Saturday, February 21, 2009

All the Best!

The 1st test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka starts in less than 4 hours.

I am so excited that I still haven't slept.

Despite my love for test cricket, I am never really excited about 2-test series. But Pakistan is playing a test match after so long that the propsect of watching a new look batting line up and a few rookie pacers in white with the red leather has not allowed me to sleep.

Younis Khan has said that he's not going to use makeshift openers, hence Khurram Manzoor is garanteed a debut.

Even though I wanted Nasir Jamshed instead, I'm looking forward to watching Khurram in a test match.

He has performed exceptionally well in first class cricket for the last two domestic seasons. He was second only to Nasir in the run charts last season. I've seen every single one of his 7 ODI innings and I've always mentioned that he seems more suited for tests.

Hopefully Salman and Khurram will forge something others haven't been able to do since Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar.

Younis also said that Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, and Ahmed Shehzad were out of the reckoning for the first game.

I wonder how Abdul Qadir feels about this.

That statement closes the speculation around the number 6 batting spot, which goes to Faisal Iqbal.

Now not many people will be happy about this and will blame it on nepotism, but guys whose nepotism? Javed Miandad is no longer with the board.

Faisal has been unfortunate. He is not considered an ODI player, hence is confined to test matches, which Pakistan don't play much of.

He had a very good debut many years ago, and he followed that up with some good performances.

Remember the 83 against Australia and how he took Warne apart?

Due to the presence of Younis, Yousuf, and Inzamam; Faisal could never find a permanent place in the line up, hence he only played when one of the big 3 was injured.

The 2005-06 domestic season was a very succesful one for Faisal as he topped the run charts, which included a streak of 7 consecutive centuries. The same season he filled in for an injured Inzamam against India in Karachi.

Remember the innings of 130 odd?

He's a capable batsman. And he was always considered as the long term number 4 or 5 for Pakistan when Inzamam retired.

Unfortunately for Faisal, by the time Inzi left, another Ul Haq had emerged. So still no permanent place.

But then Malik injured his ankle in India, the last test series Pakistan played, and yet again Faisal filled in.

He did alright. Even scored a last day 50 to ensure a draw.

And he's not only in this team because of his 50 in the last test Pakistan played. He's had a more than decent domestic season that includes a string of half centuries and a career best unbeaten 200.

Now with Yousuf gone, Faisal has another chance. And I'm glad someone has given it to him. And for some reason, I believe, this time Faisal is not going to let go of it.

On the bowling front, Kaneria and Gul are a certainty. As is Yasir Arafat, considering his only test performance, in Pakistan's last test.

Whether the 4th bowler is Sohail Khan or Mohammad Talha, its going to be a sight watching either one run in.

Talha is one of the leading fast bowlers this domestic season, while Sohail was last year's top wicket taker when he raked in a record number of wickets in Pakistan's domestic history.

Both have pace and swing and the ability to trouble batsmen.

As I've said before - a new captain, a new look batting order, two debutants including a rookie pacer, and a test after 15 months will make for enthralling viewing.

I'd urge all Pakistan supporters to wish the team the best, and hope rather than expect.

I'm backing you men in green... !!!

Make your pitch on this post...



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6 Pitched:

  1. Wasim said...
     

    Q

    I am not happy with the team selected by Younis, #6 spot belonged to Fawad Alam, I hope Khurram justifies his selection and grabs this opportunity.
    I would prefer Sohail Khan over Talha, but my first choice was Aamer who has been ignored for some strange reason.

    Anyways Pakistan team still looks good if they manage to keep Sangakara and Murali in check they will have a fair chance to win.

    My prayers are with Men in green.

  2. nestaquin said...
     

    Half hour to go and I'm excited. It will be a stern test for Pakistan but I think they'll do well. Sri Lanka aren't in the best form and the home team will be keen to impress.

    Two test series are a bit short but imagine if the recent ODI series was only one game. Pakistan wouldn't have a new skipper!

  3. Q said...
     

    Wasim, I also would have preferred some other players but I guess its best to support those who have been given a chance..

  4. Q said...
     

    The toss is taking place Nesta.. Lanka has won and r batting.. I haven't slept in anticipation.. looking forward to watching some rookies for Pakistan...

    Wat u say abt the captaicny change is so true!

  5. nestaquin said...
     

    Your boys are getting some curry from Warnapura Q. Sangakarra is starting to look fluent too.

    They're going to have to tighten up the bowling or they'll still be out there at tea tomorrow!

    57/1(10)

  6. scorpicity said...
     

    Nice to see Kamal back in the reckoning... where the hell was he all these days btw? He looked so promising especially his temperament.

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