Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yehi Hai Right Choice Baby!

Bangladesh have won the toss and elected to bat in the 4th ODI at Multan today.

The match will start in about 20 minutes. I just glanced at the team line up and I am super excited at seeing the last 3 names on Pakistan's list.

Sohail Khan
Umar Gul

Finally, Pakistan is taking the field with a first choice bowling line up. With Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz in the back, Pakistan's pace battery is finally taking shape.

Even though I would have liked Shoaib Akhtar in there, Sohail Khan seems an apt replacement sanz the drama.

Give these guys some time and they could be up there with the best trios - Lee, Bracken, Johnson or Steyn, Nitini, Morkel.

Sohail is still a rookie, while the other 2 Gul and Asif are returning from injury. This will be Asif's 1st match since playing against South Africa in October. Its been over 6 months.

There are reports mentioning that Asif wanted to play so that the PCB allow him to go over to the IPL, which they were initially not allowing so that he could get rest. Either way, whatever the motive, the bottom line is that Mohammad Asif is back. And hopefully back to stay.

Fawad Alam is in the side like the 3rd ODI and he gives Pakistan a 6th bowling option without weakening the batting. I think on more pacer friendly pitches Sohail Tanvir could play instead of him.

Asif, Gul, Sohail K, Sohail T - What a pace attack that would be.

Make your pitch on this post...

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10 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Q - they are again fucking up the batting line ... where is the other opener - they are reverting to all the stupid tried and tested combos at the top (Akmal, Afridi) ... what's wrong with them ... if they arent gonna try against Zimbos and Banglas - who are they gonna try it against?

  2. Q said...

    They're not going to open with Afridi, they are sticking with Akmal.

    Honestly I don't think they have a choice. The problem is fitting in the 6th bowler, i.e. Fawad Alam in this case. It could well be Sohail Tanvir or someone like Yasir Arafat who can bowl or bat a bit. Pakistan is struggling for a replacement for Abdul Razzak.

    6th bowler is essential for balance.

    So in the last match they played Akmal as an opener instead of Nasir and included a 6th bowler.

    The only other way a 6th bowler is possible is to play specialist opener and drop one of the middle order batsmen and I don't see hem dropping Yousuf, Younis, Misbah or Malik.

    So i say stick to Akmal.

  3. Anonymous said...

    cant disagree with you more ... openers is an issue with pak team for so long. they need to sort it out - and if it means sacrificing a middle-order batsman, so be it. younis doesnt want to play one days anyways. and we totally forget that it's a batsman that's taking place of a batsman.
    we need to give hameed a long run in the opening slot ... have malik come at 1-down, following by yousuf, misbah, afridi, akmal and bowlers.

  4. Q said...

    Hi Anonymous - sorry for the late repsonse.

    Ok so if you go back to my earlier posts, around september / October where i talk abt the Pak team composition, i have been a long advocate of dropping Younis Khan from ODIs, give Yasir Hameed an extened run, batting Malik at 3 or even open with him, and to play with 6 bowlers.

    Exactly what you have said.

    But over the last 6 months my thoughts have slightly changed.

    I have never believed that Younis was a good ODI batsman. Great in tests but below average in ODIs. I was over the moon when he said he doesnt want to play ODIs. But later i figured that it was all media speculation and Younis wanted to play on. He is just announced his availability for the 5th ODI against Bangladesh. So despite him not being any good in ODIs, as long as he is available, I don't see the PCB or the selectors dropping him from ODIs.

    I've learnt to live with that fact.

    On to Yasir Hameed. I called for his inclusion and a long run for a long time. But when he got that run against SA and India last year he blew it. The problem with him, Nazir, Farhat, Taufeeq, and now Nasir Jamshed is that they all keep getting out in the same manner. Which shows that they don't work on their short comings. All of them have a got a decent run at the top but none has been consistent enough.

    Thus, now I think that Kamran Akmal will score just as much as any other opener will, and at times evern a bit more, so with the added advantage of him being a keeper, why not use him as opener.

    He's been in great form in the national one day competition.

    Plus he's not the razzak type big hitter that we need in the lower order.

    So open with him and play the 6 bowlers.

  5. Anonymous said...

    i heard imran khan saying something in an interview that yasir has got a great attitude, and his mode of dismissal is a shortcoming that can be curbed through proper coaching.
    i still believe that kamran akmal will not deliver against better oppositions, and on lively tracks. against which the middle-order will be suspect for a melt-down on more occasions than one.
    we definitely need a solid opener (butt's been on fire recently - but he'll fizzle against anybody outside sub-continent).
    i trust imran's judgement - and i think it's time the inzi-style attitude of "i am not here to develop players - i am here to utilise them" needs to go-away - as it clearly doesnt work for us.

  6. Q said...

    Coaching from Javed Miandad, Haroon Rasheed, Bob Woolmer and Lawson could not get Yasir to tighten up outside the off stump.

    I'm sure Inzi and Yousuf must have also tried to hlp him.

    I wonder what other proper coaching is required.

    What Imran Khan said abt Yasir is true for Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, and Taufeeq Umar as well.

    Same goes for Nasir Jamshed.

    Once these players come into te international team, it is impossibloe to change their techniques.

    So essentially the problem lies in the grassroots something Imran Khan and Miandad have been talking abt forever.

    Now take any of the above 5 tried and tested openers. Against any opposition they will produce 1 good innings and then fail for the next 10 games.

    Same holds true for Kamran Akmal.

    So then in that case just go for Kamran Akmal since he brings something else to the table as well (i.e. wicketkeeping) unlike the others..

  7. Anonymous said...

    can't disagree from you more.

    i think inzy didn't give yasser a good run - maybe cuz some other chap was a better muslim that him. obviously, it's just a conjecture on my part - and there is no way to confirm this - but technically, yasser has been far more sound than everybody else (maybe except Taufeeq Umar - who was a modern-day Shoaib Mohammed with little success).

    It's hard to believe that Yasser was coached properly and he couldn't curb his flashes outside the off stump. The only long run that he got was under Lawson - who's a bowler himself. He was only tried for at most 2-3 matches under the other coaches and dropped right after he scored a half-century.

    I still believe that our batting line-up can not cope with pitches outside the sub-continent - all of them are very flashy players, and they are definitely wanting in their basic technique. So Kamran Akmal at the top is NOT the solution. We need a solid opening pair - and neither Akmal nor Butt cuts it. Though clearly Butt is the best of the crappy lot that we have got - so we have to persist with him. Yasser is close behind - give him a year in the team with MoYo specifically asked to work on his weakness (though i doubt that MoYo has what it takes to make his point across) - and then make a judgement on him.

    My problem is with the attitude - they think Akmal is Glichrist or SangaTheKing - which he clearly is not. He's more useful lower down the order. And what of test matches - clearly, Akmal should never be near the opening slot there. What to do then?

    This approach is bound to fail. Whereas, persisiting with Yasser (or anyone else for that matter who has potential) MIGHT succeed.

  8. Q said...

    Ok so I get where you're coming from.

    Butt btw has a test century to his name in Sydney. So I think he does cut the figure of an opener at home or away.

    I'll get back on Yasir Hameed and his numerous runs in the team and how he fared. With numbers :-)

    So as u say if Pak gets 2 specialist openers. We NEED to play 6 bowlers. Which batsman will u drop? Younis?

    I don't think the PCB will do that.

  9. Anonymous said...

    Q - clearly Yasir wouldn't have scintilating stats to back his case.

    My point is that he got a raw deal - and will be a "lost" talent. What would be interesting to know would be how many matches he played consecutively, whether they were entire series or just the last 2 matches, and how much break was he given from the dressing room when he was dropped.

    Remember a certain M. Wasim - the one down batsman who almost solved our one-down problem before Younis came on? Yasir - though not in his class - is going the saame route.

    As for who would be dropped, i think the below would be my teams for ODI and Tests:

    Test: Butt, Hameed, Younis, Yousuf, Malik, Misbah, Akmal, Asif, Gul, Kaneria, and whoever is being tried for Akhtar

    ODI: Butt, Hameed, Malik, Yousuf, Misbah, Afridi, Akmal, Asif, Gul, and any other 2 bowlers that they think need to be in the team.

    Younis is a good player - but he should really concentrate on Tests and IPL - he doesn't merit his position in ODI, unless of course he wants to open the innings, or take up the captaincy for good.

    PCB has never been a body to work for the betterment of the team - you would only expect them to have people like Salim Jaffer in their selection team who were shit as players, and are now being asked to unearth talent in the country. I fully expect them to go the Butt/Akmal route till the next world cup, and then have Nasir Jamshed recalled for the event itself.

  10. Q said...

    Hameed has had his chances and he wasnt goog enough. Same for Mohd. Wasim - He just wasn't good enough.

    The only openers that had the potential and were given a raw deal by the PCB, IMO were Taufeeq Umar and Imran Farhat.

    The had been invested in for a long time, since the U15s.

    They did very well for Pakistan notching up one century partnership after another. A few failures and they were dropped.

    I don't believe in going back to the tried and tested.

    I agree with your test team but I wouldn't go back to Hameed as the partner for Butt. I'd go for Khurram Manzoor.

    For ODIs, I don't mind a Kamran Akmal opening the innings. He will do just as well as anyone else in that role and him opening beings flexiility to the team.

    However, if PCB do develop some balls to drop Younis from ODIs I would persist with Nasir Jamshed at the top.

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