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  1. #1
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    "West Indies have no realistic chance of getting to semi-finals of the World Cup" : Fazeer Mohammed

    In his latest blog for PakPassion.net, Fazeer Mohammed writes about West Indies' poor performances in Tests during 2018, their chances in the 2019 World Cup and Caribbean players who will feature in the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League.




    When I was first invited to contribute a blog to this website just over two years ago, it was in an environment of optimism. Cautious yes, given the notorious inconsistencies seemingly inherent in contemporary West Indies cricket, but still optimistic.

    That sense of hope didnít appear misplaced given that the Caribbean side had come close to victory in their first-ever day/night Test against Pakistan in Dubai, and although they surrendered the series in the following match in Abu Dhabi, they showed what was possible with their first Test match win over the Pakistanis outside the Caribbean for 26 years to close out the three-match series.

    Opener and vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite starred with the bat, unbeaten in both innings in an historic effort in Sharjah. Now he is at the helm in the absence of the injured Jason Holder with the West Indies having just achieved some unwanted milestones - losing Tests and a series for the first time in Bangladesh, losing both matches inside three days, losing the second Test in Mirpur by an innings (a first for Bangladesh in also enforcing the follow-on) and looking almost completely clueless on spin-friendly surfaces.

    For Brathwaite, it has been particularly nightmarish with a poor run of form extending from the two Tests in India in October, which the West Indies also lost inside three days. Itís getting to the stage where experimenting with four-day Tests when the West Indies are involved is still a day too long.

    How did this accelerated slide to near-oblivion in the traditional format of the game come to pass, especially as Pakistan fans will recall not only that 2016 series in the United Arab Emirates but the three Tests in the Caribbean last year where, but for last man Shannon Gabrielís moment of madness off Yasir Shahís final ball of the series in Dominica, honours would probably have been shared 1-1?

    Then there was the sensational Test win over England at Headingley and a series success in Zimbabwe. Some unrepentant optimists were even daring then to suggest that the West Indies, if not fully turning the corner after two decades of struggle, were achieving a greater level of consistent competitiveness.

    However, the tour of New Zealand at the end of last year and this campaign through India and Bangladesh have thrown all those expectations out the window, while also putting into context the reality of the West Indies' shared home series with Sri Lanka and annihilation of the Bangladeshis four months ago on green pitches as making the most of home advantage.

    Next for the West Indies in Tests will be the visit of England early in 2019 by which time it is hoped Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and the rest of the batting will get themselves sorted out to give the home sideís bowlers something to work with. That bowling line-up could include Oshane Thomas, the 21-year-old Jamaican who impressed in the limited-over matches in India with his raw pace and hostility.

    Indeed, it is an appetising prospect to consider a bowling attack spearheaded by Shannon Gabriel and Thomas with the experienced Kemar Roach and fit again captain Holder in support for the first Test against the English at Kensington Oval in Barbados. With less than two months to go before the first ball is bowled in the most famous of all Caribbean cricket venues, there is much work to be done given the soul-destroying experiences of the past two months.

    Of course all is not lost because the West Indies can look forward to the World Cup in the next English summer, although the manner in which they scraped through the qualifying phase (Scotland will always rue a poor umpiring decision which proved critical in their decisive rain-affected match against Holderís side) earlier this year in Zimbabwe suggests that, even if some sort of compromise was reached to make all the high-profile players available, the two-time former champions have no realistic chance of getting to the semi-finals of this premier competition.

    Yet while they struggle desperately as a team, the cricket world continues to be entertained by the mercurial West Indian individuals who bring so much flair, substance and unbridled celebration to the already frenetic environment of Twenty20 franchise cricket.

    Flamboyant all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, the showman of all cricketing showmen, lines up alongside fellow-Trinidadian Sunil Narine for the Quetta Gladiators in the 2019 edition of the Pakistan Super League. Darren Sammy, who twice led the West Indies to World T20 titles, is beloved by the supporters of Peshawar Zalmi for bringing them the title in 2017 and another place in the final earlier this year, and with Kieron Pollard in the same squad, fans in the north-west can expect to be richly entertained.

    Then there is Carlos ďRemember the Name!Ē Brathwaite with the Lahore Qalanders and brilliant young wicketkeeper-batsman Nicolas Pooran who has been acquired by the PSLís sixth franchise.

    For many in the West Indies though, it remains a continuing cause for concern that so many of the emerging talents in the region are moving to these lucrative opportunities rather than seeking to represent the region in Test cricket and the other international formats.

    That has as much to do with the continuing intransigence and high-handedness of the cricket administration in the region as the presumed unwillingness of several marquee players to turn out for the West Indies and help, if they can, make the side with such a glorious and incomparable history at least worthy of the name once again.


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  2. #2
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    I can't imagine the frustration Windies fans face. Their team on the day looks like world beaters and then the next day it all unravels so spectacularly.

    The pain in Fazeer's words is literally palpable, you can almost touch it.

    I hope they do well in the next cricketing tours, a semi-final in the world cup realistically looks out of the question for them but then they are as unpredictable if not more than Pakistan.


    ya aenu chuk lay ya mainu aenu chukkan di taaqat day

  3. #3
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    The Test series against England will be interesting as Windies have a better pace attack than Sri Lanka, and probably are better equipped to expose England's vulnerablities with the bat.

    The last two Wisden Trophies have been pretty good.

  4. #4
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    There bowling attack is quality at home. But there batting is really weak. When a guy like Braithwaite who has played for a few years now is only averaging mid thirties, then you know itís bad.

    Not a single batsmen in their lineup who averages 40. They really need Darren Bravo back. Hetmyer has showed promise and has played some attacking innings.

    Hope has been the major disappointment. After that epic performance in England, you would have thought he would be their best batsman.

  5. #5
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    I really feel for the likes of Fazeer and all the followers of West Indies cricket.

    From being the number 1 team for so many years producing so many great players, to now being a laughing stock.



  6. #6
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    The saddest part for us oldies that remember the 80's and 90's is that none of the guys want to play for the Windies and haven't done so for a decade. This week Lewis turned down the central contract so that he isn't bound by Windies tours so that he can play T20 cricket.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    The saddest part for us oldies that remember the 80's and 90's is that none of the guys want to play for the Windies and haven't done so for a decade. This week Lewis turned down the central contract so that he isn't bound by Windies tours so that he can play T20 cricket.
    It gets worse.

    The Windies players just seem to be interested in making quick money in T20s only.

    WICB aren't helping either.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    It gets worse.

    The Windies players just seem to be interested in making quick money in T20s only.

    WICB aren't helping either.
    You have a terrible board managing the least patriotic and most greediest players in international cricket. I have said for a long time that we need to disband Windies cricket and let them play as individual countries, we may then get some patriotism from these losers.

  9. #9
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    Fazeer Bhai! Remember what many of our so called fans said about Pakistan in the Champions Trophy!


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  10. #10
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    Where is Darren Bravo? He was on his way to become a big player...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I really feel for the likes of Fazeer and all the followers of West Indies cricket.

    From being the number 1 team for so many years producing so many great players, to now being a laughing stock.
    They aren't a laughing stock like they were a few years ago. They have talanted young players who want to do well.

  12. #12
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    West Indies will give England a good fight. Only worry is which spinners will trouble England .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    They aren't a laughing stock like they were a few years ago. They have talanted young players who want to do well.
    I quote Fazeer "losing Tests and a series for the first time in Bangladesh, losing both matches inside three days, losing the second Test in Mirpur by an innings (a first for Bangladesh in also enforcing the follow-on) and looking almost completely clueless on spin-friendly surfaces. It’s getting to the stage where experimenting with four-day Tests when the West Indies are involved is still a day too long."



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I quote Fazeer "losing Tests and a series for the first time in Bangladesh, losing both matches inside three days, losing the second Test in Mirpur by an innings (a first for Bangladesh in also enforcing the follow-on) and looking almost completely clueless on spin-friendly surfaces. It’s getting to the stage where experimenting with four-day Tests when the West Indies are involved is still a day too long."

    Bangladesh have improved a lot in tests. They have defeated England and Australia at home in the last few years. West Indies youngsters have shown they have talent to be good players. It's only their 2nd tour of Asia for most of them.

    Don't agree with the critiscm here.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    Bangladesh have improved a lot in tests. They have defeated England and Australia at home in the last few years. West Indies youngsters have shown they have talent to be good players. It's only their 2nd tour of Asia for most of them.

    Don't agree with the critiscm here.
    That still does not give any excuse to lose your last 4 Test matches in 3 days.

    I feel that Fazeer's criticism is justified and these are still dark days in West Indies cricket.

    Yes there may be some promising players on the horizon, but it's difficult for Windies fans to just focus on ifs and buts and maybes when they are performing so poorly in Test cricket.



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    As of today, I believe WIN has better chance to make SF than PAK or BD. I have seen their last 5 games against us and 5 against IND - 7 of those were away games and they have avoided defeat 3 of those 7, when team is unsettled, missing regular Captain and there is a sudden change in coaching staff. If they can manage the quick fix issues, they are a force in WC in UK.

    I am sure Gayle will return for WC, so'll Russell - that's makes a possible XI of

    Gayle
    Hope+
    Bravo
    Simmons
    Hetmyer
    Chase
    Russell
    Holder*
    Bishu/Kemu Paul/Pollard
    Roach
    Gabriel/Thomas

    Much better unit than PAK and BD on papers for UK WC.
    Last edited by MMHS; 14th December 2018 at 03:16.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    As of today, I believe WIN has better chance to make SF than PAK or BD. I have seen their last 5 games against us and 5 against IND - 7 of those were away games and they have avoided defeat 3 of those 7, when team is unsettled, missing regular Captain and there is a sudden change in coaching staff. If they can manage the quick fix issues, they are a force in WC in UK.

    I am sure Gayle will return for WC, so'll Russell - that's makes a possible XI of

    Gayle
    Hope+
    Bravo
    Simmons
    Hetmyer
    Chase
    Russell
    Holder*
    Bishu/Kemu Paul/Pollard
    Roach
    Gabriel/Thomas

    Much better unit than PAK and BD on papers for UK WC.
    This World Cup is wide open. Everybody besides Afghanistan has a chance of winning. Though we should get a better idea within the next 3-4 months.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  18. #18
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    More humiliation.

    An 8 wicket hammering by Bangladesh.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    That still does not give any excuse to lose your last 4 Test matches in 3 days.

    I feel that Fazeer's criticism is justified and these are still dark days in West Indies cricket.

    Yes there may be some promising players on the horizon, but it's difficult for Windies fans to just focus on ifs and buts and maybes when they are performing so poorly in Test cricket.

    2 of those were against India who are ruthless at home. I don't think anyone expected West Indies to do anything in India. But I think they should have done better in Bangldesh but I don't think they are a laughing stock like they once were. These current players are hardly involved in any controversy and are talanted cricketers.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    2 of those were against India who are ruthless at home. I don't think anyone expected West Indies to do anything in India. But I think they should have done better in Bangldesh but I don't think they are a laughing stock like they once were. These current players are hardly involved in any controversy and are talanted cricketers.
    People forget that WI are still the champs when it comes to T20. No way they are a laughing stock.

  21. #21
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    I think WI should split the team. Let the individual islands compete for a spot in international cricket. At least when a Jamaican will represent Jamaica, or a Trini will represent Trinidad, they may play with more pride.

  22. #22
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    orty years since West Indies last lifted the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup trophy, in 1979, current captain Jason Holder is confident that his team can repeat history.

    "I'm very optimistic," Holder told Sportsmail. "I think we've got what it takes to win the World Cup. It's just a matter of the [kind of] cricket we play. We've potentially got match-winners on any given day and we can beat any side in the world.

    "We're confident that once we formulate our plans and execute them, we'll be up there lifting that trophy at the very end."

    "I think we've got what it takes to win the World Cup"

    Windies last played a multi-format series against England, whom they beat 2-1 in the Tests. It was Windies' first series win against England in the long format in 10 years. Holder, who was adjudged Player of the Match for his career-best 202* in front of his home crowd in Barbados, had a big part to play in it himself.

    The limited-overs leg was more of a mixed bag, with Windies drawing the five-match one-day international series 2-2, but conceding the Twenty20 Internationals that followed by a 3-0 margin. However, Holder felt that holding the No.1 side in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings to a stalemate would hold Windies in good stead.

    "It was a surreal feeling scoring a double century in front of my home crowd"

    "I don't think it's all sunk in yet," he said. "It was a surreal feeling scoring a double century in front of my home crowd. And competing against the No.1 one-day side in the world and pushing them right until the end says a lot about our potential."

    If Holder leads West Indies to the World Cup, he will have emulated Clive Lloyd, whom Holder is very close to and has been taking advice from. "Growing up, you track history," Holder said. "Clive Lloyd lifted two World Cups [in 1975 and 1979], and it's up to us to try to achieve something similar.

    "He and I are very close. He's given me a lot of advice about how to go about my international experience. He always said to me that it took three years for him to understand how to play Test cricket. Having played Test cricket for a while, I realise what he meant."

    Former Windies skipper Clive Lloyd lifting the 1979 World Cup Trophy at Lord's

    Holder further said that West Indies are still a work in progress but are on the path to success. "Our boys are probably not the finished product, but we're definitely on the right path to becoming pretty good West Indian players. If we stick together for the next two or three years, the sky's the limit," he said.

    "And, being in England, this was the last place we lifted the World Cup. Who knows, maybe there's a script to be written there."


    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1167375


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  23. #23
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    Top 4 will likely be india , england , australia and newzealand. All 4 are gun teams.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  24. #24
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    I think the Windies are good enough to spring a few surprises and looked truly revitalised against England but it is true, they can not crack into a top 4 which will likely include England, India and two of the following: Pakistan/New Zealand/Sri Lanka/Australia.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JibranAnsari View Post
    Top 4 will likely be india , england , australia and newzealand. All 4 are gun teams.
    It is Kane and Rosco or bust. I would swap us out and put Pakistan/South Africa in there as a possible option too.


    2 possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are terrifying.

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    WIN are my joint 4th favorite to make the SF

    1. ENG
    2. AUS
    3. IND
    4. NZL/SAF/WIN

    Once in SF, to win the cup

    1. AUS
    2. IND
    3. ENG
    4. WIN/NZL

  27. #27
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    They have a very good chance of making the WC semis.

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    For any team assuming victories against WI will be taking a big gamble
    If WICB and the players keep their differences aside then lineup could be this

    Chris Gayle
    Evin Lewis
    Shai Hope
    Darren Bravo
    Shimron Hetmyer
    Andre Russell
    Dwayne Bravo
    Jason Holder(C)
    Sunil Narine
    Kemar Roach
    Shannon Gabriel
    Brathwaite
    Pollard
    Devendra Bishoo
    Kesrick Williams

    and that is a mean lineup even if they are inconsistent a.k.a unpredictable team to some.

  29. #29
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    Brian Lara, the West Indies great, said the main challenge for Jason Holder's men at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 was to get to the knock-out stage – after which they had the match-winners "to beat any team".

    Lara, who retired with 10,405 runs from 299 one-day internationals, said the team's main concern was lack of consistency.

    "The West Indies have match-winners, but that’s not enough to play in English conditions and win the World Cup. We need a team that is consistent,” he said on Thursday, 4 April, during a function in Mumbai.

    “[But] once they are in the knock-out, they can beat any team, we have seen that in the past."

    The West Indies, two-time winners of the World Cup, had to go through a qualifying tournament to seal their place in the 10-team event in England and Wales, starting 30 May. They are placed ninth on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, but in the recent series at home, ran England, the top-ranked side, close to draw the five-match ODI series 2-2.

    They prompted England collapses, while also breaking records with their batting, led by the indomitable Chris Gayle. It marked a welcome turnaround for the team after losses to Bangladesh (home and away) and India (away).

    On their tour of India in October-November, the hosts had taken the five-match ODI series 3-1, with one match tied. They also won the Tests 2-0 and swept the three Twenty20 Internationals. Lara, though, felt things might be a lot closer when India tour the Caribbean and the United States later this year for two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is.

    “The team has shown enough improvement from what they played in India last October. What we are trying to be is be a strong team at home," he said. "India may have to worry when they come to the West Indies in July-August because we have a team that understands the conditions."

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1168998


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    Having seen more West Indies cricket than most over the last few years, Fazeer is right to be skeptical about WI's chances as much as I'm a big fan of Windies cricket.

    Bishoo and Nurse are powder puff spinners who have been getting a free ride for too long. Holder is not as effective with the white Kookaburra as he is with the red Dukes, while Thomas has the raw pace but lacks accuracy which is expected at his age.

    Usually the best bowling unit wins the World Cup and WI don't have it.

    Their strength lies with their batting - they have arguably the cleanest boundary hitters in the sport and are devastating on flat pitches. Gayle will be determined to leave on high whilst youngsters like Lewis and Hetmyer are outrageous talents. They need to reduce their dot consumption though as sometimes they rely too much on high risk boundary hitting (000400) - works in T20s but in ODIs strike rotation is critical.

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    There is always a chance. No one expected the West Indies to win the Champions Trophy all those years back. They pressure will be off them so they've nothing to lose.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

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    Fazeer is been politically correct here - intelligent people donít expose themselves. Itís much easier to down play own team because itís win-win situation - if WIN does better (make SF), Fazeer will be more than happy to be proven wrong, but if they donít, he has his cover. Also, realistically WIN doesnít have better chances to make SF at least before 5 teams; but this WC is more open, at least for 4 SF spots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    WIN are my joint 4th favorite to make the SF

    1. ENG
    2. AUS
    3. IND
    4. NZL/SAF/WIN

    Once in SF, to win the cup

    1. AUS
    2. IND
    3. ENG
    4. WIN/NZL
    No Pakistan ?


    And I get so high.. And I just can't feel it....

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    No Pakistan ?
    As of now, donít think so. That batting line up wonít play out 50 overs almost every time batting first, and if Babar goes early, 45 might be in risk.

    A team can have many batting weaknesses- weak top order, inexperienced middle order, too long tail, lack of batting leader, lack of enforcer .... you hardly get a side with most of those. Judge yourself - Imam, Fakhar, Babar, Haris, Sarfraz, Hafeez, Malik - what this batting line up can do? This is not 2015 that you struggle past ZIM and basically win one serious game - you are in KO. Minimum 11 points (5 wins & a tie/wash out) will be required out of 9; technically 10, even 9 points can do it, but PAK is the last team to back on better NRR. Excluding ZIM reserves, last 1 yearís record stands at 4-17 against WC opponents, and must say apart from Australia series, every other time it was PAKís possible best XI vs under strength opponents .... still 4-12. 2 months is too little time to recover from such state.

    Worst part is, for the first time PAK bowling is not among top 4 - no way you can put it ahead or even per with AUS, SAF, IND, NZ. With Archer in, ENG & WIN pace attack wonít be much behind either.

    Now you come the table - average mid level pace attack, among bottom 3 batting, below per fielding, obsolete batting tactics and poor spin attack .... why should you expect this team to make SF with logic. Still can make it, but not expected.


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