Thursday, June 18, 2009

Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi the Key

"Younis Khan's press conferences have been one of the delights of the tournament. No one has enjoyed the cup more, it seems, than the relentlessly chipper Pakistan captain, every bit as cheery in defeat against England and Sri Lanka as he was in victory against New Zealand, Ireland and Netherlands"

That is Andy Bull describing the Pakistan captain in his semi final preview over at the Guardian.

Last week I wrote about how Younis Khan's "silly" smile and "absurd" statements may have been misinterpreted by many.

In a country where everything is misconstrued, almost, and where a harmful statement can be turned into a malicious one by the media, I believe Younis has accomplished something not many Pakistan skippers have.

Getting on the right side of the media, despite the team not being at its best against England and Sri Lanka.

Saad Shafqat over at Cricinfo calls it Younis Khan's master stroke!

And it very well may be just that.

Andy Bull also talks about Shahid Afridi and says,

"The heart of the side, though, is Shahid Afridi, a comic book creation who bowls leg spin with the cunning of Cardinal Richelieu and then bats with the foolhardy panache of all three musketeers rolled into one"

That is one of the best descriptions of Afridi that I have come across since Andy Zaltzman summarized his career in a few lines.

If Pakistan are to come out on top in their world twenty20 semi final against South Africa tonight, both Younis and Afridi will have to stand up and be counted for.

Younis has been their best batsman and Afridi, as Andy Bull says, their heart.

When Afridi is on song and chirping away in the field, you know Pakistan is on top.

It is a big game tonight. Most of the Pakistan fans I have spoken to have said, "I don't have a good feeling about tonight".

They are jittery. So is the team I'm sure.

But I am confident, but then that is just me. I always am. It says nothing about the team.

I have plans to watch the match with a large group of Pakistan supporters on a big screen. Usually when I am part of a plan like this, Pakistan fail to live up to their potential.

For our sake, and Pakistan's sake, I hope this trend does not continue.

Make your pitch on this post...

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12 Pitched:

  1. Wasim said...

    Nothing succeeds like success.The same media would have grilled him for the same statements if his team had not made into the semi finals.
    I don't think it was a master stroke they were just plain bloopers.

    It is the same media which launched the campaign for him, Osman Sami ud din, Saad Shafqat and Abbassi they also have their reputation at stake Younis's failure will prove them dead wrong, that is why they are giving him all kinds of margins and in certain cases are even willing to accept defeat before it happens.

    The fact remains that Pakistan is yet to beat a good team in this tournament, we got an easy draw as a reward of our previous record.
    So I don't think that we have accomplished anything significant so far, today all these senior players including Misbah and Malik will have to come good.

    If it was not for Afridi, Ajmal and Gul Pakistan would not have made this far.Lets hope these three again carry us to the finals.

  2. khansahab said...

    Once again Malik played a terrible knock of a strike rate of 87. He is lucky he didn't get out earlier as he got 3-4 lifelines.

    I don't see how a sane or rational person can say he should be in the team instead of Fawad Alam.

    Even Younis Khan, who is a Test player is scoring over a strike rate of 100 whereas Malik is wasting balls.

  3. khansahab said...

    Someone left this feedback on Cricinfo:

    Ujjwal Pandey: "How is Malik's 87 strike rate knock a fine hand? Specially after he took 6 overs and 3 balls for himself. He should have gotten a run a ball at least. Pakistan needed him to come to party, not be a turtle. He is seriously out of touch, hopefully he will find it before the finals."

  4. Tifosi Guy said...

    The perennial chokers does it again. Woo hoooo - Adios South Africa. Thank you Pakistan :-)

  5. Tazeen said...

    the right shade of green goes through :)

  6. Wasim said...

    Congrats Q.

  7. obaid said...

    wooohooo, that felt good. I think we exorcised a few daemons of our own - its never been easy for Pakistan to get past SA

  8. Q said...

    "I don't think it was a master stroke they were just plain bloopers"


    I don't think those were bloopers. They looked like that at first.. but Younis is a smart man.. he knows what he's saying I believe.. there was a reason behind everything he said.. and it takes a lot to front the media with a smile on ur face after an embarassing loss.

  9. Q said...


    Malik is woefully out of form. His timing is out, he can't press on the accelerator, and he is not playing the way he usually does.

    I was honestly surprised that Younis sent him before himself and Misbah.

    But congrats though. We are in the finals!!

  10. Q said...


    They sure were!

    Though Dileep Premachandran on Cricinfo says that it wasn't the Saffers choking this time, but they were rather done by the Paki brilliance!

    Watever it was.. we r in the finals!

    Thanks man!

  11. Q said...


    the right shade alright! Congrats!

  12. Q said...

    Congrats Wasim!

    Congrats Obaid!

    Congrats everyone!

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