Pakistan Test match management and think tank needs to take the blame

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The careless and carefree attitude always comes back to bite you. The glimpses of success in T20 mode and world praising some of our cricketers in T20 mode does not make us forget that our test team has been shambolic.

We have registered losses to Sri Lanka and more recently lost a series to Australia under absolutely disgraceful home conditions. That was not enough to roll heads and neither was that enough for us to understand our basic issues.

In the morning when I saw the test team I was shocked to say the least. I tried my best to understand the thought process of the management behind the selection of this team but quite literally could not make sense of most names in there. Let's start from top in there.

1. Imam ul Haq - Yes I was surprised to see his name in the team. In my opinion Shan Masood should be starting over Imam unless you drop Azhar and play Shan in his position. On Imam, he should not be playing this match given that he chose not to play recent QEA trophy. As Imam was not in national duty for T20s he has absolute no excuse to skip QEA trophy and I'm surprised no one from PCB actually had a strong word with him on doing so. Simply on not playing cricket recently and rubbish attitude he should not have played. Further to the point we have Shan who is in form of his life being made to sit out is absolutely inexcusable.

2. Azhar Ali - What are we achieving with his continued selection. Yes he did score good runs in QEA trophy recently but seriously given the conditions and home advantage would it not make sense for someone young to get runs/confidence under his belt before important away tours? The long-term thinking in here is totally missing and I can argue that in next SENA tour we would have a debutant playing at crucial number 3 post. We have a joke as think tank.

3. Saud Shakeel - I don't want to be overly critical as the guy has not done anything wrong yet. However in my books Kamran Ghulam should be ahead in priority line. Having said that Saud has scored decent runs in this year's QEA and I hope he proves me wrong. He usually has a tendency for soft dismissals and if he did not do away from that tendency then I don't see him having a long international career.

4. Agha Salman - I don't have much criticism of Agha but given we are playing 4 relatively nobodies as our bowling line-up we ideally wanted a 5th bowler to share the workload. Faheem Ashraf would have been ideal in here. Where is Faheem anyway?

5. Haris Rauf - Seriously? We have Haris playing test matches without any experience of domestics or 4 day games? Where is Hasan Ali our go to bowler for subcontinental conditions? I have nothing against Haris but every player needs a degree of domestic experience in order to be eligible to play for that format where did that came about for Haris?

6. Zahid Mehmood - We have Abrar Ahmad absolutely dominate the bowling charts in recent QEA trophy who is warming bench in here. I'm not arguing that Abrar would have been better than Zahid. All I'm saying is that form needed to be respected in here and Abrar should have had first shot at making the line-up. Had it be up to me both Abrar and Zahid would have played with Haris being dropped and Faheem being third seamer in place of Agha.

This is shocking I'm able to name 6 player from the playing XI that were selection mishaps this goes on to show that our think tank is quite literally living in a parallel world where there is no concept of accountability.

Whilst we are on this topic let's not forget the absolute disaster of the wicket this or the ones laid out previously have been. I cannot believe that our wickets are so horrible that even groundsmen cannot make it slightly competitive. We have seen the wickets in QEA trophy being pathetic to the core too. I understand this has got to do mostly with the soil underneath being firm and doesn't break easily but given advances in technology we should be able to muster a wicket of our choosing especially in international cricket. PCB and Ramiz Raja should look into this immediately as a massive concern and bring help from outside if need be to improve playing conditions.
 
Fans need to be blamed too for supporting trash, 100 by babar in a lost game celebrations and all will be forgotten
 
They gave debut to 4 but to the wrong players. Huraira ( in place for Azhar Ali ) and Abrar ( for Zahid ) deserved more . I agree , preserve Rauf of WBC , he will be not in current form and pace for long , no sense of playing him in test on these roads . But I'm happy 2 most useless phast bowlers Hasan Ali and Faheem are out.

Abrar's case is a bit serious, he has outperformed Zahid in big way in this season and was a preferred bowler over Zahid in domestic cricket. Both played for the same side, Sindh, in the QEA trophy this season. Abrar was the leading wicket-taker in the competition, taking 43 wickets in seven matches at 21.95. Zahid, by contrast, managed 13 in five, each wicket costing 45.76 runs.

Abrar is a decade younger than Zahid, and therefore more attractive as a long-term investment, as the Yasir Shah era draws towards a close. As per Saqlain , Zahid was preferred due to his seniority,( not the form , talent and skill ) same was the reason for persisting with Azhar Ali .
 
The careless and carefree attitude always comes back to bite you. The glimpses of success in T20 mode and world praising some of our cricketers in T20 mode does not make us forget that our test team has been shambolic.

We have registered losses to Sri Lanka and more recently lost a series to Australia under absolutely disgraceful home conditions. That was not enough to roll heads and neither was that enough for us to understand our basic issues.

In the morning when I saw the test team I was shocked to say the least. I tried my best to understand the thought process of the management behind the selection of this team but quite literally could not make sense of most names in there. Let's start from top in there.

1. Imam ul Haq - Yes I was surprised to see his name in the team. In my opinion Shan Masood should be starting over Imam unless you drop Azhar and play Shan in his position. On Imam, he should not be playing this match given that he chose not to play recent QEA trophy. As Imam was not in national duty for T20s he has absolute no excuse to skip QEA trophy and I'm surprised no one from PCB actually had a strong word with him on doing so. Simply on not playing cricket recently and rubbish attitude he should not have played. Further to the point we have Shan who is in form of his life being made to sit out is absolutely inexcusable.

2. Azhar Ali - What are we achieving with his continued selection. Yes he did score good runs in QEA trophy recently but seriously given the conditions and home advantage would it not make sense for someone young to get runs/confidence under his belt before important away tours? The long-term thinking in here is totally missing and I can argue that in next SENA tour we would have a debutant playing at crucial number 3 post. We have a joke as think tank.

3. Saud Shakeel - I don't want to be overly critical as the guy has not done anything wrong yet. However in my books Kamran Ghulam should be ahead in priority line. Having said that Saud has scored decent runs in this year's QEA and I hope he proves me wrong. He usually has a tendency for soft dismissals and if he did not do away from that tendency then I don't see him having a long international career.

4. Agha Salman - I don't have much criticism of Agha but given we are playing 4 relatively nobodies as our bowling line-up we ideally wanted a 5th bowler to share the workload. Faheem Ashraf would have been ideal in here. Where is Faheem anyway?

5. Haris Rauf - Seriously? We have Haris playing test matches without any experience of domestics or 4 day games? Where is Hasan Ali our go to bowler for subcontinental conditions? I have nothing against Haris but every player needs a degree of domestic experience in order to be eligible to play for that format where did that came about for Haris?

6. Zahid Mehmood - We have Abrar Ahmad absolutely dominate the bowling charts in recent QEA trophy who is warming bench in here. I'm not arguing that Abrar would have been better than Zahid. All I'm saying is that form needed to be respected in here and Abrar should have had first shot at making the line-up. Had it be up to me both Abrar and Zahid would have played with Haris being dropped and Faheem being third seamer in place of Agha.

This is shocking I'm able to name 6 player from the playing XI that were selection mishaps this goes on to show that our think tank is quite literally living in a parallel world where there is no concept of accountability.

Whilst we are on this topic let's not forget the absolute disaster of the wicket this or the ones laid out previously have been. I cannot believe that our wickets are so horrible that even groundsmen cannot make it slightly competitive. We have seen the wickets in QEA trophy being pathetic to the core too. I understand this has got to do mostly with the soil underneath being firm and doesn't break easily but given advances in technology we should be able to muster a wicket of our choosing especially in international cricket. PCB and Ramiz Raja should look into this immediately as a massive concern and bring help from outside if need be to improve playing conditions.

Why is Rambo not doing his job?

This think tank has repeatedly made decisions out of sheer stupidity. Why is Rameez busy giving statements about IPL or cheerleaing for pcb tiktok videos?
 
We are here again. Pakistan on verge of most humiliating home defeats in recent times. The reason I say humiliating is because England is winning this series on back of Jack Leach and Rehan Ahmed. They both are far from big names in spin bowling. On top of that we have been bruised by likes of Crawley, Duckett, Brook and Pope. None of the mentioned players were established stars that you need in winning away tours. Yes England did have Root, Stokes and Anderson but they were playing supporting roles in all these wins when the knockout punches were being delivered by their upcoming players. England will cherish this win for a long time and rightly so.

This series is a perfect example when 11 players come together and play as a team. England played as a team under clear and decisive leadership with a plan to follow for each of the 11 team players. Pakistan on other hand were playing in individual capacity most of the times. There were players who wanted to get some runs to establish themselves in the team whilst others wanted runs as a retirement gift. However the most obvious one was that nobody took responsibility and there were lack of plans and roles in place hence we are where we are.

I have mentioned this a lot of times now that if we need success in test cricket we need to go scientific and have people at helm who knows how to draw strategies and game plans. We do not want big name retired players we just need people who are able to think out of the box and devise a plan that team can follow. This is not under 19 cricket where coaches help with your technical game play this is test cricket where coaches role changes to that of the think tank. I hope PCB gets a new management in after PSL.

On team selections its obvious we have lost the game due to our bowlers but our batsmen haven't been great either. With the likes of Azhar Ali retiring we can now aim to blend in our domestic players (its already been too late).

I have mentioned this enough times now that our domestic cricketers needs to be rewarded with places in international teams. For New Zealand series I'm tempted to give the following team a run.

1. Abdullah Shafique
2. Imam ul Haq
3. Shan Masood / Kamran Ghulam
4. Babar Azam
5. Saud Shakeel
6. Rizwan
7. Shadab Khan (need to bring him back for home season)
8. Naseem
9. Shaheen
10. Abrar
11. Sajid Khan

12. Shan Masood / Kamran Ghulam
13. Umar Amin
14. Hasan Ali
15. Nawaz
16. Israrullah
17. Hurraira (only take him in squad if there are no domestic games happening. I want him to play another season before replacing one of the openers).

There are knives currently out for Mohammad Rizwan and rightly so as he has been abysmal of late in tests. However we need to understand he is by far our best person with gloves and overall he is the best in domestic. Hence we need to give him confidence and believe in him to step up.
 
I think the fans who supported change for the sake of it, who supported the unjust changes to Mickey/Sarfaraz need to take the blame too.
 
We are here again. Pakistan on verge of most humiliating home defeats in recent times. The reason I say humiliating is because England is winning this series on back of Jack Leach and Rehan Ahmed. They both are far from big names in spin bowling. On top of that we have been bruised by likes of Crawley, Duckett, Brook and Pope. None of the mentioned players were established stars that you need in winning away tours. Yes England did have Root, Stokes and Anderson but they were playing supporting roles in all these wins when the knockout punches were being delivered by their upcoming players. England will cherish this win for a long time and rightly so.

This series is a perfect example when 11 players come together and play as a team. England played as a team under clear and decisive leadership with a plan to follow for each of the 11 team players. Pakistan on other hand were playing in individual capacity most of the times. There were players who wanted to get some runs to establish themselves in the team whilst others wanted runs as a retirement gift. However the most obvious one was that nobody took responsibility and there were lack of plans and roles in place hence we are where we are.

I have mentioned this a lot of times now that if we need success in test cricket we need to go scientific and have people at helm who knows how to draw strategies and game plans. We do not want big name retired players we just need people who are able to think out of the box and devise a plan that team can follow. This is not under 19 cricket where coaches help with your technical game play this is test cricket where coaches role changes to that of the think tank. I hope PCB gets a new management in after PSL.

On team selections its obvious we have lost the game due to our bowlers but our batsmen haven't been great either. With the likes of Azhar Ali retiring we can now aim to blend in our domestic players (its already been too late).

I have mentioned this enough times now that our domestic cricketers needs to be rewarded with places in international teams. For New Zealand series I'm tempted to give the following team a run.

1. Abdullah Shafique
2. Imam ul Haq
3. Shan Masood / Kamran Ghulam
4. Babar Azam
5. Saud Shakeel
6. Rizwan
7. Shadab Khan (need to bring him back for home season)
8. Naseem
9. Shaheen
10. Abrar
11. Sajid Khan

12. Shan Masood / Kamran Ghulam
13. Umar Amin
14. Hasan Ali
15. Nawaz
16. Israrullah
17. Hurraira (only take him in squad if there are no domestic games happening. I want him to play another season before replacing one of the openers).

There are knives currently out for Mohammad Rizwan and rightly so as he has been abysmal of late in tests. However we need to understand he is by far our best person with gloves and overall he is the best in domestic. Hence we need to give him confidence and believe in him to step up.

Beg to differ on Rizwan being in the squad. He has not meritted his place in the test side for a while now and sides like Australia, England would have benched him. England let go of Jos Buttler and Pakistan would kill to have Jos Buttler in the side right now.

If you are looking to the future, then might as well give Mohammad Harris a go. Surely he cannot do any worse than Rizwan atm.
 
We are here again. Pakistan on verge of most humiliating home defeats in recent times. The reason I say humiliating is because England is winning this series on back of Jack Leach and Rehan Ahmed. They both are far from big names in spin bowling. On top of that we have been bruised by likes of Crawley, Duckett, Brook and Pope. None of the mentioned players were established stars that you need in winning away tours. Yes England did have Root, Stokes and Anderson but they were playing supporting roles in all these wins when the knockout punches were being delivered by their upcoming players. England will cherish this win for a long time and rightly so.

This series is a perfect example when 11 players come together and play as a team. England played as a team under clear and decisive leadership with a plan to follow for each of the 11 team players. Pakistan on other hand were playing in individual capacity most of the times. There were players who wanted to get some runs to establish themselves in the team whilst others wanted runs as a retirement gift. However the most obvious one was that nobody took responsibility and there were lack of plans and roles in place hence we are where we are.

I have mentioned this a lot of times now that if we need success in test cricket we need to go scientific and have people at helm who knows how to draw strategies and game plans. We do not want big name retired players we just need people who are able to think out of the box and devise a plan that team can follow. This is not under 19 cricket where coaches help with your technical game play this is test cricket where coaches role changes to that of the think tank. I hope PCB gets a new management in after PSL.

On team selections its obvious we have lost the game due to our bowlers but our batsmen haven't been great either. With the likes of Azhar Ali retiring we can now aim to blend in our domestic players (its already been too late).

I have mentioned this enough times now that our domestic cricketers needs to be rewarded with places in international teams. For New Zealand series I'm tempted to give the following team a run.

1. Abdullah Shafique
2. Imam ul Haq
3. Shan Masood / Kamran Ghulam
4. Babar Azam
5. Saud Shakeel
6. Rizwan
7. Shadab Khan (need to bring him back for home season)
8. Naseem
9. Shaheen
10. Abrar
11. Sajid Khan

12. Shan Masood / Kamran Ghulam
13. Umar Amin
14. Hasan Ali
15. Nawaz
16. Israrullah
17. Hurraira (only take him in squad if there are no domestic games happening. I want him to play another season before replacing one of the openers).

There are knives currently out for Mohammad Rizwan and rightly so as he has been abysmal of late in tests. However we need to understand he is by far our best person with gloves and overall he is the best in domestic. Hence we need to give him confidence and believe in him to step up.

The only change I would make is Mubasir comes in for Sajid Khan or Shahdab Khan.and Hurraira comes in for Shan.
 
I honestly think that the batting talent in Pakistan is not too bad.

Pakistan has got itself into some pretty good positions with the bat in this series, but they were unable to capitalise on these opportunities and in the end they have capitulated under pressure several times against the inventive Ben Stokes captaincy ideas, his creative field placings and the frequent bowling changes.

If the Pakistan batters can sort out this mental concentration and resilience issue that they have, then many more of these 20s will become 50s and a fair few of the 50s will become 100s as well.

In my opinion Pakistan are agile and talented enough to put up big runs (at least in home conditions) and this would make up for a lot of the challenges with the weakened bowling attack, which always seems one player light and also seems to have a lot of injuries in it.
 
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