Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

For me it is always Half Full.

I am generally an optimist; one who always thinks about the positives rather than one who dwells on the negatives.

There have been varied reactions to Pakistan's test series loss to Sri Lanka, but one reaction, which has come from several quarters, is the one regarding the different factions within the team.

Former players have spoken about it, a former captain has voiced his concern regarding it, a former chief selector who recently resigned has made his views public regarding the factions, and a few bloggers also feel the same way.

I believe all of this talk regarding factions is a load of bullshit.

I also believe that the people talking about these factions are those who consider the glass half empty.

They need a reason to point fingers at the players that failed, they need excuses for the defeat, they need someone to be held responsible for the manner in which Pakistan collapsed.

Why I ask.

Why do you need to point fingers at anyone? Why do you need excuses for the pathetic batting display that Pakistan put up?

It was a collective team failure, a failure to counter the swing of the new ball, a failure to play left arm spinners, a failure to play well under pressure.

It is as simple as that; and it is nothing new.

These problems relating to batting collapses, succumbing to the swinging ball, and looking clueless against left arm spinners have plagued Pakistan for as long as I have watched cricket.

There is nothing new about this.

I am not denying the fact that Pakistan are 2-0 down in a series, in which they could have easily been 2-0 up.

The fact that they are not is only due to them; them as a whole team and not due to certain individuals or factions.

Moving on, why dwell on these negatives?

Instead of talking about the atrocious shot that Younis Khan played to get out, why not talk about the captain's knock he played, the record partnership that he was involved in, the good position that he got Pakistan to?

Instead of talking about the factions and giving excuses for a bad performance why not talk about the great comeback of Mohammad Yousuf.

Or the awesome debut of Fawad Alam.

Or the launch of the promising test career of Mohammad Aamer.

Or the effort of Saeed Ajmal in the two tests.

Or the effort that Umar Gul put in on the 2nd day at Colombo.

There are plenty of positives to be taken, despite the sorry defeats.

There is no reason to think that the team is divided and not united.

Are you telling me that Misbah was not responsible enough when he got out to a bad decision? That ball was missing leg stump by some distance.

Are you telling me that Shoaib Malik under performed because a straighter one sneaked through the smallest of gaps between bat and pad and just kissed the bail?

I am not saying that Misbah and Malik did well; they have been far from their best in this series, but it is still not reason enough to think that they are conspiring against Younis Khan.

There are no divisions within the team.

The team as a whole failed at Galle, the team as a whole failed at Colombo.

It wasn't due to the bad performance of a few individuals. It was due to the bad performance of the team!

Younis Khan is right in asking for time with the team and all of us should be doing just that rather than pointing fingers.

Pakistan has hardly been playing test cricket and this series is just the start of a long 12 months, during which they will play as many as 11 more tests after the 3rd one against Sri Lanka.

All those 11 tests will be played away from home, in New Zealand, in Australia, and in England.

Those are tough conditions to play in and Pakistan requires experienced players to be at their best to take on those sides.

This is not the time for wholesale changes.

It is the time to back the experienced players, it is time to be a bit more patient, it is time to stop looking for excuses every time the team performs below potential, it is time to accept that we were beaten because we lacked the skill and the aptitude, and not due to some imaginary factions in the team!

I understand that it is not easy being a Pakistan fan. The team puts us through varying emotions without blinking an eye.

It frustrates us, it makes us curse and abuse, it makes us proud, it fails us, it makes us cheer, it makes us sad, it makes us jump up with joy, it makes us break the TV screen, it makes us angry, it makes us smile, it makes us party like one crazy nation, it makes us pull our hair out, it makes us panic, it builds our expectations and then dampens them, it makes us...

Even a Bollywood movie does not dish out so much drama.

But would you have it any other way?

I surely wouldn't!

Make your pitch on this post...



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84 Pitched:

  1. Husha said...
     

    I agree with everything you said, and I support the team through thick and thin. Take a leaf from Deshi fans' books, as someone said on Cricinfo.

    BTW, "it makes us break the TV screen" resonates with me especially...in 2003 when Pakistan lost against some team in the World Cup, I don't remember (probably India), my dad broke a couple of vases in his anger!

  2. Naked Cricket said...
     

    Raise 'em glasses to the attitude!

    In my book, Lanka didn't deserve to win either test, that they did, shows us a very long Pak tail.

    I'm still curious how MoYo and Malik are getting on in the same team. Think it's the little fissures that cause bigger cracks - also, are any Pak batsmen mentoring the tailenders?

  3. Q said...
     

    Husha,

    I know people who have actually thrown a glass, an ashtray, and an apple at the TV screen!

  4. Q said...
     

    NC,

    During the 2nd test the camera panned to the Pak dressing room where Malik and MoYo were shown sharing a joke and back slapping each other.. it seemed genuine.. also during their partnership in the 1st inn at Galle there didn't seem to be any tension..

    I believe YK has played a part in burying their differences...

  5. Q said...
     

    I don't think there is any mentoring of the tailenders going on.. there should be surely.. Mohammad Aamer was seen practicing in the nets with Aqib.. maybe a batsman should have been there with him...

    I like the calls being made for a batting coach..

  6. Naked Cricket said...
     

    SP mentioned the Malik MOYO bhai bhai shot. Agree must be YK, boy he is life+ve.

  7. SM said...
     

    Wonderful Post . I salute your vision of looking for the silver linings in such situations .

    You raised one vital issue that mentoring is not going on and I can draw parallels to the same lacking in the Indian camp as well. I too noticed the picture which showed Aamer bowling in nets along with Aaquib Jawed only .. should write more on mentoring and the good practices ..

  8. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    There is no smoke without fire.

    Everyone knows Malik's meesna nature. This guy fixed a domestic semi final on TV in front of everyone. If he can do that, he can do anything. He came on camera and justified his behaviour very arrogantly and unprofessionally.

    Paindoos will claim I am making a "jingoistic" statement, but I am admitting openly that Afridi wanted to be captain and played politics against Malik. However, Malik, Misbah, Akmal and 1 more player who is not named for some reason are now playing politics.

    Just think about who was making statements during Malik's tenure as captain- hardly a worthwhile source. Now you have Qadir, Sarfraz, Inzamam, journalists, experienced bloggers etc saying these things. Inzamam knows guys like Younis very well, he would never say anything against anyone if there wasn't anything fishy.

    Bottom line is, Malik etc want someone of their own giyareen to be captain.

  9. Q said...
     

    NC,

    YK is more +ve than the word positive itself...

  10. Q said...
     

    SM,

    Thanks.

    I believe its different in the Indian camp... I heard each bowler had a batsman as a mentor.. and the tail's better batting was due to the coaching they had got from the batsmen..

  11. SM said...
     

    Q ,
    In the Indian camp I don't see anyone except Harbhajan batting positively .. so was thinking if the tail could be resurrected as a part of a long term policy to backup multi-tiered tactics in case of a slump .. isn't it ?

  12. Q said...
     

    Khansahab,

    I don't believe a word these former players are saying..

    U tell me, when has Sarfraz Nawaz ever spoken sense? The guy makes meaningless comment all the time.. u can't take him seriously..

    Qadir is also full of shit.. why didn't he speak up when he was selector? why did he wait till he resigned to say all that shit?

    I refuse to believe that Younis Khan is not in control of the team.

    U tell me, was Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi's hug at winning the world T20 not genuine?

    Those feelings and expressions were no drama.

    During Malik's tenure all the senior players except Younis Khan expressed their dislike of a junior player becoming captain. Yousuf, Afridi, Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar they all spoke against him and his captaincy while he was captain.

    Why hasn't any player spoken against Younis Khan?

    These people are just creating hype for their own vested interests.

    Lets take a look at this series and the players being blamed - Misbah, Malik, and Akmal.

    Misbah's 4 innings:

    1. he scored a 50 and played a sensible knock.
    2. He got out run out due to his own stupidity, he has got out that way so many times. It wasn't because he wanted to.
    3. He got an inswinger which he edged to the keeper.. that ball could have got the best of the batsmen.
    4. Wrong decision.

    Malik's 4 innings:

    1. Patient knock. got bowled with the new ball cos of his bad footwork. We all know he's not a good player against quality fast bowling.
    2. Edged to keeper, bad footwork. same as above.
    3. Remained not out.
    4. The ball sneaked in through a very small gap.

    Akmal:

    1. Played an aggressive knock, got run out to some amazing fielding.
    2. LBW, lack of footwork.
    3. Edged to keeper, bad ball to play a cut.
    4. LBW, may have been high but bad footwork again.

    Now all those dismissals for me are cos of lack of skill, thought, and application. Something these batsmen lack at times.

    Not because they want to under perform because they don't like the captain.

  13. Q said...
     

    NC,

    Regarding SM's comment.. I think there was a post some time back highlighting which batsman was tutoring which bowler.. Sachin and Bhajji, Sehwag and Zaheer.. who all was it?

    SM, I think largely India's tail has done well.. not sure..

  14. Naked Cricket said...
     

    Sachin - Bhajji
    VVS - Zaheer

  15. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    Shoaib Akhter and Asif never appeared on the field as though one would hit the other with the bat.

    After the dope scandal, which was after the bat hitting incident, both of them were travelling in the same car to and from the PCB offices.

    The players are like a unit, like families. When a family goes out for dinner they don't show that a daughter in law is fighting with her mother in law, or that two brothers have acrimonious attitudes with each other.

    So I don't believe what I see on the field. On the field Malik looks like a nice and simple guy. When he collects a memento or prize from anyone in the post match presentation, he always holds his cap in respect or takes it off. But he has also fixed a match and then been very arrogant with Ramiz Raja.

    I don't take things at face value.

    Secondly, I have never stated that they deliberately get out. I have said they don't apply themselves sometimes. You have mentioned their dismissals were because of lack of application or concentration. I say the same thing, but I get pissed off at their 30s and 40s scores and also that they don't show fighting spirit or any class. Other people on different blogs who think like me may think they were getting out deliberately, but I don't think like that.

    However, when you play carelessly and in such irresponsible fashion, it's like doing it deliberately, or it's as bad as doing it deliberately.

    I don't think Malik and Misbah will play badly to oust Younis. Neither did I think Afridi or Younis played badly to oust Malik. What matters most to these players is that they keep on playing. So they will not do anything which means their record is affected. But they are definitely playing politics behind the scenes.

    And for those who like to bring arguments of "jingoism", neither Inzamam, Qadir or Sarfraz are from Karachi or NWFP.

  16. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    For me it is most important that the right individuals are playing. I consider that above politics, regionalism or processes.

    This debate of individuals vs processes is a time consuming one and a neverending one.

    It hurts me when people believe that Pakistan lost because of rustiness. Yousuf didn't play a Test match for 2 years but he hit a century at Galle. Fawad Alam has never played a Test and never opened, but he hit a superb century.

    Younis, Yousuf are class players who should be there no matter what. Fawad Alam has shown that fighting spirit and mental strength is above experience and expertise.

    The void is there because of Malik and Misbah. Malik has made plenty of 50's, but they have done nothing remarkable. Apart from 1 good series against India, Misbah has been mediocre. His average is only 18 if you take out that India series.

    If we want to ensure Pakistan becomes a top team, we need to place emphasis on individuals again. Get the right people, not the right processes. Saeed Anwar was a middle order batsman but he became Pakistan's best ODI opener.

    The time has come for people to pick this up. The team needs fighters, not politicians, not so called experts like opener Butt and middle order expert Misbah.

  17. SM said...
     

    I think I should confess that I agree with Khansaheb's each word and also uphold teh spirit in which he has written . he has talked about basics and contributions over a period of time by some players.. It is due to the high expectations that the fans have from their players who are time and again tested and if htey are hailed as champions and fail consistently .. the TV sets and vases are broken . these guys still pocket their contracted salaries isnt it ?

  18. khansahab said...
     

    Thanks SM

  19. Q said...
     

    Khansahab,

    You make sense, but I don't entirely agree. I'll try and address each point one by one.

    1. Shoaib and Asif.

    The doping scandal happened before the 2006 champions trophy.. the bat hitting one happened at the World T20 in 2007.. so all that we saw of Shoaib and Asif in the cars together and so on was before the hit with the bat came.

    2. Politics in families.

    You are right in saying that there are politics in every family and that they won't show it in public.. every team that plays cricket has politics in it.. be it australia, india, windies, anyone.. politics are played in every dressing room.. as they are common in families, they are among cricketers as well.

    What matters is that when the team is out on the field they leave these politics behind them and fight as a unit.

    I believe Pakistan did that during the World T20 and there's no reason why they can't do it now.

    3. Shoaib Malik's match fixing.

    You know why that happened. Malik felt that it was unfair to dock them an over against Lahore in their previous match so he deliberately lost the next match so that Lahore also don't qualify. I'm not saying that that justified Malik deliberately losing the game but he owned up to it and did not try and hide behind it and lie.. I think that tells u more abt Malik more than a statement like Qadir's.

    4. Malik and Misbah's performance.

    You are right again when u say that they have to hold on to their places and that they don't get out deliberately.

    I also agree that both of them have not been at their best in this series.

    You talk of Misbah's performance against India. He did well there and you agree with that.

    Since that test series, Misbah played a test against SL in Feb. He scored 42.

    Enough to keep him in the team for this series right?

    Then the 1st inn in this series he got a 50.

    Then he fails in the 2nd test, and you ask him to be dropped?

    Since that India series this is the first test he failed in. So how can you hold that against him?

    Not to mention that only 2 months ago Misbah helped Pakistan win the only 2 ODIs that they won against Australia in Dubai.

    As for Malik, again I have always maintained that I would like to see Faisal Iqbal in the test side instead of him.

    5. Rustiness.

    I agree that that is not an excuse especially when u see Yousuf and Fawad's performance.

    But I believe you do need time to develop yourself as a test team, to fight through pressure situations, and to hold your nerves.

    All I am trying to say that certain players did not perform well because they were not good enough, not because they are playing politics within the team.

    You can argue dropping Misbah and Malik on the basis of performance, not on the basis of playing politics and creating factions.

    Akmal is another one who is being targeted.. have we forgotten his performances in Dubai and World T20?

    Why can't we get ourselves to believe that these players failed cos of cricket reasons and nothing else?

  20. Fayez said...
     

    Totally agree with your comments Q. I would like us Pakistani cricket fans to focus more on the cricket than behind the scene politics.

    Talking about cricket, I feel that Pakistan beat Srilanka in 5 out of the 8 days of cricket in this series so far. So we do have the skills. What we lacked was consistency to do it on all 8 days. What we also lacked was the mental strength to dig deep when things went wrong. I'm hopeful that with more opportunities and consistency in leadership, team and batting order, we will see more consistent performances.

    I wonder how Pakistan would have performed against Murali, Vaas and an in-form Mendis. Our batting failed against a seriously under-strength Srilankan bowling. I guess the only way to find out is to continue playing against quality sides.

  21. Wasim said...
     

    Q

    Factions have always existed in the team, and in the past some players have been involved in corruption also so it would be naive to remain positive when these players are so visibily underperforming.

    I understand your point any team can lose a match and a team which loses a match loses because of poor on field performance so why talk about factions and underperformance when Pakistan loses.

    Only because the way they lost the first match and then the way they started the first match and then recovered and then threw it away when they looked completely safe.

    You won't find any other such example in international cricket.

    Form does not change in a short period of time, these players were playing fine in the T20 WC now all of a sudden they can't find the line of the ball.

    The same players will perform like champions in the last match to retain their place in the team.

  22. RGB said...
     

    "But would you have it any other way?
    I surely wouldn't!"


    Would you really prefer this team to an all conquering Pakitani team?

  23. adverbin said...
     

    Weren't Waqar and Wasim the best opening combination for Pak and one of the best of all time ever? They could barely get along personally could they?
    Unless you put up a team of 11 droids there are bound to be differences in a team. What matters is that this does not result in disjointed team performances. Pak would not have won the T20 World Cup if the factions, if any, were focussed on pulling down each other instead of pulling up the team.
    SA is the team that comes closest to a team of droids. As a spectator or a fan I would rather follow teams like India, pakistan or even the West indies than the Saffers, who are consistent even in choking in big matches.
    Md.Yousef scoring a century at Galle after nearly two years away from Test cricket speaks of his class. His inability to replicate his former consistency in high scoring speaks of his rustiness. Test cricket is no joke and unless you are mentally attuned, you can not be consistent. Lack of consistency being Pak's major batting headache is indicative of a lack of adequate test cricket.

  24. karachi khatmal said...
     

    Perhaps you could do a post on this Q, but if the team under performs, what about the fans?

    in football, you will see some teams whose fans only start responding when their team plays well. then there are fans, especially in england, who will make such an incredible atmosphere that their team picks up the tempo as well...

    the pakistani fan, whether in the stadium, or especially, at home is one of the most fickle in the world, and one of the worst. with most people who follow cricket, i wonder if they do it because they enjoy the game or because they enjoy ridiculing the team, and bitching and moaning all the time...

    before we make a big hue and cry over misbah and malik's shenanigans, we need to look at our own consistency. we need to see if we have been forthright in our support. i am not asking anyone to be uncritical, but limit your criticisms to the pitch.

    if kulasekara was swinging it in, then the batsmen should have just walked down the pitch to nullify his threat. that was what the problem was. but the deluded pakistani fans choose to believe that our players are invincible and they only underperform because of some conspiracy.

    NEWS FLASH our team is composed of mortals, and mortals who are just as fickle as we are.

    to the person who asked Q if he would prefer a topsy-turvy team to an invincible one, the question is bizarre. who wouldn't want an all-conquering team. but Q mentioned he was an optimist, not delusional. it will be a long way to go before we can ever become all-conquering. till then, we would rather have this crazy team than a predictable one.

    everyone who is enjoying the conspiracies, screw you all. this godforsaken country seems to enjoy its misery more than its joy. only a few weeks ago, everyone was delirious over the world cup win. now they claim that the EXACT same team which conquered the world is infighting and conspiring and generally shit. you will never know what it is to love your team. and i pity you for that.

  25. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    I know the actual doping scandal happened before 2007, but the photos I am talking about are from 2008. The doping scandal is still actually ongoing- Asif's ban has'nt even expired yet.

    About Malik, I am surprised you even bothered to tell me what happened. I saw that match and I am aware of the details. I don't care what reasons he had- he is a professional cricketer and he should not have done it. His attitude about the whole thing was more disturbing than the act itself. Basically what you are saying it is understandable if he has a problem with someone he can play politics or fix matches or whatever?

    There is a code of conduct that has to be followed. There are things you can't do. He still hasn't apologised about fixing that match.

    You may differ on this point, but in Test cricket for a specialist batsman to make a string of 30s and 40s, is nothing special. Apart from one series against India, Misbah has been mediocre. Khurram Manzoor made 38 and it will probably make him be selected for the 3rd Test, although overall his contribution has not been great. Razzaq, Akmal, Afridi- these guys can make 30s consistently. Misbah has to do more than them.

    I never said Akmal is performing bad. I said he is playing politics. The thread on my blog has not been written by me- I think sometimes you think we are the same person? Plus, what should I expect from a keeper when you supposedly specialist batsmen, Misbah and Malik, are underperforming?

    I am sorry but I can't agree with your support for Misbah. When you showed his all of his Test innings there were so many scores of 30 and 40. If you are an automatic selection and a specialist middle order batsman, you need to do more. And you need to do it against all sides, not just India. After you take out the India series, he just averages 18. You can expect that performance from Razzaq, Afridi or Akmal. Not from a middle order specialist.

  26. Rayden said...
     

    I think its a very sub-continent thingie to start talking about politics, factionalism etc when the team starts losing. It happens in India as well everytime we lose. I think obviously there is some politics and back-stabbing in all teams but not to the extent we think there is.

    And seriously we need to stop listening to past cricketers from both India and Pakistan. I don't know what is their problem in life. Are they getting paid by the media to talk like this or are they just jealous that the new players earn much more than they used to. I dont hear any positives coming out from ex-cricketers in the sub-continent at all.

  27. Mizzy Dee said...
     

    Well said Q! Dead on!

  28. Q said...
     

    Fayez,

    You're right.. we played the better cricket overall in both the tests, but we failed when it mattered.. I believe we will come good with time.

    Murali generally has not been a threat to Pakistan.. and in all the games Mendis has played against us he has looked average.. its not abt form, I think Pakistan plays him better than most teams..

  29. Q said...
     

    Wasim,

    That is not true.. I can give you examples of times when England, Australia, India, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka have collapsed in a heap like Pakistan.. maybe not as continuously as we did during these 2 tests but it has happened to the best of them.

    So to say that u won't find an example in international cricket where teams have lost from a winning position is not true.

    And u can't compare the T20 win with wat is happening in tests.. two very different games, different balls, different conditions...

    Either way only Akmal and Younis were in form during the T20.. so to say that the whole team did well and now they aren't is also not right.

  30. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    When has Pakistan ever had an all conquering team?

    I have been following cricket for over 2 decades now and every Pakistan team that I have seen has been just as unpredictable..

  31. Q said...
     

    Adverbin,

    Absolutely right.. Wasim and Waqar hardly ever got along and yet they did it on the field together for Pakistan...

    I agree that irrespective of the politics and dislikes within the team, I see no reason to think that anyone would want to pull the team down on the field..

    The batsmen need to do a lot of work, and it may be cos of the lack of test cricket, but I don't buy that excuse.. I don't think enough effort goes into correcting the mistakes in the nets.. if it did yousuf would not have got out the same way to Herath again...

  32. Q said...
     

    KK,

    Well said man! Salute you..

    I agree, we have the most fickle fans in the world I think.. and I agree that they pounce on the opportunity to complain and bitch about the team rather than stand up in support for them.. and instead of thinking that we may lack in actual cricket skills they looks for reasons outside cricket for the defeats..

    And ur right, I'm an optimist, not delusional ;-)

  33. Q said...
     

    Khansahab,

    Hahaha, no I don't think u r the same person.. I know who wrote that post and I know who you are.. I'm surprised u think I would think u r the same .. I don't :-)

    I am not defending Malik's match fixing.. it wasnt justified.. all what Im doing is highlighting that he owned up to it and did not lie, which shows u something abt him.

    U keep saying Misbah has not done anything after India and I keep asking how many games has he played after his centuries against India.. ur not getting my point..

    I agree that 30s and 40s are not good enough for test cricket and Misbah needs to do better but he has shown in the past that he can and he hasn't failed enough times to be dropped from the team.. simple.

  34. Q said...
     

    Rayden,

    They just like to feel important by saying shit like that.. and some also have vested interests.. U can't take them seriously..

  35. Q said...
     

    Thanx Mizzy Dee!

  36. RGB said...
     

    Q,

    The all conquering Pakistani team I referred to was a hypothetical team or may be a team of the future.

    Would you still prefer the current unpredictable team ?

    Or do you mean that Pakistan can never have an all conquering team?

    May be the all conquering team was an example in the extreme .

    Hence another question.

    Would you really prefer current mediocre but "gloriously" unpredictable Pakistani team to the current boring but highly successful SA team?

  37. RGB said...
     

    Karachi Khatmal,

    "to the person who asked Q if he would prefer a topsy-turvy team to an invincible one, the question is bizarre"

    No more bizarre than wishing for an unpredictable team rather than a successful team.


    "who wouldn't want an all-conquering team."

    True ,who would not. But since Q said he would prefer an unpredicatable team to any other team, the question followed.

    "it will be a long way to go before we can ever become all-conquering. till then, we would rather have this crazy team than a predictable one."
    The transformation of a mediocre and unpredictable team to an all conquering team is not possible without the presence of a boring and predictable but competent team in between.

    In between the mid eighties Australian team and the Waugh's all conquering team was the Border's team.

    In between the pre-Fletcher English team and the Vaughan's Ashes team was the Hussain's boring team.

  38. Husha said...
     

    @RGB: Hypothetically-speaking of course, everyone would love a match-winning team. However, not at the cost of the Pakistani spirit & personality which is the main reason non-Pakistani fans give for their unending support.

    South Africa may be successful, but it seems they do not enjoy the game, they're just in it because their robot control system commanded them to.

  39. maza786 said...
     

    Pakistan’s two defeats at the hands of Sri Lanka has been a shambolic performance. In both matches Pakistan found themselves in a commanding position, in the sense that they were ready to seal victory but made some school boy errors especially when batting. Psychologically I feel there was a lapse of concentration in the batting department but at the same time Sri Lanka bowled very attackingly and was able to exert a squeeze of pressure on the Pakistani batsmen.

    With the exception of Fawad Alam’s sparkling emergence it must be gloomy times in the touring side’s camp. The final test is now a “dead rubber” so the board should take the opportunity to experiment with the line up in order to find some sort of winning combination and restore pride and confidence for both players and supporters.

  40. Wasim said...
     

    Q

    It's not only about this series, the Australian series we should have won that we threw away at least two matches in it both of them in a mind boggling way.

    T20 WC we made a terrible start but when everybody strated laughing at us we made a spectecular comeback.

    Somebody gave the example of Wasim and Waqar have we forgotten what were they accused and punished for.

    There is no reason to give these guys any more margin then they deserve.

    Some have blamed it on rustiness and some have blamed it on swing bowling, well then explain why the debutants performed better?

    It was a collective effort by the senior mafia.

  41. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    The thing is that in my life time I have not seen an all conquering Pakistani team.. what I have seen though is a team full of drama, spirit, energy, flair, individual brilliance, ability to win lost matches, and lose won matches, and all that.. u know what I mean?

    I don't think Pakistan can ever be an Australia.. for that you need an entire generational change of thinking and management and I don't see it happening in my lifetime..

    So unless Pakistan can be the ruthless Australia, which they were a few years ago, I would rather see the be who they are right now rather than wish for them to be something like South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, etc...

    Nope definitely not..

  42. Q said...
     

    Husha,

    Exactly! Who wants to see the robotic South Africans who hardly have any character about themselves..

  43. Q said...
     

    Wasim,

    A collective failure by the seniors, I agree.. but out of the seniors, you tell me who deserves to be dropped based on recent performance?

  44. Wasim said...
     

    Q

    Younis Khan openly blamed Misbah and Malik, but didn't Yousaf and Younis both failed in three innings played out of four.I think all five seniors are to be blamed, Malik, Misbah, Akmal, Yousaf and Younis.

    Except for Akmal each one of them played only one good innings.

    Younis and Yousaf are supposed to be the pillars of Pakistan's batting line up if they are also going to fall on average deliveries or playing lousy shots then they should be blamed even more than players like Akmal or Malik who come way down the order. But as I said it was a collective effort by the senior mafia.

    Dropping any player is not a solution as the players on the bench are no way better than the players playing.

    But I know Malik will be dropped in the next match and Razzak will play in his place.

    But isn't it funny Younis khan was made the captain when he miserably failed in a series he was rewarded for his under performance now again he failed in three innings but no one is saying a word about his poor performance.All criticism is directed toward Malik and Misbah.

    Changing any player won't make any difference as that's not the problem in my opinion the corrupt culture in PCB and the team is biggest problem to fix that we will have to make wholesale changes.

  45. Wasim said...
     

    Husha & Q

    I feel sorry for You guys, just look what this team has done to you, you have started cherishing defeat:)

    No player should be indispensebale Younis was made captain when he failed miserabley in the last series he played under Malik, and now the seniors are under performing under him, the key to build a good team is to select a strong bench and make these players fight for their position. But Younis is too politically correct he has been supporting seniority based selection only becuase he along with Afridi criticized Malik that he was conspiring against the seniors and making their positions vulnerable by selecting youngsters but now if he has to stay as a captain he might have to do the same thing.

    The selection process should be totally fair and free of any regionalism and should not aim at protecting the seniors only then we can see some consistency in our team's performance. I am sick of these players under performing and throwing away matches, intentional or unintentional if you can't do your job consistently then sorry you are expendable.

    If by kicking out Malik and Misbah Pakistan team can win then I am all for it.

    But make no mistake Pakistan threw away these two matches.

  46. khansahab said...
     

    I believe there are better players in the domestic circuit who should be given a chance.

    I don't understand how people can look at Younis and Yousuf the same way as Malik and Misbah. There is no question that Younis and Yousuf are class players. They have shown that many times. Many people thought Yousuf should have been dropped for the Test at Galle, but he hammered a century. He returned after 2 years and played a masterstroke.

    It is futile trying to argue Malik and Misbah are the same calibre. Trying to say Malik is the same class as Younis is like trying to say Khurram Manzoor is the same class as Inzamam.

    The difference is that whenever they are in bad form, Malik responds with a 50 and cements his place for a year, but Younis responds with a big century or two.

    Malik is OK at ODI and T20 level, but he is simply not Test calibre. If we keep thinking that his performance is due to bad form or corruption or match fixing, we will never be able to discover the bitter truth that he is simply not a good Test player.

    Misbah will shine once in a while- he has a track record of performing well in first class cricket. I want Misbah to be dropped temporarily, but not forever because he can perform. However, Misbah knows once he is dropped once, his international career will be over because age is not on his side. Malik unfortunately never learned Test skills because his first class average is only 29. It is laughable, in fact it is embarrassing. Nowadays many Test batsmen have their Test average at 50, whereas this guy's first class average even is under 30.

    Fawad's example has shown us that if selection is based on merit, players will perform. All that is needed to be done is to select more Fawad Alams and select less Maliks.

  47. maza786 said...
     

    The curse of nelson has been a superstitious theory which has been raised in this Lords test. A wicket has occurred several times when a score has reached the palindrome figure. This reminds us all of the former international umpire ,David Sheppard and his hopping movements whenever the landmark had been silenced.

  48. Wasim said...
     

    Did Younis and Yousaf failed in three innings or not? Did their performance had any material effect on the result of any match? Class players are also good finishers, Yousaf scored a century at will just because he wanted to prove a point to some people but what happened afterwards?

    Younis also scored only 1 half century in his three innings it can be easily said he did so to make himself look good after the damage was already done.

    In three innings both these guys failed before Akmal, Misbah or Malik.

    Malik's average in tests is not 29 it is 35.73.

    Which is not bad for a #6 batsman considering the fact that there is no chance that he can play a long innings considering the batting skills of our tailenders.

    Except for the debutants in this series so far nobody has performed none of the seniors showed any determination when it was really required.

    Changing players will not solve any problem until the corruption is eradicated from PCB and the team.

    Many thought making Younis the captain will change Pakistan's fortunes, I said even at that time nothing will change and nothing has changed, we won the T20 WC we barely lost in the finals in the previous ones the test and ODI results have worsened.

    All because of this habbit of throwing away matches.
    It will continue until these players and board officals who support such activities are not severely punished.

    Every single senior playing in this series was a culprit.

  49. khansahab said...
     

    Why do class players have to be good finishers? Tendulkar is a class player but he was never a finisher. You are wasting your time and the time of people who read his blog by comparing lack of talent with plenty of talent.

    I am not trying to be rude, but if you don't know the difference between Test cricket and first class cricket, it's not my problem.

    And for Malik to have an average of 35 and Misbah to have an average of 40, firstly those averages are not brilliant. Secondly they have been accumulated by making a lot of scores between 30-45, especially for Misbah. That is hardly "class batting", it is just selfish batting. It signifies what Malik and Misbah's batting is all about- make 35 runs and then lose all your concentration, because your place will be guaranteed for 6 months.

    I am asking to get players who can potentially get their averages into 40s and mid 40s, if not 50s. You are asking to stick with players with averages in 30s. I believe there are better players than Malik. No one could think Fawad Alam could play like that as an opener. Hardly anyone thought he could get a century even if he was playing in the middle order. It shows there are players with potential- it is just a matter of selecting them and resting Malik and Misbah.

    However because of people like you, that is not happening.

    Malik and Misbah have been part of this middle order for 2 years and neither of them has done anything great, except 1 series that Misbah played against India. Every Pakistani batsman murders India, so I won't even call Misbah's effort "great"- it is normal for Pakistani standards. Unless you drop Malik and Misbah, you will never know whether there are players who can replace them. They have to be dropped FIRST in order for us to know whether than can happen.

    Pakistan has no strength in pace, no strength in fielding, and because of Malik and Misbah, no strength in middle order too. Younis and Yousuf are the only saving grace of this team at the moment.

    Actually, Malik has batted in all positions. He has batted before no 6, and he has also batted as opener. I know it is cool to be biased for someone like you, but it is not so cool when you get your simple facts wrong. And Younis and Yousuf with their averages in 50s will always be better than Malik.

    Younis Khan showed "determination when it was required" by scoring 82 and scoring a lead over Sri Lanka under pressure. Malik showed "no determination when it was required" when he scored 39, because he kept giving tailenders most of the strike which is why Pakistan got out on 90. Cricinfo also criticised Malik over this. You must have read it. Yousuf showed determination when it was required when he scored 112 at Galle- the next highest score was half of his score, 56, made by Misbah.

    Time for Malik and Misbah to go so Pakistan can become a top 3 team again.

  50. Fan said...
     

    Match fixing ? This couldnt be serious. Guys accept the defeat in grace. there is no match fixing.

    Did i read Tendulkar not being a finisher?

    Why drag him here even as a reference ?

    I depise the ficklemindedness of Pakistan fans. the moment the team needs its fans, they start accusing it of match fixing.

    would any team lacking cricket on highest stage involve in match fixing ?

    i mean is it even true ? Those who accuse Malik of match fixing are just being disgusting and ridiculous.

    time they stop following cricket. we dont need extreme views.

  51. Q said...
     

    Fan,

    Who mentioned match fixing? I don't think anyone here has mentioned match fixing..

    Khansahab here has just discussed how Misbah and Malik have not performed up to the mark, while Wasim has talked in the same vein about Yousuf and Younis...

    The only point I have argued here is that the team has failed collectively and the blame lies with all the team not just a few individuals who some claim are playing politics.

    Others have different views, which is fine.. we are entitled to our own.

    But no one thinks match fixing has happened..

  52. Wasim said...
     

    Q

    I never said it was only Yousaf or Younis who did not performed, like you, I have also mentioned many times it was a collective performance of all the seniors.

  53. khansahab said...
     

    Q

    I guess we have our own biases then. This mentality, that if there is a batting collapse we blame the whole team, is the reason why mediocre batsmen are present in our Test team.

    We are erring the moment we compare a batsman who scores 1 century in 4 Tests (Yousuf), to a batsman who has scored 1 century in 25 Tests (Malik).

    We need to realise that by having more Yousufs and less Maliks, these batting collapses will happen much less.

  54. Wasim said...
     

    If anybody is wasting anybody's time over here it has been you all along only popping in over here to express your propaganda against a few players.

    I also know Malik has batted at all positions and you know very well what is his average while batting at #3 and opening the innings.

    Q explained you on Misbah so i am not going to waste my time.

    Younis and Yousaf did they failed in three innings or not that was the question?

    I am not defending any single player over here, I am only fighting this mentality of propogating against only a few players, I only tried to show the whole picture.

    I haven't left any player off the hook, but when the team scores twice under 100in four outings you can't just blame two individuals especially when Malik was the last man standing in one of those innings and please don't embarrass yourself by putting lame excuses like he exposed the tailenders.
    Malik and Misbah were conspiring according to you but will you care to explain what the "saving grace" the "stalwarts" of our batting were doing in those innings.

    Now even if Malik and Misbah are conspiring which you have said multiple times then so what? Didn't Younis and Afridi did the same against Malik.
    What goes around also can come around.

    Tendulkar was not a finisher that is the biggest joke I have ever heard, just like Younis is a class player.

    Even Salman Butt can score on flat tracks.

    The team will never perform until corruption is eradicated from it along with the whole senior mafia.

  55. khansahab said...
     

    I know someone who thinks Malik is a Sialkot Tendulkar will not find Younis is a class player.

    Because of Butt, Younis has been playing makeshift opener for so many years and he still averages 50+ in Test cricket despite playing the new ball. That is class, but yeah I am wasting my time because you will not understand it.

    Anyway hopefully the others will understand that a Test average of 50 is higher than 35. If you count, after 35, you have 36. And then comes 37. There is a difference of 15 between 35 and 50.

    You can also do that on your fingers. Make a fist. Release your thumb, say, "36". Then for every finger add to 36....eventually you will find you released 15 fingers.

    It's called "counting".

    Please Google "counting" if you find my explanation too difficult. Thanks.

  56. LiB said...
     

    i smell buttered popcorns and a large pepsi (light on the ice).. ;)

  57. Q said...
     

    LIB,

    Those always come in handy when the Pakistan cricket team is involved, whether in a match or in a discussion.

  58. Q said...
     

    Khansahab, Wasim,

    For me its a team game, hence I accuse the entire team, not a few players.

    Everyone needs to share the entire blame for a team loss...

    As for the Younis / Yousuf and Misbah / Malik comparison.. I don't think there isn't any..

    Younis and Yousuf are proven world-class batsmen at the test level.. Malik and Misbah are not.

    But are any of them above blame for the defeat? No they are not. All are equally at fault.

    Do any of them deserve to be dropped?

    Yes Malik does. But he shouldn't have been in the test team from the beginning.

    That's my take.

  59. Wasim said...
     

    Only an Idiot will teach an accountant counting.

    I knew You will come up with some BS and avoid my question did your class player failed in three innings or not?

    You are not any different from that person who thinks Malik is a Sialkot Tendulkar, because for you any player who has any remote connection with Karachi deserves to be in the team.

    I can't believe somebody can be so poisoned with racism at such a young age.It's a shame.

  60. Anonymous said...
     

    carry on Khan Sahab. I am with you. Go ahead with your views. Fixing, Tendulkar not being finisher..

    What more to come ?

    Something on Younis Khan or Shoaib Akhtar ?

    You are providing a tremendous entertainment sir. You rock....Give us more of your conspiracy theories and your diagnosis of what ails the team...

  61. khansahab said...
     

    Wasim Jal Gaya

    I can't also imagine someone who is so middle aged can't spell properly, write properly and murders syntax in broad daylight. If there was no Microsoft Word, God help you.

    And I certainly can't believe you are an accountant. You are an accountant like how Zardari is a graduate of "London School of Economics and Management".

    You are filled with BS, because the player who had problems with, Fawad Alam, slapped you in the face and because of his innings your giyareen might be dropped. That is too painful for you to tolerate.

    You are not different from the paindoos on the street. When you give them too much respect and they act like they are worthy of respect. I think people should react to you like how to react to them, with paindoogiri, arrogance and uncouthness. That will put you in your place. It was a mistake to give you respect from the start, like your giyareen Akhtar, Asif, Tanvir, it has affected you, too.

    In my opinion someone who considers you an educated or reasonable person is an uneducated paindoo like you. The problem with giyareenbandi is what is seen in the Pakistan team. Despite knowing your paindooness, your giyareens support you on this blog.

    I am not avoiding your question. Malik is not a Test player. He is only a Test player for paindoos. You will just carry on ranting despite not knowing what Test calibre is. I expect that from a paindoo. Never mind.

    Anonymous

    Are you a paindoo too who has problems understanding English? When did I say there is any match fixing?

  62. Q said...
     

    Yaar what I don't understand is, why do u guys get personal?

    Keep the fight abt the cricketers and the cricket.. don't attack each other.. attack the Maliks and Misbahs and the Younises.. isn't that wat the point is?

  63. RGB said...
     

    "So unless Pakistan can be the ruthless Australia, "

    Which contradicts the last statement in the post.


    "I don't think Pakistan can ever be an Australia.. for that you need an entire generational change of thinking and management and I don't see it happening in my lifetime.."

    And if the change does not happen now, next generation will also say the same thing. Of course this is assuming there is a will to change. Since 'rebuilding' has now become a very convenient excuse.


    "The thing is that in my life time I have not seen an all conquering Pakistani team.. what I have seen though is a team full of drama, spirit, energy, flair, individual brilliance, ability to win lost matches, and lose won matches, and all that.. u know what I mean?"

    Can the current team even claim to possess individual brilliance and flair? Pakistani teams of the past did possess those qualities. Not the current one. And why should ability to snatch defeat from jaws of victory be a desirable quality?


    I do not know how you infer that the SA team is characterless. The current SA team has as much flair as the current Pakistani team if not more.

  64. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    No it doesn't contradict the last statement, because as i said, we CANNOT be an Australia, hence I would like to have the team as it is now rather than see it be a South Africa or an England...

    Are you serious about South African flair? They were the most boring team on display at the World T20 despite winning all their games till the semi final.

    They have no character whatsoever. Boring robots they looks like.

    No way would I want to support a team like that.

    As for Individual brilliance and flair.. I believe there is plenty of that in the likes of Afridi, Younis, Yousuf, Akmal, Gul, Aamer, Malik, Razzaq, Misbah..

    I'm probably forgetting a few more.. but I see it..

    And I would any day see these guys fail and succeed than see a Kallis, a Smith or a Duminy or a Prince or an Amla bore me to death.

  65. RGB said...
     

    The last statement in the original post.

    "But would you have it any other way?
    I surely wouldn't!"

    "So unless Pakistan can be the ruthless Australia, which they were a few years ago"

    Are these statements not contradictory?

    While comparing flair , I was talking primarily about Test teams.

    How would you define flair?
    Out of the long list you provided, in my opinion only Afridi,Gul and Akmal (T20) and Yousuf (Test) have
    demonstrated flair.

    In Test matches, Younis frequently looks ugly. Not unlike Smith.

    Yousuf has flair and is graceful. Same as Amla( though Amla is a notch or two below).

    Misbah- 'The Blocker' has flair while Kallis doesn't? Are you kidding me?

    Malik has flair and Duminy doesn't?
    What is the criteria for flair?

    Gul has displayed flair only with the old ball so far. So if he has flair, so does Steyn.

    Aamer has just started. Yet to demonstrate flair.

    Razzaq no longer has flair is his bowling and is now just a hard hitting all rounder. Just as A. Morkel is.

    So I really cannot see why you think Pakistani team has more flair than SA. But then it is every individual's own viewpoint.

    "And I would any day see these guys fail and succeed than see a Kallis, a Smith or a Duminy or a Prince or an Amla bore me to death."

    And the Misbah- Malik partnership did not bore you to death today?

  66. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    They are not contradictory because I know they cannot be the ruthless Australia.. rather in my view they cannot, hence I would not have them any other way.

    "How would you define flair?"

    For me its style, natural talent, individual brilliance, the mannerisms, excitement, ...

    "Out of the long list you provided, in my opinion only Afridi,Gul and Akmal (T20) and Yousuf (Test) have
    demonstrated flair."

    I guess its a matter of perception.. besides those that you mentioned for T20, Misbah, Razzaq, Aamer, Ajmal, Younis, Imran Nazir have also demonstrated flair.

    For tests besides Yousuf, Younis and Akmal have also demonstrated flair.. not talking abt these series only..

    "In Test matches, Younis frequently looks ugly. Not unlike Smith."

    I think Younis looks a class act more frequently than he looks ugly.. I think 17 tons in 60 odd tests is quite a frequent show of class.. and flair.

    "Yousuf has flair and is graceful. Same as Amla( though Amla is a notch or two below)."

    Wow, I cannot believe u just compared the two.. even by a couple of notches.. again its ur opinion.. Amla grinds and grinds and nudges and pushes.. Yousuf looks like King when driving and pulling and cutting..

    "Misbah- 'The Blocker' has flair while Kallis doesn't? Are you kidding me?"

    Have u seen Misbah's T20 performances?

    "Malik has flair and Duminy doesn't?
    What is the criteria for flair?"

    Duminy definitely has flair.. he showed that in his 2 innings in Australia end of last year.. Malik's flair is restricted to ODIs and T20s..

    "Gul has displayed flair only with the old ball so far. So if he has flair, so does Steyn."

    Remember Gul's 5-for in Lahore against India? That was all new ball.

    Steyn has got speed and swing but he goes abt his business like a robot.. he's definitely not as robotic as a Pollock but not flair for me..

    "Aamer has just started. Yet to demonstrate flair."

    Throughout the World T20 there was a certain buzz around him.. then the final's 1st over to Dilshan.. then the 1st test performance in this series.. i've definitely seen plenty of flair..

    "Razzaq no longer has flair is his bowling and is now just a hard hitting all rounder. Just as A. Morkel is."

    His World T20 return, he hardly did any batting.. in the bowling the flair i gone I agree.. for him it was a more general opinion.. if u witnessed him in the RBS 20-20 and the ICL, there was a lot of flair on show in his batting and bowling

    "So I really cannot see why you think Pakistani team has more flair than SA. But then it is every individual's own viewpoint."

    You're right, it is everyone's own viewpoint.. for me SA are boring, characterless, flair-less, robotic...

    "And the Misbah- Malik partnership did not bore you to death today?"

    Not at all, you know why.

    Cos there's more to it than just the runs being scored. There is drama and excitement around it.

    U see when Amla, Prince, Kallis et all score match after match in boring ways its like routine for them.. I call it robotic..

    Misbah and Malik were under pressure today.. all over Pakistan there were demands for them to be dropped.. many had even accused them of conspiracies against the skipper.. they had failed miserably in this series and for some during the world T20 as well.. today was their last chance to redeem themselves.. they probably would have been dropped from the test team if they did not do well today...

    And from a collapsible position of 67-4, Malik and Misbah stood up to be counted..

    Sure they blocked and grinded, but their knocks gave us a story more than just runs..

    U c what I mean?

    This is what I love about Pakistan.. the drama, the excitement, the twists, the turns, the failures, the successes, the turnaround stories, heroes to villians and vice versa in a day..

    As i said, more drama than a bolly flick!

  67. RGB said...
     

    "So unless Pakistan can be the ruthless Australia,"

    I think this statement means you would like the Pakistani team to be like the ruthless Australian team. This I think contradicts the last statement of the post.

    That the current team is not such a team or that the current Pakistani cricket establishment will not produce such a team unless major changes take place is a completely different matter.


    "Misbah, Razzaq, Aamer, Ajmal, Younis, Imran Nazir have also demonstrated flair."

    As I have said in the previous comment, I am talking about the Test teams.


    " Younus- I think 17 tons in 60 odd tests is quite a frequent show of class.. and flair."

    Class- Yes. Flair - No. Have you seen his sweeps, reverse sweeps and the propensity to drag balls to the leg side?

    "Wow, I cannot believe u just compared the two"

    Agree Amla has some more work to do. But he has the South Asian wristy way of batting.

    "Have u seen Misbah's T20 performances?"

    Yes I have. And they were 2 years ago. In the WC he scored 82 runs at an Avg of 27 and SR of 117.
    Kallis scored 238 at an Avg of 59.5 and SR of 126.

    Anyways I am talking about Test batting. Did you see him bat( block would be the most appropriate description) in the recent Test series? Even the proverbial Boycott's grandmother with a rhubarb stick would have done a better job. And please do not remind me of those centuries against India. Even Jaffer scored a double century on those pitches against Akhtar.

    "Remember Gul's 5-for in Lahore against India? That was all new ball."

    Yes and that was five years ago. And why was this performance not robotic? And have you seen him bowl of late with the new ball?

    "Steyn has got speed and swing but he goes abt his business like a robot.. he's definitely not as robotic as a Pollock but not flair for me.."

    So what additional qualities does Gul possess and Steyn lacks that make Steyn a robot and Gul a brilliant individual with flair?

    "Throughout the World T20 there was a certain buzz around Aamer"

    Again Tests and not T20. Got wickets in the first test but has been wicket less since then. Let him demonstrate the slower ball, reverse swing, the in dipper in Tests.

  68. RGB said...
     

    "Cos there's more to it than just the runs being scored. There is drama and excitement around it."

    Sorry, there was no excitement for the neutral. I fully endorse the way they played. But it was attritional.

    The central theme of this post is how flair should be the overriding criteria in judging a team. So where was the flair in that partnership for it to be exciting?


    "U see when Amla, Prince, Kallis et all score match after match in boring ways its like routine for them.. I call it robotic.."

    Hence Amla , Kallis et al have Smith, AB, Duminy, Gibbs to play around them. And why was the Misbah -Malik partnership today not robotic for the neutral?

    So when M-M played attritional cricket today because their heads were on the chopping block( and the situation demanded it as well), you find that exciting. But when SA play same type of cricket in pursuit of a win, it is boring?

    Is it not presumptuous to say that M-M ground it out today deferring to the circumstances but SA grind it out only because of their innate staidness and not due to the circumstances or pursuit of a win?


    Did you see Prince score century in the last Test against Aus? Have you seen Kallis in the T20? Have you not seen Smith play in England last year?

    They all can play with flair. But most of the times they eschew it because may be for them a team victory is more valuable than individual brilliance.

  69. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    I think u r not understanding as to why those comments were not contradictory... in the context of the post they were not.

    Moving on..

    "Class- Yes. Flair - No. Have you seen his sweeps, reverse sweeps and the propensity to drag balls to the leg side?"

    Back to my definition of flair.. according to that those sweeps, reverse sweeps, hoiks, etc are all flair.. when he drags the ball on he looks ugly but that is not as frequent as he shows his flair..

    "So what additional qualities does Gul possess and Steyn lacks that make Steyn a robot and Gul a brilliant individual with flair?"

    The yorkers.. again restricted to T20 cricket and I know u were talking abt tests.. Gul in recent times has not repeated his success in tests.. Steyn is probably the best test pacer there is today.. but I don't see the flair in him.. I do in Ntini, but not Steyn.

    "Sorry, there was no excitement for the neutral. I fully endorse the way they played. But it was attritional."

    Nope ur not getting the point again. Even the neutral was aware of the stories going around in the media. Everyone knew how Malik and Misbah were under pressure for their places. Everyone knew abt the talk regarding factions and so on...

    With that in mind, their partnership had plenty of drama for everyone.

    "The central theme of this post is how flair should be the overriding criteria in judging a team."

    No it is not. I mean that flair is definitely not the central theme of this post. The theme of this post is to look at the positives rather than the negatives. The theme of this post is about whether u r an optimistic fan or a pessimistic one.

    Flair came up in the comments after u mentioned it.

    "So when M-M played attritional cricket today because their heads were on the chopping block( and the situation demanded it as well), you find that exciting. But when SA play same type of cricket in pursuit of a win, it is boring? "

    SA play boring cricket, period. Maybe u find it exciting, that's ur opinion.

    Again M-M's play the other day was exciting cos of the drama surrounding them not because of the way they played or scored. In SA, there's no drama.. its all play play play choke choke choke.

    They r programmed.. that's how I see it anyway.

    "Did you see Prince score century in the last Test against Aus? Have you seen Kallis in the T20? Have you not seen Smith play in England last year?"

    I certainly saw Prince open and bat the way he never has before... he also batted like he had a point to prove.. plenty of excitement and drama... yes that innings had a lot of flair about it.. but that is the only 1 instance where Prince has demonstrated flair to me..

    Kallis in the world T20? Man, if u think he played with flair I don't know what to say.. he played for himself like he always does.. great batsman but not a team batsman..

    "But most of the times they eschew it because may be for them a team victory is more valuable than individual brilliance."

    So how many times have u seen Kallis play a selfless innings for the team?

  70. Husha said...
     

    About the flair thing (which is the only bit of this discussion I am mentally equipped to take part in, the rest of it pretty much goes over my head),

    nobody's saying winners=robots, because clearly, Australian team proves you can have fun, entertain the crowd, and still win. South Africa is just a special case :)

  71. RGB said...
     

    "I think u r not understanding as to why those comments were not contradictory... in the context of the post they were not."

    No, I do not. What is the context? And why would you prefer the current Pakistani team to the Waugh's or Ponting's Australian teams?


    "Back to my definition of flair.. according to that those sweeps, reverse sweeps, hoiks, etc are all flair."

    Yes these shots can be played with flair. But Younus hardly does. His dismissal in the second test was as ugly as it can ever get.

    ". Gul in recent times has not repeated his success in tests.. Steyn is probably the best test pacer there is today.. but I don't see the flair in him.."

    So at the very least Steyn has all the qualities that Gul has and the extra pace. But Gul has flair and Steyn does not. Strange.

    "Nope ur not getting the point again. ... Everyone knew abt the talk regarding factions and so on..."

    Yes I was aware of the situation.
    But as a neutral I do not care a bit about Malik's and Misbah's place in the Pakistani team. I look forward to the the cricket played on the field and not the shenanigans off the field . If I am concerned about the latter, I will watch a movie.

    "No it is not. I mean that flair is definitely not the central theme of this post."

    I meant the discussion and not the post.

    "SA play boring cricket, period. Maybe u find it exciting, that's ur opinion."

    I admire the SA team for their success and not for the flair. And I find most of the times their cricket as attritional as the M-M partnership . But you find a difference between the two and I cannot understand why it is so.


    "Again M-M's play the other day was exciting cos of the drama surrounding them not because of the way they played or scored. In SA, there's no drama.. its all play play play choke choke choke."

    So the partnership was exciting due to the abysmal incompetence of the Pakistani batsmen in the previous tests? And such incompetence creates drama and causes excitement?

    And similar such innings by SA batsmen are not exciting because they do not exhibit prior incompetence?

    And if the Pakistani batsman would have ground it out instead of playing expansive shots in the first two tests would that have been exciting too?

    And in a hypothetical case if SA would have been 0-2 down and Amla and Kallis would have played that partnership , would that have been exciting?

    "but that is the only 1 instance where Prince has demonstrated flair to me.."

    Yes that may be probably the only innings when he has exhibited flair. But it just shows that he can exhibit such flair. And generally it is eschewed for greater efficiency.

    "Kallis in the world T20? Man, if u think he played with flair I don't know what to say.. "

    And why were those innings not comprising of flair?


    "he played for himself like he always does.. great batsman but not a team batsman.."

    Why was it selfish batting? And if he is selfish batsman why was he recalled for the T20 WC?

    "So how many times have u seen Kallis play a selfless innings for the team?"

    Since you have accused him of selfishness , please state which innings were selfish and why.
    And if he is a selfish batsman why is he in the SA team for 13 years?
    I do not think the SA management has any tolerance for selfishness. It was the same management which dropped Klusner for being a disruptive influence.

  72. Q said...
     

    "No, I do not. What is the context? And why would you prefer the current Pakistani team to the Waugh's or Ponting's Australian teams?"

    Because they cannot be Waugh's or Ponting's Australian teams.

    About the context, if you read the concluding paragraph leading up to the "I wouldn't have it any other way", I talk about the different emotions the team takes us through.. the ups and downs.. it is this jekyll & hyde behaviour that gives the team so many fans..

    Would the world t20 have been more exciting had South Africa won it without losing a match?

    I highly doubt it. With Pakistan came a story, drama, excitement, flair.

    I would rather see Pakistan win a world cup like they did in 92 and 2009 than see them win everything and lose the final like in 99 or like Aus won the 03 and 07 world cups.

    "Yes these shots can be played with flair. But Younus hardly does. His dismissal in the second test was as ugly as it can ever get."

    I never said it wasn't ugly. But how often has he got out like that? Rarely. More often than not he has played the stroke and has looked good..

  73. Q said...
     

    "So at the very least Steyn has all the qualities that Gul has and the extra pace. But Gul has flair and Steyn does not. Strange."

    No its not strange. Its a matter of perception. You see flair in Steyn? I guess you do.. I don't. I see more flair in Gul and Aamer..

    Again, flair has a lot to do with raw and natural talent.. Bot Gul and Aamer have bundles of that.. Steyn is a honed professional.. those kind generally do not come with flair.

    Again, a matter of opinion. You don't have to agree.

    "Yes I was aware of the situation.
    But as a neutral I do not care a bit about Malik's and Misbah's place in the Pakistani team. I look forward to the the cricket played on the field and not the shenanigans off the field . If I am concerned about the latter, I will watch a movie."

    Now there is the point.. if u read the post again, I said the Pakistan team dishes more drama than a bolly flick.. and it does.. which is why there is a certain level of excitement involved with them.

    If you don't enjoy the off-field stuff connected to the on-field stuff then u can choose to ignore it..

    For me, the M-M partnership was a lot more than just the runs they scored and how.. there was a whole script playing in the background..

    It may not be exciting for you, it was for me.. and probably for many Pakistani fans as well.

    Would they have it any other way? I don't think so.

  74. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    Sorry this is coming out in parts..

    Sure Prince can demonstrate flair.. he hasn't done so in the past but he did in that century that he made while opening against Australia. Now besides the runs he scored and the way he played there was a story behind it as well...

    Ignored for Duminy, upset at selectors for ignoring him, wants to come back, only position avaialble is opening slot, never opened in his life, has a point to prove, and boy did he prove it!

    How many times do u see such passion in SA?

    Never really.

    If AB and Duminy are to put up a partnership like M-M did, if there is no story to it, it would be boring for me. As simple as that.

    As for Kallis.. his selfishness is well documented and is probably a subject for another post. I will leave it for that.

  75. RGB said...
     

    "Because they cannot be Waugh's or Ponting's Australian teams."

    And the inexplicable part is you do not even aspire the Pakistani team to be like those Australian teams.

    " I talk about the different emotions the team takes us through.. the ups and downs.. it is this jekyll & hyde behaviour that gives the team so many fans.."

    So you like your team to frequently have collapses and lose just so as to enable you to experience the whole gamut of emotions. I must say you are a very very unique supporter.

    And I do not think the team's Hyde like behaviour can cultivate any fans other than masochists. It is like saying fans worship Sehwag for his occasional brain implosions.


    "I would rather see Pakistan win a world cup like they did in 92 and 2009 than see them win everything and lose the final like in 99 or like Aus won the 03 and 07 world cups."

    I think you are only supporter of any team that I have come across who is pleased when his team loses and is proud of its mediocrity.


    "It may not be exciting for you, it was for me.. and probably for many Pakistani fans as well.

    Would they have it any other way? I don't think so."

    From what I have read on the net, I can safely say that you belong to a very minuscule group of Pakistani supporters who have found the current performance as exciting and are pleased with it.

    Overwhelming majority of fans would have liked the team to play with more mental strength and win the series.

  76. Q said...
     

    "From what I have read on the net, I can safely say that you belong to a very minuscule group of Pakistani supporters who have found the current performance as exciting and are pleased with it.

    Overwhelming majority of fans would have liked the team to play with more mental strength and win the series"

    There you go RGB.. that says it all. Those few lines are what this post "is the glass half full or half empty" was all about. It took you some time, but u finally got there :-)

    I do believe that I am a part of a very minuscule group of fans who don't thrash the team around cos of their mediocre performance.. I do look for positives even in defeats.. I am optimistic every time Pakistan takes the field.. not delusional.. I know wat the current players are capable of and what not..

    I love my Pakistan team the way it is and their results right now do not disappoint me..

    Look at the what the country is going through, look at how much cricket they are playing, look at the teams they have been playing lately, look at what the players go through, look at how disfunctional the board is, look at how inefficient the entire system is..

    If despite all that the players can turn out to play cricket and even out in half a performance, I think it is a big deal.

  77. RGB said...
     

    "I do believe that I am a part of a very minuscule group of fans who don't thrash the team around cos of their mediocre performance.. I do look for positives even in defeats.."

    Its one thing thing to look for positives in defeats and quite another thing to be proud of the drawbacks.

    I can understand the clutching of straws. Its the latter thats is very difficult to comprehend.


    "Look at the what the country is going through, look at how much cricket they are playing, look at the teams they have been playing lately, look at what the players go through, look at how disfunctional the board is, look at how inefficient the entire system is.."

    Are you by any chance Younus Khan's speech( more apt description would be excuse) writer?

  78. Q said...
     

    "Its one thing thing to look for positives in defeats and quite another thing to be proud of the drawbacks."

    I am not proud of the drawbacks.. I am proud of some of the performances that were put in despite the drawbacks.

    There's a difference.

    And nope, I am not Younis Khan's speech writer but what I said is what I believe is how majority of the Pakistanis should feel..

  79. RGB said...
     

    "I am not proud of the drawbacks.. I am proud of some of the performances that were put in despite the drawbacks."

    Now you are confusing me. Weren't you deliriously pleased about the collapses, the off the field bickering and the Hyde-like behaviour?

  80. Q said...
     

    Oh man RGB, u r impossible! No i was not deliriously pleased by the collapses, the off-field bickering, and the hyde like behavior.

    Where did u get that idea?

    Instead of reading my statements in isolation, I think you should read them according to what I have responded to... add to that the message of this post..

    Sigh.. I am going to die trying to explain my POV to you.. wanna meet for a drink? That might be easier .. and the fact that we disagree so much, it might even be fun! ;-)

  81. RGB said...
     

    You cannot be serious.

    Anyways, please allow me to refresh your memory .

    Please read the concluding paragraph of your post where you have extolled the drama created by mediocrity.

    And then please go through this comment as well.

    "About the context, if you read the concluding paragraph leading up to the "I wouldn't have it any other way", I talk about the different emotions the team takes us through.. the ups and downs.. it is this jekyll & hyde behaviour that gives the team so many fans..

    Would the world t20 have been more exciting had South Africa won it without losing a match?

    I highly doubt it. With Pakistan came a story, drama, excitement, flair.

    I would rather see Pakistan win a world cup like they did in 92 and 2009 than see them win everything and lose the final like in 99 or like Aus won the 03 and 07 world cups."

  82. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    Now u r confusing me. I think ur finding it really hard to comprehend me ...

    The comment that u have re-posted and the conclusion of my post, which part of that exactly tells u that I was "proud of the drawbacks" and "deliriously pleased about the collapses" ?

    I merely spoke about looking for the positives and supporting the team when they were down.

    And I went on to explain that I enjoy the Pakistan team the way it is because of the drama and excitement it brings with itself.

    Again, where in there do you see "proud of the drawbacks" or "deliriously pleased about the collapses".

    Maybe you should not try to read too much behind the words or rather assume that because I think this, I would probably think that too...

  83. RGB said...
     

    1)So what does the statement "I would not have it any other way" mean?

    You have seen the collapses and other inconsistent performances. And thats the way you want the Pakistani team to perform and you would not have it any other way.

    And then you say you are also not pleased with the collapses.

    So does that mean you don't like the collapses but still want the Pakistani team to have them?

    Yes, I really am finding it very hard to comprehend your views.

    2) I made the "proud of the drawbacks" comment after sensing a tendency to glorify inadequacies in your comments.

    Collapsing regularly is a drawback.
    Off the field drama due to mediocre performances is a drawback. They may create excitement for you . But they still are drawbacks.

    Initial stumble in a victorious WC campaign is a drawback as opposed to a an undefeated WC campaign.

    You admire raw talent rather than a honed professional. Fair enough. Its your prerogative. But a raw talent will have drawbacks.

    Hence the comment followed.

  84. Q said...
     

    RGB,

    As of now explaining things to you has officially become more difficult than explaining them to my girl friend. And I must say that is some achievement on your part ;-)

    I say it again, I would love to meet you for a drink.

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