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Time for Hafeez to realise his true worth

Published Aug 29, 2012 01:16pm


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It was not until the 2007 World Twenty20 where, I think, player of the tournament Shahid Afridi realised he was a specialist bowler, who could bat a bit.  It took a decade for him to find his mould, largely courtesy the late Bob Woolmer who instilled this notion during his three-year coaching stint with Pakistan.

The fastest ODI century in his first ever innings, I think, not only distracted his coaches, captains and fans but also shifted his focus. If not for that, he could well have been in pursuit of the great Muralitharan’s record tally of 534 ODI wickets.

Since the year Afridi realised himself as more of a bowling all-rounder, he’s been leading wicket-taker in ODIs and there has never been a prolonged dip in his performance. The last time he really missed out was six years ago, following the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy.

A similar air now breezes through the career of Mohammad Hafeez whose international debut is well-nigh a decade old. But throughout his career, he’s never established himself as a staunch batsman. Save Zimbabwe and West Indies, and he averages 23 with bat in 86 ODIs. Zero in on the stats to this year, you find the average is 25 in 15 ODIs. Playing in the countries where life is difficult for batsmen, it further dips to 20.48 from 43 matches. You could fit him atop the batting order in Twenty20s for his cameos of 20s and 30s, but not in ODIs.

In his 105–match ODI career, you would hardly find an innings worthy of terming overwhelming. Even the centuries have either come against lower-ranked teams or on docile batting strips.

Hafeez is the top-ranked bowler in ICC ODI Rankings, and he is no sleeper to this emplacement. He has earned it through his shrewd lines and lengths, variations of pace, and has become a bogeyman to the southpaws. He has the best economy rate (3.57 from 353 overs) since 2011 among bowlers who delivered more than 5o overs. That he is no more a part-time bowler is evident from the fact that only Lasith Malinga, 435, has delivered more overs than his 353 in  ODIs since the start of 2011. A hard-nosed critic might have some reservations for ICC’s rankings system, but even he wouldn’t view these stats as those of a mediocre bowler.

The corresponding ranking for his batting is 43, a far cry from his current bowling ranking (1). The highest batting ranking he ever climbed in his nine-year ODI career is 32.

His performance, either good or bad, as a bowler, would be more palpable once Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal are out of the picture. Of the current corps of Pakistan spin attack (Ajmal, Afridi, Hafeez and Abdur Rehman), he by virtue of his age is likely to last longer than anyone. Possibly, three or four years from now, he will be the most experienced spinner on duty for Pakistan and will find it more difficult when aid is absent from the other end. For this reason, too, he must find the groove of a willow-wielder so he doesn’t get dropped before spearheading Pakistan’s spin cavalry.

That he is the only Pakistan player to have not missed their last consecutive 91 internationals does not license him to make a hash of an all-important opening slot. Time has arrived that he should revitalise his batting duties if he is to stretch the 91-match streak. The lack of output with bat is turning out to be the most and, perhaps, only vulnerable part of his career.

It will make some sense if he is dropped down and slotted in late down the batting order so that if they are to extract only 20s, 30s or 40s off him then they better come at end of the innings with some brisk pace which he certainly can attain as he has all those shots you will find in MCC’s coaching manual. Perhaps, the Batting Power Play would suit him more.

Putting him down the order will also fine tune the current batting order seen in the first ODI against Australia where Kamran Akmal batted at seven. It goes without saying that the eldest Akmal is brought back not due to his keeping duties, but for the frills of some fine batting performances that are attached to his profile. To date, he remains the only Pakistan wicketkeeper with an ODI century, no fewer than five and all match-winning, to his name.

Akmal has delivered his best while batting at the top of the order, and his inclusion as an opener gives Pakistan luxury of accommodating an extra bowler or batsman, as per the conditions. Azhar Ali, who has 245 runs at an average of 61.25 and modest strike rate of 70 aided by three 50s in his five innings as an opener, may fill the other opening blank.

Also, Azhar’s opening strike rate is better than that of Hafeez’s 68 and if Shoaib Malik replaces Nasir Jamshed, it will add another spin option to Pakistan’s arsenal. Replacing Azhar with Malik, and keeping Nasir as opener, wouldn’t be bad either. However, the former case will have an opener who starts off cautiously and looks to anchor the innings.


Mazher Arshad is a Cricket buff based in Islamabad who considers watching Cricket and giving insights of it as his foremost priority on social media.


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 (56) Closed

Robert Aug 30, 2012 05:17am
You think Shoaib Malik should replace Azhar Ali on the basis of one game when he was the best batsman in our last series? Mazher your article is exactly like Pakistan's batting. Excellent then throwing it all way.
Luqman Aug 30, 2012 10:18am
The other day, Misbah was complaining about Pakistan's batting woes. Why don't they take the most obvious decision and put some stroke maker lower down the order??? Abdul Razzaq is a proven batsman. I remember him opening the batting in English counties. He is the best hitter Pakistan has. Full stop.
Syed Aug 29, 2012 02:35pm
Can someone tell me if they can still get Junaid Khan to play in this series? I believe he was not inlcuded in top 15 so can he still come and play. Sohail Tanvir needs to rest. I wouldn't mind seeing some fast bowlers from our under19 team.
Azhar CHAUDHRY (Hong Kong) Aug 30, 2012 05:11am
Bravo Hafeez for world ranking number 1! Besides great cavalry by the spinners, current field test does not show any improvisation. Batsmen need to focus more on target and dare more to face thrilling bowlers attacks. I personally feel that our players have a sense of fear amid batting as many balls pass by unattended. Natural moves and pace attacks are missed by some of the players. Playing hastily and not hammering the balls on time in right areas lead to miss runs on board. Perhaps more training and psychological treatment are necessary to overcome fear. Another key factor is acute heroism attitude, which is another hurdle in pursuit to win. This blend hides the natural talents of the player and ends up losing the match. Afridi, who failed to perform well in batting and the way Umar Akmal's crafts the shots have no match in boasting the mob's excitements. Unless one remain cool and focus more on achieving target, nothing good can be derived.
Karachi Wala Aug 29, 2012 02:03pm
Hafeez's bowling is handier than his batting in ODI and T20. In Test cricket it is other way aroung. He bat later in the order in ODI and T20. In tests he should continue as opener but, if he wants to cement his place in all formats, he should deliver accordingly. Afridi should thank the late Woolmer, who revived his career.
Syed Gazanfar Aug 29, 2012 02:34pm
Please for heavens sake .. Can any body tell Misbah to hang his boots .. Like Andrew Strauss.. Have some self respect Mr. Misbah.
man Aug 30, 2012 03:34am
This is the problem. After failing for 80 plus ODIs, why should another player make way for Hafeez in late order. He should be dropped. That is how all successful teams do.Strauss retired from cricket but did not decide to bat lower down to save his position.
Mohammed Baluch Aug 29, 2012 08:35pm
You cannot have a top class cricket team without proper fast and swing bowlers. Winning in the U.A.E. with spin bowlers is a very short sighted policy (and other teams are catching on to beating us there as well), and in the long run, will see our cricket ratings hit rock bottom. We need a bench strength of six to eight fast bowlers, most of them at least 6 feet tall, young and fit. Watching Tanvir struggling with the heat after bowling just a couple of bowlers in contrast to the young, tall and fit Aussie fast bowlers made it clear that our cricket think tank is a bit outdated.
ALI(P@gAL) Aug 31, 2012 03:58am
agree with you bro
Maaz Javed Aug 29, 2012 10:24pm
one more thing...yes in my opnion he shud be dropped down the order bt in t20s only. he is fyn in odis n tests. the reasons for dropping him down in t20s r that it wud strenghten our middle order as he cn anchor the innings which he shud be doing in the t20s as he is the captain. n 2ndly it wud give a chance to imran n nasir to open as u need blast opening in t20s. bt only in we have a settled opener in the shape of hafeez first time after saeed anwar..
Adeen Aug 31, 2012 04:37am
Best of Luck team Pakistan
zakaria Aug 30, 2012 04:10am
Mazhar i dodnot agree with soaib malik inclusion in the side.No other International team will include shoaib malik,Imran farhat or kamran Akmal in their side.We need batting talents like ahmed shehzad,babar azam or even hammad azam to be part of the team.Shoaib malik batting average of 30 in 195 plus ODI for pakistan is utterly dissapointing and unacceptable.He does not deserve the place in team for sheer experience.W e need to focus on youth and not tried old horses,nasir jamshed needs to be given longer run as opener alongwith either ahmed or azhar
parveez Aug 30, 2012 09:58pm
Sanjeev you are so right, Afridi was and is lazy, if he had worked hard, and put in some time. He would have been a very good alrounder.He has at times played very well, when he has used his brain.
Ammar Abdul Rahim Aug 30, 2012 04:08am
perfectly suggested to drop down his batting order
Faisal Aug 29, 2012 04:18pm
Fair asessment in my opinion. I dont think Hafeez would make it into the batting lineup of any test playing team. By the way neither would Shoaib. Also in my opinion Azhar should be left for tests, only because his natural game should be allowed to consolidate rather then asking him to make too many adjustments. If you wanted another spinning allrounder then Fawad Alam is a much better choice; atleast much better then Hafeez and Shoaib. Also if you dont have a tear away outstanding fast bowler then fillers such as Aizaz and Tanveer are good for nothing. They just come in to waste a few overs while everyone waits for the spinners to come in. This is a very serious situation as well! ...and if it has to be just fillers then better to invest in Hammad Azam who can add to batting as well. I dont know how you could disagree with me:)
yawar Sep 05, 2012 08:45am
To me Hafeez is useless down the order.....Form or no form I would have Hafeez top of the Order with Kamran Akmal and Najir Jamshed coming at Number 3. Asad Shafique would be the stabalizing factor in the middle order
R Hussain Aug 29, 2012 02:27pm
I will give you a comment just because i see how many people are actually appreciating the insight of the cricket buff (based in ISB).
Capt C M Khan Aug 29, 2012 02:21pm
Mazhar, I do not agree with Shoaib as extra spinner. He himself is not confident. Rest i agree, Jamshed and Kamran to open, Hafeez at five or six. Also Sohail and Cheema to be replaced by Junaid and Anwar. This combination might, might I am still doubtful give Pakistan a chance, otherwise it is just DOOM.
Imtiaz Hydari Aug 29, 2012 02:20pm
I agree. Time for Hafeez to bat lower down the order. Kamran Akmal with either Nasir Jamshed or Azhar Ali should open
fawad Aug 29, 2012 02:20pm
I absolutely Agree! I will always prefer Pakistan to Open with Kamran Akmal and Nasir Jamshed, then bring Umar Akmal as a one down, followed by Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq to play in the middle, and then bring hafeez and Afridi in the end.
Karachi Wala Aug 29, 2012 05:01pm
Even though Nasir Jamshed seems quite talented but at the same time he comes across someone lethargic and lazy. Whether it is fielding or running between the wickets. At his age he should be one of the best fielders. Same goes for Sohail Tanvir. He seemed to have more talent with bat and bowl at the beginning of his career. I think Pakistan needs to choose cricketers who are excellent fielders to start with. Someone who gives all while fielding will certainly work hard for bowling or batting that person is chosen for.
Haroon Aug 30, 2012 01:02am
Irony of the fact is that Pakistan still banks on the old school Cricket. Dont loose wickets in the beginning and accelerate later. Somehow it may or may not work batting first. But when the team is chasing they need a quick fire start. If a team can manage 80 from 10 overs even if they loose 2 wickets, it puts the opposition on back foot. They desperately need to change the tactics.What could one say about Hafiz. I still remember when he was playing his first game I was of the opinion that this guy would have hard time playing on pacy and bouncy tracks. His technique is flawed. Decade has passed but he is still below average batsman. I don't doubt his commitment , but unfortunately if you don't learn batting basics early in your career it just becomes a habit and would always come back to haunt you.
naeem afzal Aug 29, 2012 06:07pm
i agree with this , kamran should opem the innings with azhar or nasir jamshed
AHsan Aug 29, 2012 04:17pm
you can say that MH is better bowler that batsmen but you cannot ignore his batting skills which are lacking at the moment .....
Saad Hyatt Aug 29, 2012 03:56pm
I agree with the changes you suggested for the team except one. You want to drop Nasir, he looked very impressive in the first game against Australia. I think he can go on to become a solid part of the team. I see a bit of Sehwag in him, he has the same impeccable hand-eye coordination. We should give Nasir more opportunities and groom him as a permanent opener for the national team.
Talha Aug 30, 2012 01:56am
The spinners are all aged above 30 and no one seems to be succeeding them..then we dont have a pair like saeed anwar and amir sohail and wasim and waqar who may go on to serve for a decade at least..talent management with respect to age and pairing needs to be addressed immediately.
hassan Aug 29, 2012 07:05pm
nasir jamshed was really playing well...solid...hafeez should come down the order..or replace by malik....need junaid instead of team nasir ,kamran akmal, azhar ali,asad,umer akmal,misbah,hafeez,afridi,ajmal,junaid,tanvir
Syed M. Iqbal Aug 31, 2012 09:33am
Syed Aug.31,2012 , 02:05PM Pakistani cricket team have been achieved a lot of victories under the fine leadership of Misbah in test as well as in in ODIs in a span of two years. At this point they lost to Australia in first ODI and in last series lost to Sri Lanka both in Test and ODI. When you look at the Pakistani side both in Test and ODI, they seem to be very similar to Zimbawian in terms of batting and bowling - that is the reality. Saeed Ajmal is only world class spinner Pkaistan have at the moment and no one else. Pakistani batting line-up is very fragile as well as bowling attack. PCB should look into it judiciously and make a selecton on merit rather than on connection. Discard the old guns and bring a fresh legs on merit. These are the issues that need to be addressed with immediate effect. Best of luck!
mian ahmad moosa Aug 29, 2012 03:55pm
this is a big problem for pakistan,,,they cant drop hafeez bcoz he is world no 1 bowler,,,,, but difficulty is that he also opens for pakistan & he is failing consistently .... only solution to this seems at open with kamran & jamshed & play him down the order,,,, but then another problem is also there in recent matches pakistan collapses after good starts,, so they also need some one to hit a little cameos,,, may be hafeez can do this,,,,, thats only way he can remain in team,,,, bcoz once ajmal quits odi cricket hafeez success with bowling will also effected,,,,, best of luck to muhammad hafeez & pakistan
abdu Aug 29, 2012 07:28pm
play hafeez down the order open with akmal
Mujtaba mirza Sep 03, 2012 01:29pm
Shoaib Malik should not be included any more in the team in any format. Develop young players.Think of Misbahs' replacment.Play wit three fast bowlers: Umar Gul, Junaid plus a new comer in form .The slection committee is defensive and under them the future of pak cricket is bleak
Imtiaz Aug 29, 2012 05:30pm
Hafeez down the order would be a good move. Kamran batting at No. 7 is complete waste; His shots are much crispier with the new ball. Kamran / Nasir opening combination is the key against Australia. In my opinion Junaid and wahab Riaz are much batter bower then Sohil Tanveer and Cheema. And of course we are missing Gul. I would prefer Razzaq over Malik.
sali Aug 29, 2012 03:54pm
After watching our next generation pace attacke against AUS, PCB needs to get their selection polices and Pakistani players ranking system corrected. It's abvious that GUL and JUNAID are the best we have now. No need to keep experimenting. Couple of wkts from pace bowlers would have given Pak the first game. Spin attack did their jobs and having one spinner who can come in early actually gives Pakistan a longer batting line up.
FR Aug 29, 2012 07:57pm
Pakistan cricket has dropped to such an all time low that people like shahid afridi, hafeez and shoaib Malik are trying to learn cricket while being for years on the international arena. I believe that better cricketers must be available in Pak but needs to be found & given opportunities plus facilities. But who cares in a country like Pk where there is no hunt for everday essentials...
noor Aug 30, 2012 10:14pm
very well analysed...option of K akmal as opener and Hafeez at seven or six looks very logical....Needs implementation...good boos
Azhar CHAUDHRY (Hong Kong) Aug 31, 2012 07:37am
No, no, no to Shoaib Malik. Not even think of batting at last position. Better he start playing tennis....
Faisal Aug 30, 2012 09:16am
A very good observation. I wished the PCB staff also viewed thing in this detail and worked for the betterment of Pakistan Circket.
shaz khan Aug 30, 2012 11:08am
Mazher i agree with your stats and its quite shocking the huge decline in Pak cricket , bringing back Shoaib surely shows that PCB have failed again to develop new talent, but can we blame them if new talent is not coming through i guess Shoaib will do. Anyway shocking averages i guess its going to get worse< we have always done well with our bowling but our batting is nothing to shout about.
Muhammad Asif Aug 30, 2012 10:41am
Hafeez can come down the order if and only if someone else comes up the order. The truth is, the likes of Umar Akmal (the specialist batmen) is relectant to open for Pakistan, for fear of failure.
bilal Aug 31, 2012 02:58am
here's the thing yeah...apart from the likes of nasir jamshed, azhar ali, asad shafiq, umar akmal and junaid khan...none of the other pakistan players are impressive...we've got a mediocre team to say the least...have we got any fast bowlers apart from junaid khan? i'd say no we don't...are we blooding any new young spinners? NO...Do we have a young team in terms of age? NO we dont...we're an ageing side and we've hardly got any backup... the next world cup is going to be held in australia and new zealand...spinners in that part of the world don't play a big part...the way i look at it, pakistan is going to have to look out for younger players who are fit and athletic...our spinners which include hafeez, afridi n ajmal are on the wrong side of 30' the time the next world cup comes along, i really don't fink anyone of those 3 are going to be around...ajmal will be 37-38, afridi 35 and hafeez 34... you cannot just look at the can't have your side packed with spinners and ony one fast bowler...that ain't a balanced side... our strength has always been our fast need to have atleast 3 fast bowlers in your side especially in the ODI format... but unfortunately because of the lack of grooming of young blood...pakistan is stuck and is not really moving forward are they? we keep going back to the old players such as shoaib malik and all and if you have a look at our squad...most of them are 30 and above... as far as afridi is concerned...i personally think he's way too over-rated...yes he was exciting before but if you have a look at his recent performances in the SLPL and for pakistan...he hasn't done anything special to convince me that he deserves to be in the side...he's reached double figures only twice during his last ten innings while batting...he's hardly taking any wickets...despite played over 300 ODI's he still way too immature...even the newer players from other countries who've played 50 odi's are far more mature than him...if he hasn't learnt to be more mature n more responsibe even after playing 300 odis...then when the heck is he going to be mature? we as a nation have made him much more than what he exactly is...and at the moment he's nothing special... soo heres my conclusion: we need good young fast bowlers to back-up junaid khan...i don't understand why cheema is in the side in the first place...instead of looking for young fast bowler...the selectors decided to pick a 31 year old (2011, when he made his debut)...we need to groom new spinners as well...our spinners are ageing so we need back-up in that department...but at the moment i fear for pakistan cricket...
Ali Aug 30, 2012 01:41am
Great analysis-wish you were in the selection committee. Selection of Hafeez for bating is mind boggling and once I question it but my comments were not even published. However for bowling, it is a fair game. Also there should be a target for the selection committee and if not achieved must be replaced.
Azhar CHAUDHRY (Hong Kong) Aug 31, 2012 07:07am
Very well said. I agree.
M Ramzan Aug 29, 2012 08:54pm
hafeez is good all rounder and have a remarkable ranking in odi and t 20
rosh143s Aug 30, 2012 06:08am
Just can't imagine Nasir Jamshed getting out of team. He is there for Good. Its time for Pak to stick to couple of good openers. Kamran & Nasir to open, Hafeez Should bat low down & to Me Azhar isnt ODI player by any means
Ad Aug 30, 2012 06:29am
Excellent Analysis that what m thinking after Srilanka Sries tht Hafeez shud bat down the order, BUt apart from Hafeez there are alot of bold decision to be made like in last 21 years i have never seen & imagine that at some pt of time Pak will hide their seamers & pacers i mean seriously what the hell is going on eng now against Aust we are hiding our fast spinner like Tanvir who was never impressed me at any level coz of his pace & Aizaz cheema i mean give me a break a medicore 33+ bowler who have no spark in bowling containing bowler Wahab,Anwar Junaid fresh pacers shall be given chance one thing all of us are missing we have been playing in Subcontineent & Abushabhi for the last 1.5 yrs now bro we have to have some genuine fast bowlers coz in africa eng,aust newzealand these spinners wont work I dont know what to say about Afridi he has to find his batting form again atleast show some experience 350 ODI & still cant take any responsibility thats rediculous Misbah shall step down as ODI captain
sanjeev kumar Aug 30, 2012 07:16am
Mohammad Hafeez is not in class of Afridi. I am an indian and i know how much we were afraid of Afridi's batting. Unfortunately we dont fear Mohammad Hafeez as batsman. At best hafeez is an honest trier while Afridi had class. I still remember his inning of 141 against best indian attack of srinath,prasad and kumble in first test in 1998 india pak series. To be an all rounder ,you have to work equally hard on both batting and bowling.Afridi was lazy and took simple way out and started putting less effort in batting.
auk Aug 30, 2012 07:26am
Exactly, Put Malik in.... Bravo! Why dnt we invite Sania Mirza to open as well? Are u serious, dude?
Shahid Aug 30, 2012 07:32am
Pakistan has a dilemma regarding Hafiz, Afridi and Sohail Tanveer. All three of them are labelled as allrounders but they very rarely score runs and whenever they do score some, it only happens against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, NZ or WI. Consider SOhail Tanveer, who has a played a lot recently but has a highest score of 30 since 2009 and that's the only 20+ score he has to his name. Pakistan needs some better allrounders who can contribute in batting. Among the rest of batsmen, there isn't any who could win a match single handedly. They all are small score batsmen who, in 85% of their batting innings score in 30s, 40s or below. Where as other teams have batsmen who will score a hundred every 8th ODI, ours are fighting for a single hundred in whole cricket life. Azhar, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal and Junaid who are all young and newly elected players are the best players in the team and are a good example to advocate for further inclusion of new talent such as Haris Sohail, Baber Azam, Usman Salahuddin, Sami Aslam, Reza Hassan and Zia-ul-Haq in to the first eleven. Iqbal Qasim should retire if Pakistan looses the series. My team selection would be; Nasir Jamshid, Kamran Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hafiz, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Said Ajmal . Reserves; Baber Azam, Zia-ul-Haq and Reza Hassan
Naqash Ahmed Aug 30, 2012 07:37am
Kamran akmal should open with Nasir , and azhar should be at 1 down and Hafeez at late down the order will make a good combination
Shahid mahmood Aug 30, 2012 07:39am
I rarely see Hafiz being comfortable while batting against a quality bowler. His playing as an opner puts a lot of pressure on the mediocre batting that follows. They all are players only capable of scoring 30s and 40s. The young players Azhar, Asad and Umar need to extend their efforts to score more hundreds. In my views, Pakistan has no allrounders any more. Afridi, Hafiz and Sohail tanveer are not even in the class of bowlers with decent batting capabilities. We should find a good Allrounder or two otherwise go for only the best specialists.
nasim khan Aug 30, 2012 10:30am
yes I too agree with the observation and it is good for the pakistani team if he goes down the batting order and more thing i would like to draw about misss-bah's approach towards batting, although some will say that it is not some thing new, but now I am soooooosooooo fed up with that i try to switch off my tv whenever he is on strike, because it is clear that either he will defend and play the ball defensively and than will show that he should have hit the ball, so pathetic
seriously Aug 30, 2012 12:51pm
I agree with everything except bringing in Shoaib Malik. Are you kidding me? Why does everyones keep insisting on bringing him back? Have you seen his stats over the last 2 years? Hes' finished internationally okay and he was marginal at best before and the only reason he gets selected is b'c he has political backing everyone knows that, we are the laughing stock of cricket for bringing Kamran and Shoaib in to the team time and time again and yet trying to make ppl believe that oh 'we have tons of talent' in this country.
Mazher Arayin Aug 30, 2012 01:59pm
Nowhere I said that Shoaib Malik should open.
Aatif Shah Sep 11, 2012 08:59am
grow up.... comments should be healthy rather than including someone wife's and family name ...
Aatif Shah Sep 11, 2012 08:51am
totally agreed with the writer, actually Pakistan board and rest of the officials are not competent enough to understand and to decided what to do in this situation. and our cricket knowledge is that much... if we lost one match we ask to resign captain and if we won captain is great..... we need proper consultant and competent man to understand the needs of current situation where cricket is more then just a game... Atif
Syed Aug 29, 2012 03:47pm
Absolutely spot on, with your analsysis...I have been crying for this for over some weeks! Despite his great bowling affort against the Aussies, he ain't an opener and was never one! (in my eyes). We need replacement. And I'm sure in the U-19 squad there are many to be choosen and many more on the streets of PakistaN! We need talented young blood hunters and we lack of them!