Monday, January 12, 2009

Pace for Pakistan... but Where's Nasir?

Shoaib Akhtar

Umar Gul

Sohail Tanvir

Rao Iftikhar

Sohail Khan

Yasir Arafat

I'm not listing the fast bowling options that Pakistan has but the names of those pacers that have been included in Pakistan's squad for the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka later this month.

Pace seems to be the order of the day and from what I have heard the pitches to be prepared for the series are going to be quicker and bouncier.

Thats what the PCB has ordered the groundsmen to do.

Good thinking that from whoever it was.

It was definitely not Javed Miandad as he had recently ordered all the wickets for the domestic matches to be more batsmen-friendly.

Don't even ask why but he had.

Looks like Abdul Qadir and possibly Intikhab Alam had some plans in mind and its good they managed to keep Miandad out of the selection process.

Fast wickets. Fast men.

Sounds good to me.

But then where the selectors do right, they blunder and do wrong as well.

Its good to see the pacers, Sohail Khan and Yasir Arafat, back in the fold but where's Nasir Jamshed?

He was unfit for the Abu Dhabi series against West Indies and was replaced by Khurram Manzoor, but surely Nasir was the preferred one for the longer term.

Nasir played some outstanding innings during 2008 and impressed one and all.

Khurram did alright as his replacement, but Nasir definitely deserves to be the first choice opener given his performances.

The selectors in the past destroyed the careers of Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Tuafeeq Umar, and Yasir Hameed by chopping and changing them as openers without giving either of them a fair run.

They are nor doing the same with Nasir, Khurram, and Khalid Latif.

It would be better for Pakistan cricket if they stick to one of them for a longer period and give one a proper chance.

Nasir should have been the choice.

The selectors have also inducted a fresh face in the squad in the form of Umar Amin.

Umar has played some brilliant knocks at the under 19 level and was also the second highest scorer in the RBS Pentangular One Day competition recently.

He is definitely one for the future, but again I feel the selectors should let these youngsters bide their time at the domestic level before pushing them on to the international stage.

There was no reason why Nasir could not have been in the squad instead of Umar had the selectors wanted to continue with Khurram.

The rest of the squad are the usual suspects including Malik, Afridi, Misbah, Younis, Akmal, and Salman Butt.

Good to see that they have retained Saeed Ajmal as well.

As always, its a mixed bag from the PCB selectors. On paper the team looks good, on the field its always another story.

But if they stick to the script that dictates pace, it might bring back the shades of Pakistan of old.

Make your pitch on this post...

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11 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...


    The wickets will be dead, I can bet on it.

    Omer, Fawad, Saeed bin Nasir had competition too bad all three of them were good.

    Nasir Jamshed lost again to Khurram who is in great form,I think Butt is out of form he should have been rested.

    Mohammad Amir deserved to be selected in place of Rao.

    But this selection was only for the first match and not the whole series.

  2. Q said...

    Oh damn, I didn't even notice that Fawad Alam wasn't there. He's unlucky to miss out... They're saying he's not there cos Arafat is which just goes to show their emphasis on pace..

    The wkts will not be dead ones Wasim.. am sure abt that.. they wont have grass.. but they will have bounce.. remember the ones used against England in the tests in 2005? when Shoaib took 17? Like those..

    Aamer deserved a shot but Rao did well in the ODIs against the Windies..

    Butt is the long term opening solution and its good that the selectors are continuing with atleast one half.. But Nasir has proven himself at the international level so he shud have been there ahead of Umar Amin right now..

    Umar Amin is young.. he has time on his side.. he should get more experience at the domestic level and then be tried at the internationals..

  3. Anonymous said...

    Yes he was unlucky especially when he scored 275 runs in the 3 matches in QA trophy.

    I think Nasir lost his place to Khurram who is in great form an has scored 325 runs in three matches in QA and is the highest scorer so far in that tournament.

    Omer is a middle order batsman he came in place of Fawad.I think the selectors are now viewing Fawad as only a batsman.


    You said that you are sure wickets will not be dead if that happens do you think our batting line up can hold on such pitches considering the fact that Yousaf is no longer there and both Misbah and Salman are out of form.

  4. Damith S. said...

    Pace, good move, best way to undo SL is through pace and movement and we traditionally struggle against Pak quicks.

    Im hoping that the lack of cricket for Pakistan will be in our favor.

  5. Q said...

    Wasim, Umar Amin is an opener, not a middle order bat.. he's opened for the U19s and last season.. only this season he was used at one down i think..

    I think its right to consider Fawad as purely a batsman and he definitely deserves to be there ahead of both Khurram and Umar... he hasn't even had a constant run to justify dropping him..

    Remember we are playing Sri Lanka and not Australia or South Africa. Our batsmen will be able to cope perfectly well in my opinion.

    Facing an old Vaas and Fernando and others on bouncy tracks is any day easier than facing Murali and Mendis on dead ones.

  6. Q said...

    Damith, contrary to popular belied, the Paki have been playing ample cricket.

  7. Anonymous said...


    I didn't knew he is an opener, because in the last two domestic tournaments he has been batting in the middle order so I thought they are bringing him in place of Fawad,
    I think the selectors made a blunder and took away Malik's choices by not selecting Fawad and Nasir.

    Don't take me wrong this guy Umar is good but I still believe that they should have tested him for another season and persisted with Fawad this year, they took away chance from him to establish himself as a batsman in the team.

    Having said that this selection is only for one match and may be they will make some changes in the second.

  8. Q said...

    I agree with u wasim.. as I said in my post, I think Umar has potential but he's only 19 and there are others above him in the pekking order - Fawad and Nasir..

    Thats the thing with Pakistan.. they see a new talent and throw him at the deep end.. he fails a couple of times and they ditch him..

    He needs to be groomed and trained and nurtured at the domestic level for another couple of years - they need to make him ready for the big stage..

    Fawad deserved a longer run, esp as a permanent fixture in the top 6.. he has proved himself at every level - u19, A team, domestic.. he deserves his chance..

    And if PCB have just chosen Umar for 1 game and ring in the changes for the next 2 what sense would that make?

  9. Anonymous said...


    The puzzling aspect here is why beef up the bowling when in theory, they should strengthen the batting now considering Yousuf is no longer available.

  10. Q said...

    Scorps the batting is the batting - Yousuf or no Yousuf it will remain suspect..

    The reason for reverting to pace here is to neutralise the threat posed by Murali and Mendis... With Pak going in with the strategy of having fast bouncy tracks rather than dead ones it makes sense.. however if the pitches are going to remaind dead then god save the Pak..

    6-5 Lanka.. still cant believe!

  11. Anonymous said...

    Politics...even in the team...the usual.

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