September 13th, 2016
Ajay Shirke had the duty to see which of the applications made for the post of India coach are valid and should be forwarded to the Advisory Panel and the shortlist that the secretary of the Indian board prepared did not contain the name of the man who was at last given the job.
Yes, Shirke had excluded Anil Kumble citing that the candidate had no degree of professional Cricket coaching. But, when the matter reached the advisory panel, they said they couldn’t ignore the desire of an ex Indian skipper to coach the team and they would like to see what he was offering to bring on the table.
So, not only the application made by Jumbo was given to the panel, the further deliberations saw Kumble being called for the final round of the process as well, the presentation-round where the candidates had to display their plans for Team India through PPT.
Kumble in that round, moved rapidly ahead of most of the others. The only person who could compete to him to some extent was the former Kangaroo all-rounder Tom Moody.
June 7th, 2016
Ahmed Shehzad has been left out of the Pakistan squad for the upcoming twenty 20 World Cup.
Khurram Manzoor, the 30-year old Karachi opening batsman, has been preferred to Shehzad.
Manzoor has represented Pakistan in the test matches and in the One Day Internationals in the past, but, he is uncapped so far in the shortest format of the game.
He would be opening the batting alongside Mohammad Hafeez.
The other picks in the squad are on the expected lines.
Umar Akmal, who was speculated to be dropped, has been backed by the selection committee and has been given another opportunity to revive his career.
Leaving Akmal was a little tough actually as there was no perfect substitute available for him.
He is one player who is immensely powerful and can change the whole course of the game in a matter of minutes through his big hitting.
And, he has been scoring runs in the ongoing Pakistan Super League. So, that helped his cause as well.
However, one player whom, some people might believe, should have been there in the squad is Umar Gul.
Gul has been the best death bowler for the men in Green in the modern era and was the key contributor in their title win in England in 2009.
His experience could have been handy despite the fact that his form has not been the greatest in the recent times.
January 14th, 2016
Shoaib Akhtar is in his forties now, but, he can still bowl faster than many of the modern day bowlers. He is showing that currently in USA.
He has been the only bowler from both the sides in the All Stars series who has bowled at ninety miles per hour and has hurried almost everyone up.
He has hit a couple of people on the helmets as well and mind you, the games have taken place on the slow drop in pitches. Still, he has managed to generate that sort of heat. So, you have to give it to the Rawalpindi Express.
Shoaib was one of the quickest of his generation, but, having left Cricket four years back and not being in practice at all thereafter, he was not supposed to be bowling at that same clip going into this series.
Seeing him cranking it up has been a bit of a surprise for the Cricket pundits.
However, despite Shoaib’s spells, his team, which is being captained by the Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, has lost both the games and with that the series as well.
The third and last game scheduled to be played tomorrow is nothing but an opportunity to restore pride for the Blasters.
December 2nd, 2015
Shoaib Akhtar reckons England will be the underdogs in the upcoming series against Pakistan despite having beaten the World Champions Australia by 3-2 in the Ashes.
According to Akhtar, the pitches in the Emirates will be prepared to Pakistan’s strengths and the weather will be hot and humid as well. So, England will find it quite hard to tackle those conditions.
Pakistan has been very consistent in test match Cricket over the last few years and their spin bowling performance has a lot to do with that.
Yasir Shah, in particular, has been one bowler who has been getting wickets in heaps for them.
He is currently at the top of the pile as far as the world rankings of the spinners are concerned and he will be a real threat for England.
Apart from him, there is the veteran Zulfiqar Babar as well. He also has been instrumental in Pakistan’s successes in red ball Cricket in the recent times. His numbers might not look that mind boggling, but, he has done his job perfectly well in the supporting act for Yasir.
Expressing his views on the much awaited series that is starting next month, Akhtar said, “We all know how the pitches will be like. There will be a lot of turn and the reverse swing will come into play as well.”
October 5th, 2015
After hitting the rock bottom in Bangladesh, the Pakistan Cricket seems to have risen pretty quickly as they secured a historic test series win in Sri Lanka yesterday.
The situation from which Pakistan made a comeback in the third and last test in Pallekele, it was a display of character by them.
It seemed as if Angelo Mathews had batted them out of the test match with a cracking century.
A target of 377 was almost impossible to achieve on that tricky pitch in the last 5 sessions.
But, the experience and might of Younis Khan took over for the visitors.
The veteran probably played one of the best innings of his test career as he finished 171 not out to help Pakistan hunt down the target.
However, his contribution alone might not have proved to be enough for Pakistan if Shaan Masood and the skipper Misbah-ul-Haq had not played their parts.
Pakistan needed something like this after their low in Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka, however, will find it quite hard to swallow this pill. There was no way they would have expected themselves to allow Pakistan achieve that big a target that easily.
The ball seams in the morning and in the evening sessions in Pallekele and on that particular pitch, there was a bit of spin as well.
So, it was always advantage Sri Lanka and they should have at least run the game close.
May 31st, 2015
May 10th, 2015
The Pakistan Cricket has hit the rock bottom after the World Cup. Who would have imagined them going to play a One Day International series in Bangladesh and getting whitewashed there?
Three games and three defeat for Pakistan against Bangladesh, it just sounds so weird.
Yes, Pakistan has had a lot of issues in the recent past and by no means, they have been one of the top teams in World Cricket, but, still, they have been good enough to topple the minnows.
Well, you can’t really call Bangladesh the minnows now, but, they are a weak side to be honest and in spite of the retirement of some of the senior players, Pakistan was supposed to have enough in the tank for them.
The Bangladeshis themselves would not have anticipated such an outcome. 3-0 in favour of the Tigers was just an impossible proposition.
Maybe an upset in one of the games was what Bangladesh would have been hoping for.
Actually, it’s not all about the failure of Pakistan. Of course, they could have been much better than they actually were, but, they were also up against probably the strongest Bangladesh side ever.