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  1. #1
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    "We want supportive pitches for pacers at home" : Misbah-ul-Haq

    Misbah-ul-Haq at a press conference announcing the Pakistan squad for the SL series:

    "The series is important as it signals the revival of Test cricket in Pakistan after 10 years"

    "Results in this series are important for us as we have to somehow get back on the winning track"

    "We have selected this team because we think we can form a match-winning combination from it"

    "I want to make it clear that this is not a one man show or that I am making all these decisions on my own. We have 6 selectors who are closely watching all these players and working with them. They know the ins and outs or the players' fitness, discipline, performances, ability, technical issues, pluses and minuses. Their say is important in this selection and we have a detailed debate and the team is finalised after that"

    "The selection committee and team management decided we want consistency in this team and we don't want to make too many changes. There should be continuity so that players can gain confidence. We only made changes where we thought it was necessary"

    "Musa Khan isn't a part of the squad but he is working with Waqar bhai so he will stay with the squad as he is a future prospect"

    "Fawad Alam has replaced Iftikhar, his past performances, not just for 1 year but many years and he averages 57, he is in good form and we will look to give him chances and utilise his form"

    "We are struggling in bowling a bit and Usman Shinwari's recent form is very good. Everyone's input is that his energy and bowling even on these flat pitches is excellent in the past few matches that he has played"

    "Iftikhar has been performing well, in white-ball cricket he has done well and he made runs in Australia too. It's a difficult decision but you can only keep a limited squad. We aren't discarding him for good, when we feel we need him in future, we can select him"

    (Other batsmen made more runs in QEA, has Fawad been selected due to media pressure) "I think that the most important thing is that we are thinking about the middle-order specially #6 and who will play there. Fawad Alam's performances aren't about 1 season, a career average of 57 and consistent performances over many years. Imran Butt is a good player and we had a lot of discussion about him because we are also looking at players for the opening spot. In future, we will definitely look at where we can give him a chance and bring him in the team. We didn't want to make too many changes, only where necessary"

    "Every player goes through a process in terms of performance. We can all see the problems. In Australia and in previous series as well, our biggest problem is our bowling. Two senior bowlers who were playing consistently left this format. Two like Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf are injured"

    "When you play a new set of bowlers, it's not that you are leaving behind experienced bowlers but you have to give them a time period and we realistically know that. We are trying to give chances to our best options"

    "I don't have any magic wand that I can wave and everything will become fine. There is a time frame and we know how much time it takes to develop a bowler. If you feel that you are doing something wrong, then you should also leave. Players aren't only accountable, you also need to think that if you are doing something wrong then you should give someone else a chance"

    "There are always some players who are the nucleus of the team and I still believe that the 2 senior players and Babar Azam to some extent after seeing him in Australia, he is also in that category of players who you can depend on, who are your match-winners. Then the rest give supporting performances"

    "Unfortunately, they (seniors) are struggling, I don't know the reason for that. Maybe one reason is that we are playing less Test cricket, after long breaks. I experienced that during my last 2 years and sometimes that can cause difficulties because when you return after a long time off, it feels like it's your debut"

    "Hopefully after playing in such difficult conditions and now playing at home, our senior players regain their confidence and form because it's important for us going forward if we are to win Tests and go forward in the Test championship that we do well in these 4 Tests"

    "My main focus is on being Head Coach but it's not necessary that there are just 16-17 or 20 players in my sights. You have to be aware of the whole pool of players in T20, 1Day, 4Day and know about every player. You can only have a Head Coach in this manner. I have a team and I also myself watch many players and know about them and I have support from the selectors. It's not that I am sitting far away without any input and making decisions without any thought process"

    "Haris is a similar player to Fawad already in the team, he can also bowl a bit of spin and is proven in international cricket. We had the added advantage of off spin with Iftikhar, he was confident and was performing and did well in the side games. He is strong off the back-foot. We didn't write off anyone else, there is a narrow line when you make these decisions. Looking at his current form and performances, we felt that the team needs Fawad Alam and we selected him"

    "We are working on no-balls, it's been a problem for us. Last time we took both Wahab and Amir to Australia, OK they were experienced bowlers but the results were the same. Keeping this in mind, we took a long-term decision to opt for the likes of Shaheen and Naseem who have bright futures in fast-bowling. Shaheen was the one bowler who was bowling 140+ after bowling 26-27 overs. The good thing was that the thing he was lacking in SA, that his energy levels weren't consistent was much improved. He was the standout bowler. He maintained his pace in all his spells and his control was also good. It's very important for any bowler with Test cricket to be psychologically and mentally motivated to play Tests. When one guy is not willing to play Test cricket, how will you convince him and in tough situations, how will we push himself? So we thought about the long term, to go with those who are fresh and want to play cricket"

    "We selected 3 openers. We had Azhar Ali open in the first Test so that we had the additional bowling options of Haris and Iftikhar, Azhar Ali's number is number 3 and that's where we are looking to play him"

    "Sami Aslam, Imran Butt performed but we need some consistency. There's questions about Imam, he played one match here and made 150 before leaving for Australia and Abid Ali has made runs too. They are also quality players but they didn't get to play domestic, it's possible that if they played in QEA they would have made 900-1000 runs. You do value domestic performances but international performances are held in higher stead. But all these guys are in the pipeline and we will keep an eye on them"

    "You don't just look at numbers when picking players. The first thing with team selection is you look at the team requirement, then you look at international cricket and what you need in terms of fitness, quality etc. I don't think there can be any better selection when you have 2 selectors sitting in every match who know about their own players and the opposition too. Their input is important"

    "Regarding the Islamabad United commitment, that preceded me taking up the Head Coach and Chief Selector role. This came later"

    "If I am not trustworthy, then I shouldn't have any role. Even if I'm not working with IU but I'm biased or unfair and I don't do my work properly then I shouldn't be in this position. If I can do this properly, then me being in PSL will be a plus point. I can work with my players on development for Pakistan's future and I can closely see the opposition as well. I can see their performances closely. The T20 World Cup is also coming up so working in this environment is important for my development, that I work in PSL and get involved in this T20 cricket and improve myself. You have to do everything separately. When I am with IU, I won't be Pakistan's coach. At that time, I will be focused on IU (and the same vice versa)"

    "I think it takes at least one year for you to get an idea whether you're going in the right direction or not. Before that, you need 10-15 matches to see how the players in the team perform"

    "Nauman Ali took wickets later. Based on Kashif Bhatti's performances in the last 3 years, there was a unanimous decision that he offers control and has been performing. There had only been 2-3 QEA matches when he was picked so he didn't really play this season. You can't compare him with Nauman Ali who played 10 matches. When Yasir Shah left, he was also a top performer and he had the advantage of international performances. He had the most wickets when he left for Australia. So domestic and internationals were both considered"

    "A player (Azhar Ali) who has a 40-something average with 15+ hundreds and has been a top performer in Tests, we have to show some trust. It's not that he has scored in some specific conditions, he has made runs in Australia, England, West Indies. If we don't support such players and quickly discard them then it's difficult. Of course, we are looking at the long term future and who will be captain etc."

    "Our instructions before this series were clear. We want supporting pitches. We are coming from Australia in tough conditions with pace and bounce, if we get conditions slightly supportive for fast-bowlers here with a bit of bounce and carry, no matter the result, it will be good for team development and for us to play well in every conditions. We have to take this decision so that our fast-bowlers develop and batsmen also for England, Australia etc. and we can set the formation of our side. Anything can happen in this case, SL has good pacers and their medium pacers are experienced. But going forward, for Pakistan cricket, I think it's better if we play on such pitches that support pacers a bit"

    "Our mindset is clear that we want supportive pitches for pacers at home where the ball carries. We have to show confidence in our team. We saw a glimpse of our batting, what they can do in difficult conditions. We have to perform collectively, the bowlers need to contribute and the 300-350 in batting needs to be taken to 400-500. Batting or spin pitches can be used against teams like Australia, South Africa, England but against Asian teams, I think the way forward is supporting pitches"

    "The U19 World Cup is in January, we'll see about that then. U19 World Cup is a big event but I think the Test Championship and Test cricket is bigger than that. He is such a bowler, him and Shaheen Shah who can be the future. His control and the way he bowls at this age and consistent pace, I think we need him more in Test cricket"

    "When we play in Australia, it's a big difference. Not just different to our conditions but conditions anywhere. Other teams also struggle to adjust to the conditions and it looks like the players don't know how to play. The honest thing is that Australia are too good in their own conditions, their team is very strong there and the opposition looks ordinary. I think the batting could have been better but it wasn't that bad. If you're consistently making 300+ and you can get the opposition out for 350-400, you can make a match of it, but when you concede 550-600 then how much you score makes no difference"

    Squad

    Azhar Ali (c)
    Abid Ali
    Asad Shafiq
    Babar Azam
    Fawad Alam
    Haris Sohail
    Imam-ul-Haq
    Imran Khan
    Kashif Bhatti
    Mohammad Abbas
    Mohammad Rizwan
    Naseem Shah
    Shaheen Shah Afridi
    Shan Masood
    Yasir Shah
    Usman Khan Shinwari
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 7th December 2019 at 16:47.

  2. #2
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    Shinwari
    Shaheen
    Naseem (rotated with Abbas/IK to manage his back)
    Yasir

    Looks like that will be the attack?

    Good that we're not relying on spinning tracks anymore.

    If they go with 4 pacers + 1 spinner, that will be a bit too much.

  3. #3
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    it would be lovely to see azhar bat on supporting pitches.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Shinwari
    Shaheen
    Naseem (rotated with Abbas/IK to manage his back)
    Yasir

    Looks like that will be the attack?

    Good that we're not relying on spinning tracks anymore.

    If they go with 4 pacers + 1 spinner, that will be a bit too much.
    really naseem? heck NO!!! He has u19 world cup to practice for and burdening such a young kid with so much international cricket is recipe for disaster.

  5. #5
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    Time for Suranga Marshall to rip us apart

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaib88 View Post
    really naseem? heck NO!!! He has u19 world cup to practice for and burdening such a young kid with so much international cricket is recipe for disaster.
    If it's managed correctly, this exposure is good for his development.

    PPers want him to play every match, go in a meltdown when he's rested. I think the management knows his condition better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JibranAnsari View Post
    it would be lovely to see azhar bat on supporting pitches.
    It would be lovely to see entire team bat...lol

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanisgreat View Post
    It would be lovely to see entire team bat...lol
    That's the point.

    This management is going with developing players. It will benefit us in the long run and we'll win overseas as well.

  9. #9
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    That ain't happening thanks to our inept groundsmen.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    That's the point.

    This management is going with developing players. It will benefit us in the long run and we'll win overseas as well.
    The problem is this is ICC test championship. You do not want supportive pitches against SL. You have to make the pitch according to your strength.
    The supportive pitches starts from the domestic cricket not in international cricket.

  11. #11
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    We will play fearless/aggressive/positive cricket
    We want sporting pitches that help our pacers
    These are two of the biggest lies in Pakistan cricket.

  12. #12
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    "Unfortunately, they (seniors) are struggling, I don't know the reason for that. Maybe one reason is that we are playing less Test cricket, after long breaks. I experienced that during my last 2 years and sometimes that can cause difficulties because when you return after a long time off, it feels like it's your debut"
    It's called age Misbah

  13. #13
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    Why to make subcontinent pitches as a fast bowlers pitch,let it be a spinners pitch.

  14. #14
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    Whitewash incoming

  15. #15
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    If the pitches will be green, then we will be 30/5 (Shan, Imam, Azhar, Babar and Asad will be back in the pavilion in no time).

  16. #16
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    The irony is before our last Test series in Pakistan in 2009 also against Sri Lanka, we heard the exactly the same rumblings from the team management about wanting pace friendly pitches.

    Our groundsmen are incapable of producing balanced pitches.

  17. #17
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    Pakistan is the only country who doesn't take home advantage. Our home record in Pakistan is extremely poor. And SL has always given us a smashing in Pakistan.

    I still can't tell what is Pakistan pitches USP?

  18. #18
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    Supporting pace bowling pitches to be made in 2 weeks!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shariqnoor View Post
    Pakistan is the only country who doesn't take home advantage. Our home record in Pakistan is extremely poor. And SL has always given us a smashing in Pakistan.

    I still can't tell what is Pakistan pitches USP?
    Pakistani pitches have never been minefields like India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. They have in fact aided stroke play, aided reverse swing and spinners come into play on Day 4-5. Gives everyone a chance. Quality players will stand out over average ones

  20. #20
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    Lol Misbah talks about aggressive fast bowling and will then proceed to pick Rahat Ali, Imran Khan


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Lol Misbah talks about aggressive fast bowling and will then proceed to pick Rahat Ali, Imran Khan
    The squad has already been announced. Imran is there, but no Rahat.

  22. #22
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    If we start producing supporting wickets at home, it will definitely help our cricket and players going forward especially when playing in SENA countries. Also Pak would do decently at home in conditions with bit of movement against most sides except maybe Eng and NZ who are also accustomed to such conditions.

    Pak batsmen struggle against pace and bounce but fare generally better than other subcontinental teams in conditions with lateral movement as we have seen time and time again in Eng. It would be interesting to see if it can happen and if the pitches of different venues can be varied a little for QAE trophy as well.

  23. #23
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    I hope they do prepare seaming wickets with live grass on.

    Just imagine seeing Test Cricket return to your country after a decade and all you get are boring high scoring draws. Even raging turners are welcome.

  24. #24
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    Think about what you wish for. Vishwa fernando/Lakmal combo can be lethal in helpful condition.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnaveen1980 View Post
    Think about what you wish for. Vishwa fernando/Lakmal combo can be lethal in helpful condition.
    They were good in SA conditions but I doubt they will be more lethal than Abbas and Shaheen in English kind of conditions. Though obviously Pak batsmen will have to do decently as well.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan24 View Post
    They were good in SA conditions but I doubt they will be more lethal than Abbas and Shaheen in English kind of conditions. Though obviously Pak batsmen will have to do decently as well.
    From what i have seen Lakmal looks a different beast in helpful conditions He had India on the mat 17/3 in India knocking over Dhawan, Rahul, Kohli for nothing. He troubled Australia, SA as well.



  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by shariqnoor View Post
    Pakistan is the only country who doesn't take home advantage. Our home record in Pakistan is extremely poor. And SL has always given us a smashing in Pakistan.

    I still can't tell what is Pakistan pitches USP?
    Dead flat roads.

  28. #28
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    Would be very happy if we see a pitch with a bit of grass.

  29. #29
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    Guys Misbah says Azhar will play 3. That probably means Abid and Shan opening. I am worried, does that mean fawad get to play? Maybe he could still fit in at 6 if they drop Haris, which I don't know if they will.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnaveen1980 View Post
    From what i have seen Lakmal looks a different beast in helpful conditions He had India on the mat 17/3 in India knocking over Dhawan, Rahul, Kohli for nothing. He troubled Australia, SA as well.


    He might be good in helpful conditions but I still think under helpful conditions Pak has more chance of derailing Srl easily rather than in flat or spin friendly conditions which might see more intense contest.

    Also such conditions if they can be made can be beneficial for future overseas tours as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan24 View Post
    He might be good in helpful conditions but I still think under helpful conditions Pak has more chance of derailing Srl easily rather than in flat or spin friendly conditions which might see more intense contest.

    Also such conditions if they can be made can be beneficial for future overseas tours as well.
    It also produces a lot better cricket entertainment wise compared a road. We need interesting games so people show up to watch them.

  32. #32
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    Whitewash

    and we get rid of Misbah/Waqar/Azhar

  33. #33
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    The weather in Rawalpindi can get quite cool December and the forecast predicts a bit of cloud cover and some scattered showers.

    If there is a bit of grass on the pitche and then you add the cool cloudy weather on top the conditions may be very conducive for swing and seam.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by shariqnoor View Post
    Pakistan is the only country who doesn't take home advantage. Our home record in Pakistan is extremely poor. And SL has always given us a smashing in Pakistan.

    I still can't tell what is Pakistan pitches USP?
    That is because SL is also an Asian side, so if you prepare phattas/ spin pitches they will win. Better prepare swing friendly pitches where your bowlers can back you up. Babar and co can manage at least 250, SL won't cross 150-200.


    ...

  35. #35
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    Why produce bowler friendly pitches? Do we want to produce an trundler army again? The tracks of this QEA season were perfect in my opinion, Just need a bit more spin on day 4-5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    That's the point.

    This management is going with developing players. It will benefit us in the long run and we'll win overseas as well.
    Who exactly in this squad is a developing player apart from Naseem, Shaheen and Imam?
    Last edited by Ellipsism; 7th December 2019 at 23:37.

  37. #37
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    Producing more seamer friendly tracks is the way to go vs SL because they are good players of spin.

    Babar prefers pace also which is a bonus.

  38. #38
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    Supportive pitches will mean grass on the wicket, whoever wins the toss will bowl 1st. Wickwts galore then as soon as the sun has sapped all juice it will be good for bstting. Such measures make winning toss huge and pretty much match winning

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellipsism View Post
    Who exactly in this squad is a developing player apart from Naseem, Shaheen and Imam?
    Ummm..

    1. Naseem
    2. Shaheen
    3. Imam
    4. Shinwari
    5. Rizwan
    6. Babar
    7. Haris
    8. Abbas (just played 15 Tests till now!)

    We are the most inexperienced Test team around.

    Eight are developing. How many more do you want?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    Ummm..

    1. Naseem
    2. Shaheen
    3. Imam
    4. Shinwari
    5. Rizwan
    6. Babar
    7. Haris
    8. Abbas (just played 15 Tests till now!)

    We are the most inexperienced Test team around.

    Eight are developing. How many more do you want?
    Shinwari, Abbas, Haris and Rizwan developing? These are established players that aren’t going to get any better.

    With my comment I was alluding to the fact that the entire top 6, except Babar, consists of 30+ year olds who aside from Shan have continually failed overseas. How exactly are we developing a team to win away from home?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellipsism View Post
    Shinwari, Abbas, Haris and Rizwan developing? These are established players that arenít going to get any better.

    With my comment I was alluding to the fact that the entire top 6, except Babar, consists of 30+ year olds who aside from Shan have continually failed overseas. How exactly are we developing a team to win away from home?
    What do you call a debutant?

    Shinwari has played zero tests. Is he not developing?

    Same for Haris and Rizwan. 3 & 10 Tests. Abbas has 15, but he's mediocre, let's ignore him. It brings us down to 7.

    These players need time to develop. We're talking about the premier format.

    They aren't established.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    What do you call a debutant?

    Shinwari has played zero tests. Is he not developing?

    Same for Haris and Rizwan. 3 & 10 Tests. Abbas has 15, but he's mediocre, let's ignore him. It brings us down to 7.

    These players need time to develop. We're talking about the premier format.

    They aren't established.
    Developing would imply that they could morph into better players than they already are, and have potential that has yet to be harnessed. Your clearly confusing the terms developing with experience. You can have developed players that are inexperienced at the international level.

    Haris ainít getting any better at 30 years of age with the fitness of a 40 year old and poor work ethic. Heís

    We all know what Shinwari brings to the table, and with that action that inhibits his ability to bring the ball back in coupled with a non existent bowling brain heíll struggle at test level against half decent opposition. We have already seen this in the LO games heís played against SA, AUS and India- he doesnít look remotely the same bowler that seems to skittle over minnows with ease. This is as good as heís going to get.

    Rizwan doesnít have much room for improvement either, he has his technical flaws which arenít going to be ironed out at his age.

    Abbas is declining, hardly a developing player.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellipsism View Post
    Developing would imply that they could morph into better players than they already are, and have potential that has yet to be harnessed. Your clearly confusing the terms developing with experience. You can have developed players that are inexperienced at the international level.

    Haris ain’t getting any better at 30 years of age with the fitness of a 40 year old and poor work ethic. He’s

    We all know what Shinwari brings to the table, and with that action that inhibits his ability to bring the ball back in coupled with a non existent bowling brain he’ll struggle at test level against half decent opposition. We have already seen this in the LO games he’s played against SA, AUS and India- he doesn’t look remotely the same bowler that seems to skittle over minnows with ease. This is as good as he’s going to get.

    Rizwan doesn’t have much room for improvement either, he has his technical flaws which aren’t going to be ironed out at his age.

    Abbas is declining, hardly a developing player.
    To add on good to see that you completely ignored the crux of my post which is the ages of our failing top 6.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    The squad has already been announced. Imran is there, but no Rahat.
    Test cricket coming to Pakistan after a long absence and we are going to be gracious hosts and give the opposition a fighting chance because we have big hearts


    Can't pick a beast like The Rahat who would utterly destroy them

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Pakistani pitches have never been minefields like India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. They have in fact aided stroke play, aided reverse swing and spinners come into play on Day 4-5. Gives everyone a chance. Quality players will stand out over average ones
    And I don't think that's the right way to go. Pakistan shouldn't be generous with pitches. Have minefields and atleast beat non Asian teams black and blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Dead flat roads.
    And that's so unfortunate.

    Quote Originally Posted by AamchiMumbaikar View Post
    That is because SL is also an Asian side, so if you prepare phattas/ spin pitches they will win. Better prepare swing friendly pitches where your bowlers can back you up. Babar and co can manage at least 250, SL won't cross 150-200.
    India also prepares spin pitches for SL (apart from 1 match where they prepared green pitch for preparation of SA tour) and they beat them comfortably on it.

  46. #46
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    "When Yasir Shah left, he was also a top performer ..."



    Yasir was rubbish in FC cricket before he went to Australia.


    May the Hawks Fly Forever. Lightning Hawks CC -- Team Thread.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingusama92 View Post
    "When Yasir Shah left, he was also a top performer ..."



    Yasir was rubbish in FC cricket before he went to Australia.
    Misbah is hoping we don't know that Yasir's bowling average was 40 despite him being amongst the top wicket-takers....

  48. #48
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    Unleash the factory!

    :shoaib

  49. #49
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    Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando to rip this batting line up

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARK Rafay View Post
    Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando to rip this batting line up
    Lakmal ruled out due to dengue.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan24 View Post
    If we start producing supporting wickets at home, it will definitely help our cricket and players going forward especially when playing in SENA countries. Also Pak would do decently at home in conditions with bit of movement against most sides except maybe Eng and NZ who are also accustomed to such conditions.

    Pak batsmen struggle against pace and bounce but fare generally better than other subcontinental teams in conditions with lateral movement as we have seen time and time again in Eng. It would be interesting to see if it can happen and if the pitches of different venues can be varied a little for QAE trophy as well.
    You sound like Misbah here.

  52. #52
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    It's a conundrum for sure. Make seamer friendly wickets and vishwa, lakmal and Kumara will destroy Pakistan. Spin wicket - embuldeniya might turn into herath. Flat wicket - Pakistani bowlers will trundle and trundle and never buy a wicket.

  53. #53
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    He's already got the excuses ready.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.


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