Posts Tagged ‘Mohammad Yousuf’

Having seen Mohammad Yousuf back in the news, this is the train of thought that went through my mind:

“He’s been out for nearly 18 months, but still feels he has plenty to offer to the Pakistan cricket team…I’ve been out for nearly 9 months, but I still feel that I have ‘plenty’ to offer to the cricket blogosphere”.

Yes, I’ve never really been a very regular blogger, largely due to the fact that I’ve been too lazy to do anything whole-heartedly.

Also, it’s always been a little dispiriting, churning out posts but having only a handful of people viewing them, let along commenting on them.

However, looking at the success of fellow bloggers like Jarrod and Leg Side Filth, and having followed their blogs even during the times when they were not so famous, I realized something….these guys kept churning out good content, even though, initially, there weren’t a lot of people commenting. However, due to the fact that they never gave up and continued, they are where they are now.

Therefore, this shall be my last comeback…I promise to update this blog at least 2 times a week, though the possibility of more posts is likely.

Therefore, I’ll start with a short note on the West Indies-Australia test series:

I couldn’t really catch any of the action on TV, largely because of the late nights spent at work.

However, I was eagerly following the live commentary, and the signs were encouraging from West Indies’ point of view.

They seem to have a very very good bowling attack, with Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach, and Ravi Rampaul leading the attack with Darren Sammy, the unassuming skipper, for support. They also have some good spinners in Shane Shillingford and Devendra Bishoo (the potential of Sunil Narine is unknown since he’s at the IPL, but from the amount of spin that he imparts on the ball, it can be confidently said that he will be a more successful mystery spinner than Ajantha Mendis was). 

However, as has been the case for quite a  long time, their batting has been disappointing, with the exception of Shiv Chanderpaul and, to a certain extent, Narsingh Deonarine. They seem to be prone to frequent collapses. 

To a certain extent, such shoddy batting was covered up, during the limited over series, by some superb power-hitting from Sammy, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell.

However, I don’t think that such power-hitting would cut it in Test Matches, where you need guys batting for longer periods in order to get good totals.

Therefore, if West Indies are to have a chance of at least winning a Test in the upcoming tour of England, the batting definitely needs to pull their pants up. It’s not gonna’ be any easier there, with England’s highly competent bowlers and the balls swinging in all directions.

Though the WI bowlers will have a good time there (not so sure about the spinners), the onus is gonna’ be on the batsmen, who will have to deliver if WI are to put up a fight!

Firstly, a heartfelt apology for disappearing once again! I was planning to write a post about 2 days ago but I suddenly re-discovered the wonders of tweeting (I say re-discovered because, about 6 months ago, I was tweeting) and found it easier to do rather than having to write posts every day or so. However, seeing as they only allow 140 characters (that’s not even 30 words!), I’ve come up with a post! 🙂

Yesterday was a special day. As far as i can remember, since the 2007 T20 World Cup, yesterday was the first day that 3 test matches were being played. This meant that I’d have a full day of test cricket. This is how it worked out:

5:00 AM – 12:00 PM : Pakistan vs Australia @ Hobart
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM : India vs Bangladesh @ Chittagong
1:30 AM – 9:30 PM : England vs South Africa @ Johannesburg.

Since I sleep at around 11:00 in the night, I’ll be deprived of just 2 hours of test cricket!

Pakistan vs Australia was plain frustrating. It’s one thing to see the team you support surrender meekly. When West Indies lost to Australia in the first test, I wasn’t too depressed, just disappointed a bit because West Indies didn’t put up a semblance of a fight.

However, when Pakistan had a good chance to make a fairly decent score (considering at least 4 out of those 6 batsmen were quite good) and didn’t do so, it was just outright disappointing. Moreover, it is quite befuddling to hear MoYo say that he wanted help on captaincy! It seemed more like he was asking for a ‘Captaincy Coach’!

I don’t think that any captain has ever said that they want help openly. Going and asking successful captains for tips is one thing, asking them how to captain is just plain tomfoolery! All this is made worse when you remember how MoYo openly craved for the captaincy!

Moving on to the England South Africa match, it was quite dejecting. The writing was on the wall once England got shot out for under 200 in the first innings. Smith, once again, played an ugly but magnificent knock (now, how many times do you hear ugly & magnificent in the same line?). Boucher continued his rich form in the series to prove that there’s still some fuel left in the old man’s tank.

I was personally gunning for South Africa to lose all 3 series so that Mickey Mouse could shut his mouth once and for all. After the T20 series, I was hoping for at least 2 series losses to SA but that didn’t materialize as well! Pity!

Daryl Harper has copped enough stick from everyone, so I don’t think I need to say any more. All I have to say is, ‘RETIRE DARYL‘!

The presentation of a fridge to Ashwell Prince was strange, to say the least. He didn’t do much of note in the series, but he wasn’t to be blamed. What can you expect when you put a player, who is very successful at No.5, in the opening slot? It’s disaster in the making. Perhaps it was a “We’re really sorry about all this” gift from CSA to Prince.

Last, but not the least, is the Bangladesh India match.

Sehwag, with typical candour, said that Bangladesh was an ordinary side and couldn’t take 20 wickets. The ‘quotable quotes’ have been summarised by someone from BCC!

Shakib (the Superman of Bangladesh Cricket) and Shahadat Hossain picked up 5 each to get halfway to the target. Though they’ve lost 3 wickets, they’re still in the hunt, IMO, and it has the makings of a fascinating competition, light permitting.

We really should encourage candour from more players like Sehwag. England is set to tour Bangladesh later this year without Andy Strauss and so this is what we can expect from the stand-in skipper, Mascaraman:

“Yea, Bangladesh are an improving team. We’ve seen how they played against West Indies last year and how they took the fight to India. They have a very good bunch of players, especially Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. Mashrafe Mortaza’s coming back from an injury and so he’d be raring to play. It would be dangerous to take them lightly as they are a <i>very</i> good side.”

Now, I’m not trying to say that Bangladesh are a bad team. In fact, they really <i>have</i> improved in recent times, shown clearly by the fact that they crossed 250 in 3 out of the 4 matches in the tri series.

What I’m coming to say is that captains and players should be honest. They should be taught to speak their mind rather than vomit some diplomatic garb.

Of course, this should be done in moderation. You don’t want to have situations like what was seen with MoYo, where he publicly castigated Salman Butt for his poor running. Though he did score a century the next day, I’m sure Salman would’ve appreciated it if MoYo hadn’t done that. It’s akin to your parents scolding you in front of your guests when you were young!

That’s it for now, hang on to my tweets to hear more from me!

http://twitter.com/crickettragic

I’m sure a number of you would raise your hands if I asked who thought that MoYo was a passive captain!

Yes, he was quite defensive in New Zealand but the warmer climates of Australia seems to have thawed the excess ice in his brain!

First, it was the Dhoni-line theory, whereby he posted 8 men on the off side and a solitary man on the leg-side (mid-off) and then instructed Asif to bowl wide of off-stump when Twatto was in his 90’s.

It got to Watson and MoYo nearly got his man, only to see Rauf drop a fairly simple catch.

Today, it was his instructions to the openers.

Oh beard, what say ye now?

Salman Butt and Imran Farhat batted as if they never even knew ODIs existed, let alone T20.

For the record, they scored 70 runs in 33.5 overs at a RR of 2.08!

Yes, Imran had quite some fortune. First, he gets dropped by Marcus North off Siddle, whose face was sizzling so much that, as Warne once said to Graeme Smith, you could fry an egg on his face in 2 seconds!

Later, he came down the track and had a wild swipe at the ball off Siddle, me thinks, and then ambled to the crease, very nearly getting run out off an underhand throw by Haddin.

But, as many Pakistani fans will attest to it, lady luck is on Imran’s side and he sure is making good use of this fortune.

Coming back to the subject, MoYo’s instructions seem to have been to go out there and graft for the first session and graft they did! Didn’t lose a wicket and scored 2.08 per over. It also helped to knock the shine off the ball.

Post-lunch, they came all guns blazing! Off the next 58 overs, they scored 247 at a RR of 4.26! MoYo led the charge with 46 off 56 and Umar Akmal continued it with 48 off 47! Shame, they couldn’t go on and make it big!

However, Doug’s 3 wickets after the new ball was taken seriously impacted them, but, IMO, they’re still in a good position with a lead of about 205 runs.

Perhaps, MoYo got some tips from Younis Khan on how to deceive the media and opponents.

If my memory serves me right, Younis said, after their fairly big loss to England in the T20WC, that T20 cricket is like WWE and that no-one should take it seriously.

The rest is history…..

Frankly, I’m tempted to pull Mohammad Yousuf‘s beard till he squeals like a pig for his stupid pessimistic comments to the media!

First, he’s moaning about the fact that T20’s ruining Pakistan cricket.

It brings, to my mind, something which Gayle said when West Indies toured England last year.

When Andrew Strauss said that the England team valued playing tests over T20 and questioned Gayle’s priorities, Gayle fired back, saying that, if Test Cricket actually died, Strauss would find it difficult to keep his place in the side.

Now don’t get me wrong, I truly love test cricket and do, once in a while, mutter “Bloody T20 cricket, ruining cricket” with a Clint Eastwood-like face.

However, T20 isn’t necessarily to blame for players not being good at Test Cricket. In fact, T20 cricket has made test cricket better in that scoring rates have increased and lesser test matches are being drawn.

However, in Pakistan’s case, it’s a matter of not having played enough test in the past couple-of-years.

The way they played in the 1st test was nothing short of encouraging. Yes, the dropped catches were alarming. However, the batting and the bowling were quite good, especially the bowling.

I’m pretty sure that they’d put up a good fight in the 2nd test. After that, perhaps Yousuf can shove his comments up his …!

His comments on the fielding were also quite stupid. He says that the appointment of a fielding coach is pointless. He refers to the period when they had Johnty Rhodes as the coach.

However, it was only for a very short period of time.

If you look at it that way, then Mike Young has effectively contributed to the drop in fielding standards of the Indian side.

He came in recently for a 2 week assignment (which is barely enough time to make a significant impact). However, during the limited-overs leg of the recent SL tour of India, India’s fielding was absolutely atrocious!

However, I remember the time when Trevor Penney came in as the fielding coach for SL during 2005-2007.

IMO, that was the best period since the 1996 World Cup in terms of fielding. Old veterans like Jayasuriya and Murali were hitting the stumps from deep mid-off and they were taking really high catches.

However, Penney left with the then-head coach Tom Moody and, since then the fielding standards have gone down again.

Therefore, I’m quite sure that Pakistan’s fielding would improve much more if they could get a good fielding coach on board. Mike Young might not be a bad idea!