Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More New Pakistani Faces

Pakistan maybe playing a weak team but the series has been an important one for them after facing heavy defeats from stronger opposition. Before the series began there were talks of trying out new faces, especially openers, a keeper, and some pacers. Pakistan granted 3 debuts in the 3 ODIs thus far and you can expect more over the next 2 ODIs.

Nasir Jamshed has thus far impessed in all 3 outings and in the 3rd ODI he showed that he can also play a waiting game and is not only a smasher. Samiullah disappointed in both the ODIs he played, while the 3rd debutant, Kamran Hussain, impressed with both bat and ball in the 3rd game.

With Pakistan securing the series, the PCB have drafted in some more new faces in the squad for the last 2 ODIs. Khurram Manzoor, the leading opener of the ongoing domestic season, has been included at the expense of Salman Butt who failed in all 3 ODIs. Khurram will be vying for the openers slot with Khalid Latif. Sarfraz Ahmed also comes back into the squad as Kamran Akmal is 'rested'.

The last new face to be included in the squad is Wahab Riaz who is the 2nd highest wicket taker this season after Sohail Khan. He comes in place of Rao Iftikhar who had a very disappointing series. Surprisingly Yasir Arafat was dropped after only 1 game as the squad was trimmed to 14 for the last 2 ODIs.

Pakistan will grant atleast 2 more debuts tomorrow with one of Khurram or Khalid partnering Nasir at the top of the order and either of Sohail Khan or Wahab Riaz coming in instead of Yasir Arafat. Both of them could also be drafted into the XI if the selectors decide to include the other instead of Kamran Hussain.

Fawad Alam who has been in the squad for the last 3 ODIs has still not got a game and many people have criticized the fact that he has been in the squad for 2 years now and has only played 2 ODIs. The problem is that Fawad, being a spinner allrounder is a direct replacement of skipper Malik and Afridi, neither of whom can be replaced at the moment. Fawad cannot play instead of an opener nor can he replace one from the middle order. However, he is expected to play tomorrow with probably Afridi rested. I would rather rest Mohd. Yousuf as bringing in Fawad instead of a batsman brings more balance to the side who have thus far relied on only 5 bowlers, 1 of which is a part timer.

If I was chied selector, my XI for tomorrows game would be:

1. Nasir Jamshed
2. Khurram Manzoor
3. Younis Khan
4. Misbah ul Haq
5. Shoaib Malik
6. Fawad Alam
7. Shahid Afridi
8. Sarfraz Ahmed
9. Kamran Hussain
10. Sohail Tanvir
11. Sohail Khan

However, I sense Sallu will instead go for Khalid in place of Khurram and Yousuf instead of Afridi. I hope he grants Sohail Khan a game as I have been dying to see him bowl. Lets wait and watch.

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3 Pitched:

  1. Obaid said...

    I think Zimbabwe should be kicked out from cricket. These games are completely insignificant. I would probably follow a Pakistan A vs Bangladesh A game more closely than this series

  2. Q said...

    It might be insignificant and Zimbabwe might be a ver weak team but I feel its a very important series for Pakistan as they need to identify who the new talented faces are, create their bench strength, and get the balance of the team finalized.

    I think they have done that well s far.

    Plus Shahid Afridi has provided more entertainment than a bollywood movie or a belly dancer in all 3 ODIs...

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