After a grand humiliation at Nottingham where Pakistan were defeated comprehensively by 354 runs; team Pakistan will be low on confidence, mentally shattered and looking for something to lift the camp very quickly before they take the field on Friday at Edgbaston where they will be looking for a drastically improved performance, particularly in the batting department which was utterly shambolic and mediocre at Trent Bridge.
1st Test At Trent Bridge:http://www.cricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan 2010/engine/current/match/426413.html
The recall of Mohammad Yousuf from retirement represents the urgency and desperation of the team. The fact that Younis Khan is being ignored however is totally disgraceful. A world class accomplished player and proud patriot deserves to be treated better one would have thought? Surely he ought to be accepted openly and happily by the team? His stats speak volumes and represents his professionalism and expertise as a class act!
Kamran Akmal's WK has to come under serious questions now. He made countless errors behind the stumps in the last Test Match and at this level it is just well and truly unaffordable. Whilst I back him as a batter, his style is more suited to Limited Overs cricket and his Test batting form is in decline if recent outings are anything to go by. Zulqarnain Haider is the possible replacement and I sincerely hope the PCB makes this change for the Edgbaston 5 day encounter, otherwise it is injustice to the worthless selection process. Keeping ability primarily holds the key when choosing the WK position in Tests and Kami isn't a sound and reliable keeper.
Danish Kaneria's omission was understandable after continuous average or below par performances. We need someone who could be more attacking, maintain pressure, look threatening with their art and also be consistent which I'm afraid to say Kaneria wasn't or didn't show he could be. Raza Hasan, well I am full of praise for his selection and have been extremely impressed by his progression and development in the last year or so. I believe he can be as good a revelation as Mohammad Amir was without means of exaggeration. He is 18 and a very mature lad too.
Umar Akmal is also not doing too well so far in the 3 Tests of this extended tour. I would like to see him bat up the order and stick to his natural game of aggression, ruthlessness and counter attacking. Adapting the mindset doesn't suit him and therefore he should return to what he does best!
Azhar Ali has shown glimpses of being a real gem for Pakistan in Test Cricket. Generally speaking he is sound technically and temperamentally. However, he is vulnerable to full swinging deliveries outside the off stump. So far he has been dismissed 5 out of 6 times caught behind and the once LBW. He needs to try and combat this weakness and try not to necessarily commit himself to deliveries he doesn't need to play at, otherwise this area shall continue to be exploited. I back him to shine in the matches to come!
James Anderson is one of the best around in swinging conditions and he teared through the Pakistani batting order and claimed outstanding and astonishing match figures of 11/71! The England team is playing exceptionally well currently and the competition for places is healthy and positive. They are shaping up nicely for when they look to retain the Ashes this winter down under!
Desperate times require desperate measures but one wonders have the PCB done enough with just the 3 changes?
8 years ago