Tag Archives: One Day International

Stamp the Strategy…

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Respected Captain, Coach and entire PCB Management,

I don’t need to introduce myself because your whole team is too busy in taking selfies and escaping/surviving from the Oceanian ghosts traveling with you in your buses, hotel rooms and bouncy pitches. Although your squad is mentally, physically and morally prepared since the day you stepped in the pacific continent to play on green, fast and bouncy pitches after all your preparations on U.A.E’s very sporting tracks; still I believe there is need of consultancy in strategy making after watching your two highly competitive and thrilling games against India and West Indies.

I have found your whole team in bizarre conundrum and dozen of errors in the most simplest common-senses in team selections, fielding and catching, target-chasing, and running between the wickets prove there is an urgent need of medical team full of neurosurgeons and psychiatrists (and they should be more in numbers as compared to your officials).

After painfully reading my first two paragraphs of paranormal compliments and regards, allow me to present you your 3 most basic comedy of errors you are producing in your vulgar cricketing presentation in this CWC:

1. Mental Weakness over Toss

Captain is not fully prepared to understand the condition of target-chasing nemesis. He should carefully read the stats of his team’s past performances on oceanic cricket grounds. He should realize that Pakistan has never chased 280+ target ever neither in New Zealand nor in Australia under any captain in ODI history. If losing the toss is your fate, then accept the counterpart’s decision. If you win the toss, go for batting and boost the morale unless the pitch has too much grass and moisture.

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2. Avoid Experiments/Know your Combination

After strange squad selection and twice dropping the easiest chance of picking your main weapon Saeed Ajmal in place of the injured, you have to squeeze the 11 players from your 15 to create a formation and build a necessary winning combo. Time of experiments is finished just like preparation for exams before handling the question paper to the student.

The captain/coach has to admit on reducing the risk of reliability over two factors:

  • a. Younis Khan‘s bat which is not blazing in ODI for a long long time. He averages only 21 in ODIs in last three years. That is not only enough, the worst of his is absolutely ignored by the selectors. He averages 17 and 16.87 in ODIs in Australia and New Zealand respectively in aggregate of 19 ODIs with one knock of 50, no banging of SIX and overall strike rate of almost 60.
  • b. Haris Sohail’s bowling which is presented in the recent ODIs as fourth or fifth choice bowler. By average, he is bowling 7 overs every ODI which is too much to ask for, for a part-timer who has hardly bowled only 11 overs in his entire first-class career so far.

3. Daydreaming ’92 Glory

This has become the most embarrassing situation when the team indirectly is daydreaming more than being self-confident of rewriting the history in world cup record books. Comparing Pakistan’s initial troubles with the ’92 one is not playing a stress-relief game but inviting ghosts for a combat. You have to take the inspiration from ’92 glory and plan harder to avoid further hiccups.

Pakistan v West Indies - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

WHAT SHOULD BE THE STRATEGY NOW!!!!!

Either bat first or second, no matter which team you play against, Pakistan’s XI for the remaining matches should be like this:

01.Ahmad Shahzad
02.Sarfraz Ahmad
03.Umar Akmal
04.Misbah ul Haq
05.Haris Sohail (part-timer)
06.Sohaib Maqsood (part-timer)
07.Shahid Afridi (3rd change)
08.Wahab Riaz (1st change)
09.Yasir Shah (2nd change)
10.Sohail Khan (open)
11.Mohammad Irfan (open)

 

(((Batting Strategy)))

#1. Bat first? Top 4 should should should bat at min 4.50 till 30th

#2. No matter you bat first or second, if you have plenty of wickets in hand only in death overs, promote only Shahid Afridi.

#3. Chasing target max 250? Apply #1 at min 4.00

#4. Chasing target 250-300? Apply #1 at min 5.00

#5. PP3 – min 30/0 (don’t lose more than a wicket)

#6. Reduce number of dots and regularly rotate the strike

(((Bowling Strategy)))

#1. Opening spell – Irfan/Sohail 5 overs each

#2. PP3 – Irfan/Yasir/Lala

#3. Death Overs – Irfan/Wahab 3 overs each (45-50)

#4. Part-timers are partnership breakers, avoid using them when new batsman come to the crease.

(((Fielding Strategy)))

#1. Bring at least 1 slip compulsory for Fast bowler in any phase of inning (remember, the batsman will edge anytime).

#2. Bring at least short-leg for Spin bowler (some turns or rising deliveries are short-leg cookies).

#3. Every fielder should field at specific field position where his feet suits e.g. don’t send your finest slip fielder Younis Khan to the boundary rope.

#4. Very important, avoid dropping catches.

After sugar-free tutorial, I recommend to take a deep study of what I wrote above.

If you still fail then join ISIS, Gulabi Gang, FEMEN or Suicide Squad.

If you win, then just thank me.

Wish Pakistan best of luck.

Regards,
DayDreamer

Follow me on TWITTER @saminaik_asn

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Chasing the Turmoil

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Galiyon kay awara bekaar batsmen
Kay patkha gaya jin pe pakram pakrai
Gawanay ki phitkar sarmaya unka
Na jeet kay haqdaar aur na ghar kay jamai

Na bowling hay shab ko, na batting saweray
Najasat mein runs, century se nigoray
Galiyon kay awara bekaar batsmen

Jo target milay, bojh-e-sansaar uthalo
Zara inko review ka matlab batado
Galiyon kay awara bekaar batsmen

Ye har ek player kay career bananay walay
Ye fielding se ukta kay marjanay walay
Galiyon kay awara bekaar batsmen

Sorry late Faiz uncle! I was just coming back from my work when Tabish Javed’s song ‘Kuttay’ played and reminded me all kuttays in Pakistan cricket’s nowadays innocent but brainless batting line up.

Useless, characterless, meaningless, worthless and chaseless. It has been more than two years since Pakistan cricket team ever chased a target in One Day Internationals (ODI) upto 250. Our batting standards are improving from worse to worst and nationwide hate towards Pakistan’s impotent batting line-up is increasing like the asking run-rate.

No matter how unpredictable this Green Army is, but the most predictable aspect of this team is they unarguably are the weakest target-chasers. History is prove and witness itself. In 1985 Sharjah contest, a batting line-up composed of Mudassar, Mohsin, Rameez, Miandad, Imran, Salim Malik; Miandad-army suicided at mere 87 runs while chasing India’s total of 125 runs. I repeat 125 runs!!!! Imran bowled his best bowling figures 6-14 that day.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/65732.html

Pakistan’s ill-fate in World Cup has also majorly been their failure in target chasing. Not surprisingly besides 1999 World Cup, Pakistan’s failure in title race all ended in unsuccessful target-chasing (excluding group stage exit in 1975, 2003 and 2007). Pakistan has suffered in innumerable ODI series deciders (3rd and 5th game) while batting unfortunately second and losing their way.

Uproar is always welcome by the cricket lovers as to when the batsmen will be able to chase the targets with ease? What exactly is their problem in chasing? Why their legs shake even in chasing a target mere 150?

I guess batting second is cricket-culturally Pakistan’s non-cure psychological disorder. This is their cricketing heritage as timeline proves they have always suffered and will. One could have sensed if Pakistan bat with B-team in failures, but we have watched Pakistan bizarrely collapsing even with A-class batsmen of their times like one game I mentioned above.

The current scenario of Pakistan’s batting is manuscript itself. The way they bat whether they bat first or second, their body language translates the fate of the game. When Pakistan was murdered 0-9 in their last tour to Australia few years ago, the-then coach Intikhab Alam called the team ” Mentally Retarded”.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/story/458926.html

In 21st century T20 branded cricket, ODI teams are nowadays going crazy in smashing runs and accelerating their run-rates. 300 runs are common now. Infact, since ODI’s greatest match ever played at Johannesburg, there are 10 instances of 400+ totals in ODIs. (India 4, Pakistan 0)

When it comes to target chasings in ODIs, 44 targets of 300+ has been chased so far. Out of these, only 5 such chasings were done in the 90’s, while the rest since 2000. The superior 300+ chasers are India who chased 15 times as compared to Pakistan who chased only 4 times (dramatically all against India).

Keeping all these stats aside, the batting line-up of Pakistan nowadays looks scared of their ill-fate before facing the first delivery. The openers come to the crease to settle the opening stand but instead of hatching golden eggs, they become confused civil engineer with A3 paper in hand without a pencil. Instead of attacking the bowlers and increasing the run-rate, they keep analyzing the bowler’s length and counting spectators in VIP lounge. They bother to take risk.

Many openers and opening pairs have been tested to cement their place after their most profilic and successful Saeed Anwar. In past 10 years, many arrived and departed. Notable names were Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Salman Butt and Nasir Jamshed. All of them impressed in the beginning but failed in later stages. I think the management didn’t groom the openers or didn’t utilized them properly. Specially Yasir Hameed was the one who grew faster as run-machine and was/is 3rd fastest batsman to cross 1000 ODI career runs. But once he failed, he got no support and fell miserably.

Salman Butt, ere infamous controversy, was one genuine left-hand opening batsman with 8 hundreds in only 78 ODIs (5 against India). Nasir Jamshed came to scene at 18 and played many exciting knocks. After his comeback in Asia Cup 2012, the lefty became prominent asset for the team, once averaging 50+ in ODIs and hitting 3 consecutive hundreds against India. Till the ODI series against India in 2012-13, Nasir had incidentally played all his ODI games in Asia. But once he stepped outside Asia, his performance dipped badly. With no motivation and lack of confidence, he reached 50 only twice in next 19 games.

No.3 is the position which Pakistan enjoyed for almost couple of decades with services of Ijaz Ahmad and Younis Khan for a long period. Since Younis Khan’s miserable ODI form in recent years and axing from the squad, the vacancy is still empty as youngsters like Asad Shafiq, Umar Amin and ‘professor’ Hafeez have been tested but to no success.

Down comes the middle order with the captain who don’t need any introduction. Misbah has been the mystery unsolved. Nation cries for his defensive approach ‘tuk tuk’ but nation also applaudes for his regular contribution of runs. The criticism against Misbah infuriates that he is the main culprit of weak batting line-up due to his entire slow approach of generating runs throughout the inning which costs him to score his maiden hundred in ODI format. Whereas critics favor Misbah in a manner that his runs (no matter how many balls he faced) in any situation (mostly complicated) adds value in Pakistan’s inning score which at dead end makes them reach towards 200 runs in all labored way. The word ‘mystery’ is unfolded due to the confounding fact that a batsman with defensive approach towards generating runs suddenly goes for a whack and hits a six which is not expected from a batsman of such orthodox style.

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Misbah’s captaincy has also been hither and thither. Taking leadership at the time when Pakistan cricket hit their worst controversy in 2010 and actually making comeback in international cricket + the team already lacking international cricket at home, was abnormal and too hard for a challenge. A shattered time unite under him and decorate PCB’s cabinet with few trophies. His captaincy nowadays is questionable due to many aspects of recently finished Pak-SA series where Pakistan lost the series miserably due to humongous batting collapses. Obviously he is not at all ultimate leader with the best decision-making quality. Every captain make mistakes so as Misbah. But I don’t agree that every bit of dust has to be spread on Misbah’s face.

Yes, I am disappointed with Misbah’s extreme selection of misfitting Sohail Tanvir in all 5 ODIs against SA who was absolute failure. Asad Shafiq and Umar Amin failed again to satisfy. Inclusion of Wahab in squad was another laughing stock. Hafeez and Nasir’s disastrous form continues. Genuine wkt-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmad wasn’t given a single chance to play and the funny part is that he can keep wickets but not capable of batting the way Umar Akmal bats with still a recognition what he stands for. Ajmal’s spin partner Abdur Rehman hugely ignored once again when he could easily have been picked in Sohail/Wahab’s place considering the turning pitch.

Now for the players I mentioned above, the blaming is hugely set against Misbah which I partially agree/disagree. We cannot fully blame Misbah and criticize his final XI selection at all. The more responsibility of team failure bends to chief selector Moin Khan who picked an absolute bizarre and unfit squad to face one of strongest sides in the world. Repeated ODI failures like Wahab, Sohail, Asad and Sarfaraz were included for nothing. Senior players like Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez were selected on a strong CV which has nothing to do with their current form (Afridi did showed some form in bowling). Umar Amin who was termed for future vice-captaincy in the backstage showed no impression. Ahmad Shahzad was trusted due to good showing in recent past and proved his worth in both batting and fielding. Junaid-Ifran-Ajmal are the most trusted trio of the year to be automatically your first priority in XI but Misbah’s tactics went strange of not utilizing Junaid properly in the series which deducts the marks from skipper. Sohaib Maqsood was the only newcomer in the squad who was the most successful showman in whole batting line-up with 2 back to back 50’s in as many matches.

In this series, I profound the mind-frame of team that they hugely and heavily relied on winning the toss, so they can bat first and ignore target-chasing mind game. And that is what exactly happened. SA were so lucky to win the toss 4 out of 5 times, chose to bat first and Pakistan in all 4 attempts failed to chase. Pakistan won the toss on only one occasion, chose to bat and despite scoring only 209 runs, they defended and won. There was no game-plan when it comes to batting. To a bizarre of batting standards, no.3 position was changed THRICE which looked pretty unusual in 5-game series.

Fielding is another department where Pakistan never satisfy the viewers. Many mis-fieldings specially in 4th ODI gift the opponent extra burden of runs on Pakistan as target. Despite the fact that Pakistan bowlers didn’t bowl a single wide or no-ball in inning, they conceded 266 runs. Gifting end overs to Sohail Tanvir was illogical and beyond my understanding which Pakistan paid a huge price specially in last 2 games. General coaching of veteran Dave Whatmore is also lacking some freshness and team is looking absolutely dull and out of shape. It seems like if Whatmore was never with them or the players are not willing to get trained or the other factor most probably be some problems existing between the coach and captain which lead towards uncertainty. In any case, Whatmore impact is no more.

Sooooo, chasing the turmoil is all about agony towards failure. Bowling always was and is their golden key to success but batting is what has made Pakistan in huge crisis. Chasing the turmoil is about existing nightmares ere your dreaming of path towards world title in 2015. Pakistan were crowned world champions in front of world-record cricket attendance of 87,000 ODI spectators at the same venue where world cup will be staged. Is there any ray of hope?

Let me put my points what I believe is best and most suitable measures to adopt as soon as possible. They might look difficult ever to implement but I firmly believe team might stand up to its feet by doing the following:

MAJOR SPONSORS: Admit it, Kool & Kool won’t kool your financial and marketing boom to capture a huge capacity of viewers/spectators. PCB should consider heavy investments and deal with global major sponsors the way BCCI deal. The central and provincial governments should implement huge scheme of investments. Highly recognized banks may aid you in sponsoring major competitions at high level. PCB need experienced sports consultants and strategists to develop lucrative cricket expansion deal.

DOMESTIC INFRASTRUCTURE: Above I mentioned ‘heavy investments’. Like Warren Buffett says, ‘Don’t put all eggs in one basket’. Apply this investing on various grounds and upgrade them. International cricket grounds are limited to very few and mostly in Punjab province. Cricket board has to put their money in grounding, curating and shaping the stadiums with all facilities a spectator should get. Consider shaping grounds of Peshawar, Faisalabad, Quetta, Hyderabad and Sargodha.

TALENT HUNT AND CRICKET CLINICS: Pakistan enjoys amazing talented cricketers introduced at domestic cricket but they are not well nurtured. Talent hunt campaign should be run by PCB appointed committee of former veteran players who hunt the brightest prospects. Listing them in contract promotion bases, PCB should organize Cricket Clinic twice a year and invite cricket’s big names to train, guide and educate them. PCB should heavily focus on A and B teams of Pakistan comprised of these shining players, so that they make cricket tours to England, South Africa and Australia.

imparja2clinic.am

PERFORMANCE-BASED CONTRACTS: ICC recognize Central Contract system which I am yet to understand the logic. For me, the basic negativity lies in promotion/demotion of player (whether he is amateur or experienced) with increment/decrement in salaries into 3 different classes which begin revolts and misunderstandings between the players. Possibility of unjust is high. I believe instead of A,B,C-Z classes of contracts, there should be ‘Performance-Based Contracts’ with laws measured by PCB administrators under supervision of ICC. Under PBC, the board committee should strictly measure and scan every player’s performance series-by-series. A player with disappointing performance in 2 straight series shall be removed and call back until he proves his form in domestic cricket. A shining player from ‘A’ team should replace him with full confidence. In this fashion, Pakistan will, in every case, perform.

CAPTAIN AS CHIEF SELECTOR: A very innovative, time saving, misunderstanding reducing idea that I simply believe that the captain should be appointed as chief selector of his squad. I never understand function of selection committee, they simply always always fail to make a proper squad. It is the captain who knows who fits in his squad and to whom he chose to play. Captain should enjoy full authority of selection.

FIXTURES: Pakistan in recent years is playing very less number of tests and huge number of T20s which is also a major reason of lack of stability in batting. The more tests they play, the more consistency and temperament in batting will come. In recent years, Pakistan usually play 2-test series even against major teams. 1992 tour of England after World Cup was the last time Pakistan ever played 5-test series. Since then, they have played 4-test series twice both in England in 2006 and 2010. Pakistan should play at least 12 tests (4 sets of 3-test series), 30 ODIs (6 sets of 5-ODI series) and 10 T20Is.

MISSION-INTERNATIONAL CRICKET AT HOME: Don’t know why PCB is not able to bring international cricket back to home. You don’t need to invite test-playing nations. Why not bother inviting Afghanistan? Afghanistan Cricket Board has already signed a 2-year memorandum of understanding with PCB under which PCB will provide technical and professional support, coaching course, basic umpiring and curator courses.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/afghanistan/content/story/626326.html

So how come Pakistan cannot ask for favor to visit and play a short ODI series?? Pakistan can even invite Ireland or 2 associate teams and organize a tri-series just to make a go. Once such ideas are organized and played with most satisfactory security system, other cricket boards may probably give a green signal to tour Pakistan and things might then proceed successfully.

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MY TEAM SELECTION: If I am asked to make changes with full authority;

1. I will kick current Coach Dave Whatmore out of his contract. Simple it is, your formula and plans didn’t work or the players are not learning/willing to learn. I was always in favor of Whatmore with his amazing past experience with Ranatunga’s Lankan Tigers and Habibul Bashar’s Bangladesh. But unfortunately, things are not working so this is right time to leave. I will appoint a veteran Pakistani cricketer as national coach who can easily understand their problems.

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In fielding case, it is time to put Julien Fountain’s contract to end. I see Pakistan’s fielding becoming more bizarre under him. I have a very interesting idea but first let me know from the readers, do your players seriously look sportsman?? Do they have sporting physique?? HELL NO!! You need a strict trainer who will come up with immense physical training exercise, and who candidate can ever be better then your Army’s sergeant. Imagine impact of army officer’s training on our fielding. Not only basic skills will be polished, but also the players will be agile and keen runner. Not a joke but they will finally be able to attempt to dive.

2. Captaincy is the biggest debate once again. With both theories written above, it is hard to decide whether Misbah should retain his captaincy or not. If he wants to give up his captaincy, than it is fine and his own decision. Other candidates Hafeez and Afridi are not in good all-round form. Younis Khan is a great name for captaincy but his ODI form is disastrous. So I will keep Misbah the skipper till 2015 World Cup. One should not ignore his leadership feats which made Pakistan the most capable team of 2011, defeated the-then World no.1 test team England by 3-0, won Asia Cup 2012 and defeated India in ODI series.

3. From this series, I will bring/remove

Hammad Azam<>Sohail Tanvir,

Sadaf Hussain<>Wahab Riaz,

Adnan Akmal<>Sarfaraz Ahmad,

Babar Azam<>Asad Shafiq,

Haris Sohail<>Umar Amin,  

Raza Hasan<>Abdur Rehman

4. Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Sohaib Maqsood and Misbah ul Haq will stay in the team with the inclusion of changes made above.

Afridi

Pakistan has 15 months to prepare themselves for the destination towards world title. They seriously need to take some measures otherwise it will be too late. Pakistan cricket is capable of fight backs, they do have strong fan following everywhere. All what they need is our green support to muster up their courage. Love and passion for the cricket should not dim their spirit.

Winning and losing is part of a game. I pray and wish all the best to the Team Green and keep Josh-e-Junoon alive. May you succeed and come back to your prime again. Love your cricket… Don’t hit wicket…

Ye mahroom marhoom agar aitamaad jagaye
To haarna hathiyar dalna bhool jayen
Ye chahen to jeet ko yadgaar bana len
Ye kisi bhi team ki pasliyan tak tor dalen
Koi inki ehsas-e-kamtari mitaday
Koi inke khoye hue junoon ko jagaday

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Crafting from Caribbean Glory

And green supporters were enraged of their disgusting performance in recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy. It was so horrible for the whole squad that when they were departing from their hotel in London, their supporters chanted on them sisterfuckers. Pakistan was without any doubt the worst team of the tournament with biggest fan following in the games.

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Way back to Pakistan, newly elected PCB ‘temporary’ chairman become Najam Sethi, a famous political journalist who has no specialty in sports. Things were expected to be in a profounding dilemma. Chief selector Iqbal Qasim, who was the most hated rubefacient on all the supporters, selected the ODI and T20 squads one last time for their next tour to Caribbean Islands and left his post for good.

So on pub-lick demand, their out-of-form supernatural hero Shahid Afridi made his 2nd comeback in a year along with his favorite on-screen companion Ahmad Shahzad. Dropped were the obvious 3 senior basket-tears Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal. Young bloods like all-rounder Hammad Azam, middle-order batsman Haris Sohail and fast bowler Asad Ali were included.

Before the start of series, we had a proud achievement of not losing to West Indies in ODI series at their home since 1991. Pakistan suffered 0-5 back in 1987. This series went exciting and led Pakistan to a much needed series-victory by 3-1. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s equanimity led Pakistan batting stance in stronghold.

The green army won 3 matches in series, and all 3 matches witnessed 3 different comeback forms of 3 different players. In first game at Guyana, Shahid Afridi made the comeback with the best all-round figures in ODI history by making 76 runs and grabbing 7 wickets. In 4th game at Gros Islet, out of form Mohammad Hafeez made a demanding 50 and led Pakistan to a very important victory and the series deciding final game at very same ground saw Ahmad Shahzad scoring an important 50 after non-impressive batting in the whole series.

Pakistan’s fielding department was far impressive than the past assignments. One thing which Pakistan succeeded in doing fairly well was Target-Chasing. They smartly chased the targets in last 2 very important games. Batting has always been Pakistan’s biggest issue and it was again. Slow starts, hiccups in partnership building, bizarre misunderstanding in running between wickets, wicked game-plan, funny collapses was exposed all again.

A smart move what Misbah did was introducing new names like testing Asad Ali and Haris Sohail. It is the need of time to prepare a team for the next World Cup and you have to remove the faces with no performances on their back. Asad Shafiq was tested again and failed again. Umar Akmal was tested as keeper-batsman and succeeded the keeping tradition of Akmals with the impression of his aggressive batting which is a major plus point.

Misbah is now the leading runs-scorer in ODIs this calendar year and his amazing consistency has eased the pressure as a vigilant batsman to stay on wicket and build a partnership. All what Pakistan need are decent totals on card to put pressure on opponents and test their batsmen’s skills.

After T20 series, Pakistan face South Africa in U.A.E. in Oct-Nov. Later on they will tour Zimbabwe. Now what plans Pakistan need to frame for cricketing betterment:

A. PCB Elections shall be done precisely with the elected person holding experience in administration.

B. Ensure security to restore International cricket in Pakistan as soon as possible.

C. How to bring International cricket back in Pakistan? Who will accept our invitation? The best answer is Afghanistan. The  team who recently signed 2-year deal with PCB for their cricket development will surely not reject the invitation. The guests can even play at Karachi and Peshawar.

D. WHAT TEAM SHOULD BE CHOSEN IN FUTURE:

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Coach and Captain should remain Whatmore and Misbah till 2015 World Cup. Umar Akmal as keeper/batsman is a good move but temporary situation until they get a genuine wicket-keeping all-rounder. In batting, Nasir Jamshed-Mohammad Hafeez is a better pair with Ahmad Shahzad as third opener in squad. With Misbah and Umar Akmal in the middle, Pakistan must concentrate on both lefty boys Umar Amin and Haris Sohail. Lefty batsman in middle order is like blessing to teams like Yuvraj/Raina in India, Shakibul Hasan in Bangladesh, Eoin Morgan in England, and Sangakkara/Thirmanne in Sri Lanka.

With all-rounders, having comeback king like Shahid Afridi, u need a medium all-rounder and time to concentrate on Hammad Azam who can very easily replace disastrous Wahab Riaz. With Saeed Ajmal, now you do need to motivate Raza Hasan from now, so he can adjust in the format until Ajmal retires after World Cup and confidently takes his place.

With Umar Gul gashing serious knee injury, time to settle Ehsan Adil or Anwar Ali now. Asad Ali didn’t impress due to lack of pace and peculiar length but Asad and Anwar both are quick and wicket-taking bowlers enough to assist Junaid and lanky Irfan. If things go this particular way, then in every sense there is chance to compete with best teams in the world and look forward for world title in a country where we achieved that glory. 

When Batting Woes… When Batting Foes….

4th of June, 2013 | cricinfo.com 

William Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” 

By: Iain O’ Brien, Sharda Ugra, Jarrod Kimber and Jonathan Harris-Bass

Why: They said PAKISTAN ARE FAVORITES for ‘ICC last CHAMPIONS TROPHY’

Wait, let me wipe my glass or rub my both eye-balls…. oh that heading says PAKISTAN ARE FAVORITES (NOTTTTTTTT)

 

Within 165 hours……………….

PAKISTAN OUT OF COMPETITION losing both group stage games against Roach Indies and Hashim Africa.

 

11 Days Later…………..

Oh hang on! Pakistan actually lost all 3 games. India defeated them. (tough predictions innit?)

 

HERE THEY COME!!!!

Now players are returning back to where they belong and reminds me the metamorphic incidents, when the same team arrived to the airport from the very same country from also an ICC recognized tournament almost 14 years ago and were received by their supporters so warmly that the players became temporary hostages at their own yard :P 

That time, they reached the Final. This time, hmmmm okay so worst scenarios are about to be trolled as to ‘mother of God’ kinda incidence that both the tournaments I mention were played in Nawaz Sharif’s era :P So the weapons are planned to attack every single player from top to bottom at the airport.

But before you get so senti-mental to be forced to use the weapons, let me clear you that according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the price of tomato has increased by 61% by January against December and if I am not wrong, than the price per kg is sold at Rs.72 till March. Also back in December 2012, according to The Nation, eggs prices reached Rs.130 per dozen, I repeat… Rs.130 per dozen!!! Keeping the prices in mind, how many dozens of eggs and kgs of tomatoes are you going to weaponise on Green Army *cough*.

A country hit by 7.1% inflation by January and recent results of general elections of May, it is better not to consider using weapons of mass frustration on them. Oh by the way! petrol price per liter has been increased by Rs. 2.18 with immediate effect since June 1. Nayyy that is also not a solution.  So just leave it, and take it as a ridiculous heritage of unpredictable cricketing history. 

Either the king delivers his speech or cheetah runs over a deer, don’t :S at me. All I meant to say is either we bat first or try to chase the target, the team will remain in inflation and depression. Inflation??? Yeah the rising of adrenalin, an increase of required run-rate, the breaking of patience… Depression??? Nothing but your F.O.W. (Frustrated of World OR Fall of Wickets). 

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PAKISTAN TOUR TO ENGLAND!!!

It seems that the team has established a tradition of making the England tour unforgettable, memorable and even disposable. 1992 England tour reminds you British press accusing ball tampering over 2-Ws and umpire Palmer throwing sweater on Aqib Javed. 1999 World Cup features unarguably the best squad of Pakistan ever played but horrors of Finals might not escape from memories. 2006 England tour is about Yusuf’s heroics but more in history will memo you Inzi-Hair controversy. 2009 will be Pakistan’s finest moment in England with WorldT20 title but in next 12 months returning England, Pakistan faces their worst nightmare of Spot-Fixing Controversy. And now they are out of group stage….

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PAK-INDIA BATTING ANALYSES!!!

Now, Pakistan has played 791 ODIs in 40 years, winning 423 games with success rate of 55% (still better than India and West Indies). But when it comes to batsman’s conversion of their 50’s into 100’s, they are too lazy, or too aggressive :P In 791 ODI games, Pakistan has so far produced 155 individual hundreds. So Pakistan takes 5 ODI matches to witness an individual batsman scoring a century which is not healthy at all. If you compare their conversion with India’s batting, the difference in stats surprisingly is not that large enough. India has 203 individual hundreds in 820 ODI games, which means that India has to wait 4 ODI matches to see their batsman hitting a hundred. If you apply this in current scenario, you will understand that we obviously witness more Indian hundreds than Pakistani hundreds, and still not a large difference in stats. Since 2009, Pakistan hit only 14 hundreds as compared to India’s 41. So Pakistan was somewhere enriched with huge batting talents somewhere in the middle of  past cricketing era where Pakistan surely scored a lot of hundreds. 

You can make a simple guessing as when Pakistanis ever hit so many hundreds. Top 5 Pakistani centurions have 4 players belonging to almost same badge (Saeed Anwar 20, Ijaz 10, Inzamam 10, Ramiz 9). So this shows a consistency and selection of batting line-up sought to be in 90’s.  This wasn’t seen in 2000’s as the 3 major names in batting line-up we ever knew were Inzi-Yusuf-Younis. Fluctuations in batting order was widely seen, many a time game plan was changed. Saeed Anwar himself had opened with more than dozens of openers. India, never suffered this dilemma as their batting order framework plan was pretty mature. They boosted their master batsman Sachin Tendulkar to bat at no.4 in Test in almost whole of his career and open the innings in ODI with most mature and talented names in Jadeja, than Sidhu, than Saurav dada, later Viru and sparingly Gambhir. Even hundreds in them had no single era, their top 7 centurions all belong to both decades. 

Pakistan amazingly has 19 instances of 2 batsmen hitting hundred in same ODI inning (as compared to India’s 23 :S ) So when did Pakistan ever hit 2 hundreds in same inning so often? Because nowadays we don’t watch a lot of Pakistani hundreds. Between the period Dec.1982-April.1994, there were 13 instances in ODI cricket of 2-hundreds an inning, in which 8 belonged to Pakistan and only 1 to India. You may understand, how things changed since Sachin brought up his 1st ODI hundred in 80 ODIs that same year 1994 and he and India never looked back.

With greater strength towards hundreds is required, ducking your inning shows inconsistency in any batting order. India has suffered only 385 duck outs in 820 ODIs, which means Indian batting card has a batsman dismissed on nought after every 2 ODIs. But Pakistan is worthless in scorecard when it comes to ducks. They have 479 ducks in 791 ODIs, so Pakistan is close like 1.65 ODI inning to launch a ducky. Infact Shahid Afridi (29) and Wasim Akram (28) sits at no.2 and no.3 respectively in most ODI ducks in career.

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WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ONNNN??

Too many records and history speaking right!!!! The point to depict the real problem in the team is not only the lacking of batting strength. It requires a lot of grooming and potential which becomes a tradition of producing your finest batsman with the blazing blade in his bat. You don’t fully justify a boy who dreams to play for his team, and after few failures, he is thrown out no matter how much immense quality his batting can gift his team to an extent of winning.

Domestic infrastructure is the need as your home is your backbone. You have to make more stadiums and frame them to international cricketing standards. Alright international cricket is not returning which do hurts but at least you can introduce your brightest prospects to the outside world by selecting them and give them a chance they deserve. In last few years, Pakistan has marketize their batting talents telecasting them on private channels. Now we know our domestic cricket more than before. So we are more capable of arguing the improper system of selection. Pakistan still has 2 years in upcoming World Cup and selection committee still have time to come back to senses.

Things may go wrong if most important steps are not taken right now. After a disastrous Champions Trophy, PCB should either fire the whole selection committee or warn them to make selection of squad on merit. My personal opinion lies entirely different from the basic cricketing systems availing presently. If I was in cricketing board power, I would make the Captain of the team, the Chief Selector. The reason is simple, only the Captain of the ship knows how to handle the pirates. To broad the concept of captaining, ‘leadership’ is what polishes a man from immature to maturity. It is the Captain who should select the squad, because he know his men are what capable of. 

 

WHAT SQUAD SHOULD PAKISTAN SELECT?

The DNA of batting shall be changed ASAP. The hurdles should be erased now. I strongly condemn of keeping players like Iron Fart, Shoaib Mirza, Kam-run Khatmal in the team. They are good for nothing. Out of these 3, put Shoaib’s name only in T20Is. Hafeez-Jamshed pairing is suitable for one-dayers with Ahmed Shahzad as 3rd option on the bench. You have 2 good names for no.3 and they are Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. Pick any one and reserve the other on the bench. Our RobinHood Panday, the captain should promote himself at no.4 with hugely talented Haris Sohail and all-rounder Hammad Azam to be compulsorily encouraged at no.5 and no.6. Then comes wicket keeper, so Umar Akmal can be utilized. Last 4 positions are all regular bowlers and it’s time to groom left-arm spinner Raza Hasan for near future who will presently assist Saeed Ajmal. The remaining fast bowlers should be Irfan-Junaid.

So the four benches!!! 3rd opener Ahmad Shahzad and no.3 Azhar or Asad should sit. Team should give one more chance to Fawad Alam, who resembles as same profile performer as India’s Ravindu Jadeja. Both were criticized in initial phase of their career but India explore the wonders in Jajeda and framed him in regular line-up with orthodox spinning and brilliant fielding, he is now capable of winning matches. On other hand, Pakistan is yet to treasure his talent. 4th bencher should be a fast bowler, where Pakistan has various options in Ali’s like Asad, Anwar and Rahat or Ehsan Adil. Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul should concentrate in T20Is.

My Squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Haris Sohail, Hammad Azam, Umar Akmal (WK), Raza Hasan, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Ahmad Shahzad, Fawad Alam and one more fast bowler.

 

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