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‘Pakistan needs to set higher standards’


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Pakistan's batting problems haunted them once again in South Africa. -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Former cricket greats reacted with disappointment Monday to Pakistan's tour losses in South Africa, urging the game's authorities to tackle underlying problems by setting higher standards.

Pakistan lost the five-match, one-day series 3-2 in Benoni on Sunday, following their 3-0 rout in the Tests. They managed to win the Twenty20 series 1-0 only after the first match was washed out.

Pakistan's perennial batting problems haunted them once again and none of their batsmen managed to post a century in the one-day series. Skipper Misbah-ul Haq was the leading one-day series scorer with a total 227.

“The overall tour was disappointing,” batting legend Zaheer Abbas told AFP.

“It's now up to the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) to set higher standards for the batsmen.”

Pakistan suffered a 211-run defeat in the first Test in Johannesburg before fighting hard to go down by four wickets in the second in Cape Town. They lost the third in Centurion by an innings and 18 runs.

Abbas said the poor Test performance was reflected in the one-day matches.

“Until our batsmen learn to score in Tests, they will not be up to standard in one-days,” he said.

“Batsmen should know that scoring 30 or 40 will not keep them in the team, so they must learn that scoring the first 30 is the most difficult. If you do that then you must go on and play a big innings, which on this tour they failed to do.”

But Abbas defended under-fire coach Dav Whatmore.

“Whatmore guided Pakistan to the Asia Cup win and then the series against India, in India, so we have to keep patient with him,” said Abbas, a member of the committee that picked Whatmore as coach in March last year.

Former captain Rashid Latif called on the team management to analyse the tour impartially to resolve underlying problems.

“Players should know how to play in various formats,” said Latif, adding that Misbah and senior batsman Younis Khan were at key junctures in their careers.

“I think the situation is alarming for both Misbah and Younis,” said Latif.

“Misbah has scored runs but time is running out for both and they must analyse their careers before the 2015 World Cup.”

Comments (50) Closed

Amir Mar 26, 2013 01:23am
Let us respect our senior cricketers they have done a great job for the country at their peak. Replacement of senior players with young blood is an ongoing process and Pakistan Cricket Board must include new players in the team and must give them chance to prove their abilities. For example Ehsan Adil was included in the team that toured South Africa he only played one test in which he took two wickets for 54 runs not a bad performance. However he did not play any other match. Hafeez did miserably in the test matches he was included in all the matches Pakistan played. Different strokes for different folks.
Muhammad Mar 26, 2013 01:53am
I think we Should Sack all Senior Player from our Team , I wonder Pakistani Nation too much love with Cricket but we Failed to discover 11th Best Player from whole Nation ,its funny
Amir Mar 26, 2013 01:08am
There is one thing very clear, whenever Dale Steyn is in South African team we should not include Mr. Professor in Pakistan's team. Hafeez played 6 innings in three tests and scored 43 runs at an average of 7.16, only two other Paki players have a lower average than him Umar Gul and Irfan.
kirther Mar 25, 2013 11:27pm
There is no doubt that Pakistan cricket team should set high standards but instead of naming any player falling short of high standards it will be more appropriate to demand that incompetent board and its employees should be removed and replaced by competent professionals possessing high moral values. These corrupt and incompetent people are corrupting the highly talented younger generation, destroying and eating up financial resources like white ants. Those who selected this team and appointed Misbah as captain deserve to be thrown out of the office immediately.
asad Mar 25, 2013 11:30pm
I believe no captain can adjust with Inzi as a batting coach, even Misbah refused to take inzi to Sf tour. Inzi wants to control the whole team the way he did it during his captaincy. He is very defensive minded and lazy guy. now as far as hafeez is concerned he is not a test player plus he is below average player fo ODI and he is only good for T20 where he can make few runs and take few wkts and looks great.
asad Mar 25, 2013 11:22pm
Simple is that we never won series in South Africa so why we are crying now. Since south Africa is currently no.1 team and we are no.5 we still played better in odi and t 20. The problem is our test cricket where our batsmen are unable to play new ball.
Shakir Mar 25, 2013 11:17pm
you nailed the issue. A psychologist is the solution
asad Mar 25, 2013 11:16pm
Afridi attitude is I miss you hit, if all eleven players play the way Afridi plays Pakistan total will always be around 50 runs. Afridi plays for himself not for the country.
asad Mar 25, 2013 11:10pm
Hahah very funny when you said the word serious with Afridi. He played almost 400 odi and he still dosnt know how to play. He will only get serious when he is captain.
john Mar 25, 2013 09:38pm
I agree. The 0-3 results in test is bad, but there is nothing to be ashamed about the 2-3 loss in ODIs. I feel all this over reaction is unwarranted. We knew before the tour that the team is weak in tests.
pakistan Mar 25, 2013 09:24pm
Misbah, Yunus and Afridi are done frankly well played for pakistan and thank you for your services but its time now to let youngsters take over, I cannot believe Asad Shafid and the likes of Azhar Ali are being kept out of the team on a consistant basis, bowling also, there has to be more than just Iraf and Junaid out there, and no one is even talking of a replacement for Saeed Ajmal? severe lack of vision and seems like PCB is afraid to make changes? people must be patient when pakistan looses so PCB and selectors dont feel scared to rehash the current set up. And what happended to Pakistans batting? no technique, slow reaction times? why? we were never this bad? Dale Styn bowls at 145 so does IRFAN? yet, Styn troubled every pak batmen including Afridi who were late on the paddles to ON and OFF? no practice or just old age they need to face up to fast bowling. Junaid and Morne Morkle bowl at the same speed and yet Morkel troubled Pak batmen onctantly? I dont get this, Zaheer mentioned we should be patient with Wahtamore? isnt Whatmores job to gather up young talent and rally them to the correct techniques? then what is he being paid for? we are taling bowling and Batting coaches combined with a fielding coah? and whatmore? what is his job? it is to cement the side together and ensure technique is correct isnt it?
Saim Mar 25, 2013 07:29pm
There is no reason why Afridi,Kamran,Imran farhat and Younis Khan are in the side. Afridi has not done anything in a long time. Please make changes.
kash Mar 25, 2013 07:27pm
Misbah, Younis and Afridi. We resepected you and you performed well for Pakistan. But it is now time to put your feet up. Misbah and Younus strike rate just does not cut it in modern day odi. The inability to rotate the strike was damn right poor. We need players whose remit should be to score at a run a ball whatever the situation. It seems there is no fight or hunger in the team. Pakistan give up too easily. They need to be more ruthless. Pak team tries to be too friendly, they need to start sledging like other teams. They should never go into a shell.
Abdullah Hussain Mar 25, 2013 06:43pm
I think you should also include Shahid Afridi in the list of players to be shown the exit door.
Frank Mar 25, 2013 06:15pm
You can't drop all seniors in a single shot, but Younis, Afridi and Misbah are definitely close to the edge. Malik is a good finisher of innings and can bat well still. We don't have another wicket keeper/batsman and that is why K. Akmal is still in the team. Time to give a chance to Umar Amin, Haris Sohail, Khurram Manzoor, Hammad Azam, Anwar Ali and Bhatti.
aziz ahmed Mar 25, 2013 06:03pm
Afridi has become the new target. If the old greats want him out because of his performance, then they should compare his bowling average [runs per over] with other bowlers like Hafeez, Umar Gul, His batting average is better then Younus Khan, Asad Shafiq and Nasir Jamshed. Even a lay man in Pakistan with any cricketing sense would have selected Mohammad Irfan in the first test and Abdul Rahman in the 2nd test. If they have done that the result would have been different. There is a lack of consistency in selection matters. The selectors must take advise from cricketing greats like Wasim Akram, Inzi and Miandad about English conditions. We need to select players who have experience of playing in English conditions. Abdul Razzak, Mohammad Yousuf, Fawad alam and Imran Nazeer should be in the 30 probables for the camp. They should do what SA is doing, Select 30 players for the camp and then select 15 best on present form for the ICC Champion trophy.
Nair Mar 25, 2013 05:59pm
And India won all their matches against the Aussies ....
umair Mar 25, 2013 05:47pm
agreed about so called greats. People should know/check Mr. Inzamam-ul-Haq average against Australia and South Africa. Numbers don't lie. and if people already dont know Pakistan have four ODIs in South Africa since 2000 and two of them on this tour. Stop fooling yourself being lala or Akmals fans. You dont need 350 matches to score 7000 runs. what a shame!! if these players are born in Australia or SSouth Africa, they probably could not even make it to the second string and here they are paid lacs where in a country people often live on 2 meals a day.
shehzad77 Mar 25, 2013 05:02pm
When you dont have any seniors in your team then you loose like Australia in India with 4-0 humiliation. It was only due to some senior players that Pakistan team was not defeated in 2 or three days.
Fen Mar 25, 2013 04:39pm
Umar Akmal didn't play any match,so how come you are rating his performance in the series.Kamran Akmal batting is still best among Pakistan keepers.Misbah has been leading single man army of Pakistan team.There is no problem with him.Without him Pakistan would have been 5-0 and not 3-2.Pakistan has tried Asad Shafiq in one day in South Africa and he went for 0. That's why he is not in team.
sali Mar 25, 2013 02:19pm
I think Misbah made a mistake of playing on a fresh wkt with a fragile batting line up. He avoided that in 3rd and 4th ODIs. At the end he didn't have guts to drop Yonus and Shoib Malik and it costed him the series.
Mr. Haq Mar 25, 2013 02:05pm
Misbah haters, please look at the stats for the ODI. He held the middle order together. Total runs 227, Highest Score 80, Average 56.75, Strike Rate 80.21. Younus & Hafeez were two major disappointment, along with Shoaib Malik, Afridi and Nasir Jamshed. As the Board wiped out Mohammad Yusuf from test side, its time to do the same with Younus Khan in ODI cricket. Asad Shafiq or Umar Akmal should be given that spot permanently.
Ali Vaqar Awan Mar 25, 2013 12:06pm
Misbah, Younis, Afridi and Akmal brothers deserve to be axed for good. As they are taking are team to nowhere. Also Shoaib Malik deserves to be axed neither bats well or some times bowls few over, in his place we need a proper batting allrounder. Pakistan could have won series had batting line up played with temperment. It came 10-20 runs short of target. Pakistan needs to bring proper changes in the team and select suitable players. Next world just 2 years away and no proper planing has been done. Losing series after series will do no good to team's morale. In place of Afridi its better to play Abdur Rehman and Abdul Razzaq in place of Shoaib Malik. Asad Shafiq in place of Misbah. Harris Sohail in place of Younis Khan.
khan Mar 25, 2013 03:03pm
Acutally We are slave people. that's why???????????
khan Mar 25, 2013 03:04pm
One name is missing. Wahab Raiz.( please Go Home Wahab Rasiz)
A. Khan Mar 25, 2013 03:58pm
Misbah arguably offered more resistance than most younger batsmen in the team. To ask for his removal at his point would be suicidal. Right now there are no younger players who can stick around and play a long innings. Hafeez is having a poor run, Afridi's fireworks are few and far between, don't know why Akmal was brought back into team. The list can go on. Younis also appears to be past his prime. We do seem to be scraping the bottom. To come out and blame the coach on the abysmal batting is diverting attention from the lack of quality batsmen.
Fen Mar 25, 2013 03:56pm
Hafeez as Captain? His place in squad is doubtful.He doesn't has technique or skill to survive Steyn.At least Misbah and Farhat are able to play Steyn.Don't give foolish advises here whch are self destructive.At least Misbah and Farhat has 2 wins and 1 win to their credit.Hafeez has 0 win to his credit.So if he is not sure of his batting ,then he should not play at Captain.I would rather go with unfortunate Abdul Rahman who is excellent bowler and lower order batsman.
kamran Mar 25, 2013 04:09pm
All need to admit that Shahid Afridi cannot perform under pressure. He is not a clutch batsman like Abdul Razaq used to be. I am not saying that Abdul Razaq should be back... It is time for Younis and Shoaib Malik also. We also should admit that the two one-days that Pakistan won was primarily because of Misbah. He is also a good captain as stats shows all numbers. Under his leadership new players are added. So, the prime candidates to be replaced are Younis, Malik and Shahid Afridi.
Karachi Wala Mar 25, 2013 11:26am
Every sane cricket follower knew the writing on the wall even before the tour of SA began. Overall standard of cricket in Pakistan has been on the decline for quite sometime now. However, fielding has always been our Achilles heels, whether playing in or outside of Pakistan. Baring few instances, and or very weak opponents, Pakistan batting has most of the times struggled against better opponents when visiting other countries. When Pakistan fails in Australia, WI and SA, the excuse has been our batsmen are not used to playing on bouncy tracks, when failed in England and New Zealand, the excuse has been, our boys can't handle swing. Most of our past greats and so called greats themselves have struggled on overseas tours. While as usual PCB will be busy to figure out failures in SA and as in the past will be juggling with ideas how to avoid future embarrassments, I strongly suggest they should chart out a code of conduct for the ex-Pakistan cricketers and so called journalists. I do not see them helping the cause of cricket as they play the part of spoilers and instigators while sitting on so called sports programs. They, on purpose take phone calls from naive callers, play with their emotions while fanning their anger and try their level best to further divide a divided nation.
Mr. Haq Mar 25, 2013 02:07pm
Hammad Azam batting all rounders needs to be groomed.
MAC1960 Mar 25, 2013 11:49am
PCB needs to hire a psychologist to work with the Pakistan cricket team and help them understand what means playing for the team. Afridi who was a total failure in this tour has never shown to be playing for the team. His attitude is TIR YA TUKKA. He seems to have an obligation to hit strong at each ball and result is that he is often OUT. Many others in the team are unable to play when under pressure and they also need some help to improve their behaviour.
nasim khan Mar 25, 2013 10:34am
thank u guys who supported my view of point, it is high time that Board & Selectors, either speak to the so called seniors (Yunus khan, afridi, misbah,) or straightway drop them from the next tournament, and do not select players like imran farhat (no personal enmities, but the way he plays - does not look like he is giving 100% and has no consistency at all, i keep watching him since long long time), make hafeez captain, promote shoib mallick (perform or perish), kamran akmal, for god shake we dont need only his batting, but his keeping, which is much below the standard keeper, some day he takes some good catches, but the regular he drops, regarding his batting - he fails more than he gets runs, try players like - harish sohail, waqas, hammad azam, safdar, shahzad or any young players who shows some technique and attitude, MAKE INZI BHAI batting coach, remove Md. Akram from bowling coach (let me share GREAT IMRAN KHAN comments, when Md. Akram was bowling at sharjah - Imran khan was on the commentary box - he said that a bowler who does not show any enthusiasm in his action, how can he bowls fast and furiously), all the best to the pakistan team.
sahil Mar 25, 2013 11:56am
please stop comments after face series loss... till PCB not remove misbah and Younus(Aunty) khan Pakistan never win they are doing injustices some players like "Abdul Razzaq he is real match winner in the world cricket... It seems that Pakistan will loss in CT in June if the same players will play...
Hassan Mar 25, 2013 03:19pm
Bringing in Inzi would mean that team would start taking Tableegh lessons as oppose to polish their batting...
Faheem Mohamedi Mar 25, 2013 01:09pm
We have the greats like Inzi and W's why cannot they guide our team
Syed Mar 25, 2013 01:24pm
With respect to the senior players what they did in the past. But in fact it is the time for Yunis Khan, Shohaib Malik, Misbah Haq and Kamran Akmal to give chance to youngesters. Afridi and Umar Akmal should be serious about game and take their responsibilities and avoid recklessness approach.
khan Mar 25, 2013 03:15pm
They pay money every single pay check. What you think. They will cick him out. No way.
Merchant Iqbal Mar 25, 2013 02:56pm
I think Pakistan has to do three things for consistency of team success.1-Pakistan should look for technically sound and capable batting coach who can not afraid to decipline our batsmen.2- Pakistan need good Psycologist to work on players mental strength.3- Pakistan need good alrounders. Pakistan should give chance to Asad Shafiq, Harris shohail and Umer Akmal in Playing eleven. Pakistan need good wicket keeper batsman.We should select Umer Amin,Anwar Ali, Akber Khan and Hammad Azam as alrounders. We should give rest to Younus,Afridi and Umer Gul. Raza Hassan should be pair with Saeed Ajmal as a spinner.
asif Mar 25, 2013 01:15pm
the players like shahid afradi younis khan imran farhat & kamran akmal should be axed for ever from Pak national team. they have played enough cricket & they are barden on national team. Now new legs should be given chance in order to build a strong team for future tours.
HNY2013 Mar 26, 2013 04:12am
2 match won n 3 lost. Come on guys that is not so bad! Could have gone either way. Give the guys some slack. Those commenting negatively please tell what did you do so great to pass judgements?
Mark Mar 26, 2013 04:26am
How about they take cricket lessons and you take English lessons.
sameen khan Mar 26, 2013 04:45am
PCB needs to hire a psychologist to examine its own head. They have no vision for the future. They need to prepare for the world cup. Mohammad Hafeez is not a true opener. We need to cultivate the real openers that we have, like Ahmed Shahzad etc. Its retirement time for Yunus, Shoaib Malik, misbah. Afridi has gone from boom boom to doom doom. PCB needs to be run by someone who understands cricket. Zaka Ashraf is a good man but he's not really that great for Pakistan cricket team.
Wasim Mar 26, 2013 04:47am
brother, try to think in present and act in present.. Inzi and W's are past and history... you guyz need to change in your attitude , come on wake up guys don't live in past memories :)
Muhammad Daud Alam Mar 26, 2013 05:16am
Prepare green pitches all over the country and naturally it will resolve the batting problem.
ABL Mar 26, 2013 07:21am
Exactly 21 years back, Pakistan won the world cup in Australia.The SA tour was disappointing, but we all knew, it is going to be difficult tour. Had Pakistan batted well in the last ODI and win, it would have bring a better image of the team despite whitewash in the Tests. PCB need to think thru and decide and prepare for ICC trophy in June in England. There are lots of lessons learnt from this tour. Pakistan relied on old guards (Younis, Misbah, Malik, Afridi, Kamran) and left out young ones (Asad, Azhar, Nasir, Omar Akmal). While, SA tested their young ones and left out their old guards. Stark difference in strategy. PCB need to plan better for ICC in England. The playing conditions will be different. Players should be selected based on their ability to perform in English conditions. Based on World Cup victory in 1992, we won it due to 2 exciting young ones in the team, who went on to become superstars. (Wasim and Inzi). PCB need to take risk with some young ones, who can hit HARD and bowl FAST)
Nazir K Ali Mar 26, 2013 07:36am
Finally, these people wake up after so many years. If the PCB undergoes a qualitative change then you can expect a change in the players. Where is the constitution demanded by the ICC? Why is 'adhocism' not ended? The PCB must let the provinces have their own cricket boards and a final selection must be made from the four top teams of the Quaid e Azam Cup. The PCB chairman must be an elected person not given to nepotism. Salams
Pakistani Mar 26, 2013 08:05am
According to the Chairman PCB our performance against SA was satisfactory!! I need to see an optician and a psychologist urgently.
Pakistani Mar 26, 2013 08:10am
Also, ICC should allocate 3 days for our test matches.
Capt C M Khan Mar 26, 2013 09:40am
If I was in the shoes of Shoaib, Younus, Afridi,Kamran I would have announced my RETIREMENT immediately and help the young cricketers but no, NEVER...Only Imran had that quality the rest are insecure. Sufferings for the Pakistani fans will continue
Tahir Mar 27, 2013 09:26am
he retired at the age of 42 :)