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“Umar Akmal must learn to finish off games”

Published Jan 08, 2013 04:22pm


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Javed Miandad instructs Umar Akmal during a training session prior to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. – File photo by AP
Javed Miandad instructs Umar Akmal during a training session prior to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. – File photo by AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s middle order batsman Umar Akmal has once again found himself at the receiving end of criticism from former cricket greats of the country, after he failed to lead Pakistan home in third one-day international (ODI) against India.

Umar, who was playing well on 25 during Pakistan’s chase in New Delhi under difficult conditions, was out stumped by MS Dhoni off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja. At this stage, Pakistan required 43 runs from 64 deliveries to complete a whitewash in the ODI series.

The 22-year-old batsman came under criticism from former captains for his inability to finish the match.

Bowling great Wasim Akram said Umar needed to ponder over his game.

“When will he (Umar) learn to play responsibly? He has been around in international cricket now for a considerable time,” Akram was quoted as saying by website

While the batsman has played 16 Test matches, 71 ODIs and 42 T20 international, he has been going in and out of the national team ever since he made his debut in 2009.

Another former captain Rashid Latif was more forthright in his views about Umar and the match. “I think it is about time Umar is told by the selectors he is not needed in the national team until he changes his approach and attitude towards the game,” he said.

“Umar has to be sent back to domestic cricket until the selectors see a visible change in his approach and attitude. He has got too many opportunities to realise his talent. But he is not finishing games,” Latif added.

While the batsman remains popular among fans for his exhilarating style and exuberance, he is sometimes found guilty of being over-confident, which costs him his wicket and his place in the team.

Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan, who previously made a case for Umar’s promotion in the Pakistan batting order in his column for, also felt that the youngest Akmal sibling Umar was not doing justice to his enormous talent.

“He is talented no doubt about it, but he needs to learn that all this talent is useless until it results in good results for his team. He is just not showing the approach of a finisher which is sad,” Moin said.

How Pakistan’s national selectors deal with the batsman will be revealed in the next two weeks, when the squads for Pakistan’s full (Test, ODI, T20) tour of South Africa are announced.


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Comments (46) Closed

Parvez Jan 08, 2013 06:12pm
The Akmal brothers play brilliant cricket, when they wish to...........and that is seldom. One gets the impression that its must be more profitable not to perform than the other way around.
Ali Jan 08, 2013 07:21pm
Haris Sohail or Asad Safiq Should be in for Umar & Zulqarnain Haider for Kamran. Where is Zulqarnain, Its a fact that he made some immature decisions but he is a good and honest player and should deserve a second life over Kamran.
Hyder Jan 08, 2013 06:58pm
Dear sir, The Akmal brothers are over rated and selected for reasons other than merit. They will be around forever to haunt Pakistani cricket. Many thanks, Hyder Ali
Syed Jan 08, 2013 05:17pm
We have seen enough of Akmal brothers. Its time for them to go away. Why the heck can't we find just an average keeper that can score 20 runs once in a while.
observer Jan 08, 2013 04:28pm
Off topic: Kamran Akmal needs to go and leave the place for a more capable wicket-keeper who can bat better. However, Umar Akmal needs all encouragement. He has huge potential. I hope his potential does not become a victim to politics like so many Pakistani batsmen before him.
Mushtaq Ahmad Jan 08, 2013 04:33pm
Umar needs a small break from cricket (Holidays)
Syed J Jan 08, 2013 06:39pm
I think Kamran Akmal should be sent into retirement and Umar should be asked to play first class matches. Selectors should only include anybody with the last name "Akmal" if they have proven that deserve a place in the team.
GreenOval Jan 08, 2013 04:43pm
He will never learn, he has been around for over 3 years but hasn't learnt a thing about adapting to match situation and demand. He is another Afridi (brain or brainless) and it will be a waste to invest any more time in him. Afridi at least can bowl and that too had an expiration date (2009 ~ 2011) when his bowling was decent. Time to move on and groom new players. They can't do any worse than Umar Akmal.
AB Jan 08, 2013 04:44pm
Agree with Rashif Latif, Umar Got enough mathches to prove and he failed everytime. So its time to give some opportunity to some other deserving batsman, they are plenty in the row,
Capt C M Khan Jan 08, 2013 04:49pm
Akmal brothers are the downfall of Pakistan cricket, both of them should be told to go and play domestic cricket and prove them that they are better than 180 million Pakistanis.
Muba Khan Jan 08, 2013 04:58pm
This is beyond polictics now. The guy has incomplete talent. Like the experts say it's time to send him back to domestic. Look at Junaid. He was not selected in previous tour but came back and proved his place in the team.
Riz - US Jan 08, 2013 05:17pm
100 % I agree with GreenOval. Please forgive our sins (sarcasm) and keep the Akmals away from Men in Green. That will be greatly appreciated.
M. Khan Jan 08, 2013 05:21pm
The problem is that he didn't have a mentor in the side when he got in. The team went through some upheaval after the match fixing scandal and there was no Inzimam, Younis, Yousuf to guide him and mold him from a talented batsman to someone who can win matches for his team. He has Misbah who himself is not sure about his own batting and I am not sure if anyone sees him as a role model or a mentor. Misbah's own place in the team is always questionable, especially in the shorter format of the game. Even his older brother is not a good influence as he himself lacks the mental strength to elevate his game. I can't recall when was the last time Akmal brothers won Pakistan a match on their batting.
Burhan Khan Jan 08, 2013 05:35pm
Agreed with people views on U Akmal. However why doesn't the same criticism apply to Misbah? In fact being a captain he has more responsibily than Akmal to finish the game. What has he done as a batsman in one dayers lately. And the way he got out giving catching practise to the leg slip fielder makes him as irresposbible as U Akmal. By the way Umer Akmal has a batting average of 38+ which is higher than most of the batsmen in the team.
Maryam Jan 08, 2013 05:54pm
he is a waste of time ! not loyal to nation dsnt deserve a place in team pakistan ! we lost 2 games due to him !!
saad Jan 08, 2013 05:52pm
Apart from both of them not performing i think they r also playing in the hands of bookies especially Omar Akmal. Our captain and Younis Khan don't deserve a place as well. Misbah has done the same as akmal for not winning for us. he is only good for eating balls. I also believe last game was fixed, they never played their nature game they couldn't make 167 runs in 50 overs u kidding me......
Ras'al Jan 08, 2013 06:29pm
We have not average but exceptional keeper who can score not 20 but more than 20 runs. His name is sarfaraz. Kamran akmal is of no match with him in keeping department. Kamran has been kept in team due to his bating in which he had failed each and every time. So, its time to kick him out once and forever along with his talented brother who is just a talent and could not able to finish the game even single time . So asad shafiq for umer akmal and sarfaraz for kamran akmal. pending change
Fazal Jan 08, 2013 07:50pm
Asad Shafiq & HAris Sohail should be included in the ODI squad for SA tour instead of Umar Akmal & Azhar Ali. Sad to say but Kamran Akmal is still our best option for keeper in limited overs cricket.
Nazir Jan 08, 2013 08:12pm
Time for the Akmal boys to revert to domestic cricket. These brothers don't play for Pakistan, they play for personal glory.
Aqil Siddiqi Jan 08, 2013 08:14pm
Almost every one have seen the the ineptness of Umar Akmal, but our PCB. It's time to sack both Akmals, Misbah and Malik, and give those a chance, who have been waiting for so long.
Karachiite Jan 08, 2013 08:18pm
Akmal bro's father has connections thus they won't be dropped. It's just as simple as that. How many more times will we sit here and disparage about their performance, many gigantic Pakistani players advocate to leave them but somehow they manage to sneak in the playing 11.
Huma Jan 08, 2013 08:22pm
Umar Akmal can never even be in the same league as Afridi... at least Afridi contributed with the ball and plenty of times with the bat. And before you say he failed with bat more, at least he got out quickly and didnt waste overs and overs and overs, ruining the run rate and momentum in the process!
Raza Jan 08, 2013 10:34pm
I have not been a big fan of Umar Akmal. When he started out, i thought he was raw and lacked temperament and class as well to stay on the wicket build the innings. He used to wait for the loose balls to score runs in boundaries and sixes and did not know how to rotate strike. I would blame it on the T20 culture, as not every batsman has that class to pull it off, it takes time and effort, and when somebody is constantly under the T20 mindset, it doesn't help much. Having said this, I think pakistani selectors should provide similar number of opportunities to Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali, they would be in a better position to do comparison. The practice of calling for heads after a bad series /match should end in Pakistan. In the end, I still think that Umar Akmal is a much better batsman than Afridis and Nazirs.
Yawar Jan 09, 2013 02:22am
Simply having talent and working hard will not make a great player. Being cricket-smart is just as vital.
Chaigram Jan 09, 2013 03:15am
It is simple, Akmals brothers have to go out of international cricket. They can regain their place once they can establish their mantle in domestic cricket. They have wasted the chances of many talented player during the last three years. The 'Akmals' must go.
Farooq Mogul Jan 09, 2013 03:26am
How can we criticize Umar for playing slowly in last ODI when his captain Misbah was playing even the worst inning on the other end. Wasim, Qadir and Waqar were lucky to have Imran Khan their captain, Umar is unlucky to have a negative captain like Misbah who doesn't let him express himself. Umar is not a finisher, he is a top order batsman.
Waqas Jan Jan 09, 2013 04:42am
Look at Nasir Jamshed! class, temperament, shot selection, CONSISTENCY! no drama no green lipstick. the reason the akmals are still in the team IS because of bad politics.
Muhammad Asif Jan 09, 2013 05:46am
I heard someone saying that Pakistan will lose the match becaus both Akmals are playing. and it proved right.
Habib Zaman Jan 09, 2013 06:44am
I think Pakistan team lack a senior batsman with youngsters, just like inzi used to do, he use to guide them, younis also did that sometime but now he does not stay for long so that he can guide the youngster what to do.
Rehan Jan 09, 2013 06:52am
PCB should get rid of both the brothers for good....they have been gifted a lot of opportunities by PCB and I am sure they will again be on board SA tour ..... They may even ask Adnan Akmal to join the team as well...... wake up PCB please
Khan Bhai Jan 09, 2013 06:53am
I am told repeatedly that Akmal brothers have so much talent. I am sorry I just dont see it. Kamran opens the match and he is hardly around for 15 mins and Umar is suppose to be a batsman but his batting is nowhere to be seen. Try new kids they are more hungry for a seat in the national team. Look at Jamshed, cool under pressure and he delivers. Akmal clan should sent packing. Enough is enough.
Capt C M Khan Jan 09, 2013 07:23am
@ Asif....Yes , I have been psoting this all along.
salman -Norway Jan 09, 2013 09:09am
I totally agree. some people will never learn and akmal brothers are one of them. Since Kamran's comeback in 2012 T20, he only played one knock and that too in warm up matches against india thats it... Since than he hardly stays more than 10 mins on the wicket. You even try him at number 9 , he is going to remain the same. I guess even Mohammed Irfan can play better than him. These Akmal brothers are good for nothing and more thay stay around the more they'll torture us. Period!!!
mumtaz Jan 09, 2013 12:43pm
Akmal brothers are one of the best players famous are hitting hard
abdul moiz Jan 09, 2013 08:12am
Umar Akmal is no doubt a talented batsman but his arrogance gets the better of him most of the times. Someone needs to drill some sense into his thick skull, if he still persists with his over confident attitude...then just simply drop him so that he learns a lesson. But surprisingly this is not being done and Umar Akmal keeps repeating the same mistakes. what can I say about Kamran Akmal, hats off to this guy for keeping his place intact in the Pakistan team after those horrific performances in Down under. This proteas trip is surely going to be a big test for our batsmen , who did reasonably well against a weak indian bowling. But in the last match when the ball started to seam around , their technique was exposed a little. So, its going to be interesting how they cope up with the likes of Steyn, Philander and Morkel
wasif Jan 09, 2013 08:18am
yeah you are right
haris Jan 09, 2013 01:04pm
@Ras'al: "Kamran has been kept in team due to his bating in which he had failed ..." Firstly, A person should be good and consistent to do his 'main' job. And wicket-keepers' main job is 'Wicket-Keeping'. Also a keeper should keep well throughout the game and if he is able to make some runs and it is considered an extra plus for the Captain and the team but his main job is wicket-keeping which Kamran Akmal failed miserably. In fact, he hasn't been a worthy Keeper from the very first day he started playing for the national side. I agree with you but my point is Captain and Selectors should select the Wicket-Keeper on the basis of their Wicket-Keeping skills only. Half Keeper half batsman has not just cost us matches but series and tournaments too. I hope incubus of Sydney Test still looming in our minds and hearts.
ammariftikhar Jan 09, 2013 01:33pm
Summary: Umar has to be sent back to domestic cricket until the selectors see a visible change in his approach and attitude. He has got too many opportunities to realise his talent. But he is not finishing games.
Dilawer Jan 09, 2013 04:27pm
Axe him. He will learn very soon.
Dilawer Jan 09, 2013 04:30pm
Both are arrogant and world class blackmailers. I have been saying this all along that who cares if they are talented or not. Cricket is an sport of attitude and team work. Both have exploited the PCB for way too long. If I were running the show, I would have given them a boot a long time ago.
M H Jan 09, 2013 04:48pm
He's been talking to Shahid Afridi..he knows how to finish a game!! Only problem is it's not the finish we look for!! Umar Akmal should be in a circus with Shahid Afridi cos they both play like clowns!!
v0lt0re Jan 09, 2013 05:17pm
Difference between Afridi and Umar Akmal. Afridi is a match winner. If Afridi plays well with the bat the team wins, Umar Akmal can play well but his performance may not be enough to give the team a win.
Imran A. Jan 09, 2013 08:13pm
I think we need to keep playing Umar Akmal without charging at him. He needs to play more county. When people say "You should do this and do that" it never works. Only when the desire comes from the heart, the delivery is much better. Not everyone is lucky to have both mental maturity and cricket talents. In the end, if there is a better player, then he should be brought forward.
Faheem Jan 09, 2013 09:27pm
When will there be another Inzi to finish the match and make Pak win ?.
raza Jan 10, 2013 06:43am
There is something behind the inclusion of Akmal Brothers, they are always in the team. think and find how ?
Waqar Jan 10, 2013 07:01am