Playing under pressure

Published Jan 08, 2010 11:35am

The Test series between Australia and Pakistan is over, and it was won by Younis Khan. Don’t believe me? Well, think about this: after the hugely impressive Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamer, no one’s stature has made greater strides in the last two weeks. For a guy who was busy failing in two matches for Habib Bank, that’s a pretty impressive feat. Consider these facts:

1. After the heavy defeat in Melbourne, our board and selectors were requested by Mohammad Yousuf and the management in Australia to send Younis before Sydney. They did not, evidently on the basis of the fact that Misbahul Haq made 65 runs in the first innings and Faisal Iqbal made a lucky 48 in the second, so how could either of them be dropped for a guy that, you know, averages 50 in Test cricket? We’ll never know if Younis could have made a difference to that apocalyptic collapse on the fourth afternoon at Sydney, but we do know that both Misbah and Faisal are useless.

Faisal never looked like he would survive Mitchell Johnson’s spell, and Misbah’s combined record in the two second innings in the series thus far reads: 0 runs, 3 balls, 2 collapses abetted, and 170 million hearts broken. If either of these jokers had scratched 15 runs a piece, Umar Akmal could’ve carried us home. But they’re not good enough, and never were. It’s also instructive to note that the last two times Pakistan has chased successfully in a Test abroad featured Younis playing a major role: Kandy 2006 and Port Elizabeth 2007 (and yes, it really was that long ago). We sure could’ve used him in Sydney.

2. His replacement as captain put in such a shameful display on the fourth morning that it became immediately clear that we would lose. To be honest, I actually wasn’t that upset watching us throw our wickets away, because I basically expected it; the morning session told me everything I needed to know about our mental state. We wanted Australia to give in because we were too afraid of actually having to work to win the game.

There can be no other explanation for Yousuf putting everyone on the boundary against Michael Hussey, a guy who survived three chances the previous day and looked far from assured against Danish Kaneria. Seeing that field setting, I basically knew we’d collapse, because we’d try to do things too quickly – again, taking shortcuts and hoping for the best – rather than keep our heads. And sure enough, that’s what happened. I also know there’s no way on God’s green earth that Younis would have set those fields. No way.

Look, I know Younis has his problems. He’s a bit of a baby and he’s too thin-skinned. But while he tends to be emotionally unstable, his mental strength as a batsman is what sets him apart, especially in the second innings of Tests when teams are usually batting under pressure. Think about this: Younis has six second-innings hundreds (out of 16 overall) and his second-innings average is only three runs lower than his overall average. As a comparison, Yousuf only has four second-innings hundreds out of 24 overall, and his average drops off by eleven. Sachin Tendulkar has 11 second-innings hundreds out of 43 overall, and his average drops off by 12. Younis plays well when the pressure is really on – and we all know the pressure was on in Sydney.

I suppose it would be a little churlish of me to spend my entire word count on a guy who wasn’t even in the country when the game was being played. I also suppose congratulations are in order for Australia. But here’s the thing: they don’t need our congratulations. Our humiliation is enough for them to enjoy; they don’t need to hear “well played, guys, you did us again” to feel good about themselves. So I’m not going to say anything nice about them.

I will, however, say this: Sydney will impact the psyche of Pakistan’s cricket-following public like few other games I can remember. The two that come to mind are Bangalore 1996 and Hobart 1999, both of which had us in the ascendancy for long periods before we threw them both away by losing our heads. But in neither of those could we taste victory like we did here. It was so close you could almost touch it.

You won’t believe the number of emails, blog posts, Facebook updates, and forum comments I’ve read to the effect of “I’m not watching cricket again for a long, long time.” I don’t think it’s anger as much as hopelessness; we know that things will never change, that our selection committees and boards will always be steered by the bhai-bhai culture rather than on the basis of merit, that very few of our batsmen will ever learn to play the moving ball (and the few that do, like Younis and Fawad Alam, won’t play), that our fielding will always be atrocious with an average of three dropped catches per day, and that any success we do miraculously achieve – as we did under the Inzi/Woolmer/Shahrayar Khan reign –  will be transient.

I know for a fact that I won’t be watching the third Test on crummy streams on the internet, getting five and a half hours of sleep, just to experience that feeling again. Thanks, but no thanks. Ahsan Butt is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Chicago, and he blogs at Five Rupees. The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Comments (157) Closed




hasan
Jan 09, 2010 10:07am
Ok, Kamran dropped catches, so what still 176 was chaseable!
Ghazali Junaid
Jan 09, 2010 10:40am
Very true.... !!!! I am a die hard fan and patriotic to hell with Pakistan. Now sorry to say I am totally fed up wasted enough time. During the collapse you can see in their eyes that they weren
Saba Kamran
Jan 09, 2010 11:05am
I'm sorry for all the cricket lovers who woke up early in the wintry morning to watch the match. But you just never know with Pakistani team. They are so unpredictable. They'll lose a game on the last ball or win a badly losing game.
Farooq
Jan 09, 2010 09:54am
Hi I am sure everyone goes with the choice of having Younis Khan in the team, but as far as I am concern, why we depend on one person who thinks more about himself than his team, we don
Riaz Ul Hassan
Jan 08, 2010 01:05pm
I was so excited to know the statistics of 3rd day and I was so hopeless on the very next day. This is a bruise which will never be healed, never ever. All my hopes are in our courts now a days, after Allah, I hope there would be justice soon for the selection of national team as well. We can not and we should not expect good until the justice is done. I still admire what Churchill said during the 2nd word war; "No one can defeat us if our courts are providing justice to our people".
manoor warraich
Jan 08, 2010 01:24pm
Younus should have been dispatched before Sydney test. But now it
Syed Hassan
Jan 08, 2010 12:47pm
Ammir Sohail and Saeed Anwar were the last great opening pair we had, Aggression and flair combined, now we have timidness and rookies to open.
Irfan
Jan 08, 2010 12:44pm
How can you expect this statement from a captain that
Syed Hassan
Jan 08, 2010 12:45pm
Are the PCB trying to tell us that Butt and Farhat are the best openers available in Pakistan, I cannot believe in a country like that these 2 are the best we could find.
Ghaus
Jan 08, 2010 01:14pm
We need a batsman who could stay at the wicket all day long and play strokes on merit. One batsman of such quality is Asim Kamal and he must be included in test cricket team. He has an average of 39 runs and has scored over 50 runs 8 times in 20 innings that he has played. Why he is not in the team is hard to believe. It is total discrimination not to include him test cricket.
Malik
Jan 08, 2010 12:32pm
Agreed with the article, Pakistani cricketers led down the country they just play for themself, not for country.
Jamal Khan
Jan 08, 2010 12:08pm
First of all let me clear it up about Misbah scoring 65 in the first test. He was lucky to be dropped by Pointing in the first slip very early in his innings. Then there were nobody to stay with him so he just starting slogging and it worked. Faisal Iqbal is useless as you said well. When Pakistan came for the second innings, the openers started playing like 20/20. You could see Imran Farhat was not bending his back when playing strokes to keep them on the ground rather he was standing very tall. That cost him his wicket because he did not bend enough to drive the ball and the ball ballooned to mid off. What a useless player because he wanted to make as much runs as possible before getting out or he was so over confident that every ball will go to the boundary. Now let me come to Fawad Alam. I think he is the future of Pakistan cricket. He has played 3 tests but unfortunately he never played on his original position where he has scored over 4000 runs in first class with an avg. of over 56. First two tests he opened the innings because there was no opener and he still made the highest scored by any Pakistani debutant outside the country i.e. 168. In New zealand nobody wanted to go to the most critical position i.e. one down and he was made a sacrifice goat. He was unlucky to get a perfect bounce of Bond who played the only game against Pakistan. If we play Fawad in the position of Misbah, which is his original position you will see results clearly.
Bil
Jan 08, 2010 12:12pm
I was up the whole night just to watch Pakistan win the match. Hoping that every ball might be on our side. But, hope doesn't work for any of our players any more I think. We need new good batsmen and bowlers, rather than seeing the same old good-for-nothing faces. There is no team spirit anymore in the team. I mean look at it, a captain needs to be dominating the team and motivate the players, scold the players when needed. He should keep a strict figure of himself in the team so that the team plays good. Look at Imran Khan, they way he led us to various wins. He truly was the only best cricketer we ever had!
Zahir
Jan 08, 2010 11:25am
Misbah is simply not a test match batsman in any position. Faisal might have done better at no 6 but never at no 3. Umar Gul does not know when to bowl a bouncer, especially against tail enders. Sending down useless stuff 3 feet above the batsman is senseless when wickets are required. He got Watson on 97 with a throat high bouncer but did not use that once when we needed a wicket. Kaneria will never be a great bowler until he develops a Warne or even Mushie like top spinner. Also has no clue when to bowl offensive and when to send down speedy deliveries. Better work from the openers [except the attitude of Farhat chasing a small target]. Great news about Umar Akmal and Amer. Great return from Asif.
Ali Khan
Jan 08, 2010 11:34am
Nicely summarized - you've hit the nail on the head. The batsmen need to be picked on merit and not on the basis on personal affiliations. Clearly, Misbah, Faisal and Shoaib Malik can't cut the mustard. Siddle was right to describe the Pakistani batting approach as better suited to the shorter form of the game. Most of the dismissals in the second innings were the outcome of rash and overly aggressive stroke play. We need to pick batsmen who have the talent and the temperament to play at the Test level - period. Last but not least, Kamran Akmal should be sent on an extended sabbatical. His atrocious keeping, and his widely reported behind the scenes political shenanigans cannot be tolerated anymore.
mohammed ali jawaid
Jan 08, 2010 11:13am
Younis like every player has in ups and downs but testing him in Hobart may not be a good idea. Don't forget, he is going through a lean period these days which is sad but he needs to get over it soon before he is put to test once again. No personal likes or dislikes, only merit and merit only can turn the team into a different mould.
kimi
Jan 08, 2010 10:37am
Same here mate I watched cricket for all the 4 days inspite of my medicine exam and I was shocked on the 4 the day. The way we played its a shame, real shame, a pity.
Asad Baig
Jan 08, 2010 09:57am
I have been following Pakistan cricket for over 30 years. Pakistan should have scored the 176 runs and they batted very poorly. Lots of people are blaming only Yousuf for Pakistan loss and yes he should be blamed for the loss, but what can one do if a player and Vice Captain, Kamran Akmal drops 4 catches at crucial period and misses a run out and thus he allowed Australia to crawl back in the match and win it. If Kamran Akmal had hold the catches given by Hussey on day 3,than Australia would be Defeated by innings margin. There is a saying in cricket "Catches Win Matches". Over the years Akmal has dropped a lot of catches of Kaneria, Sami and others. He is among the worst keepers Pakistan has had. He is a batsman who can keep, what Pakistan needs is a genuine keeper, like Bari or Rashid Latif. He should had been replaced a few years ago but was hanging on mostly through his batting, now his batting is going down the hill like his keeping. He should be replaced now. Pakistan needs batting and fielding coach to improve.
mohammed ali jawaid
Jan 08, 2010 11:05am
Chairman selection committee declared yesterday 'perform well if you want to remain in the playing eleven' nice words! but will he be able to implement it. I too do not want to loose my sleep for Hobart Test for I know for sure what is going to happen to these happy go luck bunch who called themselves carriers of Pakistan pride.
jimmy
Jan 08, 2010 02:04pm
Oh well never mind better luck next time
Ron
Jan 08, 2010 07:51am
Further to my earlier comment, I meant both 4th inning individual avg and % of 4th inning team score. So, if the last inning total team score is 150 and Yousuf gets 50 he has scored 33% of team score. Which is more than what you should normally expect from any batsman. Just counting up the number of hundreds etc is useless.
Owais
Jan 08, 2010 07:51am
You can deny the fact which M. Yousuf claimed as Most of the Pakistan player are not understanding the test techniques, they are in rush to make run, they don
Ron
Jan 08, 2010 07:48am
No pure sports fan will use stats the way you have. If we do then librarians etc would make the best selectors. Context is all important. Most critically type of pitches. In recent years (corresponding to Younis
naif
Jan 08, 2010 08:08am
Thanks for an Excellent Article! One more point also on Younis Khan that once in bad form he dropped himself to gain some momentum in domestic!!!! Why not the ones displaying their skills in Sydney do the same or are they to scared like our Politicians to lose their places in the team. It have always been to cement your place rather than to perform for the country!!!! We have better players (batsmen) in domestic then these Salman butt and Iqbal hardly averaging 30.
Omer Admani
Jan 08, 2010 07:40am
Totally agree with your thoughts-- the psychological effect will take a long, long while to heal. It is only for this reason, that Yousuf should be replaced immediately. His defensive field settings and attitude were nothing else but an effect of the psychological damage the Aussies have done for the last 15 years.
Fawad Siddiqui
Jan 08, 2010 07:43am
The match was shameful and horrible. At the 4th day, many people left their classes and work to see the winning moments. But people expected very much. The team who dropped easy catches, couldn't bat professionally, didn't deserve a win.
Arshi
Jan 08, 2010 06:52am
Younis is a great player but has his own demons that need to be exorcised. They are afraid to win & think they don't deserve it. Poor attitude. These things need as much if not more attention then the techniques of the game.
Saba Kamran
Jan 08, 2010 07:08am
Horrible match! So disappointed!
Ghayyur
Jan 08, 2010 07:48am
In short, our teams performance clearly indicates that they don't love playing cricket for their motherland.
Rashid Ansari
Jan 08, 2010 08:12am
I was in Australia to witness that test match in Sydney and beleive me or not all Pakistanis watching this match were shocked. I fully agree with the above article that Misbah and Faisal are useless batsmen and even though Misbah made 65 runs in Melbourne, but he was given many close chances and he was beaten by Johnson many times playing outside the off stumps. In my opinion, they can not even play a club cricket in Australia let alone test cricket. All the players played irrational shots and gave away their wickets including the irrational stroke played by the captain. Was he playing T20 shot and even that was not the standard of T-20. Kamran Akmal did not play well as a batsman either and least to say about his wicket keeping. Best regards, Dr. Rashid Ansari.
Siraj
Jan 08, 2010 09:29am
The final straw has broken the back of a cricket lover (that is me) who always prayed and wished well for Pakistan's cricket success. While the Pakistan Team has the potential yet always disappoints. Finally, I will force myself stop following the progress of cricket matches in which Pakistan features because I and in my view the majority of my country men do not deserve any more agony then what we are already suffering.
nalatily
Jan 08, 2010 08:12am
Looked like the Players played like they bet for Australia's win. I am convinced that there is more to this give up, in dropping catches, poor strokes etc. It
Ahsan
Jan 08, 2010 08:12am
Ron: That's why I inserted the drop-off from overall average to second innings average. Younis' drop off is -3, so he's basically the same player irrespective of whether it's a first day pitch or a fifth day pitch. Yousuf's drop off is -11, which is pretty substantial. It shows he's not as good under pressure as Younis.
Asad
Jan 08, 2010 07:56am
Better luck next time. Winning and losing is the part of the game. But one thing I must say here that they are taking about pressure game I really don't understand what kind of pressure they have in their mind. Chasing the 179 runs is the pressure game. Strange!!
Abubakar Y zai
Jan 08, 2010 07:57am
Dropping catch 1st time is a mistake. 2nd time lack of pre match practice. 3rd time concludes that your not even eligible for street cricket. I was wondering what would have happened if Aussies got Mc Grath, Gilcrist, Warne at there squad.
M.Saeed
Jan 08, 2010 08:14am
Unfaltering faith of Australian people in their team is the greatest asset Aussies have. They were in a desperate condition against Pakistan on final day, yet people came and filled the ground to buck-up their team to glory. Cricket is a game and losing is an essential part of it. It is only the effort made that counts. Losing as a winner is equally the spirit of the game which we desperately lack. Faith and spirit count, not the result.
Goga Nalaik
Jan 08, 2010 08:19am
All those who don't maintain a good average performance should be dropped. Those who are to play in the next match should be given a serious warning. But the question here is "Who can do that" ???
Sahir Talibuddin
Jan 08, 2010 08:23am
While much has been said and written about Kamran akmal's dropped catches and Yusaf's bizarre captaincy, the role of the team coach should also be brought into light. Intikab Alam since his appointment has made absolutely no contribution in developing the "cricketing intelligence" of the players nor has he made any contributions in terms of strategic planning. Every time the Pakistan team takes to the field, whether batting or fielding they simply do not look like a "well coached" team.
Sikanader, Manchester
Jan 08, 2010 08:28am
I think you are missing the point it has nothing to do with Younis khan, Misbah or Faisal. The crux of the matter is their approach to Test cricket, combined with their incompetence in the field. Why do you need to hit fours and sixs, or play risky shots and throw away you wicket when all you need is 2 to 3 runs an over with all the time in the world??
rihat
Jan 08, 2010 08:36am
Sorry to say Pakistan have no got new up and coming batsmen as potential replacements. Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal, Salman Butt, Imran Farhat etc are chronically flawed in technique, responsibility, temperament, pride to play for the country. Our keeper has been a liability for so long and especially to Danish Kaneria. He has almost ruined him and robbed Pakistan of some golden opportunities. Although under the circumstances I would still keep him in the side as a batsman because there is nobody else worth trying again. Again I agree that T20 slog hitting and chance to earn substantial money in much shorter periods has ruined test cricket for Pakistan. Look what grit Collingwood and Bell showed yesterday against world class bowling and tough match saving situation. That's what cricket and nationalism is all about. Let us just re-structure cricket in Pakistan and start from scratch and look out for genuine potential talents and not mediocrity. salams
Salah
Jan 08, 2010 08:45am
Well I am not a die hard supporter of Younis but if he deserves a place in any format, that is test cricket for sure where he is at his best. Our PCB planned to send him for limited version which is just not so his game. Faisal and Misbah must have some internal sources that they are being given ridiculous number of chances one by one after their flop shows. In a country where almost the whole nation plays cricket, I am sure we do have better young players around. As far as captaincy is concerned, it
Naeem
Jan 08, 2010 08:48am
The lack of patience proves no one is really ready to get stuck in but prefer the mentally easier short inns games of 20/20 or ODIs. Our talent is remaining the same yet our mental strength has weakened with the country's affairs. Yet their are something we can improve, the leadership selection. Yousuf is a lovely guy but not positive enough as a captain. Misbah should put on the next plane out, it worries me he was Yousuf's demand for the team! Misbah is batting below a 19yr old, and still not performing!!
usama
Jan 08, 2010 09:20am
Absolutely no comments
MANSOOR
Jan 08, 2010 08:58am
People should start thinking beyond Younis khan, much has been said and done about this rather controversial cricketer. He may have averaged 50 in test cricket but there are younger player who may deserve a place in the test line up but are perhaps being ignored for one reason or the other. I don
Ron
Jan 08, 2010 09:22am
Bro, all batsmen, especially who have played earlier will have a drop off in the 4th innings. Re. Younis in the last decade pitches have become much flatter and so 1st and 5th day pitches are not much different. Like I said , if you want to use only stats, then perhaps a better indicator would be % of team score in 4th innings. Otherwise like I said Lara avg.35 with just 2 hundreds in the 4th innings! So, as per your formula you would not pick Lara either.
qasim
Jan 08, 2010 09:49am
Pakistan cricket is dead because of the policies of PCB and players like Misbah, Faisal Salman Butt, Mohammed Yousuf, Shoaib Malik after seeing the second test match and the way we lost it I think and believe that Younis was right to drop Misbah, Salman Malik these guys and have been playing for almost 5 years and none of them have won a match for Pakistan it is laughing stock from Pcb to say Younis should play practice matches and make some runs a player who have played 60 matches and average of 50 it is injustise no other team would do that.
Omer Javed
Jan 08, 2010 10:08am
Well compiled and well said. You can gauge Yousuf's mentality by listening to his words at presentation, he said "We batted poorly and my shot was the cause for our defeat". It shows that they just go by the phrase "Accept your mistake, take responsibility" but they don
Ammar Khan
Jan 08, 2010 10:14am
Younis Khan does not know what pressure is. He is too afraid to experience it. At this stage in his professional career displaying such antics is pathetic at best. I highly recommend that he should be invited to retire from cricket.
shiva sundar
Jan 08, 2010 10:45am
The domestic cricket structure needs to improve, then players will come into the team with experience who can perform. Also there is a need to unify the team under a good captain and coach, then you will get a good team from Pakistan
Asmat
Jan 08, 2010 10:48am
Our team is no different from all of us as a nation. Impatient, short-term oriented in our thinking and lack of nationalism. Why blame the team, why not all of us collectively. I see an opportunity in this defeat and we can only exploit it if we accept and take the responsibility of what our team did in Australia. I guess its not about Yousaf playing a bad short or being overly defensive, its not about Kamran dropping catches its all about taking pride in what we do for this nation and then we cannot loose.
Wasim
Jan 08, 2010 10:17am
Having a short term memory is our biggest problem as a nation. Didn't we got humiliated under Younis during the SL series and CT in a similar fashion where were Younis Khan's pressure absorbing skills then? He is a spent force just like Misbah and Malik. Ludicrous it may sound but an out of form Younis Khan would not have performed better than Faisal Iqbal in Australia. We shouldn't value a player by his star value we should only value them according to their current form. When this merry go round of old tested and tried players will stop only then more opportunities will be available to Young players like Fawad and Ahmed Shahzad. We recalled Misbah and saw the result, now we will recall Younis and the result will not be any different his reflexes are not going to come back at age 36.
Shah ji
Jan 08, 2010 11:06am
I agree with you Ahsan. Im an Australian citizen now but still support Pakistan. However, their seige mentality and irresponsible attitude is hard to explain. Very disappointed and I am not going to watch the live matches for a long time.
Ali
Jan 08, 2010 02:08pm
Hi Riaz Ul Hassan, Cricket is a sport and it has got nothing to do with Allah. He can give fitness to players but don't expect the almighty to coach the team because god is for every one even if he is prayed by several methods and several forms by different people. Problem is with the selection board and it's policy. Unless the policy is changed, what you expect the almighty to do? :) Let's hope for the best...
hr
Jan 08, 2010 02:16pm
I agree Younis was a good captain. And capable of delivering at crunch times as Ahsan said as well. Yousuf should be dropped at once. He lacks energy, leadership skills and enthusiasm. Maybe he doesn't but he certainly gives that impression, and is hardly an inspiring presence. How can the team be motivated and enthusiastic if the person who leads them is not? It is about time we replaced both Yousuf and Kamran. It really is.
Zafar
Jan 08, 2010 02:20pm
Yes, better luck next time; losing and winning is part of the game. Another magnificent display of `snatching defeat from the jaws of victory'!
Imtiaz Ahmad
Jan 08, 2010 02:30pm
Give the guys some room. We should have hope and not despair.
Mohammed Shakhawat
Jan 08, 2010 02:34pm
This is ridiculous, Sydney test is difference between good and bad, Professional and amateur, You never never aspect a test win if keep on catch drop, You break the heart million of cricket lovers, Wish PCB rethink about that, people who really has ability to play test match only send them to play otherwise stop playing cricket
Naeem
Jan 08, 2010 03:21pm
Is this the best Pakistan can do? Cannot catch, cannot bat, it was horrible to see Akmal drop 4 catches in he second inning.
Amanatullah
Jan 08, 2010 03:22pm
Thank God I was not following the match. Thats the best thing we should do, if we want to keep our blood pressure in control due to the bad display of cricket by our players.
akramkhan
Jan 08, 2010 03:29pm
I wonder what Intekhab Alam may have said to the team before and after going on the pitch on the forth day at Sydney. Correct me if I am wrong, coaches are there to take the team to a level where they are equipped with the techniques of playing the game. Captains are like the motivators who apply those techniques in the best possible way. Now if both of these well paid people are not doing their basic job well which is expected of them then something is wrong somewhere. Before blaming the players, lets make sure that these two most important people are doing their basics right.
Irfan Shariff
Jan 08, 2010 03:43pm
It is a good thing Pakistan Players are not playing any international cricket at home. I am so utterly disgusted with Pakistan cricket that I have decided not to follow them atleast in the test matches and just watch them in T20 and maybe in ODI only.
Ismail Rahman
Jan 08, 2010 03:55pm
Younis is very temperamental and drama prone, Pakistan should look beyond Younis and think long term. Ideally a leadership and program should be initiated within PCB for grooming future talent.
adnan
Jan 08, 2010 04:10pm
Yousuf is not a good captain, we need an agressive captain. Pakistan needs to develop a Test side, which will be mostly a different side than T20.
Turab Hasan
Jan 08, 2010 04:26pm
I don't understand everyone's frustration with our team. Let
ranjith
Jan 08, 2010 04:26pm
Come on people face it....Pakistan team is not good anymore.
Mujtaba Khan
Jan 08, 2010 04:43pm
Having seen Yousuf's captaincy during the first session on day 4 I lost my will to live. His field placements were unbelievably senseless, I guess the hopelessness rubbed on to his troops especially onto the hapless Kamran Akmal. In cricket a strong leader is very important more important that any other sport. He has to keep the team on its toes, keep trying new things when chips are down and more importantly press on throttle when the opposition is crumbling. Yousuf unfortunately didn't tick any of those boxes and should concentrate on his batting.
Salman Aziz
Jan 08, 2010 04:49pm
You know I am just very sad, I don
AM
Jan 08, 2010 04:53pm
In my life time this is the second time it has happened at Sydney. The first time was in 1972-73. Pakistan had Australia on the ropes. Then a ninth wicket partnership of 82 runs between two players who never played for Australia again (one played for the first and last time in that test), gave Pakistan a target of 159 runs to win. Pakistan were shot out for 111 runs. At that time Pakistan's captain was Intekhab Alam. I thought after Imran Khan's stint as skipper, folding under pressure was a thing of the past. But it is now the norm. Previously we used to fold under pressure only against the major teams. But not so anymore. Anytime we have to chase any total, our players forget how to play the game of cricket.
Asif
Jan 08, 2010 04:57pm
Absolutely shocking, unbelievable. I had known in the very first over when there were 8 fielders at the boundary that Pakistan has lost the match. Much is talked about Yousaf captaincy. But what about the coach, the manager, and the other management and team members. Were there not any discussions or any planning before the 4th day what the technique will be for getting out the batsmen. I just can't believe that our team management and players did not have meeting before the match to discuss all this. See Aussies. The way the batsmen played on 4th day, it was very clear that they came with a well planned strategy. Hussey taking singles at the last balls and trying to avoid Siddle facing the bowlers. Again look at the batting. Did no one tell our batsmen what the strategy is? They should have been told that they only need to keep the wickets, the runs will automatically come. Regarding Kamran Akmal, I still can't understand the backing of the captain and few writers. In test we need wickets unlike one day format where we need to save runs. We should send Kamran back by the first flight and get the specialist keeper. It doesn't matter if he scores 0, but it will matter if he don
Roshan K
Jan 08, 2010 05:04pm
Pakistani players played bad. I am pretty sure after Sydney match players will go through soul searching and will present better performance in next match.
nasir butt
Jan 08, 2010 05:16pm
Somewhere along the line, your article forgets to mention the main cause of Pakistan's failure in Sydney. Kamran Akmal 4 dropped catches and a stump, leading to a 100 + run turn around how can you not mention this. Just curious?
Asim Maqbool, Ottawa, Canada
Jan 08, 2010 05:17pm
It is true probably thousands if not millions of hearts were broken during the middle of the night (in North America) the way Pakistan team played. Each one of us may have some different and very useful suggestion for any kind of improvement in future but I always think that we need to develop mental frame work in players mind and attitude and that does not come overnight. For that our management should think seriously. Just hiring former (and respected cricketers) as team coaches/ mangers who travel with team as mere spectators is absolutely incorrect. This is a process which takes time and we should have to try putting in place otherwise believe me there is going to be no end about such sagas after our reputation declined since 1999 World Cup debacle.
pravesh
Jan 08, 2010 05:22pm
I was surprised and shocked to read the news on Cricinfo website in the morning that Pakistan lost the match. There was no point to loose that match. Pakistan was all in control and the last day's poor batting display made the difference. Felt so sad to hear that.
Zaman
Jan 08, 2010 05:36pm
I totally agree with the writer. Going forth, it'll be hard for 'seniors' to lobby against Younis Khan. Whether he helps Pakitan win or not, now there's no replacement left. Younis is the winner of Sydney test.
Sarmad
Jan 08, 2010 05:51pm
I agree with most of the things and have been telling all my pears the same thing, if any of these so called batsmen would have made 30 and a 20 after Yousaf got out, match would have been easily won but I'd blame Misbah and Kamran more than Faisal. All these two needed to do was score 20 each with Umar and game could have gone their way. So I find it really baffling when people say that Kamran is in the team for his batting. Could not score a 20 and he is in for his batting??
MAHMOOD MALIK
Jan 08, 2010 05:52pm
After watching the way skipper handled the match especially in second inning of Australia, he has proved his incompetence. He is good player but incompetent leader. One failed to understand why he did not bring Asif for bowling for so long and also why he used defensive field. Pakistan should try to find a replacement for Akmal who has past his usefulness and has become liability for the team. Last but not the least the PCB should give up favoritism and select deserving players.
Reverse Swing
Jan 08, 2010 06:03pm
I had noticed a new steam of following Pakistan cricket after T20 cup win in June as people started to believe that our team has started to develop again. But since that win there are such extra ordinary things happening around our team which are out of question to be understood by anyone with a right mind. We lost a great platform to build a solid foundation and due to some players, ever green PCB's shameless bureaucrats we turned that platform into sand and dust. But that T20 win and some individual brilliance and young talent gave false hopes to cricket lovers in Pakistan, that's heartbreaking.
beeaykay
Jan 08, 2010 06:19pm
Hobart test is the reminiscent of earlier one in England between England and Pakistan (sorry I forget the year) in which Asif Iqbal throw away his wicket when Pakistan was in a winning position they lost by 24 runs. I believe the captain was no other than the great Intikhab Alam.
parveez shafi
Jan 08, 2010 06:37pm
I agree with most of the comments. We should not pick a captain just because he is senior, Any one in their right mind knows that Yousuf is not captain material. You have put extra pressure on his batting, look at South Africa and their captain. Pick cricketers that will not give a way their wickets, at any cost, fight for every run. Every cricketer should know when they are playing test or twenty twenty, 50 over game. It is same with the cricket board they will pick a team that support people like I. Butt. God help us and our cricket team.
ram lakhani
Jan 08, 2010 07:19pm
Younis was lucky, not to be in the team. Lean period and one more poor show would have spoiled his career. Good to rest him for some time. This is Cricket things happen. Good team always survive and so Australia, a Super for many past years. Mathematics and comparison like in this column is not fair at all. It is timings and pitch at a particular time makes all the difference. Encourage the guys and avoid criticizing. Long term planning does not always work in cricket. It is a matter of hours.
Rizwan Nasar
Jan 08, 2010 07:48pm
Good Blog. Thanks for showing us our face in the mirror Ahsen! You said it all. As a nation we need to have pride in ourselves and in our country. We have neither! Sad state of affairs and it reflects in everything we do. Even our cricket!
Abbas Haidery
Jan 08, 2010 07:48pm
Nice write up Ahsan and yes I also wouldn't want to have only 5 hours sleep which I did for 3 days straight but we all know that no matter what happened, if we fix up things by bringing Younis back as captain, Fawad at # 6, Sarfraz as Keeper etc. All those people who said they would never watch cricket again for a long time will be watching the next game at 5 O'clock in the morning :) Every shameful defeat comes with a hope for a change and we hope that PCB will learn from their mistakes. For once they should have stick with Younis and let the players go who were not supporting him. This defeat is a slap on the faces of those players! But let's hope we learn from it and move on. We have beaten Australia in the past and we will beat them again.
Abdullah Hussain
Jan 08, 2010 07:50pm
The entire cricket set-up needs to go to the drawing board ASAP. A new coach preferably Dave Whatmore should be offered to coach Team Pakistan. Ex cricketer Sarfaraz Nawaz should be given a responsible office in PCB. Wasim Akram should also have a place in the management. Unless some very good and effective action is taken to improve the game, Pakistan's cricketing power shall slowly fade out. AH
John Smoth
Jan 08, 2010 07:52pm
On 3rd day Shane Warne was commenting during the match commentery about match fixing & he was questioning if match fixing is over. Now I wonder if the players conspired to throw away the match?????? just make you wonder!!!
A.B.
Jan 08, 2010 07:55pm
I don
Janjua
Jan 08, 2010 08:17pm
Hi I agree 100 percent with the writer of this blog. There is no better captain than Younis Khan in present Pakistani team. Muhammad Yousaf cannot learn the lesson even after 50 more tests like this. We the Pakistani nation should feel ashamed on our cricketer's performance.
Mumtaz, USA
Jan 08, 2010 08:31pm
I have not been following Pakistani cricket team on a consistent basis for the very reasons that have been articulated by most people on the forum. I am guilty of watching this test and have a couple of comments to make. 1. A skipper should be selected based on his ability to read and understand the game as it evolves. This skipper was obviously clueless. 2. When you start making changes to your squad once you have sent them abroad, shows you didn't do your homework in the first place and are now trying to play catch up. This has been going on for so long and shows that the PCB is and has always been incompetent and will remain so.
funnyguy
Jan 08, 2010 08:41pm
Pakistan is ONLY good for bang bang version of the cricket (T20). Their openers don't have all the skills to play at the test level and that puts too much pressure on the already fragile middle order line up which is already without Younis Khan. The bowlers did a good job though.
Iqbal
Jan 08, 2010 08:49pm
I don
Kamran
Jan 08, 2010 08:53pm
Good Article, exactly how I feel and will not be watching Pakistan cricket for a little while. Going to work with 5 hours of sleep is not something I will ever do for Pakistan cricket.
sunny
Jan 08, 2010 08:54pm
I agreed with this article and also with most of the comments and check this out. One of the Pakistani born leg spinner is set to make a debut for South Africa and he
Taufiq
Jan 08, 2010 10:22pm
Well in 1970's 1980's 1990's the strength of our cricket team was centered around players that ofcourse had talent but their work ethics ,focus ,attitude, pride etc etc. was all because of them playing county cricket in England. Its just very similar to Pakistanis that leave Pakistan and these same people become successful. Its all because of the system west has created, It brings the best out of people. Fairness, equal opp, respect, reward for hard work, no egos are the components of soil that breeds winners.
sleepshrink
Jan 08, 2010 10:35pm
Faisal Iqbal has to go. Extremely flawed technique insures that you don't get any better with time spent on the wicket. There are going to be times when he hangs in there but he is just as likely to get out on 70 as is on 0. Bad footwork, bad balance, head falling to one side, going back to full deliveries, going forward to short stuff are just some of the things that make him a poster child for what not do as a batsman. Additionally, a therapist is needed urgently. Some one that can teach simple relaxation exercises that could calm these guys down while at the wicket and stop them from thinking too much. Their minds are going a million miles an hour and they need a way to stop that instead of letting the nor epinephrine take over.
Syed Abdi
Jan 08, 2010 10:40pm
Very short memory we have:( Last Australia series Shaid Afridi and Younis Khan took their decisions to avoid this trip. These guys know their limits and we know how they perform other than in South Asia. They all play for themselves and not for the country. So all these numbers are not a true picture of their skills. Secondly and most important factor is self belief and confidence that plays a lot which is lacking in our player big time be it making catches or batting. We do good in bowling since each time bowler has to bowl six times but fail in fielding and batting because there is no second chance here. Good luck next time.
Ahsans
Jan 09, 2010 07:04am
We are best at destroying players: Asim Kamal Yasir Hameed to name a few and yes Fawad Alam Who is to be blamed: - Misbah ul haq scored more than 250 in domestic very recently but he didn
Nadeem Ul-Haque
Jan 08, 2010 10:51pm
I totally agree with everything in this article except for the stats, I believe number of runs don't always show the value of that player unless we look at under what conditions they were scored such as a single scored by Touseef at Sharjah or Miandad's Six on the last ball. No doubt there are good players in current Pakistan team that's why they dominated in the first three days, and if they had won the game then we would all be claiming they are the World's best team. Pakistan Cricket Board has to work on their mental ability to turn them into a fighter not just a performer. As said by Mr. Asmat 'Our team is no different from all of us as a nation'. Unless we take pride in ourselves and our nation we will be just a loser whether it's Cricket, Hockey or anything where we have to perform collectively. Thanks for mentioning Hobart 1999, I still can't forget that game when on the fourth day every one at my workplace congratulated me that we had won the game but on the next day we could not get two batsmen out specially when we had the world's best bowling attack. Nadeem Ul-Haque Sydney
Ali
Jan 08, 2010 10:55pm
This would be the greatest tragedy of Pakistan cricket if Younis is brought back.
Hamad
Jan 08, 2010 11:06pm
Just when I was about to read this article I realized my new year resolution made on Jan 6. Never to spend any more time on anything to do with our cricket team. Thank you.
wamiq
Jan 08, 2010 11:07pm
Ahsan, You depicted exactly what I was feeling. Well done mate!
Shoeb Shaw
Jan 08, 2010 11:14pm
I whole heartedly agree with Shiva Sundar's comments @15:45 on Jan 8th, 2010. We need to rectify our shortcomings at grass root level (just like we need to do with our current rotten political system) only then we can expect good results. If our feed line does not exist then we have to rely on whatever we have available.
Ekramul Majid
Jan 08, 2010 11:16pm
I am not a Pakistani but followed the match on my laptop from North America. The Pakistan team should be ashamed, absolutely ashamed of how they threw the match away. It had for all practical purposes won the game. The Australian total was easily achievable.
Amim Ehsan
Jan 09, 2010 07:10am
Two major mistakes with the selection of playing XI. If Kamran is highly regarded for his batting alone then we should play him at no. 3 as a batsman and lets see if he performs with the bat. Keeping for 100+ overs is a difficult task (despite his failures) and to bat well at no. 3 would have been difficult. Kamran appears to be technically better than Faisal and Misbah and perhaps Shoaib Malik. So let
KK
Jan 09, 2010 07:19am
I Know that Younis is a good player and has the capability of change the scenario
Syed
Jan 09, 2010 08:42am
There should be an inquiry whether it was a match fixing or not?
saleem b
Jan 09, 2010 01:31am
Bhai-bhai culture rather than on the basis of merit. This sentence says it all not just for cricket but for all aspects of our society!
A Guillon
Jan 09, 2010 01:34am
Australia is the best.
Navaid Ahmed
Jan 09, 2010 01:55am
Totally agree with all the comments I myself have wasted enormous time.
Mohammed Padela
Jan 09, 2010 02:03am
Firstly Younis has got attitude and he thinks that he is one of the best player. He believes that board will kneel down and request him to join the team which is wrong. Secondly horrible captaincy and we can not only blame Kamran Akmal for the loss. He should not be dropped but can be given a break for one or two matches. He is the best opener in one day cricket and he has played many match winning knocks. Thirdly, the main reason our batsman fail to perform is due to frequent changes in batting order. There was no reason to send Fawad home he has a better average than Imran Farhat and many others. There are many players who can be picked up from the domestic like Umar Akmal.
Krish Ambady
Jan 09, 2010 03:29am
I am from India I have been following this series and wanted Australia to be beaten- i.e. Pakistan to win. Until the fourth day, I though Pakistan was going to win or worst case draw the game. This was really bad.
amjad
Jan 09, 2010 04:07am
When Umar Akmal got a chance in international cricket he was averaging 52 in 30 first class matches and know Naved Yasin is averaging 55 in 26 first class games may be he is another Umar Akmal waiting who knows.
Engr.Faizan Pervaiz
Jan 09, 2010 04:24am
I am not much shocked by the performance of Pakistani team because we might expect these silly and irresponsible performances by Pakistani. Infact for me Yousuf don
sana yasin
Jan 09, 2010 04:59am
I always believe Younis khan should be part of Pakistan Team and it was statement of Imran Khan that Younis Khan is the only person who is capable of being Pakistani Captain. Where is Asam Kamal. Left handed batsman with wonderful technique. If our selectors like to waste a series on Misbah & Faisal why not give a chance to a youngster who truly deserve that.
AsadAK
Jan 09, 2010 05:43am
I want to reply to those people who are saying when the team needed him the most he left. Hello in which world you guys are living? The team didn
Shehryar
Jan 09, 2010 06:00am
Out of the current lot, only Yousuf is really a test player. The others (Farhat, Faisal and Misbah) are club level players. And you don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that Test cricket can
Sami from USA
Jan 09, 2010 06:05am
I agree with the article and the comments of Sikanader, Manchester. I also think Intikhab should be replaced immediately. He is a very defensive person by nature and has never played modern cricket. I think Waqar Younus will be an excellent choice for the coaching job. Also we can be better off without Yousuf as a captain and need immediate replacement of two openers, Misbah, Faisal Iqbal and Kamran Akmal. I have been watching cricket all my life and I never felt so bad for a Pakistani cricket team loss. It is not that Pakistan lost a test match but the way they lost it by practically handed over the game to Australians which hurts most.
Ashar Grami
Jan 09, 2010 02:27pm
Sitting in Saudi Arabia the only good news came from back home in last 9 years was Winning the T20 World Cup rest are the shocks and negative surprises. Lost in Sydney is the list of worst shocks. Seriously Pakistan should cancel all test match schedules for 2010 after this performance. Cricket should be revamped and all sports activities should be reorganized at the school level with full honesty and dedication. Chacha , Mama culture should immediately be stopped and merit should be introduced at all levels in all sports then only after 5 years we shall be able to compete properly in International sports including cricket.
SOFIA
Jan 09, 2010 03:25pm
Whatever you have written It's just right anyway, I don't know what to say about it cause I never wanted to criticize the team in any case. But our team is such so good in making us through bad things on them. So what we can do about it!
Imad
Jan 09, 2010 03:29pm
Test Match solution. Drop Kamran immediately and for god sake give other wicket keeper a chance! Unless you play him for couple of matches how will he prove himself! Bring back Younis, hire a foreign coach preferably in batting dept, don't bring back Shoaib Malik. Make the coach accountable and give him a time frame to achieve success. Send all players for English learning classes.
Leon
Jan 09, 2010 05:14pm
I am from India but do follow Pak cricket quite closely. I share the same sentiment like most guys out here. Winning and losing is part of the game, but yes, lose in grace rather than the sham in which this test was lost. After all, it is not the 11 on the ground who lose, but the trust of the millions back home which is betrayed by lack luster performances such as this. Play at least with a little more zeal.
AsadAK
Jan 09, 2010 05:50pm
I have seen some comments against Younis Khan, even he is not part of the team but people who are narrow minded are focusing on Younis Khan rather talking about failures of PCB. Pakistan losses has nothing to do with Younis Khan. He can think whatever he is and that
Wasim
Jan 09, 2010 05:58pm
Sami only bowled 1.5 overs with the new ball. While Kaneria was introduced back into the attack just after 10 overs. Why? Mohammad Yousaf was lauded for his 8-1 field in the last test why after dominating in the first three days he forgot how to place the field. He has played 87 tests he is not a novice. He was defensive in the field but batted over aggressively which he usually doesn't and was not required at that stage. Why? He blames T20 for Pakistan's batting woe's but batted like a T20 batsman while chasing a small total. Why? Forget about the dropped catches why Kamran Akmal didn't whipped the bails off while attempting to run out Watson that usually is a natural instinct of a wicket keeper, Watson was not even in the frame. Why? Where was Waqar Younis obviously he had a role to play, he should have given the bowlers a plan to get the last two wickets quickly, Why we don't ask him about the bizarre field placement and bowling changes. The first match was lost because the team management created a deliberate handicap in the bowling by not playing Sami and Kaneria. All three test series we played in last twelve months we lost matches after close contests and we will continue to lose unless a few players are not dropped from the team permanently. Naved Yasin should replace Faisal and Fawad should replace Misbah and they should be given an extended run. But the team management will play Malik in place of Misbah, Khurram in place of Faisal. Malik will play one good innings and will cement his place in the Odi's where he will disappoint again. We are losing anyways with these so called star players it's time to rebuild the team around Asif, Aamer, Kaneria, Ajmal, Sami, Umar gul, Butt, Umar Akmal and Afridi. With Younis Khan as batting coach.
akbar
Jan 09, 2010 06:02pm
Everyone knows that a win in Sydney would have put our cricket on the right path. We as spectators are so heart broken and shaken that it can
Khalid
Jan 09, 2010 08:05pm
Shahid Afridi deserves inclusion in test team on the basis of his bowling alone. He has matured a lot in last few years. He is no non-sense strict administrator. He is the very much person Pakistan needs for next 10 years as a captain.
Ajaz
Jan 10, 2010 05:16am
Something drastic has to be made by the PCB Chairman, to improve the dignity of Pakistan cricket team. The priority to send Intikhab Alam home along with Misbah. Kamran Akmal and Faisal Iqbal should be only considered for One day or 20-20, if they show improvement or else show them the exit door. Look for talents all over Pakistan. Stop selecting spectator players and select only players on merit. Please wake up now at least????
Irfan Rizvi
Jan 10, 2010 06:30am
Let
Deep
Jan 10, 2010 06:33am
This match did not only disappoint Pakistanis. Every Indian cricket fan I know (and being one myself, I know many of them) is following this series closely while supporting and rooting for Pakistan. Now, it is a different matter why all these Indians are passionately praying for Pakistan in this series, and were hoping for a Pakistan win. So Indians were bitterly disappointed at Pakistan's loss as well.
wamiq
Jan 10, 2010 06:46am
We did not produce any test caliber batsmen after Javed Miandad and Salim Malik. Yes, we had Inzamam but comparing his numbers with Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar and even Kallis I don
syed akhtar ahmad
Jan 10, 2010 01:36pm
Y. khan is a great player without him Pakistan team is just like ordinary team except Umar Akmal and Aamir.
Ratnesh Jachak,Dhamtari,INDIA
Jan 10, 2010 07:50pm
Well, all the difference is the captaincy. After Imran Khan you needless punish Wasim Akram who was the greatest one. Just see Indian team where not a bowler worth of Md. Asif or Umar Gul but the team spirit hoisted by Dhoni & supported by players like Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj make the Indian team No.1. Please Change your captain & I think Kamran Akmal would be as good as Dhoni.
AZFAR
Jan 10, 2010 09:35pm
Some will say it is a sports and win/loss is part and parcel. True! So having said that why is this persistent with Pak cricket that we tend to lose more than win. We fetch defeat after defeat from the jaws of victory! The team is getting spineless and needs a person or two to help make it stronger. Yes it is a person or two who will rebuild or be a role model. Truly you have only Yousuf and Younis who can stand up to it and now to some extent but immature Umar Akmal. Younis may not perform in domestic but his track record and mental ability to score runs in 2nd innings can be beneficial. We do need a strong middle order and need it very soon. Kamran Akmal can be played at No. 4 as a batsman only and lets see what can we do!
matt
Jan 11, 2010 12:55am
Thanks You made us to think a lot about Younis khan, let me ask you one question. If he did not want to play in first instance why care about him?
Tony Wajpai
Jan 11, 2010 02:11am
There is no doubt that Pakistan team need a leader right now! Team is loosing on a routinely basis rather than performing at the international level. Sorry affairs when the team can not win against a weak Australian and Kiwis team. Team needs a proven winner who has performed top class at the international level. Let
asif
Jan 11, 2010 02:17am
I think there is place of Faisal Iqbal in the team, Fawad Alam should stay here in Pak. and make Yousuf change his body language, I think he don't know that he is now captain. One thing more try Afridi.
Dawar
Jan 11, 2010 04:53am
Very good article. Its true Younis Khan is better batsman that Mohamamd Yousuf and Tendulkar in pressure. He is honest and best candidate for Captain. Yousuf can not raise voice on wrong doing of senior player. Akmal dropped 4 catches and one stump in one inning (World record by any wicket keeper on that level) and current captain still think he should play in the next match. Board should bring back Younis Khan as a Captain with the powers and authoring. He needs power to break the player mafia who support each other. Malik was dropped from the team due to his bad performance in New Zealand, he sat in the dressing room in Australia and now coming back in third test with out any score with that bat. What are the criteria to bring him back? One thing can only be correct, he was dropped before or he will play third test? Both can not be correct. Player mafia should finish, I wish Yonuis Khan will break this pressure lobby. Dawar, USA
Faisal Zaheer
Jan 11, 2010 05:32am
Please bring Younis back in the team, without him the team is incomplete. And Younis it is humbly requested to you from all Pakistani cricket fans to accept the captain ship and remove the lobbies. I am sure you can do it.
Nikhil
Jan 11, 2010 06:10am
I was dissapointed with the result. It was heartening to see Pak dominate Ricky Ponting's team for the most part of the test match. That there is talent in the team is undeniable with the classic pace bowling of Asif and Aamer and even Gul and Sami. Pak hasnt played test cricket for long and has been facing all sorts of problems. They did well despite that. One day they will have enough experience to go with their amazing talent. Maybe Shahid Afridi to captain in all formats is not a bad idea wherein he can play primarily as a bowling all rounder. All the best PAK, the future looks good for your team.
Riaz Khan
Jan 11, 2010 04:22pm
Younis has scored 6 centuries in 2nd Innings however hardly won any of those matches. Those are personal land marks. However Yousuf has won many matches for Pakistan and no comparisons with Sachin.
naveed
Jan 11, 2010 06:09pm
It was such a disappointing game. Don't the cricketers realise that people all over the world were watching!! We had to stay awake especially for them and for them to throw away the game is pathetic. I can't understand why the whole team, including management could not get the basics right. So sad. Sometimes wonder where Yousef got his batting average from
Ali
Jan 11, 2010 07:15pm
Pakistan cricket board is a senseless. They should have never let Younas to leave the team. If he had a bad form then why bother with Salman Butt, Faisal Iqbal and Misbah. Yousaf was a disgrace as a captain. If we went to restore some pride then Younas has to lead from the front.
akbar orakzai
Jan 11, 2010 08:17pm
Asalamoalaikum to all Friends I think we should blame Muhammad Yousaf Because ask him to send Younas Khan but Selection committee didn
Tariq Mahmmod
Jan 11, 2010 09:04pm
Excellent article Mr Butt. I fully understand your disappointment as it hurts more away from home. Nevertheless, let us not forget that we still are the T20 world champions and only one team can match that - Australia, who are the One Day champions. Hopefully, this team will find its way by the time the test championship arrives. By the way, we did win the first test championship of any kind - when we beat Sri Lanka in the final of Asian Test Championship. The real test of a player or team is their performance in an olympics/world cup/grand slam. The rankings can always be acquired by playing more matches/tournaments. The case of Safina in Tennis is a prime example - no one in their right mind will consider her better than Serena or Venus Williams!
Muhammad Hussain
Jan 11, 2010 09:42pm
It was a disgraceful surrender in the second Test. It is obvious Yousuf is NOT captain material and I don't think he has the backing of his players either. Pakistan has and always will be a team within a team, with no clear strategy to win games.
zain ahmed
Jan 12, 2010 12:07am
I think Pakistan cricket is coming to an end. We need a captain like Imran Khan. We need a captain who can groom our players and lead from the front.
Asfand jyar khan
Jan 12, 2010 07:14am
Yousuf is not a good captain but he is a good batsman in test cricket. We want Younis khan back as a captain.
Syed Ali
Jan 12, 2010 08:20am
Please close the chapter of Younis Khan all we need is a talented person to command the team.
m siddique
Jan 12, 2010 11:11am
Younis is very smart and intelligent man,by keeping himself out of Australian tour he saved his skin. He knew that after getting defeat from Austalia his international cricket chapter will be closed.
Chris
Jan 12, 2010 02:49pm
That was very much expected!!!! Lets face the reality that Pakistani batsmen doesnt have right technique to face quality bowling like Austarlia that too in Australia. They never had quality batsmen in the past as well if we leave the few exception. There is lot of talk about Younis Khan but I do not think he could have made any difference as he also have very average record in difficult conditions.
Mohammed Abid
Jan 12, 2010 06:06pm
Every body goes through bad days. Anyone who drops catches or do not score should be dropped. Yousuf, Abdul Razzak, Shoaib Malik, Umer, openers and Younis are good players and so is are Kaneria, Sami, Asif, Tanveer, Amer, Gul, and Shoaib. I see we need score and good bowling. I would drop, at least for 1 or 2 games, who is not a clutch player. 2nd game was crucial and the wicket keeper was tired. Let him rest. Seems like he doesn't care about cricket fans feeling. I think Intekhab is very talented. He wants to win. I wish him success. Abid Chicago
Anis Khan
Jan 12, 2010 09:10pm
It was disappointing to see Pakistan lose from a winning position. After the first day, I had hoped that we will win by an innings. The truth, however, was far from reality. Younis and Yousuf both are match winners and great batsmen, but Yousuf lacks the flair of captaincy. However, Younis wants to prove his cunning point that he is the best captain at the moment and should be given unlimited powers, which is again wrong. Agreed, Younis has 6/16 centuries in the second innings, which is a higher percentage that that of Yousuf and Tendulkar, but Yousuf and Tendulkar's centuries have resulted in more victories that Younis's. I hope I can see the old Pakistan team during the time of Imran. Disappointed fan.
Syed
Jan 12, 2010 11:06pm
I think Pakistani team is now transformed into T20 team. All they have to do is to keep their energy level high for few hours and do all kind of stunts in T20 and they win the match. For test cricket you need a good captain which I don
Abid
Jan 13, 2010 04:07am
Kamran needs class. One would be ashamed of dropping 4 catches & missing stumps in a crucial Second Test, if only its importance cod be realized. Board should replace non performers, allow no room for shallow performers.
yousuf
Jan 13, 2010 07:15pm
I will not say that this is solely depended on one or two person. Test cricket is not a game played on streets. Coach, manager, captain and Vice captain should have planned, discuss the line of action. Suggesting that Yousuf is one to blame for the defensive field setting. Why not we should ask the coach. I was anticipating that some one from the management should discuss this with the captain unless they decided earlier. Batsman playing like they are playing one day game. Again did we discussed theses. I do remember Salman Butt in Sri Lanka throwing away his wicket and started the fall of wicket when Yousuf got out and we lost the game. I think, it is time to throw people out of game who does not have behave as professional. Remember, it is a team game and a hindered or 5 wickets in 10 games should not be enough to be picked in the team. I would suggest drop Salman, Farhat, faisal, Misbah, Malik out and bring some you from under 19 and give them chance to prove themself. I know, next these guys will play against Zimbabwe or Bangladesh, make hundred and will stay in the team for next two years unless we will play next time in Australia or England.
samy
Jan 15, 2010 09:53am
Pak had a chance to finish Ponting as a player and batsman. Instead they had reacted to pressure in such a way that they have finished 5 of their careers (If the selectors act with Some sense)...
Abid
Jan 15, 2010 06:08am
Pakistan team has one heck of players. They only need more play time together. Intekhab Alam is a fine manager, and doesn't hesitate one bit in trying new names. Talented Sarfaraz is filling big shoes and he is only 17. It is only a matter of time. Look at Amer, Sami and Asif, they do not let us miss Pindi express. I have one advice, bowlers need to work like Asif Iqbal, Imran Khan, or Wasim Akram. They all turned great batsman. Pakistani fans need runs. We all need 11 batsman. We need to have faith. New talents This team
CRICKETLOVER
Jan 16, 2010 12:38am
Very well summed up, but just one thing to add here. Younis Khan, no matter how valuable and capable the writer depicts him to be, must do a little introspection and come out clean on this: Is he really and truly patriotic? I don't think so. Same goes for Shahid Afridi, sorry to write this way! However, it still is a mystery to me as it might be to a lot of other people as well as to what could be the 'incentive' to get either one to come out and play for the country as and when demanded of them? Wasn't there a sense of urgency that emanated from the calls that were being made before the tour Down under? Didn't there exist a spot or two for either or both of these stalwarts in our Test sides especially in view of the general lack of experience in the team's middle order? We need to come down real hard on such selfish attitudes from our celebrated stars in order to prevent any further humiliations and broken hearts.
Ajaz
Jan 23, 2010 03:09pm
Younus is not in form. It happens with any cricketer. So is Yousuf too. Why don't these so called great players rest and improve their batting at domestic levels?, instead of practicing their batting at the cost of Pakistan's reputation in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and now Australia. Younus and Yousuf if you both have any regard for your country, then you should voluntarily step down or PCB should drop them out. As they have costed us the first One Day and will do the same in all other matches. It
Shoaib
Jan 26, 2010 06:52pm
Dear, the problem is that they are playing for money not for country. See Mr Umer Akmal what he was did when selector dropped his brother. They all are thinking for his future not for Pakistan future.