Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two Contrasting Teams, a Familiar Selection Committee, and an Understatement

One team is hoping to give a resounding farewell to their captain, while the other is trying to regroup under a new captain.

One team is coming from a hectic international schedule with non stop cricket for the last 24 months, while the other is gearing up to play their first test in 15 months.

One team has the leading wicket taker in the world, while the other will comprise of a bowler who is 1-test old and atleast one other making his debut.

One team has an established batting line up, while the other will comprise of a debutant opener and atleast two others, making their comeback or debut.

One team has arguably the best keeper in the world, while the other has decided to stick with the worst one in the world.

That's the story of the upcoming test series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out which team is which.

Even though the Patron's XI easily beat the Sri Lankans in a warm up tie, the test match will be a different story altogether.

After pleasantly surprising me last week, the Pakistan selectors yet again did what they do best - make blunders.

The biggest one being the inclusion of Kamran Akmal in the 15-man squad for the 1st test.

Why? Why? Why?

What will it take for the selectors to realise that Kamran's butter gloves cost Pakistan matches?

Apparently, the chief selector has said that it was the captain's decision to keep Kamran on board.

Younis Khan?

If that is true, that should shut all those up who had been complaining that Kamran remained a part of the team due to his closeness to Shoaib Malik.

Eat crap all of you.

The other blunder is the omission of Nasir Jamshed.

I thought it had been decided that Nasir was going to partner Salman in the 1st test.

I can understand that it was difficult to ignore a 17 year old who smashed an unbeaten 146 against the Lankans, but why would you pick Khurram Manzoor ahead of Nasir?

Its great for Ahmed Shehzad's confidence, who has been veru successful at the U19 level and has tasted some domestic success as well, but isn't it a bit too early to blood the youngster?

This musical chairs with openers has hurt Pakistan in the past and destroyed many careers. The selectors have failed to learn from those mistakes.

Don't they understand the concept of a pekking order?

Nasir is line first, then Khurram, then Khalid Latif, then Azhar Ali, then Umar Amin, and then Ahmed Shehzad.

All these guys are young and they can wait for their chances so stick to two of your best who have deserved their chances through exceptional domestic performances.

Sohail Tanvir's exclusion was not an entirely a surprise as he was suffering from poor form and had also rubbed some people the wrong way with his attitude. Hopefully he will comeback stronger and better.

The probable team now for the first test looks like: Salman Butt, Khurram Manzoor, Younis Khan, Misbah Ul Haq, Asim Kamal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Sohail Khan.

That includes a debutant opener, a debutant attack bowler, a 1 test old pacer, a batsman making his comeback as Mohammad Yousuf's replacement.

Saying its going to be tough for Pakistan is an understatement.

Make your pitch on this post...

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8 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...


    "Apparently, the chief selector has said that it was the captain's decision to keep Kamran on board.

    Younis Khan?

    If that is true, that should shut all those up who had been complaining that Kamran remained a part of the team due to his closeness to Shoaib Malik.

    Eat crap all of you"

    I Completely agree with you.

    I wrote a post about Osman Sammiuddin criticizing his blind support for Younis Khan he responded on my site stating that
    I was not a journalist and hence I didn't knew what was going on behind the scenes.

    I wonder what he is thinking now about Younis Khan's support for Kamran Akmal.

    Qadir has very effectively derailed Pakistan teams progress again by his unfair selection.Khurram, Faisal,Asim and Kamran Akmal didn't deserved to be in the team there were better options available.

    If you take out four players out of fifteen selected then the eleven remaining will get to play the team management has not been left with much of a choice. This is what Qadir did to Malik and nw he has done it again with Younis apparently they are not on talking terms with each other and are trying to score points against each ther which is quite sad.

    He has deliberately left a hole at the top and lower middle order, he has also made the bowling department weak by nt selecting Aamer.

  2. karachikhatmal said...

    come on man... who but asim kamal deserves a place in this squad? if he shouldn't be there, then the whole argument on pecking orders, deserved chances and common sense falls away

  3. Q said...

    Wasim, I read the comment by Osman.. I don't remember him saying that Kamran was in the team cos of Shoaib Malik.. but i've read other people say that..

    As for the unfair selection.. Qadir cannot be blamed for Kamran's selection cos Younis and Intikhab made that happen as has been reported. Faisal Iqbal also is not unfair because he has been a part of pakistan's test squad for a long time and has done alright.. he was inzi's long term replacement before misbah emerged.. and Faisal has a 50 in his last test. As for Khurram, again it was not Qadir's selection as he had wanted Nasir but YOunis insisted on Khurram.. As for Asim, his is an interesting choice, which i will comment on in response to Karachi Khatmal's comment.

    So Wasim, its not qadir who has left a hole, but Younis who has created one.

  4. Q said...

    KK - about Asim Kamal. I say its an interesting case because he certainly did not deserve to be dropped from the team when he was previously. With Younis, Yousuf, and Inzi set at 3,4, and 5 it was always the number 6 position that was up for grabs and Asim did well but for many reasons Pakistan tried Faisal Iqbal, Afridi, and Shoaib Malik at that position. All of these also played with some success at 6.. so choosing among these 4 usually meant that Asim would miss out.

    Qadir seems to be giving him a chance again but im afraid he might be past his sell by date.

    Having said that im not sure if Asim will play.. with Salman, Khurram / Shehzad, Younis, Misbah, and Malik a surity for the test, again its the number 6 position and again there are 3 players vying for it - Asim, Fawad, Faisal.. who will u pick?

  5. bored cricket crazy indians said...

    Mendis in a test match again. should be fun, either way.

  6. Anonymous said...


    Osman said that in one of his articles, you are right about Qadir, I also read his statement in the newspapers today and was surprised that it was Younis and Intikhab who are forcing these strange decisions.

    As regards #6 position it should be Fawad Alam.

  7. Q said...

    It sure should be bored member..

  8. Q said...

    Wasim - I agree on Fawad.. though I've heard that Younis wants to play both Faisal and Asim and that he's thinking of using Malik as opener...

    That may not be such a bad idea..

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