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How Pakistan can resolve its batting crisis

Updated Jun 16, 2013 11:18pm


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Why was Imran Farhat in the team in the first place? -Photo by AP
Why was Imran Farhat in the team in the first place? -Photo by AP

“Imran Farhat ko dekhte dekhte mujhe baara saal ho gaye hain, majaal hai ke kaheen chal jaye yeh bacha.”

Those were the words Wasim Akram used in the aftermath of Pakistan’s loss to South Africa in the Champions Trophy. One thing it proved was how language affects a commentator; Wasim has often been accused of being verbose and not sharp enough when commentating in English, neither of which was the case in his paean to Imran Farhat. He summed up the thoughts of the majority of the cricket watching public in Pakistan far more succinctly than they would have been capable of. And he did ask a most pertinent question: why was Imran Farhat in the team in the first place?

His fans – and yes, there are some – would argue about his performance in the domestic season. That, of course, ignores the fact that the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, this season (due to rule changes), was of a far lower standard than the President’s Trophy – which can now be considered Pakistan’s premier four-day competition. And Farhat excelled far more in the QeA than in the President’s Trophy. This raises a few questions regarding the standard and conditions of the domestic season; but ignores the fact that Farhat was selected for the ODIs despite not performing in the President’s Cup (the foremost 50-over tournament in the country). He failed to score a fifty in the List A matches this year, after all. But regardless of all that, the point to be made in this case is about realizing one’s limitations. There are players the world over, and across many different sports, that are often too good for the second tier but not good enough for the very best; sportsmen who revel in minnow bashing.

As Wasim said, over the past twelve years Pakistan have had enough time, and evidence, to realize that Farhat belongs in that category. Surely the only thing more important for selection than domestic performance should be the past international record. And Farhat has proven his credentials – averages bordering on thirty after 40 Tests and 58 ODIs is not the record of someone to be relied upon.

The same can be said of Shoaib Malik; he too has excelled at the domestic level when he has needed to, but over the past five years his value as an international cricketer – which was never that high in the first place – has gone into an inexorable decline. Before this tour he has been a regular for most of the past eighteen months, despite never justifying his position. He had not averaged over 35 in any of the ten series he has played since the 2009 Champions Trophy; add that to him not being anything more than the sixth bowler, and his continued selections become difficult to defend. Particularly since he has now stopped even scoring against India, who used to be his favourite whipping boys until not that long ago.

Fawad Alam has the highest First Class average in Pakistani history.

The cases for Kamran Akmal and Muhammad Hafeez are more complex than these two. These two offer more than just with the bat – Hafeez far more than Akmal at that. Pakistan could begin by sacking the first two, though. Even when Malik and Farhat are sacked, they will likely be replaced by Younis Khan Shahid Afridi – two other players whose contribution to the ODI team has been insignificant in the past couple of years. Younis might well be the greatest Test batsman in Pakistan’s history, but he has never been a great ODI player – another example of Pakistan’s refusal to learn from the past. But if they do come back we will hear the commentators – including the chairman of the selection committee – say that there just isn’t enough talent in Pakistan. Talent is an odd beast; in Pakistan’s case it can range from zero to infinity based on the speaker’s motives.

So is there no batting talent in Pakistan? Well, there are Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam, two of the four current Pakistan players who average above 35 in ODIs. I wrote about Umar Akmal more than a year ago,and my opinion hasn’t really changed that much. Meanwhile, Alam has the highest First Class average in Pakistani history but isn’t considered good enough for the national side for no apparent reason. The style of these two can be argued upon, but I would rather have someone who throws his wicket away (or cannot hit the ball far enough) averaging forty ahead of someone who is safe, sound and correct but averages thirty. Cricket, for all the guff, is just a game of numbers. This duo has always been treated poorly by the team management, and that is the reason that years after their debuts neither has found a role in the team. Umar Akmal, despite how he has been dealt with, is the only player apart from Nasir Jamshed who averages above 35 at a strike rate above 80. For all the criticism of the style of Fawad, he is the best rotator in Pakistan – he has the lowest dot ball percentage of Pakistani batsmen in this century. And if we have a problem with those two, there are other left-field options to be tried. Haris Sohail averaged 134 in the President’s Trophy (no one else averaged more than 53); in another country he would have been declared the messiah and drafted into the team straight away, much like Kushal Perera. Not so in Pakistan. Sohaib Maqsood, in his breakout season, had the most 50+ scores in both the President’s Trophy and the President’s Cup – where he was also the highest scorer in the competition. Yet he wasn’t considered good enough for the 30-man longlist for the Champions Trophy.

Ignoring the argument over the meaning and value of stats for another day, the fact remains that the selection committee does have options. Of course none of them are truly ready to take it to the final level; the reasons for which are the structure of the national game – which too is a debate for another day. Pakistan should have used the time between the 2011 World Cup until now building a team for the future. Instead, with the captain under fire before every series, conservative options have been taken and Pakistan are further away from an ideal team now than they were two years ago. The past two years should have been used to build a batting team around Misbah-ul-Haq with the options including all the names mentioned in the previous paragraph, in addition to Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. Neither of those two are truly built for the shorter formats, but they deserve their chance to fail far more than the proven failures, owing to their success in Test cricket.

The argument made by Misbah and the selection committee has been that Pakistan need experienced batsmen; but the experience in their cases is one of failure. Pakistan now have 20 months, almost exclusively in friendly conditions, before the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. They could begin the process of building for that by removing the deadwood. Pakistan were fortunate to lose the game against India too, as any victory there could have given the apologists something to hold on to – but now Pakistan are in an ideal crisis for change to occur. But optimism, especially with the selections process, is in short supply in Pakistan; unlike the supposed talent.


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Comments (141) Closed

Hussain Jun 16, 2013 08:11pm

I would rather have Razzaq in place of Malik and Umar Akmal in place of Umar Amin (Who also cannot hit a six in an international match like Fawad Alam). Hafeez to open with Nasir Jamshed. One down Misbah then Umar Akmal (wish he would play as wicketkeeper batsman but we know that wouldn't happen as long as Kamran Akmal has a chance to play). Then Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Razzaq to follow. Bowling headed by Irfan and Junaid. Saeed Ajmal and Gul

Wasti Jun 16, 2013 08:11pm

I hope not to see Imran Farhat in the future. Such a waste of time. I am watching him for the last 13 years. below average player. We need to develop the youngsters for future. Fawad and Umar should be given more chances....

Hasan Jun 16, 2013 08:28pm

Imran Farhat's ODI Strike-Rate is 69 !... even Misbah and Younis have around 75. Why play an opener when he is known to waste balls and put pressure on the whole team?

Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzak may equally be unreliable, but they would never put pressure on others by wasting balls - And they are those who 'can' win matches.

Though we need more batsmen like Nasir Jamshed and Asad Shafiq, who can play more sensibly and consistently with decent strike-rate.

Shahid Jun 16, 2013 08:32pm

I would think that selectors and the official are biased and corrupt because I don't think they are such immatures and lacking wisdom. Players like Farhat, Sami, Faisal Iqbal and Shoaib Malik have played for 10 years each and never were successful. Do you know that the last 50 scored by Malik was in 2009. Even playing Umar Amin and excluding Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam and Haris Sohail is a result of liking and disliking. How long are going to keep Hafeez with 26 average only because he can bowl. If there is no replacement in sight the why dont we play him at no. 5 where the ball stops swinging. Why wont Misbah move up the order when the top order is failing all the time.

Amir Jun 16, 2013 08:41pm

all Pakistan cricket ills will go away if only Fawad Alam is called back. These kind of shoddy analysts have kept our cricket back. Then Fawad Alam as usual will fail the same way- and that is why he is not in the team to begin with- then we will have another analysts asking for Imran Farhat to be called back with similar arguments. Younis and Shahid Afridi are also coming back , same people demanding their comeback. Pakistan is on its way becoming a Bangladesh level team-no disrespect to Bangladesh- Our coach is satisfied, that tells you no remedial action coming soon. Remedy is finding new players and unfortunately we have none. Or we have dumb administrators who can't seem to notice any?

Riz - US Jun 16, 2013 08:57pm

@ Hassan: I have been reading/following your articles regularly and cannot agree more with you. The way you have described the situation is the exact scenario we are in. But I will disagree with you on at least Umar Akmal as he is not at all have the ability to be a world class material. In 70+ ODI's he got only one 100+ score which by no means make him an automatic selection or a world class player. Whereas if you look at the neighboring India's Virat Kohli who started his career only an year earlier than the so called big talent of Pakistan has time and again showed his class as an international player. Hope people in Pakistan and else where get there facts straight by comparing apples to apples. I have copy/pasted the two players record below for reference. Hope to see Pakistan cricket team get their act together sooner then later before it gets too late. God bless!!!

Umar Akmal 71 62 9 2001 102* 37.75 2381 84.04 1 16

Virat Kohli 101 98 14 4129 183 49.15 4802 85.98 13 22

Asif Pirzada Jun 16, 2013 08:58pm

Pakistan's batting crisis in my opinion cannot be fixed unless a person like Imran Khan take over cricket activities of PCB

Asif Pirzada Jun 16, 2013 09:02pm

Pakistan's batting crisis cannot be fixed unless a person like Imran Khan' take over activities of PCB

Tariq Choudhry Jun 16, 2013 09:10pm

The fact is that good promising youngsters are not given enough chances because of the so called oldies... they fear that new ones will take their places... the old guard scratches each others backs... there are so many talented boys, to name a few ahmad Shahzad, Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali, i can name so many... look at Asad Shafiq and Nasir Jamshed they have performed continuously yet the old guard does not allow them to flourish... we must stop this and appoint merit based selectors not those who look after their vested interests...

ndean Jun 16, 2013 09:20pm

first and foremost, the selection committee should and must stop favoring players who do not meet or even come close to meeting the performance criteria at the international level. Selection process is flawed and corrupt to the core. fire the selection committee officials who are not objective in having the clear measurable goals for every player on the team.

usman Jun 16, 2013 09:41pm

In my opinion we have to sack all the players who were involved in swearing on Quran for not playing under Younis Khan in the last Champion's Trophy. That incident started the decline in Pakistan's cricket and we never came out of it ever since.

To start with we need to part ways with the Misbah approach and his captaincy is bringing to the team's approach of playing all forms of cricket. I wonder why cant we make Younis khan the captain of ODI and test teams as it was Younis who won us the 20/20 world cup and brought the team back from near elimination by changes in the team. It was he who led the team with unknown Mohammad Amir and Shahzeb Hasan. It was he who changed the batting order of Shahid Afridi and Afridi responded positively to that move. It was he who started with Razaq as the opening bowler in the final and he wrecked havoc in the Sri Lankan batting line up.

So in short a man who can think out of box and has proven record of leading the team in prestigious tournaments should be asked to rebuild the team till next world cup. But this will never happen as Younis will like to enforce his will on the Board and selectors which will not be liked in PCB. I hope PCB will hand over the rebuilding job to Younis Khan.

deepak Jun 16, 2013 09:57pm

A good article.....Should be read by the PCB !!

Ahmer Jun 16, 2013 10:09pm

The whole stable is reeking. We need totally new faces in PCB, manager, coaches, captain and players, who are not associated in any way with this sorry state of our cricket. The new team might not do well in 2015 but then nor will the current one. It is better to bet on new faces who will be world class players within three years if we start straightaway.

Azim Jun 16, 2013 10:09pm

PCB and the selection committee behaves like "My way or the Highway" and justifies their decision by saying "There is not enough talent out their" they are misleading the nation and we will continue to hear this song and dance. President's power to assign PCB chief is the main problem. Writers and the cricket pundits need to address this in strong terms. Sooner we do that the better it is for cricket in Pakistan.

PaKFan Jun 16, 2013 10:19pm

I agree with the writer's notion to give consistent chances on merit to guys like Fawad Alam, Umer Akmal, Asad Shafiq etc instead of guys with proven failures in the past 4 years. It is a tragedy that our selection process is not based on a just criterion. It is really frustrating for a Pakistan cricket fan to see this in Pakistan cricket time and again.

gr mir Jun 16, 2013 10:27pm

The analysis of players very much correct but providing options like ummer akmal and Fawad alam by such a great cricketer seems that he has lost his guts and is also not a well wisher of pak cricket.why not Hamad Azam,Razak ,afridi ,younus instead of Hafiz,malik,ummer amin and farhat.

syed Jun 16, 2013 10:30pm

Cheema sahib your article is of no use and issues you have raised are well known to everybody.What is the point? You know Misbah and selectors favour players from a certain area of the country.Have you heard of Umar Amin ODI average of 15 !! Nothing changes in our country. Only change which has happened is that players from Lahore and vicinity are now discriminating their own brothers e.g Razzak who was born and raised in same area.

sali Jun 16, 2013 11:14pm

The difference is when Razzaq failed he didn't look timid. Opposition were thankful that he got out and as long as he was batting, there was hope. On the other hand, when Shoib Malik is playing you know nothing will happen. Its just a matter of time and he will be gone. His spin bowling is ineffective since he was banned from bowling doosra. With Hafeeez and Ajmal in the team, there is no place for third below averge off spinner. Players like Hafeez and Imran Farhat don't have technique to play against good quality pace bowling. Hafeez is the only one who can make in the team as an allrounder.... .Pakistan is short of 4 good batsman. However, answer is not to recycle players who have already been given a chance before and not shown their worth. Umer Akmal is an exception. He just needs to fix his brain and attitide, he has the technique and shots to rise.

AJ Jun 16, 2013 11:26pm

(Team A)Kamran Akmal, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Haris Sohail, Misbah, Hafeez, Razzaq, Irfan, Gul, Ajmal ..... (TEAM B) Fawad Alam, Ahmed Shehzad, Usman Sallahuddin, Shahzeib Hassan, Junaid Khan, Asad Ali, Wahab, Rehman, Afridi, Hammad Azzam, Mohammad Rezwan). It is a pool of 22 players which could make national as well as a reserve team. In the national team, while playing outside subcontinent, I will play Hafez at no. 5 or 6.

Ahmed Jun 16, 2013 11:41pm

An okay article. But I am flabbergasted at writers' soft corner for Kamran Akmal. What more does he add to his batting ? 2 crucial dropped catches per innings ? Kamran Akmal is BIGGEST parchee in this team. Secondly I dont think this current PCB is capable of any changes especially likes of Fawad Alam. This setup is the reason why he is out inspite of his supreme first class record.

Ahmed Jun 16, 2013 11:46pm

@Amir: He is not coming back because he is from Karachi. Kakmal, Farhat and Malik will not be discarded because they are from Northern Punjab.

Umar Jun 17, 2013 12:06am

If only someone can explain to me why players such as Abdul Razzaq, who has fared well whenever given a chance, have been left out. Completely stupid on the part of the team management who have not handled these guys well

Umair Jun 17, 2013 12:13am

very well written 100% agreed !!!! and the players selected didnt even had good averages (below 37) in domestic too even then they got selected (Malik, Imran farhat, asad shafiq) there is another guy Afaq Raheem wid an average of 40+ n strike rate of 80+ in list A... all these facts lead to a conclusion that selectors are the culprit they dont have the ability to pick right players !!!!

Salim Damani Jun 17, 2013 12:43am

I have read all comments and surpised to note that no one have commented any remarks on Whitmore performance. Not even Mr Cheema wrote anything about him. I see no used of him as a coach. Rather Mohsin Khan has better credits then him. First thing Pak has to do is to show door to him and hire a better coach.

Mobeen Tahir Jun 17, 2013 01:45am

Some people argue that Misbah builds up his innings slowly and eventually makes up for his low strike rate but hitting sixes towards the end. One must remember that while Misbah is fumbling around the crease, playing dot balls and struggling to take singles, the bowler is busy getting his confidence up and the batsman at the non striker end pays for the boost given to bowlers morale by Misbah's sluggish and tentative style. He appears to have played the sheet anchor role, in reality his style is playing a negative role for the Pakistani batting.

Fawad Jun 17, 2013 01:53am

Our batting has always been weak. The only time batting was at its best was when Saeed Anwar was there. PCB has been very unfair with Razzaq, Yousuf(youhana) and hasn't given enough chances to new guys like Ahmed shehzad, Fawad alam and Hammad azam. We need to get rid of Sifarshi Imran farhat, Kamran akmal, & Malik. Hafeez needs to be consistent if he wants to be a world class batsman. PCB needs to stop taking players from certain areas. Players should be given an equal chance from All parts of Pakistan and paki team needs to be serious in choosing the right batsmen and batting order.

Bilal Naveed Jun 17, 2013 02:00am

Pakistan's cricket team rebuilding process can be compared to result of recent elections. Not enough guts to go for real change, just playing it safe and giving tried horses more chances than they deserve. Our national psyche is based on fear, and playing it safe is our approach. Negotiating and trying to find middle grounds trying to keep everyone happy when we should be tackling things head on, regardless of who gets upset! We would rather play for a draw than take the risk of trying to win outright. So is it any wonder we have a team like this, made up of such players whose career records should have "Expired" stamped on them long long ago.

Bilal Naveed Jun 17, 2013 02:00am

@Umar: AbdulRazzak should be declared Senior Citizen and be put on pension.

Fawad Jun 17, 2013 02:02am

You have to be a proven failure with a big PAWA to be selected in our Pakistan team. Biggest examples are Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat. If someone dares to drop them then some other proven failures with PAWA's will be selected. Anybody like Razzaq who dares to perform is dropped from the team.

It is shameful that in Champions Trophy our bowlers had a better batting average then our batsmen. Shame on the selectors for selecting this team. Is this what they are paid to do and is this what is expected of our team. Shame on PCB. All sifarishi people sitting there. Jun 17, 2013 02:07am

@Shahid: shoaib malik must pack bags and be a water man for sania he is just a waste of cricket

Mahmood Jun 17, 2013 02:20am

What can one expect in a country where corruption is rife in every aspect of life! I was in Muredkey some years ago at the Lahore Cricket Academy and saw a 14 year old spin the ball both ways. But he said, only people of the class with connections will get in the Pakistan team so I have no chance!!

Our society has forgotten what truth and justice is about so anarchy prevails. I was in Nigeria some years ago and the General Manager of a Bank invited us to his house, we had armed guard take us on that drive. And when at home we saw there was an iron gate leading from Ground Floor to the bedrooms upstairs! This will be Pakistan's fate in a few years if the level of corruption and lack of justice carries on!!

May Allah have mercy on our children's souls who have been mortgaged to the hilt by our corrupt ways!!

Dr. M. Chaudhry P.h.D. Jun 17, 2013 02:27am

The great American baseball pitcher Warren Spahn once said,

matheww Jun 17, 2013 02:33am

well said but where is the talent in todays world u make team for tommorrow not for world cup which is so far,every match is world cup these days If u dont have replacements why not to play old players viz afridi and younis and who are u talking about asad shafiq,umar amin,they canot make into even ranji team in india get the fact right u guys have no talent left

G. Vin Jun 17, 2013 02:37am

I am an Indian living in U.S. and don't know too many details but am really sad to see a very poor performance by Pakistan. Pakistan have world class cricketers- past and present- and there is no reason why they should have any problem to perform at a very high level. The only requirement is that (1) there should not be any regional politics (2) childish games like swearing on the Quaran that some players are reported to have refused to play under Younis Khan and (3) someone with absolutely unimpeachable reputation and credentials- national and international- to be given a broad broom to clean the house. ( say, like Wasim Akram)

ailly Jun 17, 2013 02:40am

Hassan Cheema, I was-cricket-fan from 1978 - 1996 world cup QF loss to India ( when the news broke out that skipper Akram had opted for money over national pride ).

That's history now. Whereas, after that match Pakistan cricket could not stem itself with same pride, dignity, enthusiasm and fervor with which it always used to enter the cricketing arenas anywhere around the globe. This hollow and crest-fallen spirit ensued with endless shuffling in cricket cadres. Chief Ex, Selectors, Captains, players, openers, combinations, batting order started changing hands like a batten in 4 x 400 m relay. To much amusement once Pak fielded six/seven test captains in a test match. Match fixing scandals surfaced one after another, player were found guilty, life bans were handed out when their playing days were over. Out of 2Ws one W made sit other W out of the team just to deny him wickets, tragedy or funny, you decide.

PCB management and selection committee is racing like headless horses. Need of the hour is good, strict and dedicated Management in PCB.

Problem does not lies with certain player's performance or nepotism. The whole issues lies with management. We need to find URGENTLY someone like Nur Khan who was staunch in his job and results vehemently seconded his resolute authority. Find it fast to bring our cricket at par with the teams of 70s 80s, 90s who used to dismantle other teams, their bowling attacks were flayed to pieces, their famous batting line-ups were destroyed repeatedly on perfect batting paradise.

On the contrary, our selectors asked Inzamam to prove his batting talent, which that fellow had to when he defied Bangladesh, PCB Selectors in Multan and scored a hundred and won. Had Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Farhat, Hafeez been in 80s or 90s teams they should have ended their careers like Mansoor, Jalaluddin, Manzoor, Taslim Arif etc.

For future team if Akmal brothers are anywhere in any cricketi format then we are not moving forward, but we are putting PCB at ransom with such players who will perform only if his brothers are playing. Why are we obliged to play them ?.

If PCB affairs lingered on like this another 4/5 years, then we will be nowhere on cricketing map or may be Sidhu will be heading our PCB as yesterday he suggested that Afridi's omission was blunder on part of PCB selection committee. What else are we waiting for, shame for us to hear that Indians will teach us on cricket affairs who were hiding in 80s and 90s to play

Taha Rizvi Jun 17, 2013 02:48am

The problem with the PCB, just like all other institutions in Pakistan, is that of nepotism and favoritism. The only probable reason Imran Farhat is still playing is because of his father-in-law, a former selector. This is just one example of a far-reaching problem. Favoritism, and by extension a plutocracy (who can argue the rich aren't favoured), is eating up Pakistan cricket. From the grass-roots level - in local cricket academies - to the national selection board, there is no escaping. Unless we manage to establish a merit based system and bring in honest and scrupulous people, we will still be haunted by Akmals and their likes.

fida sayani Jun 17, 2013 03:37am


Fowez Jun 17, 2013 03:52am

"But if they do come back we will hear the commentators

kamran Jun 17, 2013 04:52am

How Pakistan resolve batting crisis? Very simple answer, play the best batsmen. At present misson in hand is to play all 50 odi overs. No place for Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal. Also play Hafeez as an all rounder(either play Hafeez or Wahab Riaz or ?). Asad Shafiq and Hamad Azam should be part of ODI squad. Yonius should be back. Don't we have a new face Wicketkeeper batsman?

Sayed Qazi Jun 17, 2013 05:54am

Pakistan's batting woes is a reflection of the national psych

Umair Jun 17, 2013 07:08am

It is time to induct new blood, there is no point in carrying on with the same players. I quote Einstein: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Even if the younger talented players were to fail atleast they are getting an opportunity to learn and gain experience. Players with a high average in first class need to be brought into the team. Here are my teams for ODI and Test:

ODI 1 Kamran Akmal 2 Nasir Jamshed 3 Ahmed Shehzad 4 Haris Sohail 5 Umar Akmal\misbah\asad shafiq 6 Sohaib Maqsood\Akbar ur Rehman 7 Mohammed Hafeez -capt 8 Wahab Riaz\Anwar Ali 9 Junaid Khan 10 Mohammad Irfan\asad ali 11 saeed ajmal\abdur rehman


1 Kamran Akmal 2 Nasir Jamshed 3 Mohammed Hafeez 4 Azhar Ali 5 Asad Shafiq 6 Misbah Capt 7 haris sohail\akbar ur rehman\sohaib maqsood 8 abdur rehman\saeed 9 wahab\asad ali 10 junaid 11 irfan\ehsan adil

Ahmer Jun 17, 2013 07:50am

Cricket has become our national game and it is going down the drain fast. Either Imran Khan or someone from the Raiwind clan should take over the PCB.

Noman Jun 17, 2013 07:51am


I was impressed by your comments till you mentioned Shoaib Akhtar in the same class as of Hafeez, farhat and Afridi. The gulf in class between Shoaib and other 3 players is HUGE as reflected in his outstanding records in both ODIs and Tests (178 wickets @ 25 with SR 41 in tests, 247 @ 24.97 with SR 31). Like wasim and waqar, he won matches on his own and yet I rate him ahead of wasim and waqar not in terms of just career performances but although he was involved in many controversies and disciplinary problems but NEVER his image was tainted with the spot of match fixing or spot fixing allegations like those of wasim and waqar and for me his dedication and passion to play for his country despite severe injury problems stands out along with his excellent records and his terrorizing pace.

Boss Jun 17, 2013 09:09am

What ? Younis Khan, greatest test batsman ? He played in the same era as Inzi and does not measure up. PLEASE !

and don't even get me started on how fantastic Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas were !

I wouldn't even include him in my Top 5 of greatest test batsmen from Pak.

-indian cricket fan and also pakistan cricket fan

Iffy Jun 17, 2013 09:35am

Article should be renamed "How Pakistan can resolve is 'betting' crisis". I think, almost everyone in team is implicated, get rid of them all. start another team ab-initio, or under 17 etc. Guaranteed to improve results.

Osman Jun 17, 2013 09:54am

We need to rebuild team with youth and unfortunately, most old guards need to go: Razzak, Farhat, Shoaib, Afridi, Kamran, Younus and, in may be 12 months, Misbah too.

I challenge PCB to arrange 5 or more ODI series. ODI Series to be played between players who played even a single match in the Champions Trophy against the following:

Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal (wk), Fawad Alam, Sohaib Maqsood, Hamad Azam, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Hasan Raza, and Ehsan Adil. Reserves: Asad Ali, Anwar Ali, Imran Butt, and Adnan Akmal (wk).

Farrukh Jun 17, 2013 10:17am

What our politician did with this country? In the same way, unfortunately our cricket board & selection committee has destroyed Pakistani cricket team due lack of planning. What I have learned through all thes three games........... POLITICS as no batsman was intend to play. They are all wasting people money. They don't have any right to do so. For past many year in-fact 1997 world cup final I lost my hopes with team. They are better MODELS than players..........................................................

Abdullah Hussain Jun 17, 2013 10:56am

The only way to improve the batting is to induct new young talented boys. At least 6 out of 11 playing members have crossed all limits of training, physical fitness, mental fitness and desire to to do better. PCB is simply wasting time, resources & the productivity of Watmore . that can be utilized better with young new team. We simply cannot defy the Law of diminishing returns. The sooner we do away with these old & tired horses the better it will be for the national cricket.

Dilawer Jun 17, 2013 10:55am

@Dr. M. Chaudhry P.h.D.: Lots of words with a very little potential of implementation. I do not know if you really a practitioner of science or arts but you will notice that it is not the lack of understanding of science it is the lack of transparent selection of player which is killing the Pakistani cricket. With all the understanding of underlying principles of the game if we fail to stop the nepotism then what is the use of wind tunnel and all that you mentioned in your comments. By the way, do you intentionally put an extra period between "h.D"

Osman Jun 17, 2013 11:01am

My Pakistan Test Team Selection:

N. Jamshed; M. Hafeez; Azhar Ali; Misbah (c); H. Sohail; F. Alam; Adnan Akmal (wk); Abdur Rehman; U Gul; S. Ajmal; and Junaid K.

Reserves From: A. Shafiq; Imran Butt; Sohaib Maqsood; Younus Khan; Ehsan Adil; Asad Ali; Anwar Ali; Wahab Riaz.

My Pakistan ODI Team Selection:

N. Jamshed; A. Shehzad; M. Hafeez (c); U. Akmal (wk); H. Sohail; F. Alam; H. Azam; U Gul; S. Ajmal; Junaid K.; M. Irfan.

Reserves From: A. Shafiq; Babar Azam; Imran Butt; Sohaib Maqsood; Adnan Akmal (wk); Ehsan Adil; Asad Ali; Anwar Ali; Wahab Riaz; Abdur Rehman; Raza Hasan.

My Pakistan T20 Team Selection:

N. Jamshed; A. Shehzad; M. Hafeez (c); U. Akmal (wk); H. Sohail; Sohaib Maqsood; S. Afridi; H. Azam; U Gul; S. Ajmal; M. Irfan.

Reserves From: Babar Azam; Imran Butt; Sohaib Maqsood; Junaid K.; Ehsan Adil; Asad Ali; Anwar Ali; Abdur Rehman; Raza Hasan.

Dilawer Jun 17, 2013 11:12am

Enough with all the analysis. Fix the selectors and you will fix the problems. Selectors can't stand up against the pressure of influential crooks to get their favorites selected. People need to recognize the real problem behind the failure.

Zubair Jun 17, 2013 11:37am

@usman: Well said Usman. If a cleanup has to be done, it must start with those 7 or 8 players that swore on Quran (what an outgrageious act of childish behavior, let alone dishonest and spinelss). These players included Shoaib Malik, (late) Salman Butt, Kakmal and his sidekick Uakmal, Rana Naveed and a few more. Those who were conspicusous for their absence were Afridi (who actually broke this news), Fawad Alam (who scored crucial 164 in the same series), A few bowlers, cant recall maybe Gul, Akhter, Kaneria possibly. Secondly for this happen 100% of the top administrators in PCB need to be sacked (read "unceremoniously sacked"). Lastly there are many bloggers who stil have Kakmal on their team. On what record ? in last 7 years, only 4 or 5 50+ scores. And 50 dropped chances. I think Adnan Akmal, Salman Ahmed, Sarafaraz Ahmed, all of them are FAR FAR better, provided they are given extended run. They might not bat like a proper batsmen but they will surely bat better than kakmal if provided an proper run. All of them espcially Sarfraz and Salman both looked timid and afraid of losing their spot to Kakmal (i donnt konw who creates this pressure). Asad Shafique also looks timid because of insecurity of his spot on the team.

syed Jun 17, 2013 11:50am

@Dr. M. Chaudhry P.h.D.: Dear chaudhry saheb Either you write Dr or Phd. You are calling yorself doctor choudhry doctor of philosophy!!

mel Jun 17, 2013 12:07pm

@Noman: where shoaib akhtar was mentioned....?


@Dr. M. Chaudhry P.h.D.: yes, i surely agree with you that cricket is the game if understood its scientific dynamics as well. people sitting in PCB all should resigned and pave way for people like imran khan.

keep your contibution on.

Dilawer Jun 17, 2013 12:12pm

While I don't disagree with much of what have been said here. I think you are looking at it all wrong. The problem lies with the PCB management and not with the players. When we have dubious people running the show so this is the best what can can expect- a failure. To repair the foundation the start should be by letting the selectors go first. If selectors can't stand the pressure to stop favoritism then they should stay away from that job. Right now we should have to learn how to put a good team together all over again when the fact is we should logically have a team ready within a month or less. Just look at the advancement of what other teams have displayed to see how far we have to go and how far behind we have fallen from where we should be.

Dilawer Jun 17, 2013 12:23pm

Here is a solution. Hire Indians to select Pakistani team. If we lose then the blame game would be 100% genuine.

MAF Jun 17, 2013 12:24pm

Yes I agree about everything and I will tell you why Fawad Alam is not considered. Its because he is from Karachi and not Lahore. Once we stop sending Punjab Eleven and try and pick a Pakistan Eleven, we will have a proper team.

Nabeel Jun 17, 2013 12:34pm

All those players and selectors that have selected the team based on favouritism should be charged with treason. Individuals who are not compentent to represented the country failed and brought bad name tothis country. It is a sickening situation to see Imran Fahrat, Hafeez, Akmals playing for this country.

Adeel Jun 17, 2013 12:39pm

All lets face the fact....there is no way we are gonna win in any major tournaments here after....may be some bilateral series ....but not any major tournaments ....We are totally doomed...the country .sports,everything....

M Jun 17, 2013 01:12pm

The PCB should organize a camp on similar lines like they did when they started a nationwide search for fast bowlers. The batsmen identified should be sent to England to play club/ country cricket for a couple of seasons. If these guys manage to improve their skill levels there, then they can play on any surface. Secondly, our batsmen should be more aggressive in their approach. They seem to have gone into a shell. It is agreed that Farhat and Malik should not be retained. Besides them, Kamran Akmal should be removed and a new keeper drafted in. Akmal's batting is of no use to the team, so a new keeper with decent batting credentials would do wonders. Hafeez should probably move down the order to six. He is a decent player and can change the gears when needed. However I don't think his credentials are suited towards a number 3 position. Umar Akmal, who has mostly batted at number 6, should be moved up a position to number 5. Also, a hard hitting all-rounder needs to be drafted in at 8. Can be Hammad Azam or any other decent bowling all-rounder.

ailly Jun 17, 2013 01:14pm

@Noman: my Dear Friend, indeed my sentiments were same like yours, until I found that Shoaib Akhtar feigned an injury and did not bowled after few over in Rawalpindi test against India ( deciding match of the series and we lost that match and series 2-1), which really not only annoyed me but millions around in the country were equally disappointed from the finest bowler of that period. Otherwise, he was indeed a potent match winner at his own ( as you described him ). The reality is he had made several of his colleagues against him because of his short-temper nature. Imran, Waqar, Akram were also ( in their hey days ) short-tempered but they never fought physically or verbally with their colleagues ( even if they did it never came out in light ).

Very true his name was never associated with any match fixing / spot fixing scandal. He bowed out clean, but millions of die-hard fans are carrying an itch against him for above mentioned test match. He was never happy with Inzamam, Woolmer, Afridi and others for the reasons only these guys or Shoaib himself can describe.

Secondly, putting Shoaib's name with other less-talented players does not means he was b-grade player I just wanted to mention with such attitude and negative approach he may not have found himself playing cricket again if he was in Pakistan cricket in 80s or 90s. Otherwise, he was a world beater and class apart act at his own, no arguments on his class and achievements. He ruled supreme.

Thanks for asking clarification, trust to have suffice your reservations.

Lastly, I would still re-iterate and emphasize to get right man for heading PCB affairs, rest of the issues will weave a web around the 'gentleman' in right direction.

Rana Jun 17, 2013 01:13pm

@Dr. M. Chaudhry P.h.D.:

I'm sure thats what Mohammed Hafeez also told me before he went into bat. LOL!!

Rana Jun 17, 2013 01:22pm

Pakistan cricket will improve when its too late and Pakistani people worldwide start following Afghanistan and China cricket teams.

Aasim Umar Hashmi Jun 17, 2013 02:26pm

Still, you are selecting, Kamran Akmal after his failure over and over again.He has been tried form no-1 slot no-8, but never justified his place on any of these slot.Please reemove Kamran Akmal for the sake of Pakistan Cricket's betterment.

Junaid Jun 17, 2013 02:43pm

@G. Vin: What do we have to do with the fact that you are Indian and Living in US.

Seedhe baat par aana...

CricketFan Jun 17, 2013 02:56pm

The biggest problem what I am seeing is Pakistani players in their dreams compare themselves with Indian players. They see an equal love and support from their nation to them but their heart gets broken when they see the pay scale. Ms Dhoni, Kholi and few other gets 1 Crore Indian rupees per annum from central contract. where as there match fee is almost 20% higher than Pak players. Plus they play IPL plus they do endorsements. Plus there salaries are compared with other great sports personalities like Beckham, Messi and Nadal. In short Indian cricket players are living in heaven.

Javaid Jun 17, 2013 03:03pm

@Rana: I think that first to most we need overhauing of pcb where good cricketer should occupy the positions not people like qasim Iqbal Pakistan has the batting talent this current team have 4 to 5 match loser we need to get rid off them starting with shoib Malik , kamran Akmal , Imran farhat and surprise omission will in my opinion saeed Ajmal surprise yes we have ahmad shazad who is responsible players than farhat we have Hamad Azam who can replace shoiab Malik kamran should be replace by umer akmel in one day and 20s 20s so hail Harris should also be drafted in umer Amin should be regular part of this team he has the potential hafeez is good bowler to be 5th bowler and should come out 7 no opener or one down therefore Ajmal bowling is no longer has the edge shahid afridi should also be part of my team he has another two years of cricket left My team should be this ahmed shazad, nasir Jamshed( should be ask for 6 months of fitness programme if wants to continue in the national team),Harris so hail,misbah, umer Amin ,umer akmel, hafeez,shahid afridi,Wahhab riaz (as preferming well with the ball),junaid khan, irfan khan and 12th man ham ad Azam who can replace shahid afridi on occasion . One or two player do make the difference and also correct batting order is very important just look at india inclusion of dhawan and Danish kar tick .

ailly Jun 17, 2013 03:13pm

@Osman: Sir, drop Akmal from all formats, and Hafeez from test ranks, I second your choice...

Najjar Jun 17, 2013 03:22pm

@MAF: Pianfully, true.

Nish Jun 17, 2013 03:28pm

@Dr. M. Chaudhry P.h.D.: Hillarious. What about Srilanka, India and other teams. They had the same issues but it seems Pakistani players are more touchy about the weather condition and balls

M F Nadeem Jun 17, 2013 03:30pm

Excellent article. Please note that Usman Salahuddin can also be a possible replacement in the middle order. Moreover, there is another young keeper emerging, Mohammad Rizwan. Pakistan has enough talent, but our selectors are playing with our team.

mj Jun 17, 2013 03:38pm

Great Article! Its good to see that at least one media person see's this failure as an opportunity to re-build the team. it does no good too blame everyone involved and then make uncalculated changes just to assuage their countymen's anger. This trend has infact been one of the many contributory factors for our players dismal performance and lack of confidence. We need to be more positive and above all more rational in our support if we want to improve our cricket. Players with potential deserve more than just one chance to fail so that like everyone else they too could move up the learning curve.

Javaid Jun 17, 2013 03:38pm

@Osman: I do not know why you think hafeez should be captain he is wrong person his position is number 7 and also should replace Ajmal at least he is better batsman than Ajmal , also Ahmed shazad is very good and reliable player junaid is good bowler we seen enough of umer gul also umer Amin is very good batsmen given enough of opportunity and misbah should stay one more year as captain he still performing

nasim khan Jun 17, 2013 03:42pm

Pakistan team, particularly batting can improve and develop into a good side if the selectors select new, particularly young players, and let them with their own natural styles, WARNING: They should not be molded into MISBALL (Misbahul Haque) style, Misbah is such a pain to watch, i am sorry to the supporters of the pakistan team, but i keep repeating that misbah is not the solution of the Pak team, he may be tolerated in the Test team, but no where else, GUYS PLEASE READ Akram's Statement that Misbah needs a lots of ball to get settled but, has he ever proved or showed that he knows or has the capability to WIN matches if the Score is over 300. Please guys give me one example, he may the winner if the score is 230-250, but in those matches also the heart patients should not be allowed to watch who matches. Any way i want to see new faces in the pak team i.e. Haris, sharjeel and any other youngster who does not have any FEAR FACTOR

kamran Jun 17, 2013 03:52pm

I agree excellent article. I would suggest we bring in Azhar ali,Haris Sohail umar akmal. as azhar has proved himself in the test arena.

I like Umair Amin he looked much better then when he toured England. He has improved and we need to stay with the young talents. I also look forward to mohammed amir coming back as we do miss his talent.

I think it is time now to let kamran akmal go and drop imran farhat and Shoaib Malik. i think 3 left hander bowlers are also not a good idea. I would have played asad ali just for a change and he moves the ball.

So my players to go with for now would be

Nasir , Hafeez, azhar, sohail, misbah, asad s, umar akmal, sajeed ajmal, asad ali, mohammed arfan, wahab raiz.

making umar my wicket keeper Then to complete the 15 :- junaid khan, umair amin, hammad (all rounder), fawad alam

When mohammed is back playing i would they probably drop which ever of the 15 above are not playing well.

We have talent we need to let them play let them make mistake and support them. We have a team that can challenge.

I think the coach needs to be looked at one of the things that has worked is the fielding coach and he should stay but the rest really need to be looked at.

I would also suggest you get the younger players to play in eng, aus or south africa offer these to clubs at reduced prices so they get experience of playing outside pakistan.

I hope people like what i have had to say and hope to see what others have to say and what 11 would they choose remembering we are planning for the further

Kind Regards


nasim khan Jun 17, 2013 03:56pm

@Osman: Not a Bad team, probably, apart from 1 or 2 players i agree with your team

Saad Jun 17, 2013 03:59pm

Pakistan need fresh blood. Prayers like hammad azam, umar akmal, umar amin, haris sohail ahmad shahzad and raza hassan deserves to be in the team. Pakistan should get rid of imran farhat and shoaib malik. Misbah should remain captain until World cup. he and nasir jamshed are the only two batsmen in Pakistan team who have batting averages of more than 40

Nisar Ahmad Jun 17, 2013 04:22pm

u r still 25 matchs behind us//lol

Nisar Ahmad Jun 17, 2013 04:21pm

u r still 25 matchs behind us//lol

Saad Jun 17, 2013 04:24pm

@MAF: then why was Afridi selected for last two tours even though he was out of form for a long time???sohail khan with bowling average of 245 in tests, khalid latif with batting average of 4.85 were given chances. sarfaraz was dropped because of his poor batting skills. Even Shazaib hassan was given enough time. while umar akmal was dropped who is from Lahore and has batting average of 35, haris sohail from Sialkot is not given a single chance after outstanding performance in domestic cricket, mohammad yousaf and abdur razzaq both from lahore were treated badly by the board. So dont start this regional discrimination game because there are more examples of deserving players from punjab who are victim of poor selection of PCB.

Syed Wasim Ali Jun 17, 2013 04:40pm

Very well written arguments. This is not the first time the majority disagreed about Imran Farhat and Shoaib's inclusion in the team. And this won't be the last. Change is slow to come in Pakistan, if ever. Parchi system will continue to thrive. The only anti-dote is massive losses on the world stage, then again token changes will be made just to get over the hump, and then the old script will continue. It is sad, but it is true.

I think Ahmed Shehzad's name should have been mentioned as yet another player who hasn't gotten any love from PCB, thanks to the priority treatment of Imran Farhat. This is yet another sad case of ignoring talent and to succumb to preferential treatment.

Syed Ali Hussain Jun 17, 2013 05:14pm

I want to say the reason why Pakistan is not performing is the lack of support by PCB to players . I am Indian but I have always been fan of previous players like Wasim Akram , Razzak, Inzamam and many more. I want India Pakistan both to play good cricket not poor cricket. PCB should support and remove some old players which are doing a " No man show" from last several years.Forget what happened let the new players come totally no problem if new team do not perform but at least they will be ready till next world cup. Same new players use to perform when Wasim Bhai , Inzy and Mr Imran Khan was captain, because they use to encourage new talent.

Indian Jun 17, 2013 05:50pm

In India and Pakistan every one becomes a selector once the team does perform well. But my friends selecting a team is not an easy job.Selection of team is like a jigsaw puzzle. Just because one player is doing well in domestic cricket does not mean he can just walk into the team. The selectors also have to take into consideration whether they have player in the team who can field in specialized position like slip, silly point etc. Additionally, a player may be very good in domestic pitches but playing in England is totally different ball game. Just keep in mind the selectors are as patriotic as you are and certainly technically more equipped than any one in this discussion.

Sam Jun 17, 2013 06:48pm

As long as we are going to have a Punjab XI cricket team instead of a Pakistan XI, the game of cricket in Pakistan is never going to improve at all. Selection of Cricketers is to be done purely on its merit.

Azhar Jun 17, 2013 07:13pm

I couldn't agree more with the writer. PCB and the selection commitee are to be blamed this fiasco. Selection committee must be desolved immediately and replaced with people with vision and courage. Proved failures must be replaced with fresh blood and youngsters given fare opportunity to prove their worth. Its time to take some bold and courageous decisions or the future of cricket is doomed like hockey.

ali Jun 17, 2013 07:35pm

Cheema shb You have just exposed yourself to be a novice in cricket. Your claim that

navluru Jun 17, 2013 08:22pm

The real reason behind Pakistan's woes are different . It's generally accepted bowlers need muscles & batsman need brains . That's why Pakistan produces world class bowlers and third rate batmen ( few green grass shoots appear like Banyan trees in Pakistan , of course ) & in India no class fast bowlers but brilliant batsmen universally accepted , except in Pakistan as usual. It's a case of Brains vs Muscles. The situation will be same in next 100 years.

Ali Jun 17, 2013 08:22pm

Imagine in one match all these batsmen perform to their best abilities i-e up to their low career averages and pathetic strike rates, can Pakistan win against any international team? No, never. It is shame that in more than 10 years Pakistan could not found a wicket keeper to replace Kamran Akmal. This is nothing more that politics.

Srini Jun 17, 2013 08:38pm

@CricketFan: One Crore? Which world are you living in? Dhoni's total income in 2012 is $37million. In Indian rupees, it is 185 Crores. In Pakistani rupees, it is $350 crores. Dhoni is the 16th highest paid sportsman in the world, without using PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). If used, he is #1 by a huge margin. All of the Indian players earn over 25 Crores every year. The top 6 get over 100 crores. Please don't compare the pittance that Pakistani throws on its players, or in fact the rest of the cricketing world pays its players. No nation comes even half as closer in terms of Salary.

shaer Khan Jun 17, 2013 08:51pm

@ali: Ali, I don't see any prove to confirm your comments. In our world we called these comments as NVAS (None Value Added Statement).

ammar Jun 17, 2013 09:18pm

For God's sake stop blaming Imran Farhat for everything wrong with Pakistan cricket - he is an easy target. Blame the captain for not motivating his men, blame the coach well for just being a tool, and blame the selectors who are inept and have no idea what they are doing. We don't have to look far how to motivate even an average bowling attack and an average batting line up. Pakistan has lots of talent, lets take a chance and bring it out and experiment -- at this point we have nothing to lose. And Wasim Akram thanks for everything - and nothing.

Siddharth Jun 17, 2013 09:46pm

I am amused at the observation that Shoaib Malik has stopped scoring against India. What could be the reason? Sasural syndrome? :)

ailly Jun 17, 2013 09:47pm

@ali: You disagree with Cheema but with grace. Its no insult if he compared Younus with our legends... our legends are not immortals. if you insist then I guess you prove it statistically that Younus was of lesser quality than our legends. Am quite sure you must have remembered his 267 vs India in Ind.... whereas none of our "Legends" could muster a hundred in India. for easy reference Inzamam and Hanif scored a hundred each in India, none other could do this. Thanks.

syed baqar ahsan Jun 17, 2013 09:53pm

I am repeatedly saying nothing wrong with the team somebody in staff/official who accompany team is the main culprit.

Shaukat Jun 17, 2013 10:41pm

Interesting observations Cheemay, i do agree with most of it but would like to add a few more observations. At the time of selection of this team the selectors were hailed for their bold steps for injecting fresh blood in the team with Asad, Amin etc. Everyone thought it was time for Younis and Afridi to step aside. The problem in my opinion is that every time we loose out in the semi finals, there are calls from all corners to inject newer players and criticism for the afridis, khans n the rest. At the same time it is important to realize that change for the sake of change does not make sense. It was stupid in the first place to leave out these 3 (Afridi,Younis, Umar A) in the first place. You want to inject new players then add them selectively not swap the entire crop of players. Any team should play to win at the given time with the best players wether they are 40 or 50 years old, not to throw in new players and expect them to win putting pressure on them too. These heavy weight players like the 3 left out were in bad form but champion players like these rise from ashes in such big occasions and that is how they made their reputation. HOWEVER I DO AGREE FROM HERE ONWARDS GIVE CHANCE TO NEW CROP since you have time the likes of Harris Sohail should be in the team. My second point being although Misbah might be the only batsman who performed it is time to drop him as a ODI captain, he should remain in the team as a batsman. This might sound harsh but he has been given a lot of time and has not shown much in ODI's. Also at the same time he has a defensive mindset and game play which normally leads to loses in close games and this mindset carries over to players playing in his team, it is perhaps time Pakistan should consider a BOWLING CAPTAIN once again, not a spin all-rounder or spinner a pure fast bowler who can consistently play in the team. This change may provide a fresh perspective, one that Pakistan needs. It has worked in the past with captains like Imran Khan and Wasim Akram. I am not sure who that fast bowler maybe but thats open to discussion.

Raj Jun 17, 2013 11:51pm

Too bad that Pakistan with such a great bowling attack simply sucked in their batting. If the batsmen had put a reasonably decent score, I am sure Pakistan would've reached to the finals. Pak is the best bowling attack team in the world up in my opinion.

Rana Jun 17, 2013 11:51pm


I am up to the challenge, bring it on! No offence, but even my Grandma is a better team selector than the current bunch of jokers!

Rashid Jun 18, 2013 01:58am

I think it all comes to having a 'pious', 'religious' coach and captain. If one remembers, last time we were performing well, we have some pious senior players in our team like Inzamam, Yusuf etc. and before them Saeed Anwar, Shaqlin etc. These senior players used to bring a calming influence among the team members, especially juniors. I can never over emphasise the importance of staying calm when facing Styen (Dale), especially if the batsman is Imran Farat. Same applies to Akmal Sr. when he wears the keeping gloves. The key is to be able to concentrate. And nothing increases your power to concentrate as 'prayer' does. Only a pious, religious person can lead the players in their prayers and in turn lead to their success. The players in those days used to offer sazda too, right in the middle of the ground. We must have watched it on TV. Merit is important, but for "merit' to have its reward, it has to have 'blessings' on top of it, below it and around it. Merit triumphs only when it is covered with blessings from all sides. It is the 'blessings' that will save our batters from missing the line or length, from fishing outside the off stump, from hooking when out of balance and so on. And 'Blessings' do not come free, one has to pay for it,, not by cash (you know, there is too many 'News of the World' in this world) but by 'prayer'. That's the currency for blessings. That's what a 'pious' coach can bring on the table.

Amir Jun 18, 2013 02:18am

@navluru: So, what happened to the brain when there was an 8-0 drubbing against ENG and AUS in a row in 2012 and then again a 3-1 defeat against ENG in IND? Jun 18, 2013 02:36am

Quota system, is hurting Pakistan in every field of life .Thanks to Mr.Buhtto who brought this epidemic to Pakistan.It`s been more than fourty years since we got this to uplift the Rural youth of Pakistan.. Jun 18, 2013 02:36am

Quota system, is hurting Pakistan in every field of life .Thanks to Mr.Buhtto who brought this epidemic to Pakistan.It`s been more than fourty years since we got this to uplift the Rural youth of Pakistan..

Amir Cheema Jun 18, 2013 03:06am

Keep Misbah and you will confirm Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat for next world cup. And I can assure you same results as you got in Champions trophy. It is the captain who decides who plays a match and who sits on the benches. Don't blame batting if Misbah keeps playing Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat.

Amir Cheema Jun 18, 2013 03:09am

If Misbah remains captain then Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat will keep playing. Why Misbah kept playing these players despite their poor performance. Keeping Misbah as captain will be a big mistake. He would not allow chance to new batsmen because if they perform well then Misbah may also lose his place in the team. He wants to keep useless players so that people appreciate his batting. I have not seen Misbah win matches by his performance. He played Omer Ameen at number 7 and by them the run rate is already around 8. He did same with Umar Akmal and Ehsan Adil. He intentionally tried to ruin career of young players. Misbah can play as team member. Look at his record against established one day teams.

Amir Cheema Jun 18, 2013 03:07am

Misbah should be held responsible for the humiliation in Champions Trophy. Being the skipper he hand picked the team based on connections. How can he justify inclusion of Shoaib Malik and Imran farhat in the team despite consistent failures in last few years. This team was extremely lucky to win against minnows such as Ireland. It would have been further humiliation to lose series against the Ireland. Essentially Pakistan has been playing with nine players against opponent's eleven since Shoaib and Farhat predictably failed to deliver in any of the matches. Misbah must be sacked from captaincy. Also the selectors should be held responsible and sacked from their posts. India has done well by including new faces and Pakistan needs to give young players a chance. If India can drop Sehwag, Ghambhir, Yuvraj Singh then why Pakistan cant drop senior players who have failed consistently. Pakistan A team will do better than current team. Team must be be picked solely on performance not on reputations or connections with PCB officials. Shameful performance by Pakistan team and selectors.

kirther Jun 18, 2013 04:20am

Changes must be made from top to bottom, the Board, Selection Committee and then in the team, with present mind-set, management and players like Misbah, Hafeez, Sohaib, Akmal brothers and Imran Farhat one cannot expect any changes in the fortune of Pakistan cricket.

Umair Jun 18, 2013 06:13am

For all the ones that left a thumbs down to my comments. PLease look up the averages of these batsmen and compare them to the existing or any other batsman in first class cricket in Pakistan.

Ahmed Shehzad avg 41

Haris Sohail avg 52

Sohaib maqsood avg 43

Akbar UR Rehman avg 39

Kadir Khan Tx Jun 18, 2013 06:13am

captain and coach must be replaced. Pak lacks in both top/middle order batting & fast bowling. Selectors shoud pick aggressive team of hard hitters, those who are good with the bat and can hit any bowler anytime. Aamir should be prepared to play in 2015 work cup.

Dr. M. Chaudhry Jun 18, 2013 07:17am

@Nish: Nish, My point was that cricket is a science and if PCB understands the science of cricket they will be able to train players better. For example in English weather the white Kookaburra swings differently than the duke balls that normally used in England. The reason white balls swings differently due to air drag caused by the seam which is slight different than red duke ball. Same thing when team is preparing for high altitude game they must consider the air density of the ground. YOu can not just depend on conventional training anymore. In United States the baseball teams play baseball like a science why can PCB or Indian team or Sri Lankan

Asad Ali Jun 18, 2013 07:42am

o mere sajno ab tu changing banti hai koi esy players ko chanse do jo khel ka rukh mor de

Em Moosa Jun 18, 2013 08:01am

First of all, there should be drastic changes in the PCB. There should be some serious approach to bring in proper persons for the specific jobs. There are lot of "yes men" sitting over there since years and making millions without any good to Pakistani cricket but just best for themselves. Sab apna ullu seedha kar rahe hain. They should be shown doors permanently. Pakistani team do not need any foreign coach. Million of dollars have already been drain out without any benefit. This should be stopped. Our Pakistani commentators particularly Rameez Raja should be more professional when they comment about their own team players. He, particularly should not always consider to appreciate those players who belong to his home town. All are Pakistani players should be admired honestly with unbiased comments. I am sure there is a mafia in action in his home town as Lahore is the hub of gambling in the country. Even big names Waseem Akram with his whole family, Saleem Malik, Ejaz Ahmed and so many others were involved in money making practices in the past. And Rameez and others could be under influence of them too. I am sure that this jua mafia (as Sarfaraz Nawaz says) may also be one of the factors of the failure of Pakistani batting.There is some one moving the stings from some where. A thorough investigation should be carried out by the honest officials against those culprits. There must be some very high folks are involved in the game. Finally, there should be a complete overhauling of the team. This is not fair that we have such a talent in our bowling attack and the batsmen always let the bowlers down. All old aged over 30 should be sent home. Misbah should had been sacked long time. You like it or not, for your specific reasons, but Afridi is the best choice as captain. He is the most energetic player in the team. Do not forget he was the one who took the team to the semi finals in the world cup but their internal politics failed him. And poor Afridi was blamed for the lost. We should be honest and fair and bring in talent on the basis of merit and merit only from any part of the country. There could be lot more to say but if the basics are revolutionised we can see positive changes in the future.

Truth Speaker Jun 18, 2013 08:01am

@Sam: And the biggest proponent of this culture was no other than Imran Khan. Ask Javed Miandad!

Asif Jun 18, 2013 09:05am

@navluru: I think you are just being carried away by the success of the Indian batsmen. You easily forgotton that only recently your world class batsmen lost 4-0 in England and 4-0 in Australia. You mentioned that Pakistan produces third class batsmen. You are wrong, Pakistan have produced some of the most flamboyant and stylish batsmen the game has seen. The Pakistani batting line-up of the 70s consisted of Sadiq Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Miandad, Mushtaq Mohammad, Asif Iqbal and Wasim Raja. This batting line was a great line-up and the most powerful in the 70s alogside West Indies and Australia. Indian batting lineup in those days was boring. It was because of their class that they were repeseneting English counties in those days whereas no Indian batsmen was playing county cricket. How you can forgot players like Saeed Anwer,Inzimam, Younis, Yousuf, Salim Malik, Mohsin Khan etc. However, I agree that the current Pakistani batsmen are pretty mediocre in comparison.I think Indian batsmen are over-hyped because their averages have soared because of playing on batting friendly wickets.

Mike Jun 18, 2013 09:25am

I have an easy solution for them,send the Batsmen to KP to fight the Taliban,when the Taliban throw Grenades at them,they will surely miss them.

PakFan Jun 18, 2013 09:25am

Time to bring talent up in the order and temperament will develop with experience, At this time not much to loose in ODIs. 1. Jamshed 2, Ahmad Shahzad 3. Umar Akmal 4. Umer Amin 5.Misbah 6.Hafeez 7.Not Kamran 8, Wahab/Hamad Azam 9. Gul/Junaid 10.Ajmal 11. Irfan

Mansoor Jun 18, 2013 09:51am

Fire entire team right now. Select new team aged 19 to 22. Train them and make a new proud Pakistani team by 2015 World Cup. There is sufficient time and it can be done without any reservations.

Ed Jun 18, 2013 10:06am

@Dilawer: Please keep your opinion to yourself.

Osman Jun 18, 2013 10:23am

@ailly: Agree... on my second review, I believe Hafeez has no place in the test team. Also dont think Hafeez and Misbah can be in the same team anymore.

Also, if any players perform below par on purpose (Umar Akmal in Australia) have serious disciplinary issues (Shoaib Akhtar) the player should be kicked out of the team for at least 6months to a year for any serious offiense - there is no room for ppl thinking they are above the team.

raza Jun 18, 2013 10:45am

@Ali: This is nothing more that politics. I fully agree with you.

malik shahid Jun 18, 2013 10:47am

@Shaukat: Get rid of the tried and tested players like Malik and Farhat. Afridi, Razzak and Younis are also spent forces and do not deserve their places in the one day team. Let Misbah remain as captain and fill up the team with brand new batsmen and you will see a positive change in our team.

malik shahid Jun 18, 2013 10:51am

@navluru: What about Hanif Muhammad, Miandad, Inzamam, Muhammad Yousuf etc . Your comment is not valid.

Geoffrey Crosse Jun 18, 2013 11:04am

The problem isn't that we don't have the talent. We are not playing to a particular batting plan. The top order 1,2,3 are playing far to aggressive in most matches and are trying to get bat to ball almost every ball. The changes need to come with a mind set, leave some balls and set short batting targets, eg. 10 Overs 45 runs possible 1 wicket down. One of the top 3 batsman either Jamshed or Azhar, have to manoeuvre the ball and accumulate runs while Hafeez plays a more controlled hitting game. If we can get to 20 overs with risk free cricket we should be at 95 for 2 by the end of the 20th. If a wicket did fall Misbah is in and has 30 overs to set up the game, players after him providing the support. The team is missing a batting all-rounder I really like Hammad Azam. But if you drop players like him or Fawad and bring back Farhat then there is problems with the selection. My playing XI would include 1 new player Shoaib Maqsood, has the most 100s this season in the Presidents Cup. I think we need a left arm spinner in the squad. Abdul Rehman is great, I think he misses out because of his fielding but we need a left arm spinner. IF Gul, come back to his usual self from 3 years ago, I would play him in front of Wahab. Love Irfan for the height and bounce, but he isn't that special, his fielding and batting also hurts the team. My playing XI would be:

Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Misbah Haq, Fawad Alam, Shoaib Maqsood, Kamran Akmal, (GUL) Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hassan,

LovePakistan Jun 18, 2013 11:06am

Pakistan, in general, has corruption in all areas, whether it be politics or sports or whatever. It is not only limited to sports. You can not expect sports to be clean of corruption when everything else around is corrupt. It's wishful thinking that the selectors will base their selection on talent only. Don't you think we have talented players in cricket in Pakistan? Of course we do. It's a matter of appointing non-biased selectors and let them do the job. But poor selectors have to listen to someone higher up to keep their jobs, if you know what I mean. All we can do is pray and hope for the best.

Umar Shah Jun 18, 2013 11:27am

The best thing about Pakistani nation is that we specialize in converting our heroes into zeroes. Hamad Azam who batted so well during his under 19 world cup stint was brought in the team but to save Razzaq position was never allowed to prove his worth. He showed his talent during the last asia cup and batted well when required but was honored by dropping him right after the series. Where is he now? Afridi did an excellent job as captain uptill the world cup; I don

IndoPak Jun 18, 2013 12:42pm

how funny !!! 3 months back when india lost to pakistan at home..everyone was praising Pakistanis cricketers..and look now....first of all please try to bring a new captain who has some common sense...i would definitely go with NASIR JAMSHED..he has that confidence to do well and learn from the mistakes...but please keep MISBAH in the that nasir can learn from him..farhat, akmal don;t deseve to be in the squad...hafeez only good for t-20...

--honest cricket supporter

Bharat Jun 18, 2013 01:11pm


What did the greatest bowling attack do against the three teams they played against ?

Can you give us facts .

In my opinion this Pakistani bowling is average and nothing more

Anees Jun 18, 2013 01:44pm

@Srini: and still these WEALTHY players are involved in spot-fixing in IPL..

YOUSAF KHAN Jun 18, 2013 02:49pm

I do agree with all comments. These all comments are absolutely right.

But my question is that why why Misbah ul Haq is not stepping Up. He is the captain. He should know that Hafeez average is only just 27 in ODI. Why he is playing as a opener and 1 down position. Captain should down his batting position where Razaq was playing Afridi Was Playing at No. 5 or 6. And when we chance to new batsman who comes at no. 7 or 8.

Misbah ul Hag this is use less to bat at number 7 or 8 like we did with omer amin case. We bring it here in CT to spoil his career.

In my opinion top all four batsmen should be having average of 40 in ODI. We should search the batsmen from our local tournament who is average is more than 35 or 40.

Simple is that bring the batsmen from our deparments

Talha Jun 18, 2013 03:07pm

If Younis is Pakistan's best batsman than Gul might just as well be the best bowler!

Nevertheless, the article has both strong and weak points. That someone finally noticed Fawad Alam as having the highest first-class average in Pak is very heartening indeed. A lot of people say he doesn't look like a batsman. That is horsecrap. Does Azhar Ali look like a batsman? Does Kamran Akmal? Does your captain look like one? People need to understand that though Alam may not be an ODI or 20/20 batsman, he happens to be AN EXCEPTIONAL Test batsman.

Still, I maintain that the more intelligent cricket analysts should think more than in terms of averages, cuz average-wise Farhat is better than Hafeez or Ajmal, which is certainly not the case. Pakistanis (especially their miserable so-called ex-cricketer 'experts') need to talk in terms of batting technique which they never do. More than his average, look at where Farhat's feet are when he drives. Look at where Kamran's feet are. Look where Hafeez stands, rooted to his crease all the time. Have you seen his biggest shots? Pure forearms, no upper arm strength. Same goes for Jamshed. Merely swishing, flicking and swiveling the bat this way and that instead of complete drives and pulls. Do you know how much that compromises the power in their shots and how much it affects their evolution as a batsman? They don't develop shots that they don't believe they have the strength to execute. And then they gradually sit back, assured of their ineptitude and waiting for the ball to wear its shine off.

Despite Afridi's volatility, his bat can rotate in all directions. First off, that's what we need in each of our batsman. That's what India has. Bad or good, all their batsman HAVE all the shots they need to play. With us, its like a whole new eccentric style of batting with every new batsman. Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq both need to move their bat in a proper arc, first of all, instead of lunging forward and poking it out like Malik did the other day. Shafiq needs to develop power. Jamshed and Hafeez should learn to better apply the power they have and Umar Akmal should see someone for his bat-and-pad.

Our 'experts' are dumb as golf balls. They selected Awais Zia just cuz he won Rawalpindi the cup final, for crying out loud. The man had ONE leg-side shot in his arsenal, and before the match, all the experts were like yeah, Zia is great, Zia is the man for the job.

Please try to know what BATTING TECHNIQUE is and call i

Bilal Jun 18, 2013 03:54pm

The author doesnt mention the balance of the team .... I think the main reason behind persisting with the likes of Kamran and Shoaib is the ever elusive team balance ... the extra cushion bits n pieces player .... also even the bowling attack balance is out how can you play with three left arm quicks and three off spinners ? .... also the captain should take responsibility ever since inzmam our batting captains have been reluctant to take the challenge and always made sure that they are not exposed to the terrors of the new ball .. only if the in form misbah had the guts to bat at 3 and prevent the collapse .... lastly half the blame for lack of development of lower middle order is misbah himself .. he is inability to rotate the strike puts too much pressure and the younger lot is forced to commit suicide

M.ZAHEEN KHAN Jun 18, 2013 04:41pm

@M.Zaheen khan@yes i confess that our batting is not good and it,s a main concern.But we also need fast bowling all rounder down the order and obviously we have, Hammad Azam is an excellent allround cricketer and he performed in past and if u remember,he won a match for us in westindies.So my question is from selecctors that where is hammad azam?By including him,he will balance the team.we also need to bring some new fresh legs.

Ahmed Jun 18, 2013 05:32pm

personally i would just get rid off farhat, malik and maybe hafeez. Kamran akmal is a bit of a tricky situation because i have not seen any talented wicket keeper/ batsmen so far, however i would replace those three with ahmed shahzad, hammad azam and umar akmal. Your thoughts?

Typhoos Jun 18, 2013 08:56pm

@LovePakistan: Thank you for saying this. I have been talking about this FOREVER. How come we not talk about the signifiance of the fact that a country where there is no fairness and is rife with corruption, how can one expect that a player will be drafted based on talent and merit?

For God sake, we cant even hold fair elections... These cosmetic articles and comments are just that... the true resolution to these problems will be elusive until we get rid of the widespread corruption. Other than that best of luck!!!

ahmad Jun 19, 2013 01:21am

In my opinion fire entire selection committee and replace captain and malik, ferhat including zaka ashraf. Create a team with shahid afridi and yunus khan.

avishek chakraborty Jun 19, 2013 02:24am

hello friends, i tend to read this newspaper regularly because i love the sports section more than anything else,i would like to say one thing for sure there are many pakistani players/cricketers who are huge idols in my country like wasim,waqar,imran,saqlain,injamam,sayeed..etc etc for the young stars,the list actually is never ending :) . what i would say is umar akmal is a true talent and i totally agree with the gentleman here.akmal and nasir jamshid are those two players who are here to shine,my request is try sending akmal opening with jamshid,if they are given a 10 match span it will do world of good to pakistan team.and one last thing i dont understand that what happened to misbah's sixers?i strongly believe he is one of the cleanest hitters of the game whose timing takes the ball out of the stadium,he should be given full liberty to play aggressively ,even though injamam is my one of the favorites but i think an aggressive misbah could easily take that position.and about bowling?just forget it guys,you are very lucky to have the best bowling attack,and thanks to the writer again for such a good article.precise and pointing at the right targets throughout. cheers , avishek, calcutta,India

keenobserver Jun 19, 2013 03:20am

Imran Farhat should not be in the list of selection players anymore. In this tough world with talent in the pipeline, IF is at best a shady selection. His presence in team should trigger an investigation to find the culprit behind the scenes, who are self serving and not for the better of the team.

Mohammed Jun 19, 2013 05:46am

@Talha: I totally agree your comments on batting technique. I believe aggression in sports. Since I have watched cricket for last 30 years I have not seen aggression in Pakistani team. Boldness does not mean you have to hit every ball out of park, but one has to be ready to hit any ball which deserve to go out of the Park. I think Pakistani dressing room's environment need to be change (Please don't spread the word in the dressing room "just stay on the wicket the runs automatically will comes"). Someone has to tell Pakistani batsman that never afraid of the bowler otherwise he will send you back to the pavilion. Mohammed H. Kazi, MD Chicago, IL

Osama Ansari Jun 19, 2013 07:33am

Excellent and fair article! Fawad Alam is being ignored perhaps because he is not a blue-eyed boy of the captain and the selectors; although he is not a very stylish batsman, he is very effective nonetheless, and has a batting stance similar to that of Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies, and is an accumulator of runs. Hence, he should be a regular in the Test and ODI teams. In addition, it is high time to try out the likes of Haris Sohail, Sohaib Maqsood and young wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, and to do away with the likes of Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, as well as Yasir Arafat and Sohail Tanvir for good, since they are only good enough to play first-class cricket. Even Umar Amin is an over-rated batsman and can be considered a negative selection since he was picked ahead of the far more talented Haris Sohail only because he can bowl a bit of medium pace. Furthermore, Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal should be recalled to the ODI team, with a close eye on the former, who could eventually succeed Misbah-ul-Haq as the Test and ODI skipper.

Bobby Jun 19, 2013 08:45am

@Rashid: In that case,please explain how all the other teams dominated cricket world for so many years?The conditioning of mind and body can be done without following any religious practice.After all, religion really is discipline with strings attached.Let's not mix the two together.

Indian Jun 19, 2013 04:28pm

@Asif: Indian player don't play in counties in England because BCCI does not permit Indian players to play in counties. Please check past editions of the Dawn where this fact has been mentioned. Besides there is no batsman in Pakistan whose record is any where near Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid. By the Zaheer Abbas never scored a century against India in India and never scored a century against West Indies and Australia. Javed Maindad never scored a century against West Indies. Both these players played county cricket all their life. So much for selection of county teams!!!!

Asif Jun 19, 2013 05:59pm

Looking at the up and down thumbs numbers, it seems that more Indian read these articles than Pakistanis. However they are welcome on these pages.