbah should retire from one day cricket. Younis averages 31 and has never been great at one day cricket. On the other hand Misbah is a genuine matchloser with the bat in hand should any limitation in terms of the number of overs appear.

    Lastly, Gul is NOT a lead bowler. That is not the case in test matches nor 50-over cricket. Gul always chokes on the big occassion, whether it be the semi final, in India, or in Australia. Quite simply he hasn’t got that ‘something extra’ about him to be considered more than a good support bowler. Perhaps Wahab Riaz can be nurtured to lead the pack. Riaz has good pace, bowls like Jhonson, PLUS unlike Jhonson he can reverse the ball and bowl on subcontinental pitches. If groomed properly, he can easily surpass Gul.

    Moreover, new batsman should be included which show temerament like Inzamam and Yousof. By that I mean players who can score 80-90-100 runs. Get rid of the Kamran AKmal syndrome, that is, a 20 run hit or miss player.

    Untill these changes are made Pakistan will always be a team which will be ‘considered to have an outside chance or be an underdog’. Teams seek consistency with a high winning percentage, not inconsistency with a lower winning percentage.

  3. #3 by Sagaat on March 30, 2011 - 8:41 PM

    Also, many congragulations to all Indian cricket fans. They deserved this win. I think Sri Lanka will beat them in the final, but that shouldn’t take anything away from this win.

  4. #4 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 8:51 PM

    Pakistan fans blame Misbah for India loss

    ISLAMABAD: Disappointed Pakistani cricket fans on Wednesday blamed a sluggish Misbah-ul-Haq for defeat in the World Cup semi-final thriller with arch-rival India.

    India defeated Pakistan by 29 runs in a match dubbed the “clash of the titans” to set up a World Cup final showdown with Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Saturday, leaving fans across cricket-loving Pakistan deflated.

    We lost because of Misbah, as he did not score well when it was most required,” a fan Awais Shakir told AFP on Islamabad’s main Jinnah Avenue as thousands of disappointed fans were leaving for home.

    “He just wasted time on the pitch.” Fans in other Pakistani cities which ground to a halt for the game also criticised Misbah, who scored 56 from 76 balls.

  5. #5 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 8:53 PM

    Kamran Akmal should be sacked immediately: Moin Khan

  6. #6 by Sagaat on March 30, 2011 - 9:09 PM

    Razzaq should also retire. He has lost his eyesight on which he relied for his big hitting. He was probably a big dissapointment.

    Hafeez has grown into an all rounder, but should also focus on batting for longer periods. He usually gets out on a bad shot. But he is vital if he can bowl like this.

    Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal are good finds, but should bat at 3 and 4. Ahmed Shehzad should come back an an opener thinking long-term, to groom him.

  7. #7 by Pawan on March 30, 2011 - 9:23 PM

    I was impressed by Afridi’s temperament and maturity. His speech especially at the end of the match was so much more refreshing than Mr. Shoaib Malik’s when he lost the T 20 WC to India. Malik had said something like “every Muslim would be sad that we lost the match”… WTF!? Compare that to Afridi’s speech of congratulating the team which was better on that day and that should probably show the difference between the two persona.

  8. #8 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 9:23 PM


    PCB will announce the West Indies squad in 2 weeks time by the latest. The 1st match is on 21 April. I will not be surprised if this WC squad is chosen for that squad as well.

    I actually feel Ahmed Shahzad should play in the middle order. It is easy for an opener to play in the middle order but difficult for a middle order batsman to play as opener. Shahzad has struggled to clear the field and when the field is spread out in the middle overs I think he will be more effective. He can play with a straight bat and has shown he can hit big shots. Probably better to play him in the middle overs.

    It is probably useful for Pakistan to have these gear-changing players like Kohli and Raina in the team.

    I have a feeling Razzaq is not going anywhere but the team management must bat him higher up the order.

    Maybe it is time to give another chance to ODI discards like Khurram Manzoor, Imran Nazir etc to open with Hafeez, if they can’t find someone else. Manzoor has 3 fifties in 7 ODI’s and should probably be persisted with until Pakistan can find a quality opener.

    I would select Khurram Manzoor and bring back Sarfraz Ahmed in place of K Akmal.

    U Akmal
    S Ahmed
    Fast bowler

    Immediately you can see the PCB will have a problem with the batting fragility of this line up, but it is better to play with this and re-build rather than keep persisting with Younis and Misbah and have no progress at the end.

    This is why Razzaq plays because he (on paper) strengthens the batting and bowling.

    Pakistan needs to find a good opener, a wicket keeper, a middle order batsman and a fast bowler.

  9. #9 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 9:30 PM


    Hammad Azam is another player they can seek to recruit for the middle order.

    I believe currently the best choice for opener may be Khurram Manzoor because of his 3 fifties in 7 ODI’s. His technique was shoddy but with that record he should have been persisted with.

  10. #10 by newguy on March 30, 2011 - 9:44 PM


    I disagree that the classless comment made by ex-Indian failed cricketer Atul Wassan comparing Pakistan team to an auto rickshaw should be apt for this team. It is often hard to be objective in the moment of failure / success because most of us get overwhelmed by emotions. Neither is Pakistan team an auto rickshaw and Indian team in no BMW. Both teams have many weaknesses, Pakistan obviously has many, such as the match losers in batting line up as well the catch droppers. Bowling is Pakistan’s strong suit traditionally and with Waqar Younus as coach it is no wonder Pakistan is putting up a strong show in bowling.

    The problems are because of PCB mismanagement. Afridi has done a great job despite all that was stacked against him. Indian team has had many supporting structures. Therefore you expect them to do better. In fact, I wrote yesterday that if they do not go to final it is a big failure, but for Pakistan this is not a shameful exit. Not this time.

    But agreed that old guard of Younus, Misbah, and Kamran Akmal are liabilities.

  11. #11 by newguy on March 30, 2011 - 9:56 PM


    Thanks once again for the well wishes.

    India vs. SL will not have a favorite again. SL surely have quality players, but India will know they are not under so much pressure unlike this game. Reaching the final was the most important goal. Once there, one team will win and one team will lose. SL is a quality team, but India have played them so many times in ODI in recent times and have had the better of them, both in India and in their country. India have no weakness against Murali or Malinga. Surely they may win if they play well, but that will be only after a hard fight. No easy WC win this time for any team, unlike then Australia dominated. India is playing a percentage game, doing just enough to win, they have very little margin for error, but they are scraping. All their games gave been hard fought, where they defeated two tough teams in QF / SF. Where as SL had easy QF / SF games. I don’t see SL dominating India in Mumbai, they may win since it is always 50/50 chance, but they are not clear favorites. SL is also very top 4 heavy for batting, if a team gets through their top 4 then they struggle.

  12. #12 by newguy on March 30, 2011 - 9:59 PM

    Afridi was a great ambassador for Pakistan today in front of dignitaries from both countries as he led his troops with respect and spoke really well in the end. My appreciation for Afridi has gone up quite a lot after today, even compelling to make me say Afridi probably is the most dignified Pakistan captain to have toured India, and yes he even trumps Imran Khan in this regard.

  13. #13 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 10:04 PM


    I would tend to think India are slight favourites actually because they have more positives going in their favour:

    Sri Lanka: Malinga, spin attack

    India: Zaheer, spin attack (Harbhajan showed form today and Yuvraj in the best bowling form of his career), better batting than SL and one thing in their favour is that SL seem a weaker team when they play away from home.

    You can argue SL is mentally stronger but in the WC final both teams would be nervous.

    As far as home pressure is concerned, certainly when fielding this pressure on India was not apparent today. In batting they were tentative, but let us see.

    SL when they were at the top of their game, won a lot of matches away from home but now they seem vulerable when they play away from home. On paper I must say I did not expect India to reach the final; I thought SL, Australia and South Africa were the most balanced teams.

  14. #14 by newguy on March 30, 2011 - 10:04 PM


    Did you notice even when Afridi said Tendulkar was lucky he made it sound like not offensive at all, with a smile and not showing any sarcasm or insult, he just said it in a playful way that there was a certain amount of innocence to it. This man is honest and he is also a very comfortable who he is, it shows.

  15. #15 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 10:06 PM


    We have been saying for 3-4 years now that performance, personality, integrity wise, Afridi is one of the finest cricketers in Pakistan. He is also the 2nd most educated cricketer in the team after Misbah.

    We support him not because of performance reasons only, but because of looking at him in the round.

  16. #16 by khansahab on March 30, 2011 - 10:11 PM

    It’s a funny tournament- New Zealand and Pakistan finished above the mighty Australians and SA.

  17. #17 by Pawan on March 30, 2011 - 10:14 PM

    I just feel sad for Afridi. He gave it his all and still did not get what he deserved. What else can a captain do to motivate his team? I hope Pakistan win the next WC for the sake of Afridi.


    I used to have an impression of Afridi being an arrogant fellow. Especially after his bouts with Gambhir and Laxman (in IPL). But this match and this whole WC has completely changed my perspective of looking at Afridi and his character in general.

    Like Khansahab said, it will be hard to find a person more honest, proud (of his nation) and give-it-all guy in the whole of Pakistan.

  18. #18 by Sagaat on March 30, 2011 - 10:16 PM


    I think Sri Lanka has the better rounded team which can produce brilliance with the ball as well as with the bat. India is very effecient and attritional with the ball. Innovative players like Dilshan can capitalize on it. The batting sounds very good on paper but chasing 250 against Sri Lanka would be very, very difficult. Had Tendulkar’s catch been taken, India could have been reistricted to below 200 today. It shows that despite the batting order being as good as it is, it can falter against very good bowling such as that of Sri Lanka’s.

    I think overall India was just able to play effecient cricket today. On a good day Pakistan would have won but it was their bad day. On the other hand Sri Lanka can play effecient cricket mixed with a lot of bowling and batting variety, the flamboyence and effeciency combined so to speak.

    Going by today’s performance I would predict Sri Lanka as winners.

  19. #19 by Sagaat on March 30, 2011 - 10:25 PM

    I am not saying India didn’t deserve to win, in fact they thoroughly deserved to win given that Pakistan dropped 6 chances and then batted poorly. All I am saying is that at this standard India would find it very, very difficult to win against Sri Lanka.

  20. #20 by newguy on March 30, 2011 - 11:25 PM


    Perhaps you have not watched those numerous India-SL matches as I have. Also, Indians did not get where they are by chance, not just WC, they have been playing fairly consistent cricket in ODI and Tests for last couple of years. People tend to underestimate them consistently, because their bowling lacks express pace or magical spinners. But they have enough gas in the tank to beat pretty much any team.

    On your point of chasing 250, it is not easy against any team in a WC final, in fact if two teams are in WC final then they are good enough to defend a score of 250. The key then will be to bat first and score at least that much, or if the other team bats first then limit them under it.

    I don’t believe in predicting and analyzing before the games usually, I always go with 50/50 chance for crunch games, then revise as the game progresses.

    As for India could have bowled out for 200 today, that would not have happened because catches were dropped, these are all facts affecting the game. I would say that if the first Tendulkar catch was held then the sequence of events would change completely, you would not have the two balls where Kohli and Yuvi got out, instead the match situation would have been very different that Riaz would not even be bowling that over and he may not even bowl those deliveries. In this instance any number of probable scenarios would have happened. India getting bowled out under 200 is just one possibility in this scenario, other scenarios include Kohli and Yuvraj scoring 60-80 additional runs between them and taking India to a similar score or even beyond.

  21. #21 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 30, 2011 - 11:46 PM

    newguy and Pawan

    What about me? I had congratulated you guys 3 overs before the match was over, no thanks for me? 😦 LOL….

    In my opinion Shahid Afridi’s small post match speech was way better than Oxford Educated Imran Khan’s speech of 1992. Afridi congratulated the Indian team whereas Imran on the hand said I commensurate with the English team, I win the Cup. Whereas, it was team effort he did not mention a word about the team. Today, Afridi still gave credit to his boys despite the fact that the OLD BOYS failed him. ALL of them, Gul, Razzaq, Younus, Misbah and Kamran Akmal. He also smiled while hinting at Tendulkar’s dropped catches by saying, today Sachin was also lucky and smiled, nothing more.

    In the previous thread and even before that we opposed Shoaib Akhtar’s inclusion in the team as opposed to the pressure Imran, Wasim and Ramiz were putting on Afridi to give him one last chance. We showed SHOAIB AKHTAR AS RAMBO in that picture and said, the team needs a fast bowler and not a Rambo. And, throughout we backed Wahab Riaz despite his poor performance against Australia. Today he bowled magnificently to silence his critics. Both, Wasim and Ramiz were chewing their words yet did not admit that we were the culprits who were pressurizing the captain and team management.

  22. #22 by M . Y. Kasim on March 31, 2011 - 12:23 AM

    Congratulations, Misbah-ul-Haq 😀

    You have proven once again that what a great batsman you are 🙂

    You remained unbeaten till second last ball, never mind if Pakistan lost…… what, they can win next after four years, you will not around tilll then (hopefully and mercifully)

  23. #23 by newguy on March 31, 2011 - 2:13 AM

    Hi Guys,

    I was just looking at the replay of the match, and it struck me that where Pakistan really lost the game is that first few overs where Sehwag took charge of situation and rattled Gul around. It’s the psychological effect of that shock that it seems Pakistan never could recover from. Pakistan is a team very much runs on adrenaline, I saw how they were charged up against Australia and West Indies were in the field once they got those early wickets and pushed them on back foot.

    But today they did not expect what happened to Gul who was the main strike bowler coming into the semis, they were shocked from that brutal attack, so much that the body language turned negative and catches were dropped soon after even though Sehwag got out.

    In this regard that 38 runs Sehwag scored is far more valuable in the context in that it changed the advantage to India’s favor. I think Pakistan were rattled at that point to believe they cannot win this match. Just a thought.

  24. #24 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 31, 2011 - 2:31 AM


    In my opinion when they kept dropping Tendulkar’s catch after catch showed their body language, that was the time they thought it is not their day. Sehwag’s innings was not so effective to damage their spirits. They lifted the match after getting him out. It was when Younus and Misbah were playing they created a negative impact and the moment Umar Akmal was out, I knew the match is over. Because, Misbah as usual is hopeless, I knew he will score 50 odd runs and wanted to remain not out to prove that he batted sensibly, whereas it was a foolish rather most stupid and pathetic performance. I was not expecting Afridi and Razzaq to score. Because, the batting form of both these players is below par.

    Afridi silenced most of his critics by sending Razzaq ahead of him otherwise they would have criticized him a lot. But, as we have seen Razzaq after playing that match winning innings at Abu Dhabi against SA did not play a single remarkable innings neither in bowling nor in batting.

    If India plays like this against Sri Lanka, they will be convincingly beaten in the final. Sri Lanka will not drop catches. This was Tendulkar’s UnTendulkar innings. Mike Atherton referred a book called ” UGLY WINNING” in which you play ugly but you still score runs and win. And he said, this is “Tendulkar’s Ugly innings.”

  25. #25 by newguy on March 31, 2011 - 3:11 AM

    It appeared to me Misbah was deliberately tapping the ball back to the bowler or to fielders, instead of trying to tap the ball around the vacant areas in the field, and there were plenty of vacant gaps in the field. I was thinking why isn’t he pushing the ball there and take easy singles, rotate strike. That’s how you bat in middle overs. It is only natural to believe then he perhaps wanted to lose the game ? 🙂 may be no fixing involved here, but what about captaincy issue before WC?

    I doubt Indians and Tendulkar in particular will play like that against Lankans, today was a very nervous days for both teams, for obvious reasons. Final is a much easier game. As far as I am concerned, getting to final was the important part, winning cup is important, but it’s not end of world if they can’t, but not getting to final would have been really bad. Because once you are in final you have given your team 50% chance of winning cup, which can’t if you don’t get there.

  26. #26 by Mohammed Munir on March 31, 2011 - 5:04 AM

    LOL @ M. Y. Kasim’s comments of congratulating Misbah. 😀

  27. #27 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 5:53 AM

    Must watch video about Kamran Akmal:

  28. #28 by amir on March 31, 2011 - 8:00 AM

    kamran, younis and misbah must retire and i they dnt want to pcb must drop them 4 good. Pakistan is a big country with lot of talent and there is no player who we cnt replace. When amir got banned people were saying that he is a big loss but we came up with riaz who is almost as talanted as amir. So why nt gve chances to other guys as wel. This khatmal should b replaced by sarfraz ahmed who scored 203 nt out in patrens trophy final and got better batting average in first clas cricket than khatmal and also got safe hands. And in odi we must play azhar ali who i think is much better then these 2 oldies.

  29. #29 by Mohammed Munir on March 31, 2011 - 8:40 AM

    Pakistan lost the semi-final, only because Sachin could not score a century. 😦

    Although, Pakistan tried their maximum to allow Sachin reach his century and for that they also dropped him at least four-times, but Sachin was well-aware of Pakistan’s conspiracy and got himself out. 😆

  30. #30 by Mohammed Munir on March 31, 2011 - 10:26 AM

    Captain Charismatic says it in style …

    We have played better than those sides [of 2003 and 2007] and they were good sides, Afridi said. We didn’t have much hope from this side but I have respect for my team. Reception? We will go back, people will give us confidence, they backed us. If those people who make us stars say a little what’s wrong with that? It’s nothing big. Nobody wanted Pakistan to lose, we wanted to win, but people I think realize we gave it our all. To win six games from eight is a big achievement.

  31. #31 by ABDUL SATHAR A RIFAYI on March 31, 2011 - 12:35 PM

    Shahid afridi was complete failure as a btsman in this WC

  32. #32 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 31, 2011 - 2:08 PM


    Is that ALL you have to say about Afridi?

    What about his bowling? He is still the leading wicket taker of the tournament
    And, what about his captaincy? He performed better than Wasim Akram and Inzamam’s side by qualifying to the semifinal.
    No words of praise for gelling this team which everyone thought is a hopeless team.

  33. #33 by Pawan on March 31, 2011 - 3:30 PM

    Was reading a few ‘Aussie’ blogs..
    These guys are seriously ‘ill’.

    I did some statistics and found that about 95% of the comments on last nights semi-final between Ind-Pak mentioned that the match was fixed!
    Now how outrageous is that!?
    Why would you drop Sachin 4 times ‘purposefully’? Not even in dreams, even if you are paid billions.
    This shows Aussies are sore losers, absolutely unable to accept defeat.

    There was a gulf of difference between the way Afridi accepted defeat and appreciated the better team on that day and how Ponting ‘grumbled’ as usual.

  34. #34 by Pawan on March 31, 2011 - 3:35 PM

    Why is it that Haddin got so ‘bugged’ when there were suggestions about match fixing?
    That too, this was only in the media!

    It seems the English and Australian are ‘immune’ to match fixing a.k.a sacrilege?
    At least Strauss accepted that his team ran out of fuel and they were no better as compared to other Qfinalists.

  35. #35 by Ali Ahad on March 31, 2011 - 7:53 PM

    The team showed some character and in my opinion when Hafeez and Shafiq got out the rest of the batting got under pressure. Yes, YK and Misbah played foolishly and they should have stepped up to the plate and anchor the innings but it didn’t happened. Umar was beaten for pace and the ball that got razzler kept low. I won’t blame the fielding as much because 260 was chaseable but batsman needs to apply themselves. Mahi, was trying every thing to get the wickets before wada khutmal give Yuvi some catching practice. It would be nice not to give ‘Pa ji’ so many lives but our bowling was far superior, the start indians got they should go pass the 300 if not 280 or 290.

    Lessons learnt, we need a new wicket keeper badly and please I don’t want to see any of the so called Akmal’s brothers behind the stumps, Pakistan is full of talent we sure can find a good keeper beside those three brothers, YK and Misbah should only play tests from now on, I think there form and age have come to that point where they don’t have to rotate the strike that often. Lala should retain as captain and Hafeez should be his deputy, Waqar should go back to commentary, I have all the respect for him as a bowler but he is not an effective coach. We need a new think tank, some one like Moin Khan or a gora for that matter. As far as bowling is concerned, not sure why Junaid Khan was not tried, did he go for a vacation, I have heard that he is as good as Amir, so why he didn’t get a chance against the weaker team. Riaz has potential to be a great bowler as he showed great nerves in the big game, Gul had a one off day. Also, Mohammad Irfan is a bright prospect, although he didn’t live up to the expectation against England last year but he has the ingredients to be a great left arm bowler.

    We should flush out the defeat from our system as soon as possible and look forward, though we didn’t make it to the final but I still have faith for this team and the pain will go away as time pass by.

  36. #36 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 8:10 PM

    Akram slams Afridi, senior players

    New Delhi: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram today slammed current skipper Shahid Afridi for making all the wrong moves during the all-important semifinal clash against the arch-rivals India.

    “When Afridi came into bat there was no planning. He batted at No 7 throughout the tournament but in a pressure game, he came at No 8. Even if you have dropped yourself down the order then why he didn’t take the batting powerplay defies logic,” Akram told Mobile ESPN.

    As a captain one has to lead by example and that was not the case with Afridi,” he added.

    Afridi, who is the highest wicket-taker in the tournament so far with 21 wickets, went wicket-less yesterday in the high-pressure match and also disappointed with the bat as Pakistan failed to break their World Cup jinx against India, going down by 29 runs in Mohali.

    “What I gauged in this tournament about Afridi’s approach as a skipper was that he was more concerned about containing runs than getting wickets.

  37. #37 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 8:12 PM

    Ahmad Shahzad and Kamran Akmal to Be Dropped – Jang News

    Kamran To be replaced by his brother Adnan while Ahmad Shahzad to be replaced by Imran Farhat for tour of WI.

  38. #38 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 8:13 PM

    Lahore HC moved against Pak cricket team on match-fixing charges

    Lahore, Mar 31(ANI): A petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the Pakistan cricket team on charges of match-fixing in the ICC World Cup 2011 semi-final match against India.

    The petitioner, Azhar Siddiq, pleaded the court on Thursday to elicit the record of phone calls of Pakistan cricket team captain Shahid Afridi and other players, Samaa TV reports.

    The petition said the match was fixed to create friendly ties between archrivals India and Pakistan.

    It also said that before start of the match, Afridi had talks with Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan on the telephone.

  39. #39 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 8:14 PM

    Breaking News On Samaa Tv : Current Captain & Coach To Be Axed

  40. #40 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 8:24 PM

    Afridi makes himself unavailable for WI tour: Express news

  41. #41 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 8:32 PM

    Afridi’s daughter breaks into tears after Pakistan’s defeat

    KARACHI: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi’s eldest daughter broke into tears after watching the national team lose the World Cup semifinal to India in Mohali

    “I am hurt and sad that we lost the match. I was so excited that we will beat India,” Aqsa said before breaking down into tears on camera on Geo News channel.

    Afridi’s youngest daughter blamed Misbah-ul-Haq for the defeat.

    “Misbah realised very soon that he needed to score runs,” she said sarcastically.

  42. #42 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 10:37 PM

    Misbah is one of the reasons for Pakistan’s defeat. He played 40 dot balls and I can’t understand why he batted like this: Inzamam ul Haq

  43. #43 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 10:48 PM

    Pakistan lost to the better team


    What saddened me about Wednesday’s game was the fact that Pakistan did not grab the opportunities that came their way and that inability was the difference between winning and losing.

    It was a high-pressure game and only two players looked completely in control. One was Virender Sehwag who looked absolutely calm as he put Umar Gul to the sword. The other was Wahab Riaz who ensured that India did not get a score of 330, which would have put the match out of Pakistan’s reach.

    It is for this reason that I thought that his five-wicket haul deserved the Man of the Match award. Gul on the other hand wilted under the burden of the match.

    There were two moments in the match where Pakistan could have driven home the advantage. One was when the hosts were 110 for four, with MS Dhoni under tremendous pressure.

    Shahid Afridi should have brought on Saeed Ajmal who was the best spinner on view on Wednesday. That was Afridi’s best chance to restrict India to 220-230, which would have been an easy target for Pakistan. However, he let things drift and eventually, India got to 260.

    Similarly, Pakistan had the game under control at 100-odd for two but were unable to keep wickets and play sensible cricket. Misbah at five is also a bad move because he tends to have run out of partners when he wants to cut loose.

    It’s always important to keep wickets in hand during a run chase but, sadly, that did not happen on Wednesday. If Pakistan had wickets in hand, an asking rate of eight or nine would not have been a problem. He also left it for too late and it seemed as though the Pakistan team actually forgot to take their batting power play because of the pressure they were under.

    Players like Abdul Razzaq were also exposed under pressure and, in hindsight, it might have been a better idea to play the left-arm spinner Rahman in his place, as a specialist is always preferable to a bits and pieces player.

    Pakistan lost to a better team, and there is no shame in losing a game of cricket if you have fought to the end. However, Pakistan did not play well enough because they could not handle the pressure. It was clear that Shahid was too scared of losing and therefore was too tentative to win. A team with greater killer instincts would have gone for the jugular as it was clear that the Indians were under pressure.

    Looking ahead, it would have to be said that nobody had very high expectations coming into this tournament because of the shambles the team was in after the match-fixing controversy. However, the bowling of Gul through the tournament and the performance of the spinners was a big plus.

    The team needs to take a call on Kamran Akmal and whether playing him only as a batsman is an option. His confidence seems to have been destroyed and you can see him looking nervous about making a mistake.

  44. #44 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 10:50 PM

    Imran Khan too soft on Misbah, heavily critical of Afridi, wonders whether Kamran Akmal should be played as a specialist batsman.

  45. #45 by khansahab on March 31, 2011 - 10:57 PM


    I will have to differ with you slightly because I don’t think this match was one of those instances where one team plays badly and the other plays well. This time Pakistan was just too poor and India was not brilliant with the bat. Even when batting Younis and Misbah gave undue respect to mediocre bowlers whereas Shafiq and U Akmal treated them right. They got out relatively cheaply but the intent was there.

    This was not an ordinary match by any means- because of 2 reasons. Pakistan dropped 6 catches which is poor even for their standards and secondly, Younis and Misbah played such strange innings that people cannot fathom their approach at all. It has got everyone puzzled. The only possibility is that they wanted Pakistan to lose, but this is a serious allegation.

    So looking everything in the round I believe Pakistan gifted the match to India. Otherwise the way Wahab Riaz was bowling, India looked like a rattled and demoralised team. Even when Hafeez and Akmal were batting Indians looked very uncomfortable on the field. But then Younis and Misbah lost Pakistan the match.

    The Indians did not bowl exceptionally, because Shafiq played more aggressively than Younis during their partnership and U Akmal stole the show from Misbah when they were batting together. This was the kind of track where even Zaheer Khan was struggling to find any seam movement.

  46. #46 by Sagaat on March 31, 2011 - 11:32 PM

    Kamran Akmal as a batsman LOL

    Kamran Akmal personifies everything a batsman shouldn’t be. He throws the bat around, and that too without much success. His 20 runs aren’t that good.

  47. #47 by newguy on April 1, 2011 - 12:34 AM


    What you are going through is what a lot of Pakistan supporters are going through now, denial. Don’t take it personally, I am being very open, and I am as neutral as you can get since I have always supported Pakistan team on matches against other teams and even in world cup I am the one said they have the potential to win.

    Let me expand on the word I highlighted above, potential. The trouble you and many others are having is that you are confusing potential with ability to channel that to achieve an end goal.

    Pakistan team has some individuals with great ability, like the bowlers, three spinners who could make the ball turn and spit and do all kind of things, a fast bowler who could bring the ball back in and good pace. The batting, there are some primal talents like Umar Akmal who could hit the ball well. But that alone don’t win matches, what will win a high pressure match is the ability to channel it.

    You have been consistently saying Indian bowling is mediocre, and I would be the first one to admit they are to a large extent. But what you again miss is that they were led very well and they were given a plan in the pre-match conference. Modern games are played with a lot of planning and in this regard they were given a field and they bowled to that field. Then Dhoni applied pressure by field placements, slowing down when momentum was shifting, making bowling changes, and managing his resources extremely well.

    Dhoni knew he is not rich in bowling resources unlike Pakistan, but he used his resources very well and he squeezed Pakistan’s vulnerability. They cracked.

    This is why you must think better team won. It’s not talent that mattered, the ability to overall manage the game situation. Indians are better at it because they plan and prepare a lot for this.

    Why do you think then Indians win more games than they lose against top teams with bowling like this. It is all about management.

    Of course some days this won’t work, so they lose badly, but they will win more than they lose, and when coming up against a team like Pakistan who are only prepared with their raw talents and having no Plan B or Plan C, they have upper hand.

    This is where Imran Khan succeeded. He managed the resources at this disposal really well and got the best out of him, and he was a guy who could apply different strategies. Afridi and Waqar do not have it. They are playing the 90’s game. That won’t take the team too far. Why do you think Pakistan kept losing to Australia, not just because of Australia had better players, but they knew how to squeeze the Pakistani weakness.

    I think blaming Younus and Misbah is not going to help now. They had no plan before the world cup. Younus and Misbah was not going to win a high pressure match, just because they may have won a game in Mohali 4 years back, it wasn’t going to translate into a win now. A lot of people were just having wishful thinking they will.

    You talked about Umar Akmal was batting well, guess what he has never finished a high pressure game well, he is young, he needed guidance at other end, I knew he would hit a few sixes and fours but then will perish trying too many things. Same goes for Kamran Akmal and Hafeez and all those people.

    They simply weren’t prepared and planned for a chase like that. They have raw talent, but that raw talent is not channeled.

    Ok, done with my long rambling, will stop now 🙂

    But one last thing, a lot of Pakistan supporters say India did not win the game in T20I WC final in 2007, but Pakistan lost it, they say the same thing now also, they must have said same thing in 1996 WC QF also, in fact some still say that match would have could have been won had this happened or that happened. This is denial. SA denied for a long time that they are not chockers, but now they are coming out of denial and admitting they are chockers and need to do something.

    Pakistan crack under pressure against India in WC matches, and in last few years it has become more frequent. No doubt Pakistan has raw talent, bowling talents are always much better than anyone, but I am telling again this is not the 90’s where talent alone won’t win matches consistently.

    Done now 🙂

  48. #48 by newguy on April 1, 2011 - 12:48 AM


    Yesterday’s game was played poorly by both teams, no doubt, India’s game was not by any means pleasing to watch, but they just knew enough things to get over the line.

    This game was played poorly by both teams because of the hype and pressure. It doesn’t matter though because Semi final is the gate you need to cross to get to final, all that matter is win. Someone in commentary said that SF is the most difficult game to win, and I tend to agree. I watched India lose 2 Semi Final games in WC, 1987 against England and 1996 against Sri Lanka, in both cases India had raw talents, but no plan to win. They were also very tough games. Pakistan team of 1987 was supposed to win the World Cup, they lost of Australia a team that scraps to win, all those great players of Pakistan could not win then.

  49. #49 by Sagaat on April 1, 2011 - 12:55 AM

    Ponting is retired and there is talk about him not being a great captain. That is rubbish. I haven’t seen a better captain. He was a very strategic captain who turned a game many times just through his decision-making. I have been watching the Pakistani team since a long time and I haven’t seen one captain who was half as good as Ponting was. If Pakistan had a strategic captain like Ponting, who could bring the best out of his team through sound decision-making, Pakistan would easily be ranked amongts the top two teams. Needless to say that, among the current crop of players, Kamran Akmal, Misbah, and Younis Khan would never have been in the one day team. Ponting was ruthless, both as an opponent and as a captain of his own team. There are two ascpects to captaincy: Strategy and player development. Dhoni, maybe because of Kirsten, is a strategic captain but I haven’t seen him develop one player, whether bowler or batsman. Ponting not only developed players and a winning team, but was very good at strategy. Ponting is, by far, the best captain I have seen, although I haven’t seen Steve Waugh captain a lot.

  50. #50 by newguy on April 1, 2011 - 12:58 AM

    Imran is correct, the only two times in the match when Pakistan looked like they could take control of game was when Yuvraj was bowled for ZERO, India were 140/4 and at the risk of getting bowled out for 200-220. Afridi simply could not take advanatage. Game control was not taken then and it went back to India and they set 260. Once they set 260 it was a challenging score. Second time as he said is when Pakistan was 100/2 and could have took control of game by not losing another wicket soon. But they did. Once that happened then there was no recovery. Pakistan was never in the match, you could say India was not in total control either, but they just managed to get the game over their side because the opposition never took control. Afridi failed here as captain. But I won’t blame him because he wasn’t prepared or wasn’t given the time to plan by PCB.

  51. #51 by newguy on April 1, 2011 - 1:02 AM

    Ponting was never a great captain, he was good, but Steve Waugh and Allen Border were much better captains, I have seen both play and captain quite a lot. In fact even Mark Taylor was a much better captain than Ponting.

    Ponting will me made look good though because the current guy Michael Clark is even worser.

  52. #52 by Sagaat on April 1, 2011 - 1:11 AM


    Afridi is good at player development but not good at strategy. This is why he needs a coach like Kirsten who is good at strategy, who can explain him what is the most logical decision in certain situations and what isn’t. Unfortunately, Waqar isn’t reknowned for his thinking skills. Time is good for a new coach.

    On Ponting we all have our opinion. I don’t think I have seen a better captain. He developed a lot of players and made them better than they were. Symonds and Clarke are his by-products. His decision-making was almost always flawless on the field. He used to sense the right moment to attack, was never defensive– he wasn’t too aggressive needlessly, but nevertheless would smell the opportunity and go for the kill. He would work batsmen out and expect the bowlers to bowl according to the plan. One thing that may have been lacking was that, he wasn’t fluid in his thinking in that his batting order was always fixed. He was somewhat rigid in that sense but that is the Australian way. They back each batsmen to be able to perform in every situation. But as a fielding captain, he was flawless. I can’t find a reason to criticize him. Definitely the finest captain I have seen.

  53. #53 by Sagaat on April 1, 2011 - 1:20 AM

    In fact Ponting also developed Watson and many other players. These players have so far surpassed their potential. After Ponting I can envision the Australian team’s fortunes decline further and further. We haven’t seen the bottom yet in terms of their performance. When Ponting retires, Australia will be left with a lot of bits-and-pieces type of cricketers whom Ponting made look better than they were. The very fabric of their team, the solidity, isn’t there anymore and I expect Australia to get worse after Ponting. Players like Watson will deteriorate with time. Australia isn’t resting on solid foundations as they used to.

  54. #54 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 1, 2011 - 2:26 AM


    I have read your comments and also been discussing with friends, too much postmortem on the match and I am not surprised but, I am extremely disappointed by Imran Khan and Wasim Akram’s comments.

    Wasim Akram is India’s Namak Halal and Pakistan’s Namak Haram. I knew he would have criticized Afridi for sending Abdul Razzaq before him especially when Razzaq failed, had he succeeded in scoring a few runs, Akram would have said, I have been telling this from the beginning to use Razzaq up the order.

    Secondly, both Wasim and Imran were raving and ranting about dropping Wahab Riaz and including Shoaib Akhtar, we wrote a thread on the subject heavily criticizing these two idiots, even the third idiot Ramiz Raja who also wanted Shoaib Akhtar to be given one last chance, as if this is a bloody Charity Organization?

    How can Imran blame Afridi when, Misbah, Younus Khan, Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal dropped 4 catches of Tendulkar of the bowling off Afridi and finally it was Afridi who took the catch of Tendulkar. Also, he used Ajmal intelligently what more Imran Khan wanted? If Dhoni, Yuvraj and Tendulkar had milked Ajmal they would have criticized. No one praised Afridi’s decision to keep Wahab in the team and the ball he bowled to Yuvraj was a MILLION DOLLAR BALL. Even Gul can only bowl that in his dream. We have been saying this from the beginning that, Akhtar must retire and Wahab should take his place.

    Also, like Ali Ahad, we are also baffled by Waqar Younus and Inti Alam’s decision of not playing Junaid Khan in matches against the minnows, what is the reason? Like Ali Ahad asked was he on vacation? The same question we asked when HAMMAD AZAM was sidelined in the T20 WC. He was supposed to be so good that they kept him out and never heard about him after that.

  55. #55 by newguy on April 1, 2011 - 2:38 AM


    You say Ponting was flawless, but he wasn’t, I can only think that you haven’t seen the tactical mistakes he made.

    There were two test series in India that Australia played recently, they lost both 2-0. In the first series, in a test match in Mohali, India were in a bit of bother in second innings, all the main batsmen were gone at six wickets and only Dhoni and Harbhajan at the crease with Zaheer Khan and other bowlers to follow. India were just marginally ahead then, if the last four wickets fell quickly then Australia will have chance to win the test. Australia was slower on the over rate though which meant if Ponting continued to attack with fast bowlers he would fail to keep up over rate for the day and end up having to pay a large share of his match fees as fine, so what does Ponting do? He takes away his main strike bowlers and bowl part time spinners. Dhoni, Harbhaja, Zaheer, and the rest puts together more than 150 runs, India take a 300+ lead and bowl Australia out in second innings. Momentum shifted and Australia lost that series 2-0.

    All the Australian commentators blasted Ponting for that decision, he made up the over rate and did not pay fine, but lost the test because he chose not to go for the kill. There are other instances like that. The in famous Sydney test against India when Ponting did not declare until just before lunch on 5th day. They were helped by bad umpiring decision to put up a big score, the entire commentary panel was blasting Ponting for delaying the declaration, because there wasn’t enough time left to bowl India out. He then declares before lunch. India were batting and they lost couple of wickets, but Ganguly and Dravid put up a partnership. Then Ponting and Aussie fielders started their games, first they plucked a bump ball “catch” from the ground and pressured umpire Bucknor to give Ganguly out, then they pressured Bucknor again to give Dravid out LBW for a ball he inside edged. Even then they still did not had enough time left, after tea Dhoni and Kumble resisted, the match went on to last 5 overs of the day, with 3 overs to go part time spinner Michael Clark picked up 3 tail end wickets amidst so much of ugliness from Australians. India lost that test and the series because of that.

    Ponting acted as if he was vindicated even if he did not declare earlier, but clearly this was a test he would not have won without help of umpire, and his decision to declare late even after having 400+ runs on board would have cost them series.

    But the biggest money on his back is that he is the only Aussie captain to have lost 3 Ashes series, and he hasn’t won an Ashes series in England in two attempts.

    If he was flawless, he would not have made these mistakes. He isn’t. It’s not my opinion vs. your opinion. These are facts. You can check them out.

    Therefore his legacy will always be tainted.

  56. #56 by newguy on April 1, 2011 - 2:48 AM


    In addition to not winning an Ashes in England in two attempts, Ponting has never won a test series in India in four attempts. Australia won a series in Indian under Gilchrist as captain when Ponting was out injured and sat out during a series.

    Therefore he will always be judged as a lesser Aussie captain. Not by me or anyone else actually, but by Australians, they don’t rate him well.

  57. #57 by newguy on April 1, 2011 - 3:01 AM

    Just want to make it clear that I am not saying Ponting isn’t a great captain compared to his peers on other teams. He was one of the best, if not the best among his peers during his time. But he wasn’t flawless, and neither was he good enough compared to his three predecessors namely Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, and Allen Border.

    Border revamped Australia when they were down and out and a team anyone could beat at one time. Captain before him Kim Hughes lost Ashes badly and he cried in public during his stepping down. Aussie captains are supposed to be tough. Kim Hughes let them down. Border brought toughness back and he also taught them to scrap till the end to win. This is where they started that habit of scraping till last ball.

    Mark Taylor then took it to next step and ended the West Indies dominance by winning a series in West Indies. No one had won a series there in 14 years before then. That was still when Ambrose and Walsh are playing.

    Steve Waugh is then the man who took Australia to great heights. He and Taylor both grew under Border and built on that legacy, each one taking it further. Steve Waugh was the iron man of Australia and he is the guy who formalized sledging by calling it a tactical part of game called mental disintegration.

    Ponting was given this team, but he could not achieve what was done by others, and once the team started losing high caliber players he simply could not sustain success.

  58. #58 by Sagaat on April 1, 2011 - 3:10 AM


    In the famous Sydney test Ponting had to think about declaring because there is the Sehwag factor. He won India a test against England in that fashion. It is easy to criticize after the fact but had Mcgrath been there, I think the declaration would have come a lot earlier. I don’t think Australia were (rightly) comfortable with the bowlers they had. India has quality test match batting, so why give them a chance?

    As far as the umpire’s decision-making in that test match is concerned, why is India against the DRS then?

    If not a perfect system, it removes the obvious mistakes, such as, Symonds clearly edged a ball and was given not out. That changed the complexion of that match. It has always happened in Australia. Ghilcrist once was clearly out against Akram, was given not out, and Australia won the match thereafter. It has always happened in Australia, dubious decision-making and “poor” umpiring.

    Btw I think there is a possibility that technology was tampered with when Sachin was given not out in the India-Pakistan match. I am just suggesting it is a possibility and that decision should be tested with Hawk-eye again. Possibly something untoward happened. Sachin clearly didn’t deserve to be the man of the match either. The pitch wasn’t that difficult. It was a brilliant spell by Riaz which deserved he accolade. I don’t agree with this notion that the MOM should come from the winning team.

    As for Ponting going on the defensive because of over-rates, remember he isn’t getting millions of dollars, as well as the IPL riches. Maybe it was important, from his perspective, the match fee that is. I agree it sounds a bit selfish considering that he was representing his country, but on numerous occassions he has pulled a victory from the jaws of defeat as well. He hasn’t been as successful against England and India simply because they were a much better team. But I have never seen Ponting very defensive, nor have I seen him not ‘sensing the right moment’ to go for the kill. Even if Waugh were the captain of this team, he would not be able to win in India. Australia doesn’t have the bowlers to take 20 wickets in India. And, the batting is very fragile against the moving ball now. They can’t even bat in low and slow conditions. It is not Ponting’s fault that the outcome hasn’t been as favorable, but as a captain he has turned many, many matches and made many players look better than they actually were. He certainly brought the best out of his players and Australia always played to their potential.

  59. #59 by Sagaat on April 1, 2011 - 3:17 AM

    Steve Waugh wasn’t able to win a test series in India with the full-fledged Australian team, with Ponting at his prime, with Mcgrath and Warne at their prime. It is unjustified to judge Ponting’s captaincy on that basis. Winning a test series in India is Pakistan’s forte. Because they understand the conditions better.

    Anyway, the reason why Pakistan couldn’t win a test series against Australia is because Pakistan usually relies on pace, but Australians play pace quite well. So, with the pace attack being equal, it comes to batting, and their batting has always been much superior. Pakistan should make really low and slow wickets and go with three spinners against Australia rather than relying on Akram’s and Waqar’s.

  60. #60 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 1, 2011 - 3:31 AM

    We have a new thread for a day or two, we will write one for India / SL final and also do the live coverage. In the mean time please comment on the new thread. Thanks

  61. #61 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 1, 2011 - 3:31 AM

    We have a new thread for a day or two, we will write one for India / SL final and also do the live coverage. In the mean time please comment on the new thread. Thanks

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