Sunday, 1 April 2012

Big Teams on losing side….

The champions of Test, ODI and T20’s are continued to struggle against under dogged teams. The 2012 turn out to be the years to rise with new champions, as the current champion has their way down. The change in rules does affect the rhythm sometimes, but as the game of cricket changes it requires the strategy makers to revise their course. One cannot win with big names but it requires true effort and control of skills to be on top for long.

Australia with too many changes in their captainship manages to narrow skip the common wealth game finale, and also in series against West Indies. The Australian team is going through a period try to find combination for solid performances as they were known of. Although we cannot forget the efforts of Srilankan and westindian teams which also going through changes, but they strongly fight for survival.

Next in debate is India, who’s bad luck continues as the arrive to South Africa, and lost their 1st T20 due to Duck/Lewis influence on match. The current ODI champion has almost knocked out each time they played series outside their home in the last 4 series. Starting with the Test series against Australia concluded early this year, than couldn’t reach to final of triangular series, again couldn’t qualify for the final of Asia cup due to Bangladesh out classed them. While in all Four Series India played with its full potential batting and bowling attack.

Another team that has flopped to perform outside its home soil. Among the Test nation the Champion of the day is England who’s been on no 1 ranking for more than 8 months and been consistent within its home ground. As the England team toured early this year to UEA, and Pakistan whitewashed them belled the alarm in their ear. But once again England side couldn’t rise to the damage caused by spinner on the soil of Lankan’s against SriLanka this time. Hearth took 12 for and surprises the big names of English camp.

South Africa on the other hand looking forward for the first place in all three formats, as they Ranked no 2 in all three of them. Also Bangladesh has won the heart of millions as the performed in Asia cup. The promising guns of Windies also holding the way for the success.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Asia cup full of surprises; Short tour but full of excitements

After 4-0 lost against England, Pakistan convincingly headed to finals of Asia cup 2012. Consistently won 2 games and earn a bounce point against SriLanka, and being the only team to qualify for final back in 15th march date (in the third game of tour). Although they played against India and out classed by Virat Kholi where India successfully chase 330.

Still the last match against India post question about Misbah’s captaincy, despite of individual performance in batting department. The inclusion of Wahab Riaz at last moment couldn’t justified, he put away for 50 runs in just 4 over’s. Also keep giving bowl to the same bowler while having choices like Afridi, Hafeez and Saeed. While didn’t utilizes the option of Hamad Azam, who supported against SriLanka. At times when Misbah look defensive try to avoid the happenings.

Let talk about other teams of Asia cup. India had two good performances against big teams of Pakistan and SriLanka, thanks to single handed performance of Virat Kholi. In both occasions India successfully scored above 300. While India shocked it supporters and world cricket when they put a total of 290 and couldn't defend against the Bangladeshi batting line up.

Another shocking performer is SriLanka, the qualifier (runners up) of common wealth series, who had given tough time to Australia in 3 finals. SriLanka was one of the strong contenders of Asia cup 2012, as SriLanka already won it 4 times, but the nation is being shocked with the unbelievable performance from the top order of SriLanka. Among all three occasions the batting of SriLanka clasped at wrong time, and oppositions doesn’t allowed them to pull back the game.

Even against Bangladesh it was hoped that they want to finish on high node but top order failure led them down. Duck lewis was unable to help Lankans as well. It seems that Lankans & Indians were tired out from that common wealth series and could not make it to finals.
The least rated team of the tournament and also the host nation for Asia cup this year has surprised the big guns with the extra ordinary bowling performance and fielding support for it, Also batsmen did play their fair role. At a stage 200 for 7 Pakistan was amazed and also restricted SriLanka on 232 was an achievement on the slow batting pitches. And against India the Bengali tigers showed the impact of BPL as the blasted in last 17 over’s in Bangle style. The surprise continues when they knock out SriLanka to qualify for the final, responsibility & commitment shown in batting department.

Bangladesh and Pakistan two under rated teams for this tournament qualified for final, the world champions sit out even after Tendulkar’s 100th century and Virat kholi’s 183, Bangladesh for the first time will play final of Asia cup, and now we assume that its going to be an excitement match on Thursday 22 march. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

England look firm with T20 series win…..

After one sided finish of test series, we have witnessed one sided ODI series, but in T20’s ignoring the fact who won the series we had an exciting time, with all 3 matches had its crunched moments and equally balance sides, but fielding might cause the edge to English camp. England after losing  Test series  3-0, came back strongly in ODI’s winning 4-0 and continues the form in T20’s. They won the last two games and take the series win with 2-1.

The extraordinary team with the ball during last 20 month or so, look so ordinary when they had white ball in ODI series and T20. The unplayable Saeed, Afridi and Hafeez during the worldcup and even in the followed session with Newzeland, West Indies, SriLanka, Bangladesh and even in the Test series against England, were all smashed for big and almost wicket less in many occasion.  

Also too many changes during the ODI series by Misbah command cause the lost. Not to forget Pakistan have to answer many question as Petersen and Dernbach posted. The questions about Pakistan bowling and majorly batting.

Finding the reason of the loss, need to go through many aspects, well as a writer I have to respect all opinion, by most of which I disagree. One of the reason was Pakistan’s defensive approach, basically critics said Mishbah instead of pushing pressure wait for something to happen. This strategy might work and we have seen worked best in Test series, but do the time changes in ODI and T20, the other rumors was the politics and the lobbing have its place back in the team, as major players does not support Misbah to be captain all format. Or is it the over excitement after the Test win, that over confident undermined the English team and lead to defeat. Or is it the England team who really learn its lesson quickly and with true struggle came back into tour…….

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Strong Reply; England white washed Pakistan

Series end with an unexpected finish from both ODI sides. After the set back of white wash in test series England step back into the ODI series against Pakistan. No wonder English fans now consider it even ……. As eye for an eye….. We go along with whitewash for a white wash. The guru’s haven’t remember such contest when a team lost 3-0 in test series take over ODI series by 4-0, and does not allow opposition any hope to shine again.

The ODI series belongs to England as few changes bring lot of positivity in English camp, while I think England had borrowed more from Pakistan, by which lack of spirit had been noticed among the body language of Pakistan Players, they were never there to support their bowling depart. Nor the fielding neither the batting.

Individual performance from England side again dominant, as Cook and Petersen both made back to back two centuries for the cause, also Fin with 13 wickets in series was clear difference. In Pakistan camp Saeed did took 9 wickets, but he alone was not helpful. While Azhar Ali continued a little of his form in ODI’s and Asad Shafiq did put some impact in making partnerships.

Still to determine the reason of bad performance of the team, who just out classed the England batting line up 6 times in test series with 4 times they couldn’t get over 250. Then what happened to bowling attack that couldn’t resist England defending small scores. Is the addition of Shahid Afridi, or changing the perfect combination of test couldn’t adjust. Pakistan now have to think out of box for the T20’s three to come, will the change turn in the favor of Pakistan, not to forget England is World T20 champion. It will going to be tough competition in T20’s , Misbah ul Haq, we hope the same way….  

Thursday, 16 February 2012

England won 2nd ODI; Fielding was spot on of both sides

It cannot be false to say that England’s on ground fielding led them to second win. Like the first ODI Alastair cook made century and help England post 250 on board. He became the only English captain to make back to back centuries in ODI’s. Pakistan after all the tough time spent on pitch again have no reply for Finn bowling, he again took 4 wickets for. While the praise of England win cannot be stop until Pakistan put a full stop in coming up matches.

 “Pakistan have to field well in order to win the series against England” by Javed Miandad before the start of Series, and guess what the experience of coaching Pakistan team made him to deliver a solid concern. Since the fielding was the only point that differs the England line up from Pakistan. Where England fetches 2 runs at the position of 1, the fielders led us down, while England on ground only allow 1’s instead of 2’s. also good commitment of England’s fielder stop many good drives, which clearly was the difference of 20 runs, the amount Pakistan was failed to chase, And just give up at 230.

It seems like changes worked for England very well, like boopara and Finn, and the transition from test to ODI. But the similar change doesn’t goes in their favor, the transition doesn’t really help the cause. As Pakistan return in the game mostly in the second innings during all three tests. But for ODI’s there never a second chance, therefore Pakistan have to rethink their strategy and batting options. We have to see…..

Monday, 13 February 2012

Pakistani batting order tumbled as they lose against England

Pakistan top order flopped in order to respond to Misbah’s call. The bowlers once again try to constrain English Batsmen to 260, but in response the top batting order fooled their selves on the in swing delivers of Steven finn, the new addition to the ODI squad, so as the lower batting order couldn’t handled the pressure, and took some last breathe as last  Afridi  & Umer Akmal tried their best to hold the ship for some while but failed, the struggle last for 35 over’s and made 130 runs, as England won by 130 runs in the first ODI of four match series.

Not to miss a chance to accept that England did come in one dayer with lot practice and came out of the struggle of Test matches with captain lead from the front with 134 runs, also partnership with Ravi boopara make their name in first match, made 50. All over it was a good and balance side with potential to be match winner and on this occasion they showed it.

In comparison to the two matches’ one between Pakistan vs. Afghanistan played on 10 Feb in Sharja, and one between Pakistan vs. England at Abu Dhabi, one thing was common that was Pakistan poor Fielding. So as England & Afghanistan was looking more promising on the field. Also Pakistan have make their mind clear about the test series they win, and now its time for Pakistan to wake up with its batting selection, and One day is a different bowl game.

This win will boost up the morals of English Team and Pakistan for the next match have to be prepare more and have to come with new strategy or enthusiasm. Not to forget the good moments of Pakistan on the field, as Ajmal took 5 wickets. While England has lot to cheer about the win, the cook’s ton and the finn 4 for……. For the fans we hope for and entertaining match next time, and celebrates more moments.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Pakistan Seal the Series by 3-0; A whitewash no one expected

Pakistan surprises the England team, the England Fans, the Pakistani Fans and every one that loves cricket. This Series brings lot of cheer to Pakistani camp, not only that also a self believe they can now challenge any team at any condition. This recent form of Pakistan and the efforts, noticed from World cup have now turned Pakistan into new era.

The series was full of record making and breaking flash, but one significant fact that Pakistan has a won a series 3-0 after nine years, in 2003 they won against Bangladesh by 3-0. But now the win matters more as it is against England, the no. 1 Test team of the world cricket. The series clearly belongs to Spin bowling as 48 wickets have been taken by Pakistani spinners, and all praise to them.

“No team becomes No.1 over night, Andrew Strauss”. Well England has been good through out the years but Pakistan bowling department just not put question mark to their greatness but now also put question will England manage to hold their first rank for long. And if it’s the start of Pakistan team towards the journey of England’s current status i.e. no. 1 spot of world rank.

Some of the excellent extract for Pakistan, this series has made. Saeed Ajmal now became the most dependent bowler for Pakistan team, After Danish Kaneria Pakistan has been looking for front line spin bowler, and he proves to be one. The other finding is Abdur Rehman, who is no longer remains a second option; the two 5 wickets haul made him a competitive choice.

Talking about batting no one can neglect the efforts of Azhar Ali in 2nd and 3rd Test. He was solid in defense and made runs that help team to rely on someone steady like him. In the series that dominants by bowlers, Azhar Ali won the Match of the man award today. With Azhar we need to discuss Asad Shafiq’s two knocks under pressure, in 2nd test with Azhar, and in 3rd test when Pakistan was looking to holds the rope.   

For the series win, we congratulate Pakistan team and their efforts, as every team mate did his fair of bit in the glorious success. Now fans are looking for ODI series, how strongly England will make a comeback, or will Pakistan able to crush them once again in the battle field sets in UAE. 

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Spin turns second match in favor of Pakistan

Another match of England vs. Pakistan series ends without going into fifth day. Thanks to spinners, they once again prove that defending low total is the art of determinant bowling. Well good news for Pakistan fans and morn for English lovers. Till the fourth day its all happening in favor of England, but one bad session or I must say that good bowling from spinners of Pakistan took the match away from England.

The Second test brings much happiness to Pakistan camp as defeating rank no.1 Test team is a joyful event. As second Test brings so much to talk about Pakistan leadership, team effort, their bonding and moral, it also raises the alarm for England. A team that hasn’t lost from nine tests has got out twice under 200 margins and once under 100 in the four innings they played. The team has its three players in top ten ranking failed to record any resilience.

Pakistan fans have lot to cheer about. Abdur Rehman took 6-25, his career best effort so far. With that Pakistan lead the series with 2-0. Saeed Ajmal record his 100th wicket, as Matt Prior became his 100th victim, he done it in only 19 matches, took minimum matches for Pakistan to complete this record. With that effort step one place up to ranking and is now at 2nd position. Also with match winning performance of Abdur Rehman he also share the top ten chart with Saeed, as he positioned at 9th place. Talking about Rankings not to forget the captain (Misbah ul haq) his efforts in first inn made his place to 8th position on charts.

Second Test surely belongs to Spinners, especially left armers as Monty Penesar took 6 wickets also Rehman took 6 wickets both in 2nd innings. Abdur Rehman who waited very long for this opportunity as his role with Saeed ajmal is to support him. In the other hand Penesar made his sensational come back. He dismantles the top order and showed some hope to England team. Abdur Rehman soon ruin all their happiness and joy of English camp as they only needed 145 to win but they only manages to made have of it.

Now the worlds eye on the third match between the two teams, to see whether downfall of no.1 test team has just started, because England this year will not play much matches in their home ground, the tough teams like South Africa, Australia and SriLanka waited for their turn. While Pakistan has already proved their point, and nothing much left for Pakistan to prove now, except to make a clean sweep to England. How strong England will prepared for third test, and will Pakistan Spinner make the series sweep happen for team?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Spin Alarming a challenge for England’s top order….

First Test between England and Pakistan has end with Pakistan win by 10 wickets. With the joys of win, a question for England has popped up and that is about there spin playing abilities? Spinners took fifteen wickets in the first match, especially Saeed Ajmal with extraordinary effort and show the way of pavilion to ten England Batsmen. So is it the fear of Saeed Ajmal that over run the mind of English Batsmen, as Umer gul took 4 wickets with leg side deliveries.

The signs of panic showed very early by English players in 1st innings when only on 10 runs they loss their first wicket, and since then they never come up with better strategy than Pakistan. But ince again the cradet to this victory goes to Pakistan Bowlers, as during last year as well we witnessed many games in which bowler give control of match to the command of Pakistan camp.

On a track which continues to be assumed a good batting track the match ends within three days with no one scored a century, though Mohammed Hafeez gets very close but couldn’t finish with three figures. So is it alarm for both of team to go through their batting order and revise if they can. Now five day gap with two days to left and once again cricket fans are ready to see some exciting Test cricket.

Both of the team have to come in the field with answer that, who learn more from past, will England play with two spinners, since tremlett was almost wicket less in the first match, so why not like Pakistan go with two spinners, and also include a more reliable batsman of spin in batting order, yes the media the experts are talking about Ravi bopara. Only times tell will Strauss boys handle all criticism gracefully, like the test match the media is testing English player temperament off the field.

Also Pakistan has to think about large scores when finding such opportunity and don’t let them flee. As all big names got start but couldn’t maintain it. And will they plan for attacking cricket in the second test or they design their strategy after observing England on ground, they better not to get defensive with their 1-0 lead. The only way to defend it is make it 2-0 by next match. For the fans of both sides and cricket we hope to have a contest of excitement.  

Friday, 6 January 2012

Saeed Ajmal to come up with new delivery…..

 In the recent conference the bowler claimed to introduce new delivery in the series against England in UAE. Well the stage is been set and just before the start of series both teams and team players try to gain a psychological advantage of each other. It is yet to know whether its a same attempt from Saeed Ajmal or he really trying some new techniques.

As Saeed Ajmal recently uses his dusra most often it was a concern from former player that soon it will be esay to understand his wicket taking delivery. And now he announces to introduce a new kind of delivery. Is it a gamble, just to make England think about it all time and the delivery is actually have no status.

Many discussed this series as the opportunity, as to uncover this new deliver, while keeping the finger crossed and all the cricket lovers couldn’t wait to discover will this be another magic deliver like dusra, which was introduce by Saqlain Mushtaq, another Pakistani bowler. The bowl has its magic even now and difficult for batsmen to pick it up, while the off spinner revived with this bowl, Saqlain, Murli and Saeed uses  it to demolish the opponent.

But will the new ball has the same magic as dusra? Will it moves otherwise than the regular off spin, or it goes the same direction but with little variety, or it holds is direction like the carom bowl just difficult to read. What its going to be? We could only imagine to some extents, but only time knows it well. And we hope whatever it will be it keeps the cricket lovers interested and shows some magic.  

Monday, 2 January 2012

England vs Pakistan; Head to Head

Its time to get over from the success and records of Pakistan during the last year (2011). Now the focus is the upcoming series of Pakistan and England, in UAE. Considering the success rate of England in recent years and the win of Ashes last year, have boost the moral of England cricket team. Also not to forget the fact that England has been playing with tremendous talent and experience, not only in their batting department but also the bowling department cruise them to many wins. Trott, Bell, Alastair cook, Strauss, Peterson, Morgan, Ravi Bopara the solid batting line, and the question is that whether Pakistan bowling attack has this ability to get them knocked.

Recently Pakistan team has proved on given situation the bowling could turn the match into their favour, with Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Umer Gul and Abdur Rehman in the squad. But at the occasions the batting did flop and a form of worry, the highest scorer Taufeeq Umer scored three century last year but more than six occasions he couldn’t score a double digit in his innings.

The bowling attack of SriLanka, and Bangladesh created a lot of problem to Pakistan batting line up, with no big names in the squad of two. Therefore we can imagine how hard it would be to face pace attack of England, with Finn, Anderson, Bresnan and the swing master Swan.

Considering the last year England only played one series on the death soil in India (likewise of UAE), and seems that India won the series single handedly, Also Pakistan had not played to first four ranked Test teams last year. But manage to record win against SriLanka, which were ranked above Pakistan. Never the less England could be dangerous under any condition and circumstances, with that I hope Pakistan will continue to exhibit its unpredictable nature, and do surprise us with some extraordinary performance. 

England squad
Andrew Strauss (c), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Monty Panesar, Matt Prior (wk), Chris Tremlett, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Steve Davies (wk), Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott

Pakistan Squad
Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Abdur Rehman, Adnan Akmal (wk), Aizaz Cheema, Imran Farhat, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Taufeeq Umar, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Younis Khan