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View Poll Results: Pakistan's combination for the South Africa Tests?

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  • 6 batsmen, 4 bowlers

    20 55.56%
  • 5 batsmen, 2 all-rounders, 3 bowlers

    16 44.44%
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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hadi Rizvi View Post
    When did PAK ever win a test series in SA?

    Things need to change. UAE formula can't be followed around the world. Cost us badly in NZ and AUS and I remember the same posters were saying NZ green pitches will facilitate our 4 bowler strategy. Result was we got humiliated. We need atleast one all rounder.
    What is THIS LOGIC? When did we play NZ in tests? Even the greatest of teams hardly ever pick 5 quick bowlers. You are living in a fantasy world to have 5 quick bowlers in a Pak side that struggles to finish their quota of overs in time. 4 quick bowlers is all we need. We have to bolster our batting more and for that, ideally a 6th bat needed but realistically we will not go with one alrounder. Shadab is the 2nd best option but knowing Pak selection, they prefer experience and they would go with Yasir. Be realistic.
    Last edited by CricVet; 30th November 2018 at 23:29.


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  2. #82
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    The number 6 position is crucial and should be a specialist batsman. Sarfraz unfortunately doesn't cut it at 6. A big factor in the success Pakistan had in test cricket over the past 8 years was having Shafiq at #6 scoring runs. Now it's Babar at #6 - you just have to do a repair job ever so often in test cricket and you need a solid #6 to do that.

    I also can't see why we'd need 5 bowlers in SA when we are working with 4 in the UAE.

    6 batsmen: Fakhar, Imam, Azhar, Haris, Shafiq, Babar (Saad Ali as backup)
    Sarfraz
    4 bowlers: Abbas, Hasan Ali, Shaheen/Hamza/Amir, Yasir.

  3. #83
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    I see quite divided opinion and almost equal in both sides. I myself am not cent percent sure in this regard. In general, I prefer specialists for Test cricket (even all-rounders are specialist as well, instead of bits & pieces contributor), and expect players to deliver in their core role. However, there is always a scope of looking into perspective through different windows.

    First, I don’t agree with the comparison of AUS tour with SAF tour at all. No way, the context and condition are remotely close, therefore using AUS tour (or disaster of it), as an example might be misleading. On four grounds, PAK’s AUS tour was disaster, for a four bowlers combination –

    1. That AUS series was played on absolute batting belters – had PAK batted properly, all 3 Tests should have ended in draws. At Brisbane, PAK lost the game on 1st innings, at MCG, in one session and at SCG as well it was possible to draw that Test. I don’t think, we’ll see anything (condition) remotely close to that series in SAF. When team is expected to bowl 200+ overs, 4 bowlers indeed is a risk
    2. PAK’s bowling picks in AUS series was made in fool’s paradise – they picked 5 pace bowlers Amir, Wahab, Rahat, Sohail & Imran. I called it then and then – apart from Amir, these are fast bowlers well into their 30s, being born as at least 3 to 5 years old. On such good batting wickets, apart from Wahab, and Amir others neither had the pace, nor stamina to carry the work load, even at genuine just 38 Imran was hardly a bowler in 1990 series – take out my filter for PAK pacers, he was that time officially like 32-33!!! In coming SAF tour, this is going to be a major shift (fingers crossed – I don’t trust Ul Haq for a single penny, hypocrite admi) – Abbas at 28 is the oldest of the pacers and he is relentless with his metronome, doesn’t depend on pace or shoulders; while Amir, Hasan, Shaheen & Hamza should be at their physical best condition.
    3. AUS is a grave yard for spinners, and PAK failed to realize that Yasir was struggling. Misbah put every egg in Yasir’s basket and then looked clueless when Yasir failed, while AUS killed him with a barrage of left-handers on those concrete slabs. This time, I am sure things will be completely different – Yasir is bowling fantastically, SAF’s batting isn’t what is used to be and definitely wickets are going to be less punishing.
    4. One BIG mistake for PAK in AUS tour was that, they went with absolute single dimensional batsmen – hardly anyone could bowl. Therefore, on absolute belters Misbah still had to operate with 4 bowlers, or over use Yasir from one end. This time in SAF, I see an equally important role for Haris with ball and the way he is bowling, easily can make it a 4.5 bowler’s attack.

    Coming to history, PAK has won 2 active Test in SAF – one at Durban in 1998 & another one at Port Elizabeth. The first one was won against a very good SAF side, with PAK missing their best 2 players – Wasim & Inzi; then Amir was make shift Captain and they were put in by Hansie. Without Wasim & Saqlin, PAK’s last 4 were Mushtaq, Waquar, Shoiab & Fazle Akbar – probably posters have got a clue about PAK’s tail. But, those 4 bowlers did take 20 wickets for lesser cost than SAF, which probably is going to be the key tactics again this time.

    The 2nd win at PE was against another tremendous SAF side, who again won the toss and PAK’s last 4 were Sami, Shoiab, Kaneria & Asif. But, Asif was outstanding through-out, Shoaib bowled just like 8 overs in the game, but enough to crash SAF’s batting backbone, and Kaneria probably bowled better than any spinner in SAF, in recent times – 7/141 or so in 65+ overs.

    And, there was a 3rd possible win under Misbah in 2013, at Cape Town where PAK’s last 4 were Ajmal, Irfan, Tanvir & Adil and Ajmal took 10 wickets to win that game, but for the drop catches & some skeptic batting by PAK. But, that Test showed the value of partnership and settled top order – from 34/4, PAK went to 339, backed by a splendid 5th wicket partnership & couple of hundreds. Playing safety first game cost PAK that Cape Town Test – at 110-4 or so, Misbah & Azhar batted for 23-25 overs at 1.7 rate, then Styen cleaned the tail either side of lunch break …. Still it was just about another 50 runs and PAK could have won that Test.

    From these 3 Tests, I can categorically say if PAK has to win a Test (or Series), at has to be through penetrative bowling, quality catching and being aggressive on field, both with bat & ball.


    Now, coming to the formation, I think the 3 Test venues offer 2 distinct types of playing condition and PAK’s bowling picks has to be on horses for courses basis. And, I can categorically say – J’burg & Centurion are totally different from Durban or PE (may be Durban a bit closer, but it’s on sea level, highlands are like at 2km altitude). Normally, one doesn’t pick batsmen for specific type of condition (that’s best 6/5 batsmen are expected to play regardless of condition), but better teams do pick their bowling combination based on the condition.

    FIRST, PAK has to find a pair of solid openers in SAF. They have the best new ball pair, and world’s best 1st change in Rabada – unless PAK’s top 2/3 take out significant part of first 23-25 overs of Kookaburra, even 11 batsmen won’t save PAK from embarrassments. Last time, at J’burg, Styen got Pak half down by 35, it ended at 49. One of the key reasons for PAK suffering in SAF is that, they always picked walking wickets as openers and middle order got exposed too early to new ball. SAF doesn’t have any spinner to trouble PAK much; therefore entire batting strategy should be to reach 55/1 at lunch in 29 overs.

    Looking at the options of PAK for openers, I’ll definitely open with Azhar. For his partner, I tend to believe Haris can be better option than Imam, which should allow PAK picking Saad Ali at 6 & Umar Akmal at 5. These openers are being manhandled by 120KM CDG’s swing in UAE – how are they going to manage Styen, Philander in SAF!!!!! BUT, PAK is not going to pick Umar, & FZ might be injured hence
    Imam gets one last chance. Also, no way Sarfraz should bat at 7 – he doesn’t have the shots to play with tail, neither the skills to survive 2nd ball – I’ll bat him at 5/6 (#5 only if it’s after 35 overs, otherwise #6).

    Another debate is on all-rounder’s role, for which I am a bit confused. Is it like someone batting at no. 6 & 7 by default becomes all-rounder savior and take total to 240 from 75-5? Azhar Mahmood or Imran batted at 7, but that doesn’t mean everyone coming at 6-7 is an all-rounder. If we are depending on runs from bottom half, I’ll play couple of attacking batsmen at 6 & 7, and train 4 bowlers to apply themselves to hang around.


    For the 3 Venues, this is my combination

    Centurion: It’s a spinners’ grave yard – somehow Shakib got a 6for here, otherwise spinner’s average is 50, and wickets/Test is 4 (that’s like spinners taking 4/200 per Test). I won’t play any spinner at Centurion – 4 pacers & Haris is enough.

    XI: Azhar, Imam, Haris, Babar, Asad, Sarfraz, Saad, Amir, Hasan, Afridi, Abbas
    Combination: 6-1-4, with Haris expected to bowl 10-12 overs.
    There is a chance of Fahim playing, but that as one of 4 pacers, he is just not good enough to bat at 7. If he is to play, he has to take place of one of the 4 pacers on bowling merit, his batting is a bonus.


    Cape Town: A specialist spinner is a must here, and I don’t think there is any one even close to Yasir in this regard. Haris should play a vital role as 2nd spinner at Newlands. By that time, if FZ is fit again, he might be a possibility at 6
    XI: Azhar, Imam, Haris, Babar, Asad, Sarfraz, Saad/FZ, Yasir, 2 of Amir/Hasan/Afridi, Abbas
    Combination: 6-1-4, with Haris expected to bowl 23-25 overs.
    Fahim’s position remains same – has to play on bowling merit.

    J’burg: It’s the fastest ground in SAF, and unless the wicket is rare (like the last Test against IND), it’s actually quite a good batting track. I think, this is one wicket where PAK might play Fahim, if it’s a typical J’burg track. However, if the track is like the last Test, it’s bang on 4 pacers’ game. I predict wicket to be more like the IND one than the AUS one, therefore my XI is identical of the 1st Test

    XI: Azhar, Imam, Haris, Babar, Asad, Sarfraz, Saad/Fakhar, Amir, Hasan, Afridi, Abbas
    Combination: 6-1-4, with Haris expected to bowl few overs.
    Alternate combination is to play Fahim instead of 6th batsman, but that weakens batting considerably – no way, Shadab should replace Yasir for his batting – either Yasir plays, or no spinner.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * If I were to pick the squad, I would have picked Umar and batted him at 7, while Haris opens with Azhar and Babar bats at 3.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShahidDar08 View Post
    -) 6 proper batsmen (without Hafeez & imam)

    -) Wicket keeper

    -) 3 pacers ( Abas, Hasan, Shaheen)

    -) Yasir Shah
    Yes this will be the likely combination.
    Only way to thwart SA is if Pakistan somehow managed to score runs. It's only possible if they play their best 6 batsmen.
    I hope they don't include hafeez.
    He is not going to help the cause

  5. #85
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    6-4 is the combination I think they'll go with


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  6. #86
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    Bowling will take care of itself, its our batting that has to stand up to the challenge for once and deliver. I would go with 4 bowlers (Abaas, Hasan, Shaheen , Yasir) and 6 batters and an all rounder either faheem or Shadab depending on the pitch.



  7. #87
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    Test team for SA decided as per reports

    Multiple sports journalists reporting the same team. Following 16 are picked

    Fakhar (will be fit before the first Test),
    Imam
    Shan
    Babar
    Azhar
    Asad
    Haris


    Safi
    Rizwan Harris

    Faheem
    Amir
    Hassan
    Afridi
    Abbas

    Yasir
    Shadab

    Taking half-fit Shadab and Fakhar on Mickey's desire, a big risk which can backfire spectacularly. Picking Shan over Abid and leaving out Saad Ali and Mir Hamza is sheet injustice. There is no backup middle order batsman in the squad and Shan is the backup or second choice opener, go figure.

  8. #88
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    Likely squad as per sources
    1.Imam
    2.Fakhar
    3.Shaan
    4.Harry
    5.Azhar
    6.Shafiq
    7.Sarfraz
    8.Rizwan
    9.Shadab
    10.Yasir
    11.Faheem
    12.Amir
    13.Abbas
    14.Shaheen
    15.Hassan
    16.Babar


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  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    which should allow PAK picking Saad Ali at 6 & Umar Akmal at 5.

    /Thread.

  10. #90
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    I think 5+3+2's case has been strengthened a bit in the past few days after abject performances by the tail.

    Though Sarfaraz at six is really a frightful thought.


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  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadBall View Post
    /Thread.

    Like it or not - he is the best middle order against fast bowling & only one with a back foot game. These 89 ball 23 wonít help much in SAF from middle order, where you need to cash on the old kookaburra.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Like it or not - he is the best middle order against fast bowling & only one with a back foot game. These 89 ball 23 won’t help much in SAF from middle order, where you need to cash on the old kookaburra.
    Thanks, but no thanks. Should only be considered if he has another good domestic season at the very least without any controversies.

  13. #93
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    We certainly have tools and right pool of players available to threaten S.Africa in their conditions provided we select them and utilize them.Otherwise if we keep going with players who don't even perform consistently in First Class then we can't even win in UAE ,as we are seeing in current series,let alone in SAfrican conditions.This SA side is not unbeatable in their home conditions ,even India fought closely with them in all three tests played early this year.But India dont select non performers from FC in their side .We have to learn the same. Non performers (Imam,Babar ,Bilal) shouldn't get anywhere near to the side if we are to have any chance to topple our opponents in their conditions.Thats the first step needed to be taken towards the series win.Players should only be selected purely on the merit of performance.
    As I am here to provide my own opinion so I am going to mention the squad which I think is the best and not what I think Selectors going to pick.Here is my 17 man squad :
    Fakhar
    Abid
    Azhar
    Haris
    Usman
    Fawad
    Asad
    Saad/Saud
    Sarfraz
    Faheem
    Kashif
    Yasir
    Abbas
    Mir Hamza
    Sadaf
    Shaheen
    Hasan

    Azhar can be a back up opener and Abid Ali sometime keeps wicket for his domestic side so I dont think extra opener or wicketkeeper is needed. And to be honest I dont find any other opener who can survive the opening spell in SA.Shan and Imam are proven failures and their FC record is abject.The next best options are Sharjeel(who I think is needed as soon as he returns from the ban),Sami and Khurrum.
    Khurrum ,though has scored runs recently but he flunks at Int level.So I would rather have Azhar playing alongside Fakhar/Abid.
    My XI (best possible)

    Abid
    Fakhar
    Haris
    Usman
    Fawad
    Asad/Saad
    Sarfraz
    Kashif
    Abbas
    Mir Hamza
    Shaheen

    Another combination could be Faheem replacing the 6th batsman.But I think we need a solid batting line up which it becomes if we go with 6 batsmen and all these batsmen are the best we have got as far as test cricket is concerned and bowling has enough menace to cause problems.I cant see SA batsmen surviving against Abbas and Mir hamza in his full rhythm.4 bowlers are enough if conditions are anything like we saw in Indian series.Kashif bhatti is by far a better spinner and better batsman than Bilal.I would be tempted to go with him instead of Yasir in one of the tests.Yasir can come in other tests if Kashif underperforms.

  14. #94
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    If we select the squad comprising of players like Imam,Shan,Babar and Amir .I will lose interest in the series straightaway. Why would u go with such a weak squad and deliberately try to lose a series against a not so strong SA team? I will be gutted and speechless if I see any of those names in the squad and not the likes of Abid,Usman,Saad,Mir,Fawad,Kashif. In my opinion Sadaf and Mir Hamza are so suited to SA conditions that ignoring them would be a crime.No other International team leave out their consistent FC performers from the test side like we do. Selecting players on personal whims and on the basis of favouritism results in massive defeats even in home conditions like we are seeing against NZ.
    Last edited by Farhan93; 7th December 2018 at 15:51.

  15. #95
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    Azhar Ali
    Shan Masood
    Haris Sohail
    Asad Shafiq
    Sarfraz Ahmed
    Babar Azam
    Fakhar Zaman
    Faheem Ashraf
    Yasir Shah
    Hasan Ali
    Mohammad Amir/SSA

  16. #96
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    Mickey Arthur post-match again stressed that he's a fan of 5+2+3... and the fact that Faheem and Shadab are both crucial to it to function.


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  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Mickey Arthur post-match again stressed that he's a fan of 5+2+3... and the fact that Faheem and Shadab are both crucial to it to function.
    If this guy drops Yasir at Cape Town, should be sacked immediately.

    Other 2 Tests, I don't mind - Shadab won't do worse than the 3 openers with bat; and Arthur or Sarfraz won't drop Babar, Asad & Haris - only possibility for 5-2-3 is Imam to open with Azhar & Sarfraz batting at 6.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    If this guy drops Yasir at Cape Town, should be sacked immediately.

    Other 2 Tests, I don't mind - Shadab won't do worse than the 3 openers with bat; and Arthur or Sarfraz won't drop Babar, Asad & Haris - only possibility for 5-2-3 is Imam to open with Azhar & Sarfraz batting at 6.
    Specialist Captain batting at 6 is asking for disaster.. then having Bhanjaa in the playing 11 essentially means Pak is playing with 10 men- 9 if you count the specialist captain..

  19. #99
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    The tour match hasn't given us much clues in this regard

    One point to note is that Amir is easily a better bat than the other tail-enders which strengthens the case for 6+4 if he does play.


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  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    The tour match hasn't given us much clues in this regard

    One point to note is that Amir is easily a better bat than the other tail-enders which strengthens the case for 6+4 if he does play.
    Agreed. People who say Hasan Ali is a good batsman, YOU ARE WRONG. He is good in ODI's and T20I's as he is capable of hitting out but in Tests the same can't be said for him. His defensive game is very very bad.

  21. #101
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    5 + 1 + 4

    Fakhar
    Azhar
    Babar
    Sohail
    Asad
    Sarfraz
    Faheem
    Amir
    Yasir
    Hasan
    Abbas

  22. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Mickey Arthur post-match again stressed that he's a fan of 5+2+3... and the fact that Faheem and Shadab are both crucial to it to function.
    Dropping Yasir because Shadab might score a few runs doesn't make much sense.

    Yasir can bowl a whole side out. Bouncy pitches are gonna be good for him.

    He must start the first test. We need to find out if the saffers can play him.

  23. #103
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    Depends on the wicket!!


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  24. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by 161 View Post
    5 + 1 + 4

    fakhar
    azhar
    babar
    sohail
    asad
    sarfraz
    faheem
    amir
    yasir
    hasan
    abbas
    seconded.

  25. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by 161 View Post
    5 + 1 + 4

    Fakhar
    Azhar
    Babar
    Sohail
    Asad
    Sarfraz
    Faheem
    Amir
    Yasir
    Hasan
    Abbas
    The main headache for Micky is to drop imam ul haq.
    On the basis of tour match it seems that fakhar will sit out in the first match

  26. #106
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    4 bowlers should be played.

  27. #107
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    We should go with 5 batsmen, 4 bowlers, 1 all rounder and Sarfraz.

  28. #108
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    this batting is way too weak to only have 5 specialist batsmen, and Pakistani all-rounders aren't good enough to be considered competent at #7, especially with Sarfraz is current form

    the only way Pakistan can carry 5 bowlers is if you have Faheem and Shadab at 7 and 8 - but that would mean playing Shadab over Yasir which isn't likely to happen

  29. #109
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    Batting will be the biggest issue hence 6 batsmen. I don't know how many times we will be able to cross 200 in 6 available test innings

  30. #110
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    All the fast-bowlers are down on pace. Presumably that has something to do with playing a four-man attack.

    Really should have fit in a fifth bowler somehow.


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  31. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    All the fast-bowlers are down on pace. Presumably that has something to do with playing a four-man attack.

    Really should have fit in a fifth bowler somehow.
    Said it. Made no sense to play guys like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, they have been exposed for a while. Should have gone in with Faheem Ashraf as an all rounder
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 3rd January 2019 at 21:04.

  32. #112
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    I don't agree with 5-2-3, but providing Asad doesn't score this match drop him and play Faheem. Let's see if the fast bowlers can bowl better with some extra help, Asad won't get the dead rubber again to keep his place, and when we do select a replacement mid order bat, it's easier to go ahead and drop Faheem again, then giving Rizwan one shot and then out.

  33. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    All the fast-bowlers are down on pace. Presumably that has something to do with playing a four-man attack.

    Really should have fit in a fifth bowler somehow.
    But this reduction of pace is on Day 1, that too after bowling like 25 overs in total. Donít think extra couple of bowlers are solution when pacers are clearly unfit, lacks stamina and power. Instead of extra fast bowlers, rather pacers needs to be conditioned better. I am sure they do enough exercise, so itís basically for 2 reasons which wonít be solved by increasing numbers -

    1. Diet habit. Lots of oily food including animal fat, sugar & carbs and very little fibre. And, not to mention smoking habit by some (any pacer csught smoking should be banned for at least 6 months allowing him to quit & clear lungs before coming back).

    2. FC cricket duration & season - playing a 65 overs/day FC cricket during nice, cool winter doesnít prepare fast bowlers for 450 overs in 5 days, may be up to 23-25 overs in a day in 5 to 7 spells, sometimes in high 30s to 40Cs with high humidity. That QeA style has to change - otherwise what you are watching in Test/ODI.... just wait for few years for T20I.
    Last edited by MMHS; 3rd January 2019 at 21:23.

  34. #114
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    Mar 2016
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    Attock
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    We got the combination wrong once again. Could have been a lot more competitive with 5+2+3.

  35. #115
    Debut
    Mar 2004
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    Manchester, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angrez Pakistani View Post
    We should go with 5 batsmen, 4 bowlers, 1 all rounder and Sarfraz.
    We dont have 5 decent batsmen

  36. #116
    Debut
    May 2014
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    United States of America
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    Should've been 5+2+3.

  37. #117
    Debut
    Jun 2018
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    Pakistanís current situation :

    1) ?
    2) ?
    3) Shan Masood (c)
    4) ?
    5) Babar Azam
    6) Mohammad Rizwan (W/K)
    7) Faheem Ashraf
    8) Shadab Khan
    9) Mohammad Amir
    10) Mohammad Abbas
    11) Shaheen Afridi

    6 batsmen, 2 all-rounders, 3 bowlers.

  38. #118
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    Oct 2013
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    Stick to the 6 and 4 strategy, you could replace Yasir with Faheem or Hasan. Shadab will be useless on these pitches and his 20 runs or so won't do much to help the team cause.

  39. #119
    Debut
    Feb 2016
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    Karachi, Pakistan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nabeel23 View Post
    Stick to the 6 and 4 strategy, you could replace Yasir with Faheem or Hasan. Shadab will be useless on these pitches and his 20 runs or so won't do much to help the team cause.
    When batsmen, like Fakhar has not scored 20 in 4 innings. It's better to try him as he is a gun fielder, useful batsman and can bowl spin if there is on offer when we somehow take the game deep.

  40. #120
    Debut
    Feb 2016
    Venue
    Karachi, Pakistan.
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    They should play this team for the Final Test:

    Imam Ul Haq
    Shan Masood
    Azhar Ali
    Asad Shafiq
    Babar Azam
    Sarfraz Ahmed(C)(Wk)
    Shadab Khan
    Faheem Ashraf
    Mohammad Amir
    Mohammad Abbas
    Shaheen Afridi


  41. #121
    Debut
    Apr 2013
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    Karachi
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    The bowlers didn't bowl all that well in the first couple of sessions, but what do you know, with a five-man attack you can keep the pressure on and make it count...


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  42. #122
    Debut
    Feb 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    The bowlers didn't bowl all that well in the first couple of sessions, but what do you know, with a five-man attack you can keep the pressure on and make it count...
    The long and short of it. If your 5 premier batsmen can't do the job, the 6th one is not going to perform miracles either. Mickey Arthur was correct, having Shadab makes it easier for the team to play 5 bowlers. Shadab did not worse than Yasir but can atleast bat a little bit better.

  43. #123
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    Nov 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    The long and short of it. If your 5 premier batsmen can't do the job, the 6th one is not going to perform miracles either. Mickey Arthur was correct, having Shadab makes it easier for the team to play 5 bowlers. Shadab did not worse than Yasir but can atleast bat a little bit better.

    Faheem Ashraf 15 2 57 3
    Shadab Khan 10 2 39 1

    4 wickets for 96


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