Friday, July 24, 2009

Project Squad Pakistan (Part 1)

Pakistan's Tour of Sri Lanka ODI Series Squad 2009. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  • Nasir Jamshed: A prolific left-hand opening batsman. Scoring loads of runs on the domestic circuit, he was first picked into the Pakistani side on Zimbabwe's tour of Pakistan in 2008. He also starred in the Asia Cup 2008, impressing many people. Then suddenly, much like a Pakistani talent, he was forgotten. he now gets a recall in the side in the place of out-of-form salman butt. An opportunity for him to cement his place in the side.
  • Imran Nazir: The comeback kid! He might be playing his first ODI in 2 years after severing ties with the rebel ICL. A great striker of the ball, who can really put the opposition on the backfoot by his absorbing and illustrious stroke play. not to mention the out-of-the-park route that he likes to take too regularly. Pundits label him more of a T20 player as his ODI average is just below the mid-twenties. but i tell you that this guy is one to look out for.
  • Umar Akmal: The younger brother of our wicket-keeper kamran akmal gets a call after some classical knocks against the aussies down under. An opener who likes to go after the new ball and tries to play the demoralizing game for the opponents early on. Though struggles a bit against medium-pacers but if successful in finding his groove, he can demolish the best in the business with disdain. Fingers crossed on this prospect, if he gets a chance though.
  • Younus Khan: The current captain of the Pakistani team is in a bad shape with the bat. Scoring at an average of 21 in the test series against the same opposition, he is not fit enough to come at number three or even four. But he says he will try to compensate for the test series loss by winning the ODI Series and the T20 but he has alot to do to improve his personal form with the bat. Although his leadership skill are great but in my philosophy a captain is not a captain until he leads from the front.
  • Mohammad Yousuf: The free flowing yousuf is the backbone of the Pakistani middle order. Piling up mountains of runs he is one of the few batsmen in world cricket today that have close to perfect technique. Although he takes a little time to adjust in the middle, but once he settles down, he is a difficult customer to deal with. Playing his first odi since 2007-icl-saga, Expectations are high on his part.
  • Misbah-ul-haq: Here comes the vice-captain! Who has been very inconsistent in his performances since he held this rank. After some hot words from the side of younus khan, he seems to be over with his bad patch, with a patient 65 against Sri Lanka in the final test. But now he has to mould himself into the shorter version of the game and perform, as the allegations are running high on him for lobbying in the pakistani camp against younus khan. Although a great striker and a sensible player, he needs to get something out of this series to silence the critics.
  • Shoaib malik: The former captain and the yoyo of the team. A very intelligent player in the ODI format of the game who has been the best odi allrounder of the year 2007. Although he had been under-pressure from all quarters after his controversial removal from captaincy, but recovered well and is very responsive to the current captain, with an unbeaten 134 against the lankans in the final test, he will be high in confidence and he should employ this form into the shorter version of the game.
  • Kamran Akmal: The wicket-keeper batsman, who recently rediscovered his form with the willow in the final test against sri lanka. He is a proficient striker on the off-side and has a very good record at number three position. He also pairs well with Misbah-ul-Haq and Pakistan owe many a wins to him. Although a bit rusty while keeping at the sumps but overall he is an agile sportman behind the stumps and should be the one to lookout for after younus's poor form with the bat at number three.
  • Shahid Afridi: "boom boom" Afridi as they call him, has been in a superb nick of late with both the bat and the ball. Converting his last two International appearences (ICC T20 WC) into match-winning performances and contributing greatly in the field. As a result expectations have risen for his acclaimed performances in the following up Sri Lankan Odi and T20 tour. The leg spin maestro has a bag full of tricks to unsettle any batting lineup...not to mention his slam-bang fireworks with the bat that can win an out-of-the-hand match before the opposition has time to think.
  • Abdul Razzaq: Another player from the 'ICL-returning-platoon'. A prolific hitter of the bowl lower down the order, who can make a deadly striking combination with afridi. Practically a slogger but he has modified his technique for any number after opening for Lahore Badshahs in the ICL. He is also a great medium-pacer who can seam and swing the bowl, and is one of the work-horses in the side. Although not given a chance in the test series, despite being in the squad, the gritty all-rounder has many-a-peoples' money on him to show his true performances against sri lanka in the limited overs' format.
  • Fawad Alam: The lucky charm, as many people call him, has been not exploited fully. A great left-handed batsman with a stance not too dissimilar of Simon Katich, who has piled a lot of runs in all three formats of the game in the domestic arena. He also bowls slow left arm off-spin. Apart from being an allrounder, he is a team-man, fielding his heart out on the field with breath-taking catches and runouts. This seems to me as the prime reason of his inclusion as Pakistan's sloppy fielding needs a strong arm like Fawad's.
  • Rana Naveed-ul-Hassan: Another comeback oldie. The 4th ICL player to return to the ranks of Pakistan after Razzaq, Nazir and Yousuf. He has shown his talents, both with the bat and the bowl in ICL which stands him almost at par with razzaq. It would be interesting to see that who gets the nod from captain younus khan. With hard-hitting power, seam and reverse-swing he is a typical bits and pieces cricketer who is so vital for a team's chances in anyormat of the game. Rana possesses an unplayable reverse-swinging yorker which makes him almost an automatic choice for a captain at the death in a T20 game.
  • Umar Gul: The star wicket-taker of this years T20 World Cup. Although his concentration on reverse-wing and bowling with an older ball has greatly effected this player's ability to endure a good spell with the new ball. He has been out of form throughout this tour showing only one moment of brilliance in the 2nd test match when he claimed four scalps. He has also have had problems with his runup bowling an unprecedented twenty plus noballs in the test series. He has to strike now in the ODI series as he is now finding competition in the Pakistani camp in the form of rana naveed and rao iftikhar anjum.
  • Mohammad Amir: This hot pace prospect from Rawalpindi has been compared by many for his excellent line (although a bit on the shorter side in terms of length) to the legendary pacer Wasim Akram. This left arm pacer finds a spot in the ODI squad in place of the unfit Sohail Tanvir. He would also be playing his first ODI in this series. Although he has six wickets from three tests, he should never be underestimated as many dropped chances and unfair decisions have kept this excellent new ball bowler's test-wickets' account from doubling over. Spare a thought for this guy, Lankans!!
  • Rao Iftikhar Anjum: Another fast bowler from the suburbs of Rawalpindi, Rao Iftikhar possesses a willy outswinger and comes with loads of ODI experience. Although he has not been regular in the Pakistani side for some time now, but this guy has the chance to make a comeback on this tour, and he has the skill to make it through, despite the tough battles for a place in the playing eleven between the five medium pacers\fast bowlers.
  • Saeed Ajmal: A star off-spinner who has been a victim of the selectors' over-looking and made his debut a thet late age of 31. But this guy has got bags of experience on spin bowling and an often unspottable weapon, the "Doosra", which helped him to be a regular in the playing eleven of all the three types of the game in no time. Saeed operates in a lethal tandem with Afridi which has worked for pakistan more often than not in the ODI format of the game.


Anonymous said...

Well written, man.... 8-).....carry on wid the gud work!!

Orthodox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

DI dnt think so u wrote it urself just ctrl-c ctrl-v stuff... no hard feelings!

Anonymous said...


Hassaan aka Shaani said...

@ Anonymous number 2
No hard feelings here mate!
But if u find me an exact copy of the work i hav done, i will stop blogging. This has been written by me and me alone. No ctrl-v stuff here.

P.S: If u cannot do something, encourage others who r doing it!

scorpio said...

nice one

Sharif Ahmad said...

@ Hassan's P.S


Well about your post, it is just awesome. I also couldn't have managed it any better (althoug part of me says that you wrote it better than me !)
I'd be trying to give this superb article a place on Keep ur fingers crossed!


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