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pakistan’s dead rubber bullies…

by straight point

that’s what misbah, malik and specially kamran akmal are...

no wonder these gents scored when it mattered...albeit not for the team but to save their skin in the nick of time...to reserve their ticket for another tour...

it's a pity when they should be assuming the leadership role to take pak cricket forward...all they manage is to do enough to remain in the team...exactly what they did in this match so that they will not get dropped...and what's more if pak will win all their deficiencies will be glossed over...

nobody will remember the catches dropped...stumping chances missed and even regular takes fumbled by kamran akmal...in fact dilshan looked far more assured is an understatement...and he doesn’t even keep in ODIs...

this is what i noted...when i had a discussion with fellow bored member Q...on may 4 2009...clearly well ahead of this series...

does this include the crucial runs (or may be matches) pak would have lost or not won coz of his droppings...?

his main skill is wicket keeping than if he scores well and good...or include him as batsman only and find a wicket keeper who keeps well...

also i would have liked to see his latest ton coming in 'live' match...

whenever his place is in doubt he comes up with a knock which allow him to drop more catches...miss stumping in following matches...and cycle continues...

it wasn’t far off the mark...was it...?

31 comments:

Q said...

Dead rubber bullies is exactly what they are but I don't think Pakistan lost this series because Akmal dropped Mahela's catch in the first test.. they've lost the series cos of their batting failures...

Akmal's keeping overall in this series has been pretty neat... definitely better than his previous performances..

straight point said...

i must be seeing another keeper Q...coz even in this test i have seen him dropping a chance...


why pak can't look beyond him...baffles me...

he is neither keeping well nor he is scoring and him with 2Ms are part of those collapses...had they performed like in this 'dead rubber' pakistan could have swapped this series 3-0...

wasim said...

SP

Akmal's keeping was not bad in this series, it was his batting which sucked, Malik was okay in this series he couldn't play a big innings earlier because he was batting too low and ran out of partners and twice he got out on really good deliveries, the main culprits were Misbah and Younis both of them played some strange shots on cruical times, Younis is averaging only 19 in this series.

All this talk of new ball is BS as both Malik and Akmal have opened for Pakistan and know how to play new ball. I think the whole team barring the debutants under performed in a strange manner and it has become a behavior pattern of the team to finish the series on a winning note after losing earlier matches, so that some players can retain their place in the team.

All this talk of conspiracies and factions is also BS as Younis is not a child if he can drop Salman he can also drop Misbah and Malik, and above all is he conspiring against himself by not performing.

If the top four batsmen get out around around 60 then you can't really just blame the lower middle order. All these players perform according to a plan and they have become a bit too predictable.

I have followed most of these players through out last year in domestic tournaments Malik was in great form, so was Akmal, Misbah's and Butts form was questionable before this series.These guys have played this series too uncharacteristically.

It's a shame that they are performing in the dead rubber.

But none of these guys will be dropped may be one or two players might sit out in an Odi thats the most punishment they are going to recieve.

Wasim said...

I will not suggest to drop him because of his keeping, but I would certainly suggest to make him sit out in the next series because of his strange inconsistency in batting. Safraz Ahmed just had a wonderful tour against Australia A, I think it's time to give him a chance.

Q said...

Who did he drop in this match?

I saw Khurram drop 2 catches.. even Akmal? I must have missed it.

As for why not beyond him.. well its quite simple.. we don't have a better keeper in Pakistan..

Q said...

Its sad but its true.. there aren't any good keepers coming up..

Sarfraz is a talent but u can't drop Akmal from the ODI or T20 side..

straight point said...

so we have already lowered out expectations from kamran...the test keep...

anyways...correct me if i am wrong...pakistan is affording his 'thanks givings' coz he can bat...no...?

i dont go for stats to know what a player is doing or not...i always judge the player from what he looks to do at crease...

that's why i wrote that missbah and malik being seniors should have assumed the greater roles in carrying pak cricket fwd which is not happening...

as you have yourself said that malik as played new ball and then we see a new comer being sent as scape goat for opening position...

when a new kid can come and open and do good why not a seasoned player not raise his hand who has the experience of doing it...?

and misbah is just a mystery...he looks like lost player...don't know what his role is in the team and dosen't seem to care as well...

younis is going thru a bad patch which can happen to even greatest of players...but then other should come and take the responsibility...

as far as i go...putting blame on lower middle order is just brushing the facts under carpet...

straight point said...

Q...

when umar akmal can be in the team coz of his performances in the A team...why not sarfaraz...?

Q said...

Ur right SP.. Akmal is there cos of his batting, not his keeping.. the team management believes that Akmal's batting is needed by the team..

I tend to agree with them..

U see Sarfraz can come into the team.. even before the Aus A tour he had done really well in all the competitions with bat and behind the stumps, but how can u drop Akmal right now?

The immediate future has Pak playing ODIs and T20Is.. Akmal is a key member in those sides.. He was a key figure in the world t20 win.. the ODI wins against Aus in Dubai and the series win against WI in AD last year...

No other keeper could have done that..

I know for you the keeper should be in the team for his keeping.. which is a fine view to have..

But I think the role has changed over time.. its imperative to have a better than average batsman..

straight point said...

Q...

his last hundred too came in dead rubber... :)

its only when you test the water you will know that what others can do or not...isn't it...?

more than that it will give him just the right kick on his butt and would make him come out of his complacency mode to raise his game...keeping i.e.

at the same time pak will know if sarfraz has the caliber or not...to me its win win situation in every way...

what say...?

Naked Cricket said...

It's a tricky one here. There's been plenty invested in terms of time in both Akmal and Malik, and Misbah, we all know, how late he started.

While Akmal is one of the more watchable Paki batsmen, and a while back it was Misbah, I think both lack something up there - they miss the big moments.

Akmal I feel has enough natural flair, but in a way, like Afridi, and sometimes Viru, just doesn't have the head to use it. If they could sit Afridi down, and talk him into winning the WC, Akmal cannot be a lost cause.

The tricky part is, because of his dodgy keeping, his batting must suffer.

Misbah could be a problem - he was to be captain, win the WC, be the mainstay, none of that happened - the prob with him is the huge gap between performance and expectation. Also, he's darn unlucky - and after MoYo's return, and YK's rise, sidelined again.

In a way, Pak cricket isn't too diff from world cricket re: Misbah, you'll always have some invisible guys, like Martyn, VVS - tho of course, Misbah is nowhere in that ballpark yet. They are never part of the core group or at least never look like it.

As far as the dead rubber goes, it plagues all teams, esp Aus - and there will always be easy runs to be made then.

Malik looked in good touch, could have batted him before Misbah - who lacked fluency throughout.

straight point said...

the big moment this is fair...but then which group MoYo belong NC...?

he abused malik...criticised pcb openly in short did everything what a team man should not...yet can come and score...

malik on other hand has the experience...has opened for pak before and has also come 1 down (if my memory is ok) but we see a debutant coming in to open...

...and not only akmal's batting suffers from his keeping but, not to forget, his team too...

straight point said...

...and all this while sarfaraz waits for his 'right to fail'... :)

wasim said...

Sp

Why are you so sure that Younis offered or asked Malik to open and he refused.

YK got in Fawad as an opener Fawad has been batting at #3 in domestic cricket so also have some exposure to the new ball.

straight point said...

good question wasim bhai... :)

no one can say for sure that malik was offered or not...but my take is that you can clearly see the intention and deed when someone puts his hands up and takes the responsibility...

like when we hear 'it was difficult to take the ball' away from a bowler that day...which we recently saw with flintoff...

Q said...

SP,

Ur talking abt Akmal's 100 in the dead ODI against Aus?

Agreed.. but all his test 100s before have been in live games to either win Pakistan a game or draw it.. that's a great record..

And that Akmal's role of coming 1 down in ODIs and opening in T20 is new found.. I don't think u can let go of him yet..

straight point said...

Q...

i am not asking for giving up on him completely...all i am trying to say that he should be made to come out of his complacency mode only then he will think of improving on his overall game and most importantly his primary skill...which is keeping...

and i see no harm in trying it...as i said it will be win win situation for pak...

Q said...

Last year's Asia Cup, which was exactly 1 year ago.. Pakistan dropped Akmal for Sarfraz Ahmed.. prior to that Akmal was atrocious behind the stumps for a good year or two..

After the Asia Cup, Pakistan played 3 ODIs against WI in AD, 3 ODIs against SL in Pak, a test against SL, 5 ODIs against Aus in AD and Dubai, World T20, and now this series.

Comparing his performance as keeper before the Asia Cup and during these series after the Asia Cup, the improvement is apparent.

So what u r asking for has been done..

straight point said...

ok...so its already done and you are seeing improvement in akmal...

then with same token is there evidence that sarfaraz has not improved...or regressed during this period...?

Q said...

Sarfraz's batting has immensely improved during this period.. his keeping has always been great..

straight point said...

so you are saying that his primary skill i.e. keeping is great...in comparison of 'improving' akmal's...?

and since his batting is improving as you have said i think he will be greater asset coz chances of grassing regulation catches...stumpings will be minimized which needless to say will benefit team more...?

Q said...

Yes and No.. let me explain..

Sarfraz Keeping > Kamran Keeping

Kamran Batting > Sarfraz Batting

While Akmal is improving behind the stumps, Sarfraz is improving in front of them, something he needs to do to displace Akmal from the XI.

For now, Pakistan cannot afford to replace Akmal with Sarfraz because they need the extra bastman... I agree with the argument that it is the batsmen's job to do the batting but Pakistan is Pakistan and Akmal has saved them from batting blushes a number of times.

Despite Akmal's drops during this series and his average keeping, Pakistan did not allow SL to cross 300 even once in this series.. we didn't lose the series cos of his bad keeping, we lost it cos of the bad batting...

straight point said...

...and he was part of 'that' batting... :)

its testimony to the pak bowlers who kept pak in the games despite akmals keeping as well as consistent collapses but against better teams it will cost pak badly...

like if pak were to face ozies in uk where bowl tends to swing more than in subcontinent keepers part becomes even more crucual coz of ball doing extra bit...its better pak test out their resources before that and see where they stand...

Q said...

Ok I see where ur getting at.. even before we play Aus in Eng we play them in Aus and NZ in NZ.. the ball bounces there.. so yes we may need to try our resources.. but the thing is, Sarfraz has been tried..

He's got valuable experience with Pak A and Academy teams.. over last 2 years he has travelled to SA, Zim, Kenya, Australia, and SL.. he's coming to SL again with the A team next month...

He's a proven performer at domestic level and can easily make his transition to the int'l team like he did at the Asia cup last year..

Pak will probably take him as reserve keeper to their tours of NZ, Aus, and Eng.. if Akmal causes Pak to lose a few cos of bad keeping, Sarfraz can walk in..

straight point said...

you have not said anything about 2Ms...?

i am afraid if pak wins this match they will be ironically hailed as heroes...without doing anything of note in this series...

Q said...

SP,

Whatever I had to say abt Malik and Misbah I said on Well Pitched yesterday :-)

Q said...

SP, I hope u saw the catch Akmal took abhi off Mahela.. a year ago, before the Asia cup, he would not have made the 2nd attempt or would have failed even while doing so..

straight point said...

oh...let me check that too...

yes i just saw akmal almost making mess of mahela's catch had he missed it and mahela would have gone on to save match that would have been a lost opportunity for pak...and two years down the line one would have looked the score of kamran in this match and thought he played well... :)

straight point said...

btw...kaneria has taken 7 wickets in comeback match...and that's what i was referring to when i said pak never made him feel important...and dint give him enough confidence...

he can be asset...specially when current batsmen lack the skills of playing good spin...

i hope he doesn't get dropped for oz and nz series...

Q said...

Kaneria won't be dropped.. he will never be dropped.

He's done well here.. I'm working on a post on him.. will be up later.

straight point said...

looking fwd to the kaneria post... :)